Michael Francis Roberts (1900 - 1940)
Timothy and Margaret had a son, Michael Francis Roberts, [b Birkenhead 1900, 1st qt] who was called Frank. The story within the family is that Frank was drowned when he fell from a ship near Canada, possibly in mysterious circumstances. Michael Frances Roberts died on war service on 2 December 1940. His Probate record states that he was living at 81 Milton Road, Waterloo, Hampshire (more likely to be 'Waterlooville, Hants' or 'Waterloo, Lancs') and probate was granted at Llandudno to his widow, Mary Roberts. The CWGC record states that he was the First Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy, aboard MV Victor Ross (London) when he died, aged 44 (Frank would have been 40), and that his wife was Mary Christina Roberts of Dublin (she may have moved there subsequently).
Motor tanker Victor Ross, owned by British Mexican Petroleum Co, London, was in ballast in the convoy OB-251, between New York and London, position 56.04N, 18.30W (see map), when at 09.41 hours on 2 Dec, 1940, it was hit by two torpedoes from U-43. The U-boat tried to finish off the ship at 09.50 hours but then had to dive shortly afterwards to evade a ramming attempt. Another hit at 10.15 hours caused the ship to sink by the stern. The master, 42 crew members and one gunner were lost; there were no survivors. Frank's brother, Vincent, wrote a poem to his late brother which includes the line, "Yes, yes, my brother, I hear you now that death has cleared the way". Michael Francis Roberts is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.