Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , Sir GEORGE FOSSETT ( 1870 - 1954 ), soldier, politician and administrator ;

b. 1 Nov. 1870 at Aberystwyth, Cards. , the third son of David and H. Maria Roberts . His father was a member of Aberystwyth Town Council for 44 yrs and served as mayor of the borough on three occasions. G.F. Roberts was educated at a private school at Cheltenham . He joined his father's company and was the managing director of the Trefechan brewery from 1890 until his retirement in 1935 .

Roberts stood unsuccessfully as the parliamentary candidate (C) for Cardiganshire in 1910 , and continued to support the Conservative Party throughout his life. During World War I he was the Staff Officer of the Embarkation Staff , and from 1921 until 1925 he led the 102nd Field Brigade of the Royal Artillery . In 1933 he was chosen as Honorary Colonel of the 146th Medium Regiment of the Royal Artillery .

He was elected a member of the Aberystwyth Town Council in 1902 ; he remained a member for 30 yrs. and served as mayor in 1912-13 and 1927-28 . He chaired many council committees . He also served as a member of the Cardiganshire County Council for 20 yrs. Roberts also played an active part in the activities of the National Library of Wales ; he was elected a member of the Court of Governors in 1914 and of the Council in 1919 , and he served as treasurer from 1939 until 1944 , when he was elected to succeed Lord Davies of Llandinam (see DAVIES , DAVID above) as N.L.W. President . He chose to retire from this position in 1950 . He also served as vice-president of the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth . He was a prominent supporter, too, of the work of the Aberystwyth General Hospital , and he chaired the Mid-Wales Hospital Management Committee , 1948-51 . Roberts was a member of a large number of local committees , was a prominent public figure in the Aberystwyth area and at Llanbadarn Fawr church . He won great respect because of his high principles, his kindness and generosity, and unfailing courtesy.

Fossett Roberts was awarded the O.B.E. in 1919 , the T.D. in 1922 , was knighted in 1935 and received the C.B. in 1942 . He was awarded the degree of LL.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales in 1947 . He was chosen a J.P. for Cardiganshire in 1906 , served as High Sheriff in 1911-12 , and as the county's Deputy Lieutenant from 1929 .

He m., 29 Sept. 1896 , Mary , the eldest dau. of John Parry , Glan-paith, Cards. She d. 26 May 1947 . They had two daughters. They lived at Glan-paith , Rhydyfelin Aberystwyth , and for a time at Laura Place in the town. He d. 8 April 1954 at Glan-paith , the funeral service was held at Llanbadarn church and his remains were buried at Aberystwyth cemetery. There is a bronze memorial plaque at the National Library of Wales .

Sources:

  • Who was who? ;
  • Who's who in Wales (1933 and 1937) ;
  • The Cambrian News , 16 Apr. 1954 ;
  • The Times , 10 and 14 Apr. 1954 ;
  • Annual Report of the National Library of Wales , Aberystwyth , 1953-54 ;
  • W. J. Lewis , Born on a perilous rock Aberystwyth past and present , Aberystwyth, 1980 (1980) ;
  • The Biographical Index of W.W. Price, Aberdâr (at the National Library of Wales and Aberdare Public Library) .

Author:

Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001