Ernest's family came from Yorkshire and he and his younger sister, Nellie, had been born in Stainland, near Huddersfield. The 1901 Census shows that the family had moved to Stockport in the late 1890s as Nellie was then aged 6 and their younger brother, Frank, aged 3, had been born in Stockport. Their father was Wilson Roebuck, then aged 33 and working as a cotton turner. Between January and March 1891, he had married Martha Hollas. Martha died, aged 29, between April and June 1900 (source: FreeBMD website).
Ernest enlisted in the local Territorial Battalion shortly after war was declared. His original service number was 2595. This comparatively low number suggests he was an early recruit and probably went on active service as early as January 1915.
On 31 July 1917, he went into action on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres. After the attack, he was posted as missing. Some months later, there was still no news of him and the Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 7 December 1917, published the following notice.
"Mr Wilson Roebuck of 2 Gerard Street, Stockport would be glad of any news of Private Ernest Roebuck, 265764, C Company, 12th Platoon, 6th Cheshire Regiment. Private Roebuck has been missing since the 31st July and his relatives and friends naturally feel grave anxiety as to his fate. It is hoped that this notice may meet the eye of some of his regimental chums who may be in possession of reliable information."
It's not known whether any of Ernest's pals were able to supply any information but his body was never found and identified and he is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at nearby Ieper (then Ypres).