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Philip Walter Jowett Bagnall

  • Second Lieutenant, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 10 August 1915, aged 19
  • No known grave (Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey)
  • CWGC registered (Only son of Capt Walter George Bagnall [Duke of Wellington’s Regt] JP, CC, of Hawthorpe Hall, Uppermill, Oldham, and “Cintra”, Llandudno, N. Wales, and the late Edith Jane Bagnall [nee Jowett])

Philip Bagnall was the son of Walter George Bagnall and his wife Edith Jane Bagnall (née Jowett). He was born in Mellor, Derbyshire on 5 August 1895, his mother dying shortly thereafter. His father owned an oil company in Manchester.

The 1901 Census records the Bagnall family, headed by Aimee Bagnall, Philip’s grandmother, residing in Aspenshaw Hall, New Mills, Derbyshire. The next year, Walter George Bagnall married Ellen Frances Heap Bradbury and both are recorded in 1911 as living at Saddleworth. At the same time, Philip was in residence with his grandmother and three maiden aunts at “Painsley House”, Wellington Road, Rhyl. He attended Sywell House School, Rhyl.

On 19 September 1914 at Caernarvon, Philip Bagnall joined the 6th (Carnarvonshire and Anglesey) Battalion (Territorial Force) RWF as a private. The papers he signed were for a four-year engagement. He gave his address as “Ucheldre”, Tan-y-Bryn Road, Llandudno (which, according to a 1918 directory was one of his father’s addresses). The Battalion moved on mobilisation to Conwy, and then to Northampton, Bedford and Cambridge. Clearly he signed for “Imperial Service” because he joined the first line battalion (the 1/6th). Philip Bagnall received a commission as a second lieutenant on 21 April 1915. The battalion sailed from Devonport on 19 July 1915 and disembarked at Sulva Bay on 9 August 1915.

Philip Bagnall was killed in action near Chocolate Hill on 10 August 1915 aged 19. He was initially reported as wounded, then wounded and missing, possibly a prisoner of the Turks. He has no known grave.

 

Walter Richard Barlow

  • 40738, Private, 2nd South Wales Borderers
  • Killed in action, 16 August 1917, aged 37
  • Buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Walter Richard Barlow, the son of a factory labourer, Richard Barlow and Sarah Barlow (née Virgin), was born in Kidderminster in 1880. In 1891, the family lived at Farndon in Cheshire. By 1901, Walter was employed on a farm at Churton by Farndon. Walter moved to Llandudno and on 4 November 1908, he married Elinor Owen at St. George’s Church, both giving their residence as 2 Bay View Terrace. Walter’s occupation was stated as a groom. The bridegroom and bride gave their ages as 25 and 20 respectively though Walter was actually 28 and Elinor 18. Their son John Richard Barlow was born on 8 June 1910. A daughter Eleanor was born in 1912, a son Walter in 1913, and a daughter Lilian in 1916. It was locally reported that Walter worked for Mr Thompson, a newsagent in Mostyn Street, before enlisting.

Walter Barlow’s enlisted at Llandudno at the end of 1915. He joined the Reserve and was mobilised in mid-1916 into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers with a regimental number of 43701. He disembarked in France circa March 1917, joining an infantry base depot. It was not unusual at this time for soldiers on arriving in France to be transferred to a different regiment or corps and Walter Barlow was transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the South Wales Borderers with a regimental number of 40738. The 2nd SWB was a regular battalion that at the outbreak of war had been in China. After returning to England, it served at Gallipoli and in Egypt before landing at Marseilles in March 1916.

Walter Richard Barlow was killed in action on 16 August 1917 aged 37. On that day, the 2nd SWB had been involved in an offensive during the Battle of Langemarck, part of the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele. He was buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery.

Elinor Barlow married James Wright Duckenfield in 1922 and died in 1954.

 

John Basford

  • 19966, Private, 16th Lancashire Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 1 April 1917, aged 25
  • Buried at Savy British Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Harry and Mary Basford, of 231 Morton St, Manchester; husband of Elizabeth J Bailey, formerly Basford, of 16 Lamb St. Longsight, Manchester)
  • Brother-in-law of David, Evan and John Hobson

John Basford, the son of Harry Basford, a coal mine labourer, and Mary Ann Basford (née Dolman) was born in Pendlebury, Lancashire on 24 July 1891. John attended Manchester Armitage Road School after which he attended Armitage Street Board School. The school registers record the family’s address as 28 Randolph Street, confirmed by the Census of 1901 which also indicated that Harry Basford was now a general labourer and that John had six siblings. John left school in June 1905. In 1911, the family lived at Longsight, Manchester, John being described as a hairdresser.

John Basford joined the 20th (Service) Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers circa June 1915 with a regimental number of 19966. The 20th LF was a Bantam Battalion, formed in Salford on 23 March 1915. The battalion moved to Conwy in July 1915 and to Cholderton, Salisbury Plain, the following month. John Basford returned to North Wales on 23 October 1915 to marry Elizabeth Jane Hobson, sister of David, Evan and John Hobson (all qv) at the Shiloh Chapel, Llandudno. The marriage certificate states that his residence at the time of marriage was Garswood Park Camp, Ashton-in-Makerfield and that his rank was lance corporal.

Notwithstanding, John Basford held the rank of private when the 20th LF landed at Le Havre on 30 January 1916. John’s medal and award roll, indicates that from landing in France, he served with the 20th, the 22nd, the 4th, the 10th, and, finally, the 16th Battalions. Since the 22nd was a Reserve Battalion and the 4th, an Extra Reserve Battalion, then at some stage during the war, he had been repatriated. The 10th (Service) Battalion and the 16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Salford), which he subsequently joined, had been in France since July and November 1915 respectively.

John Basford was killed in action on 1 April 1917 aged 25 during heavy fighting near Savy. John Basford was buried about a mile north east of the village, being reinterred circa 1920 at Savy British Cemetery. His son, also John Basford, was born shortly after his death and his widow, Elizabeth, married Harold Bailey in 1921.

 

George Arthur Bennett

  • Second Lieutenant, 2/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 3 December 1917, aged 31
  • No known grave (Cambrai Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

George Arthur Bennett was the son of George Samuel Bennett and Sarah Jane Halford. He was born in Birmingham on 27 August 1886 though his parents did not get married until 1891. The census for that year records the family living at 39 Temple Street, Birmingham, George Samuel Bennett being described as a caretaker. George attended George Dixon School and his sister Ethel was born on 21 August 1893. In 1901, the family still lived at Temple Street, Birmingham, George (junior) being described as a cabinetmaker. George was also a student at the Midland Institute School of Music where he later became a teacher of the French horn. He was a member the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Festival Choral and other societies. He played with the Kilties Band of Belleville, Ontario during a tour of England and afterwards accompanied it through Canada and the United States in 1906.

George married Madeline May Wright at St. Mary’s Church, Smethwick on 29 May 1909. George joined the Hallé Orchestra in 1910 and during its summer break played in the Llandudno Pier Orchestra. The following year, George and Madeleine lodged at 17 Maple Road, Bramhall, Cheshire. George was described as a musician in an orchestra. On 28 March 1912, George departed Liverpool for New York on tour with the London Symphony Orchestra and returned to Plymouth on 10 May 1912. Curiously, George named his father as his next of kin. George and Madeleine’s son, John Leslie Bennett, was born in Manchester on 17 October 1914.

George enlisted at Llandudno on 12 December 1915. It was not until 28 October 1916 when George joined the 2/28th (County of London) Battalion (Artist’s Rifles) Territorial Force at the Dukes Road Drill Hall, Euston Road, London with a regimental number of 9114 (later 763118). On Boxing Day 1916, he played his final engagement with the Birmingham Festival Choral Society. On 27 June 1917, George received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and was attached to the 2/6th Battalion Territorial Force.

George Arthur Bennett was killed in action on 3 December 1917 aged 31 during a German bombardment and attack near La Vacquerie, during the Battle of Cambrai. It was reported that he was hit by a shell after leaving a dug-out. He has no known grave. His medal index card gives his widow’s address as “St. Leonard’s”, Charlton Street, Llandudno.

In 1939, George’s mother, widow, sister and son resided at 26 Belgrave Road, Birmingham.

 

Ernest Bland

  • 12/874, Lance Corporal, 12th York and Lancaster Regiment
  • Killed in action, 1 July 1916, aged 22
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Bland of Ivy Cottage, Llanrhos, Llandudno)
  • Llanrhos casualty

Ernest Bland was born at Llanrhos in 1894. He was the son of William Bland, a coachman employed by the Mostyn family at Gloddaeth Hall, and his wife Sarah Adelaide Bland (née Clerke). Ernest had an elder brother William and an elder sister Ada. In 1911, Ernest was employed as an accountant’s clerk – he still lived at home with his parents. He later became a commercial traveller.

In September 1914, Ernest Bland enlisted at Sheffield into the 12th (Service) Battalion of the York & Lancaster Regiment (Sheffield City Battalion) which had been formed that same month. His regimental number was 12/874. In May 1915, the battalion moved from Redmires Camp near Sheffield to Cannock Chase joining the 94th Brigade in the 31st Division which by October had moved to Salisbury Plain. In December 1915, the Division moved to Egypt, taking over a sector of the Suez Canal defences. The deployment in Egypt was to be short for between 1 and 6 March 1916, the division sailed for Marseilles for service on the Western Front.

On 1 July 1916, the 31st Division attacked the Germans in force at Serre on the first day of what became known as the Battle of the Somme. Despite bombardment, the German lines were intact and the advancing British troops, many from the Yorkshire and Lancashire “Pal’s” battalions were mown down by machine gun fire. One of the casualties was Ernest Bland whose fate is unknown but whose death for official purposes is regarded as 1 July 1916. He was aged 22. Because his body was never recovered, he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

 

Victor Arnold Bone

  • Captain, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 18 September 1918, aged 21
  • Buried at Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece
  • CWGC registered (Son of Ernest Edgar and Bessie Frances Bone, of ‘Rocknest’, Roumania Crescent, Llandudno. Native of Llanrhos, Llandudno)

Victor Arnold Bone was the son of a Llandudno solicitor, Ernest Edgar Bone and his wife Bessie Frances Bone (née Evans). Ernest Bone came from Fenstanton in Huntingdonshire whilst Bessie Evans came from Brinscombe in Gloucestershire which is where the couple married in 1882. Ernest Bone became a partner with Mr George H Pugh of Llandudno in 1888. The Bones had six children, the fifth child and youngest boy being Victor Arnold Bone, born in Llandudno on 7 February 1897. He was baptised on 2 May 1897 and the family’s home address was noted in the Llandudno Parish Register as “Holmdale”. The Census of 1901 records the family living at “Bryn Maelgwyn”. Ernest Bone was unanimously elected chairman of the Llandudno Urban District Council in 1910. In 1911, the family lived at “Ivanhoe”, Fferm Bach Road, Craig-y-Don; Victor is noted as at school. Which school he attended is uncertain though he joined Brighton College in May 1912. He left the college in July 1914.

On the outbreak of war, Victor Bone joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers though he was aged 17 and was still aged 17 when he was gazetted as a temporary second lieutenant on 22 September 1914 by virtue of having been a member of the Officers’ Training Corps. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 19 July 1915. It is recorded that Victor Bone’s battalion was the 11th (Service) Battalion RWF that formed at Wrexham in October 1914. The battalion landed in France in September 1915 but with its division, the 22nd, it was diverted to Salonika in October 1915 to reinforce the Greek army. In September 1916, Lieutenant V A Bone was hospitalised with malaria and was treated at the 28th General Hospital, Salonika and on the hospital ship HMHS Essequibo.

For much of the war, the Macedonian Theatre was quiet, but on 18 September 1918, an offensive was launched to liberate Serbia and drive Germany’s Bulgarian allies out of the war. On 18 September, Victor Bone, now promoted to Captain, was killed in action aged 21 during an assault on the Bulgarian fortifications at Dorian in which, despite extensive use of air power to attack the Bulgarian positions, the Bulgarians were able to pick off the attacking troops one by one. He was buried at Doiran Military Cemetery.

 

Jean Felix Bonnet

  • 220726, Gunner, 103rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force)
  • Accidentally killed, 11 November 1918, aged 31
  • Buried at Giavera British Cemetery, Arcade, Italy
  • CWGC registered (L Bonnet Esq, ‘Diagwylfa’, Mostyn Avenue, Llandudno)

Jean Felix Bonnet was the son of Swiss parents: Jean Felix Bonnet and Marie Bonnas. He was born on 21 August 1887 at Gland, in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. By 1911, he was a chocolatier working at the Swiss Cafe in Llandudno. The census for that year records him living at the home of his employer, Henry Charlier, at “La Mer View”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno. The marriage register for West Bromwich for the first quarter of 1912 records the marriage of Jean to Lily Rose Mason. Their children John Louis Felix and Lillian D were born in 1913 and 1915 respectively. Jean became a British subject on 10 February 1915.

Jean Bonnet became a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery with a regimental number of 220726. Jean’s military records no longer exist but soldiers with very close numbers either volunteered in late 1915 or were conscripted the following year and entered C Battery, No 2 Reserve Brigade, Artillery, (Territorial Force) at Bettisfield Camp, Shropshire in February 1917. Though many of the recruits were transferred to the Tank Corps, some were retained in the Royal Field Artillery and were posted to units overseas. Whilst Jean’s training with the Royal Field Artillery remain speculative, it is known that he served in Italy with the 103rd Brigade RFA, the brigade having transferred from France in November 1917, taking over the front line at Montello on 4 December 1917. The brigade fought on the Asiago plateau and at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto.

The Italian Armistice took place at 3 pm on 4 November 1918 and it was seven days later when Jean Felix Bonnet was accidentally killed aged 31 after falling off a lorry. He was buried at Giavera British Cemetery, Arcade, Italy.

Lily Bonnet died in Kent in 1975. John Louis Felix Bonnet served as an officer in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War.

 

Percival Stanley Boole

  • 201331, Private, 13th The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
  • Died of wounds, 27 April 1918, aged 29
  • Buried at Étaples Military Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of John and Elizabeth Boole, of The Green, Rawmarsh, Rotherham. Native of Llandudno)

Percival Stanley Boole, known as Stanley, was born in Nottingham in 1889. He was the son of a schoolteacher, John Boole and his wife Elizabeth Boole (née Eardley). He had an elder brother named Frank. The 1891 census records the family living at Gawcott in Buckinghamshire. Ten years later, the family lived at Fenny Stratford (now Milton Keynes) and had been joined by Douglas, Reginald and Fanny Kathleen. John Boole took up a position in Llandudno but sadly his wife died in 1910. The census of the following year records John, Douglas, Reginald and Kathleen in lodgings at 10 Taliesin Street, Llandudno. Both Frank and Stanley were printing compositors lodging in Llandudno, the latter at Grimsby Villa, Taliesin Street.

Stanley enlisted at Liverpool on a date unknown. His first known battalion was the 2/5th Battalion of The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), a unit of the Territorial Force. His regimental number is recorded as 201331 but this was issued in 1917 and would have replaced an earlier number. The 2/5th KLR formed in Liverpool in September 1914 when the 5th split into first and second line battalions. Though the second line battalions of the Territorial Force were originally formed for home service, replacing the first line battalions which went overseas, the Military Service Act of 1916 deemed that second line battalions could be sent abroad. The 2/5th KLR disembarked in France on 13 February 1917 and fought on the Western Front until it disbanded on 1 February 1918, its soldiers being used to reinforce other battalions. Whether or not Stanley was transferred on that date or before that date is unknown but his posting was to the 13th (Service) Battalion which had formed in October 1914 and disembarked in France in September 1915.

At a date unknown, Percival Stanley Boole was wounded in action. He died of these wounds on 27 April 1918 and was buried at Étaples Military Cemetery. Étaples was a major base about 20 miles south of Boulogne and the location of several hospitals.

 

John Arden Bott

  • Captain, 17th Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Territorial Force) attached 5th
  • Died of illness, 5 August 1917, aged 42
  • Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery
  • CWGC registered (Son of William and Emily Bott, of Somerset House, Derbyshire; husband of Alice Mary Bott, of 4 The Close, Sheringham, Norfolk)
  • Not a local casualty
    • Died at Llandudno
    • Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery

John Arden Bott was born in 1875 at Somersal Herbert in Derbyshire, the son of Francis William Bott, who had interests in railways and banking, and his wife Emily Agnes Bott (née Werge). The Census for 1881 records Emily with three daughters, John, a governess and a nursemaid staying at 6 Royal Terrace, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Ten years later, John was recorded as a border at Chippenham Lodge, Bournemouth. He entered Trinity Hall College, Cambridge in 1893 and was an athletics “blue” in 1894. He was also a prominent oarsman.

When he left university, John married Alice Mary Bott in Kensington. Though the birth of their daughter Dorothy Alison Alicia was recorded in 1896 (she was baptised at St. John’s, West Chelsea on 22 November 1896, her parents’ address being the Langham Hotel) their marriage was not recorded until the following year. At about this time, John was noted as a railway contractor and engineer. The birth of another daughter, Phyllis Jeanette took place at Banstead, Surrey on 28 May 1898 – she was baptised at Banstead on 29 June 1898. A son Richard Edward Arden Bott was born in 1900 and baptised at Christ Church, Folkestone, Kent on 15 July 1900. A second son William John Arden Bott was born in St. Moritz in 1902 as was his brother Charles Arden Bott on 16 October 1904. This Swiss connection is not unexpected for John Arden Bott, his sister May Bott and his wife Alice Mary Bott were prominent in winter sports. John was the Cresta Run skeleton bob champion five times and inventor of the sliding toboggan seat.

In 1914, John Arden Bott joined the 17th (Service) Battalion (Empire) of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). This battalion had been formed in London on 31 August 1914 by the British Empire Committee. On 14 October 1914, John received a commission as a temporary second lieutenant. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 27 January 1915 and to temporary captain on 4 August 1915. The 17th RF landed in France on 17 November 1915. In July 1916, John was wounded in action and was evacuated to England in February 1917. Attached to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion which was based at Dover, he returned to duty in June 1917.

On 5 August 1917 John Arden Bott died of heart failure at the St. George’s Hotel, Llandudno aged 42. He was buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery. According to the National Probate Calendar, his home address was 64 Church Street, Kensington. He left his effects of £240 18s 10d to his widow.

Alice Bott died in 1934. The same year, William John Arden Bott was a victim of manslaughter in London.

 

Leonard Astley Bowker

  • M2/113531, Acting Sergeant, Army Service Corps (MT)
  • Died of illness, 29 October 1918, aged 28
  • Buried at Blackpool (Layton) Cemetery
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Penrhynside casualty
  • Brother-in-law of Edwin Hill

Leonard Astley Bowker, the son of Frank Bowker and his wife Annie Crossley Bowker (née Astley) was born at Radcliffe, Lancashire on 7 July 1890. In 1890, the family, which included Leonard’s elder sister Eva, lived at Ratcliffe, Frank Bowker being recorded as a grocer. Ten years later, the family was living in Cheadle, Cheshire and it now included another two children: Arthur and Marguerite (later the wife of Edwin Hill qv). Vera Kathleen Bowker was born in Blackpool in 1902 and Frank Bowker died there in February 1907. Annie and her children moved to Colwyn Bay though, tragically, Eva Bowker died in February 1909. In 1911, Annie Bowker and her three youngest children lived at 19 Rhiw Road, Colwyn Bay, Leonard being recorded as a chemist’s traveller. On 21 February 1913, Leonard left Liverpool bound for St. John, New Brunswick, Canada on the SS Empress of Ireland, his onward destination being Toronto.

The circumstances under which Leonard left Canada are unknown. He enlisted at Birmingham into the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps with a regimental number of M2/113531; a soldier with a very close number (533) volunteered in mid-June 1915, joining at Grove Park, Lewisham. Leonard disembarked in France on 14 August 1915. His employment on the Western Front is unknown. After returning to the UK, he was listed as on the strength of the ASC MT Depot at Isleworth.

Acting Sergeant Leonard Astley Bowker died of pneumonia at the Military Hospital, Hounslow on 29 October 1918 aged 28. His body was moved to Blackpool where he was buried at Blackpool (Layton) Cemetery in the grave already occupied by his father and his sister Eva. When his mother subsequently made a claim for a pension, she gave her address as “Broom Vale”, Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno. This was the address where Annie and her daughter Marguerite Hill, Edwin Hill’s widow, lived in 1939.

 

Samuel Christopher Boyce

  • 315503, Private, 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Later 350508, Private, Labour Corps
  • Died of illness after discharge, 9 October 1919, aged 29
  • Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Cousin of John Edward Pritchard

Samuel Christopher Boyce, the son of William and Annie C Boyce (née Pritchard), was born in Llandudno on 7 May 1890. Annie Pritchard was the sister of George William Pritchard, father of John Edward Pritchard (qv). In the following year, the family lived at 9 St. George’s Place, Back Madoc Street, Llandudno; William Boyce was employed as a coach trimmer. From June 1895, Samuel attended St. George’s National School; the school register gives the family’s address as Prospect Terrace though a register two years later gives the address as “Wyddfryd”. The Census of Wales for 1901 confirms the address as 1 Wyddfryd Cottages; William was now self-employed as a boatman and Samuel and his sister Estella were at school. William also had a younger sister Mary. William left school on 5 May 1904, two days before his 14th birthday. In 1911, William had another sister Alice and he worked as a bottle washer at a bottling store.

Samuel Boyce enlisted on 12 October 1914, possibly into a reserve battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, (Territorial Force). His first known regimental number was 315503 in the 23rd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. This number was issued in 1917 and would have replaced an earlier number. The 23rd RWF originally formed in June 1915 as the 47th Provisional Battalion, (Territorial Force) with home service personnel of various Territorial Force battalions and assigned to coastal defence. It was re-designated as the 23rd RWF on 1 January 1917 at Mundesley, Norfolk.

Samuel Boyce married May Hewitt on 26 August 1917 in the County of Norfolk. Samuel later transferred to the Labour Corps. His new number was 350508 and soldiers with close numbers were posted to agricultural companies in April 1918. He was discharged on 18 April 1919.

Samuel Christopher Boyce died of pulmonary tuberculosis at his home in Llandudno on 9 October 1919 and was buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery. Because the Labour Corps was regarded in an unheroic light, soldiers who were killed or died whilst serving in the Corps or having been discharged from it, were officially commemorated as members of their previous regiments, if they had had one.

May Boyce married Ernest Willer in 1923. She died in 1974.

 

George Brett

  • DM2/135272, Private, Army Service Corps (MT)
  • Died of Illness, 9 February 1919, aged 28
  • Buried at St. André Communal Cemetery, Lille, France
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

George Brett was born at Hollington near Hastings in 1890. His mother was Annie Brett and his father was probably William Brett, a bricklayer’s labourer. George had an elder brother Thomas and a younger brother Frank. In 1901, a widowed Annie Brett lived with her sons in Hastings though by 1911, all four were living at 6 Spring Street, St. Leonards on Sea, George  being described as a mechanic employed by a skating rink company. Roller skating had come to St. Leonards in 1909 when the American Roller Skating Syndicate transformed the Royal Concert Hall in the town. Roller skating came to Llandudno at about the same time and this may be the reason why George found his way to the town. The first record of his living there is a marriage certificate dated 17 February 1914 when he married Elizabeth Jane Roberts at Llanrhos Parish Church – his address was given as 29 King’s Road, Llandudno. A son Sydney Brett was born on 6 August 1914 and his brother Hugh Brett was born on 6 September 1915.

In October 1915, George volunteered to join the army at Llandudno. His trade as a mechanic was enough to recruit him into the Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport). He joined at Osterley Park on 31 October 1915; his service number was DM2/135272, the prefix DM2 indicating that he was a Mechanical Transport Learner. He passed the Motor Learner’s Test Certificate A on 30 December 1915 and disembarked at Rouen on 5 January 1916 and was initially posted to 317 MT Company and thence to various troop supply columns and other units. George spent 15 days in March 1918 on leave and on his return to duty joined the 16th Divisional MT Company. George’s leave was fruitful because his son George was born on 1 December 1918.

George Brett survived the war but was a victim of the influenza pandemic of 1918/1919. He was admitted to No 11 Casualty Clearing Station at St. André near Lille on 3 February 1919 and died of broncho-pneumonia on 15 February 1919 aged 28. He was buried at St. André Communal Cemetery.

Elizabeth Jane Brett died in 1972.

 

William Oscar Briggs

  • 38486, Private, 10th South Wales Borderers
  • Killed in action, 28 August 1917, aged 19
  • No known grave (Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

William Oscar Briggs was born in Llandudno in 1898. He was the son of William Bristol Briggs and Elizabeth Briggs (née Tarrant). In 1901, the family of three lived at 3 Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno; William (senior) was described as a master draper. Ten years later, the family lived at 3 South Parade with Elizabeth’s aunt Helen Tarrant. William’s (junior) occupation is not mentioned but it is known that he attended John Bright School in Llandudno.

William’s service record is a little obscure. He enlisted in Bangor and his first known regimental number was 26045 in The King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry). A soldier with a consecutive number, having been attested and transferred to the Reserve in 1916, was mobilised in February 1917 and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion KSLI. A month or two later, both William Briggs and his brother in arms were transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. William’s new regimental number was 38486. In July 1917, William was posted to the 10th (Service) Battalion SWB which had been in France since December 1915 as part of the 115th Brigade in the 38th (Welsh) Division. It is noted that he was at some time attached to the 115th Brigade’s Trench Mortar Battery.

The 38th Division played a minor role in the latter stages of the Battle of Langemarck attacking on 27 August. Heavy rain had fallen and the ground was saturated. The attack failed and there were many casualties. William Oscar Briggs was initially reported as wounded then as wounded and missing. Later, he was determined to have been killed in action on 28 August 1917 aged 19. He has no known grave.

 

Wilfrid Stanley Brocklehurst

  • Captain (Acting Major), Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness after discharge, 15 March 1920, aged 30
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of William Tyrer Brocklehurst and Mary Brocklehurst, of ‘Perthi’, 15 St. Mary’s Rd, Llandudno. Wounded in France)

Wilfrid Stanley Brocklehurst, known as Stanley or WS Brocklehurst was born in Manchester circa 1889. He was the son of a journalist, William Tyrer Brocklehurst and his wife Mary Jane Brocklehurst (née Gibson). In 1891, the family lived at “Melrose Villa”, Cambridge Road, Stockport, Lancashire; Wilfrid had a sister Dorothy. William Tyrer Brocklehurst was a reporter for the Southport Visitor though he joined the North Wales Guardian in 1893, the family moving to 68 Borthyn, Ruthin. In 1901, the family lived at 1 Avallon Avenue, Llandudno Junction and Wilfrid now had a younger brother Joseph. In 1906, William Brocklehurst became the North Wales representative of the Manchester Guardian and the family moved to “Bryn View”, Llandudno. Wilfrid Stanley Brocklehurst attended John Bright County School and later worked as a reporter for the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and for a newspaper in Oldham, eventually being appointed chief reporter of the Derby Express in 1910. In 1911, Stanley’s family lived at “Perthi”, St. Mary’s Road, Llandudno though Stanley himself was boarding at 52 Gerrard Street, Derby.

At the outbreak of the Great War, Stanley volunteered to join the Derbyshire Yeomanry, a mounted regiment of the Territorial Force. Stanley also applied for a commission in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and he was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 18 March 1915. A local newspaper reporting the announcement in The London Gazette stated that Stanley was to join the 19th (Service) Battalion RWF at Deganwy though there is evidence that he had been initially slated to join the 17th RWF. The 19th RWF was a Bantam Battalion, formed in March 1915 at Deganwy as part of the 38th (Welsh) Division. However, there is evidence that Stanley served for a short period in Turkey which implies that he may have been attached to the 8th RWF. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 1 September 1915 and to temporary captain on 1 April 1916. An army order in 1916 commanded Stanley’s attendance on a musketry course at Altcar in June 1916 – he was then on the strength of the 21st (Reserve) Battalion RWF at Kinmel Park. On 1 September 1916, he was attached to the 10th (Service) Battalion RWF which had been in France since September 1915.

Stanley Brocklehurst was severely wounded in the leg during the Battle of Arras on 9 April 1917. He was treated at No 1 British Red Cross Hospital at Le Touquet before being evacuated to England and a hospital in Manchester. An interesting postscript to Stanley’s military career occurred in June 1919 when he was the officer in charge of the laying-up of the Colours of the 16th Battalion RWF at St. Asaph Cathedral. Local newspaper reports relate that the Colours had been brought up from Newmarket by Major WS Brocklehurst. No indication of Stanley’s promotion can be found in The London Gazette so he had been appointed acting major at some time. In November 1919, Stanley resumed his career in journalism, joining the editorial staff of the Sheffield Independent.

Wilfrid Stanley Brocklehurst died on 15 May 1920 aged 30 at 219 Chesterfield Road, Sheffield. The cause of his death was influenza and pneumonia. His body was returned to Llandudno and he was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard.

 

Waldron Brown

  • 357251, Private, 2/10th The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 29 April 1917, aged 23
  • Buried at Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, France
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Waldron Brown, known as “Wally”, was born on 7 July 1893. His parents were Richard Hignett Brown, a grocer who lived and traded at 42 Madoc Street, Llandudno and his wife Margaret Brown (née Jones). He attended Lloyd Street School and in 1906 transferred to John Bright County Grammar School. The 1911 Census records Waldron as still being at school. He later worked for the Customs and Excise at his father’s home city of Liverpool.

Waldron Brown’s military record no longer exists. When he joined the 2/10th (Scottish) Battalion of The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) Territorial Force is unknown, as is his original service number. The Military Service Act of 1916 deemed that every man in a second-line Territorial Force battalion had agreed to serve overseas and in February 1917, the 2/10th KLR disembarked in France. Waldron Brown’s regimental number was changed to 357251 in March 1917.

Waldron Brown was killed in action on 29 April 1917 aged 23. His battalion was in the Armentieres sector of the front at the time. Commonwealth War Grave Commission records indicate that only one other soldier from the 2/10th KLR was killed in action on that day and that both he and Waldron were buried at Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, France.

 

(Samuel) Wilfred Brown

  • 19039, Private, 16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 11 July 1916, aged 20
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Amy Brown, of “Eversley”, 1 Hill Terrace, Llandudno, and the late S Brown)

Wilfred Brown was born in Liverpool on 20 June 1896 and his name was registered as Samuel Wilfrid Brown. His parents, Samuel Aaron Brown, a hairdresser, and Amy Brown (née Pickup) had been married in Liverpool in 1892 and moved to Llandudno where their first child, Mabel, was born in 1893. In March 1899, Wilfred was admitted to St. George’s National School, the family’s address being recorded as “Longton House”, Old Road, Llandudno. In 1901, the family lived at “Court Royal”, Vaughan Street; the children being Mabel, Evelyn, Wilfred (as SW Brown), and Elsie. Ten years later, the family lived at “Avoca”, Vaughan Street and three more children were recorded: Walter, Albert and Doris. Wilfred had joined his father as a hairdresser. Samuel Aaron Brown died in 1912.

Wilfred volunteered to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He enlisted at Liverpool but joined the 16th (Service) Battalion that formed at Llandudno in November 1914 from recruits surplus to the 13th Battalion that had formed at Rhyl in September. A component of the 38th (Welsh) Division, the 16th RWF moved to Winchester in August 1915 and disembarked at Boulogne on 4 December 1915.

Wilfred Brown, aged 20, was killed in action on 11 July 1916 during the attack on Mametz Wood during the Battle of Albert, a phase of the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave.

The tragedy was compounded when Wilfred’s younger brother Albert was accidentally killed the following year on the Little Orme when hunting for seagull eggs.

 

Reginald John Brownfield (Roy)

  • Captain, 4th (attached 2nd) Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Mentioned in Dispatches
  • Killed in action, 18 December 1914, aged 27
  • No known grave (Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium)

CWGC registered (Son of Martha BO Brownfield, of Peachfield Cottage, Malvern Common, Worcestershire, and the late Douglas Harold Brownfield)

Roy Brownfield was born on 7 April 1886. He was the only son of Douglas Harold Brownfield, a china manufacturer living at Trentham, Staffordshire, and his wife Martha Brownfield (née Walker). The Census for 1891 reveals that Roy had two sisters, Gladys Mary and Eileen Moira. Roy was educated at Strubbington House School, Ascot; Wren’s School, Bayswater; and Denstone College, Uttoxeter. The Census for 1901 records him as being a boarder at Denstone. He later went to Sandhurst, passing out in 1905 and was gazetted as a second lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He served “at home” from 15 August 1905 until 29 September 1908 when he was sent to 1st Battalion in India, being promoted to lieutenant on 1 April 1909. On 30 July 1910, Roy was posted for a tour of duty with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at the regimental depot at Warwick. In 1911, Lieutenant Brownfield was billeted at Longmore Camp in Hampshire. Roy’s parents’ then address was “Kenilworth”, Abbey Road, Llandudno. The 1911 Census describes Douglas Brownfield as a merchant in clay. Roy resigned his commission on 20 August 1913 and was promoted to the rank of captain on the Reserve List in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion. He moved to Llandudno on his retirement from the army but what occupation he took is uncertain. His address was later given as “Llys Helyg”, Abbey Road. He played for the Llandudno Cricket Club and was a member of both the Llandudno Golf Club and the Caernarvonshire Golf Club at Conwy and had a wide circle of friends.

When war was declared on 4 August, Roy Brownfield reported to the 4th Battalion on the Isle of Wight. The 2nd Battalion, which had been in Malta at the outbreak of war, returned to England on 19 August and landed at Zeebrugge on 6 October. Roy Brownfield was subsequently attached to the 2nd Warwicks, disembarking in France on 26 November 1914.

Roy Brownfield was killed in action whilst leading an attack on a German trench at Rouge Bancs, near Armentières on 18 December 1914 aged 27. He was later Mentioned in Dispatches. He has no known grave. Roy’s father had died in 1917 so when Roy’s estate was finally wound up in 1918, probate was granted to his mother.

 

George Frederick Burton

  • 2644, Private, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 10 August 1915, aged 20
  • No known grave (Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Fred Samuel and Eliza Burton, of 8 St. Beuno’s Rd, Great Orme, Llandudno)

George Frederick Burton was born on 23 June 1895 in Buxton, Derbyshire to an upholsterer, Frederick Samuel, and Eliza Burton. In 1901, the family lived at Blackpool, Lancashire. In June 1908, Frederick, as he was then known, was registered into St. George’s School, Llandudno, his previous school having been in Colwyn Bay. He left school a year later. In 1911, the family lived at 3 Bryn Gwynt Terrace, Great Orme, Llandudno, George being employed as an errand boy. Frederick Samuel Burton died in 1913.

On or around 6 November 1914, George joined the 6th (Anglesey and Carnarvonshire) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers,Territorial Force at Caernarfon. His regimental number was 2644. Some weeks earlier, the battalion had split into the 1/6th for Imperial Service and the 2/6th for Home Service, George opted for the 1/6th. His battalion had moved on mobilisation to Conwy, and then proceeded to Northampton, Bedford and Cambridge; it sailed from Devonport on 19 July 1915 and landed as reinforcements at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 9 August 1915.

George Burton was killed in action on the following day aged 20. He has no known grave.

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