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Arthur Fildes

  • 33084, Private, 3rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness after discharge, 11 January 1917, aged 35
  • Burial location unknown
  • Not an official war grave

Arthur Fildes, the son of John Richard Fildes and his wife Helena (née Mullineux), was born in Worsley, Manchester in 1881. John Fildes was a fireman stoker and the family lived with Helena’s parents at Worsley. In 1901, the family lived at 23 Greenleach Lane, Worsley, John Fildes being described as a storekeeper at an ironworks. Ten years later in 1901, the family was living at 23 Roe Green, Worsley; John Fildes was described as a store and timekeeper and Arthur an iron turner fitter. Arthur is recorded as having a brother John and two sisters, Hannah and Phoebe. Llandudno newspapers in 1905 record John Fildes as being the owner of the Welcome Temperance Hotel, Vaughan Street, Llandudno. Presumably, Arthur had moved with his parents to Llandudno for on 23 November 1907, Arthur married Florence May Metcalf at Llanrhos Parish Church. In 1911, the couple and their daughter Doris lived at 38 Mostyn Street, Llandudno; Arthur was described as a caretaker in an estate office.

Arthur Fildes attested for army service at Llandudno on 31 July 1915. He was enlisted as being “class C”, being fit only for Home Service. He joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at its Wrexham depot on 4 August and was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Litherland near Liverpool on 9 September. He was discharged as no longer physically fit for War Service on 24 October 1916 for reason of chronic rheumatism. His home address was noted as the Welcome Hotel, Llandudno. After his discharge, Arthur took a job as a warehouseman in Manchester.

Arthur Fildes died on 11 January 1917 at 60 New Barton Street, Pendleton, Salford of pleurisy and pneumonia. He was aged 35. Present at his death was his father who still resided at Vaughan Street, Llandudno. Where Arthur Fildes is buried is presently unknown. Florence Fildes married John M Pugh in 1925.


Although Arthur Fildes is commemorated on the Llandudno war memorials, he is not officially regarded as being one of the “war dead” as his illness was not seen as being attributable to military service. Consequently, he does not have an entry in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


Frederick Foulkes

  • 52815, Private, 1/6th Northumberland Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 11 April 1918, aged 19
  • No known grave (Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Henry Thomas and Margaret Foulkes of 11 Council St, Llandudno)

Frederick Foulkes was born on 16 January 1899 at Llandudno. He was the son of Henry Thomas Foulkes and his wife Margaret Ann Foulkes (née Kelly). In 1901, the family lived at 12 Alexandra Terrace, Llandudno, Henry Thomas Foulkes employed as a hotel porter. In April 1904, Frederick was admitted to Lloyd Street School – his address was given as 30 Kings Road. In September 1905, he transferred to the newly opened Dyffryn Road School. In 1911 the family’s address was 11 Council Street, Llandudno; Henry Foulkes was now employed as an auctioneer’s clerk and Frederick noted as at school. By now, Frederick had two younger brothers: Thomas Henry and Alfred. Frederick left school in May 1912.

In November 1915, Frederick Foulkes joined the Welsh Divisional Cyclist Company of the Army Cyclist Corps, (Territorial Force). His regimental number was 475 and two soldiers with close numbers were Donald Goulding Evans (488) and David Hobson (489), both (qv). Both Donald Evans and David Hobson enlisted into the 3/1st (Reserve) Company at Southport in November 1915. If Frederick Foulkes did join at about the same time, then he was aged 16. In December 1916, several Llandudno ex-cyclists (including Donald Evans and David Hobson) were sent to France and transferred to the 19th (Service) Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers with regimental numbers of around 45000. Frederick Foulkes also transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers but his new service number of 52815 indicates a transfer at a later date, possibly sometime in 1918 after his 19th birthday. By 1918, the differences between the Regular Army (which included the service battalions) and the Territorial Force had become blurred. So, whilst Frederick Foulkes had received a regimental number in the Regular Army sequence, he was posted to the 1/6th Northumberland Fusiliers, a battalion of the Territorial Force in the 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

Frederick Foulkes was killed in action on 11 April 1918 near Estaires, France during the Battle of the Lys, fought during the German spring offensive. Three days previously, the 50th Division had been in the Merville area destined to relieve the Portuguese Division in the trenches on the night of 9/10 April. However, the Germans began a heavy bombardment on the morning of 9 April and the relief plan was cancelled: the division forming a new line of defence against the anticipated attack.


Joseph Foulkes

  • 23449, Private, 14th King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
  • Killed in action, 24 June 1917, aged 23
  • Buried at Doiran Military Cemetery, Doirani, Greece
  • CWGC registered (Son of Joseph and Annie Foulkes, of “Bon Air”, Oxford Rd, Llandudno)

Joseph J Foulkes was the second son of Joseph Foulkes, a plumber, and Anne Ellen Foulkes (née Jones). He was born in Llandudno on 29 June 1894. In September 1897, Joseph was admitted to St. George’s National School; the school register records the family’s address as Prospect Terrace. He transferred to Lloyd Street School in 1900. In 1901, the family lived at “Brickfield”, Conway Road, Llandudno. In January 1908, Joseph, transferred from Lloyd Street School to Dyffryn Road School. He left school the following June. In 1911, the family lived at 12 King’s Road, Llandudno: Joseph (junior) was employed as a carter’s assistant. Joseph later became a carriage cleaner for the London and North Western Railway at Llandudno Junction. He was admitted into the National Union of Railwaymen in January 1914.

A memorandum dated 20 November 1914 certified that George Jarvis McKenzie (qv, born Liverpool) and Joseph Foulkes had been given permission by their employer, The London and North Western Railway, to enlist for active service. The following day, both joined the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) at Liverpool and were given consecutive regimental numbers: 23448 and 23449. On 1 December 1914, both were posted to the 14th (Service) Battalion. The 14th KLR had formed at Seaforth in October 1914 as part of K3, Kitchener’s third new army. The battalion disembarked at Boulogne on 5 September 1915 only to embark at Marseilles on 28 October 1915 for the Balkans. It disembarked at Salonika on 5 November 1915.

Joseph Foulkes was killed in action near Doiran on 24 June 1917 aged 22. He is buried at Doiran Military Cemetery. George McKenzie was killed in action two months later.


Reginald Furber

  • 42294, Private, 16th Manchester Regiment
  • Died of wounds, 26th September 1917, aged 19
  • Buried at Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Reginald Furber was born at 2 Pleasant Street, Craig-y-Don on 4 November 1897. Registered as “Richie”, he was the illegitimate son of Mary Furber, a domestic servant, and an unknown father. His sister, Agnes Furber, also registered without her father’s details, was born on 3 January 1900 at “Errol House”, Clarence Street, Craig-y-Don. Sadly, Agnes died later that year. The Census for 1901 records Reginald Furber living at “Errol House” and described as the adopted son of John and Hannah Jones, the head of household and his wife. Also in the household was a general domestic servant called Mary Herbert. Mary Herbert was very probably Mary Furber, Reginald’s mother. The Census for 1911 indicates that Reginald Furber and his mother still resided in what was now known as the “Errol Boarding House”; John Jones had died, Hannah Jones was the head of the house and a boarding house keeper, Mary Furber was described as a general domestic servant and Reginald described as a schoolboy. It would appear that the 1901 Census had been a little economical with the truth for sensitive reasons which compares markedly with the 1911 Census in which, alongside Mary Furber’s name, are the words “2 illegitimate”, subsequently struck out.

Reginald Furber’s army record no longer exists. He enlisted at Llandudno and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in November 1915. His regimental number was 29422 and it is possible that he joined the 21st Local Reserve Battalion at Morfa Camp, Conwy. Reginald was later transferred to the Manchester Regiment with a regimental number of 42294 and was posted to the 16th Battalion on the Western Front on a date unknown. The 16th (Service) Battalion (1st City) had formed at Manchester in August 1914 and had landed in France in November 1915.

Reginald Furber was one of four soldiers of the 16th MR wounded on 26 September 1917 when the battalion was holding the line at Wytscahete, near Ypres. He died of those wounds the same day, probably at a field ambulance, and was buried at Pond Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He was aged 19.

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