Hart, William Alfred

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William Alfred Hart

20007, Serjeant, 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 3 May 1918, aged 29
Buried at Granezza British Cemetery, Italy

CWGC registered (no family details)

William Alfred Hart was the second son of Frederick Hart and his wife Isabella Hart (née Rush). He was born at Llandudno on 3 February 1889. His father Frederick (aka Alfred) was born in Dublin and he married his Birmingham-born wife in 1886 in Birmingham. The couple moved to Llandudno and their first son, Frederick George, was born in 1887. The Census of Wales for 1891 records the family living at Min-y-don Cottage No 2, Abbey Road, Llandudno; Frederick Hart was described as a general labourer. From May 1892, William was recorded in the register of St. George’s National School; the family’s address was 2 Penmorfa. William Alfred left St. George’s School in November 1896 when the family moved to an address as yet unknown. However, he returned to St. George’s school in February 1901 and the Census of Wales for that year records the family living at 2 Fron Cottages, Cwlach Street, Llandudno; Frederick Hart senior was described as a luggage porter. William left school in December 1902.

Frederick and William had several other siblings. These included: George Henry (b 1892), Isabella (b 1894), John (b 1895), Alfred (b 1899), Albert Edward (b 1902), Lillian (b 1904) and Ena (b 1906).

William married Edith Evans in 1910. Their son, William Reginald Hart was born on 27 July 1910. The census for the following year records William, Edith and William Reginald Hart, living with William’s parents at 52 Alexandra Road, Llandudno; William was described as a furniture remover working on his own account. The register of births for Conway reveals that William and Edith had two more children: Alice born in 1912 and Jessie born in 1914. According to the register of Lloyd Street School, the family’s address in 1913 was “Nottingham Cottage”, Bodafon Row, Llandudno. William’s mother, Isabella Hart, died later that year.

Unfortunately, William Alfred Hart’s service record no longer exists. From the scraps of evidence that remain, it appears probable that William Hart had served in the army for four years before the Great War. This may have been with the Territorial Force, formed in 1908, in which the normal period of engagement was for four years. In any event, any prior engagement would have terminated because he was issued the regimental number of 20007 when he volunteered at Llandudno into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in early November 1914. The number 20007 was of a batch issued to the 14th (Service) Battalion which was forming at Llandudno at the time. Unlike his companions and probably because of his previous service experience, William Hart did not land with the 14th RWF in France in December 1915 but was promoted and posted to a home service battalion, possibly the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion RWF. He embarked in France on 25 February 1917 and though on the strength of the 3rd RWF, it appears that he was attached directly from the infantry base depot to Hood Battalion of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division as its company sergeant major, his rank being acting warrant officer class II.

On 14 April 1917, William Hart was taken ill with influenza. Three days later he was transferred by No 149 Field Ambulance to 24 Canadian Casualty Station, Aubigny. On 17 July 1917, he was posted to No 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen and from there proceeded to 1 Battalion RWF in his substantive rank of serjeant. He joined the battalion on 22 August at Blairville (about five miles south of Arras) in a draft of 65 other ranks. The 1st RWF had been in France and Belgium since October 1914 as a component of the 7th Division and it moved with that division to Italy in November 1917. The Italian campaign is little-known and documented. The 7th Division became part of XIV Corps which relieved Italian troops on the front between Asiago and Canove in March 1918. William Alfred Hart was killed in action aged 29 on 3 May 1918 and was buried at Granezza British Cemetery. He is one of seven soldiers of the 1st RWF buried at that location and all but one were killed on 3 May 1918.

Edith Hart had left Llandudno in July 1915; a school register records that she had left for Shrewsbury. An absent voter return for 1918 records the family living at 6 Spring Buildings, Nantwich. She Married George H Robinson in 1920 and died in 1967. William Reginald Hart married Florence May Stockton in 1933 and the couple lived at Nantwich; they had nine children though one died in infancy; William Reginald Hart died in 1971. Alice Ierleane Hart married Alfred W Bull in 1934; the couple lived at Crewe and had two daughters. Alice Hart died in 1982. The fate of Jesse Hart is unknown though she is recorded as living in Crewe in 1939. Many descendants of William Alfred Hart still live in the Crewe/Nantwich area.

Known memorials:

  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno

8 comments to Hart, William Alfred

  • Linda hassall

    William Alfred hart was my great grandfather my mum his granddaughter is still here I feel so proud of him but sadly his name is not on the memorial and I think it should be x

  • Mrs mara carter

    Willam alfred hart is my great grandfather do you have anymore information about him I would love to hear from you

  • admin

    The 1915 entry in Soldiers Died in the Great War seems to be a transcription error. Other records (effects, CWGC) give year of death as 1918. He was not awarded the 1914-15 Star which confirms he did not enter a war theatre until 1916 or later. Thanks for you comments.
    By the way: do you have an image of William?


  • David Owen

    It would appear (based on her middle name) that Alice (Lerleane) Hart married Alfred W Bull in Wareham, Dorset in 1934. she died in 1982 Congleton/Crewe.

    William Alfred Hart’s sister Isabella is my grandmother, she died in 1918 of influenza.

    There is an army record showing William Alfred Hart as having died in 3 May 1915. but from your extensive research I am correcting my details.

    Thank you

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