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Sydney Keigwin

  • 266067, Lance Corporal, 7th Royal Sussex Regiment, (Territorial Force)
  • Died of wounds, 17 August 1918, aged 28
  • Buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of George and Alice Keigwin, of The Rock, Llandudno; husband of Florence M Keigwin, of 384 Great Clowes St, Higher Broughton, Manchester)

Sydney Keigwin, the son of George Keigwin, a sergeant instructor in the 4th Company (Conway and Llandudno) of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and his wife Alice Elizabeth (née Grice) was born at Llandudno on 28 May 1890. His baptismal record of 28 September 1890 shows the family living at 4 Pleasant Street, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. In 1901, Sydney had a sister Mary Maude and a brother George Jones. From 1898, Sydney attended Lloyd Street School, Llandudno. In 1901, the family lived at 6 Belle Vue Terrace, Llandudno, Sydney being the eldest of four children living at home. The family moved to Conwy and in April 1903, Sydney attended Conway National School, his address being recorded as 4 Church Street. He left school in October 1904 to become an errand boy. By 1911, Sydney’s parents had returned to Llandudno, but Sydney was now working as a clothier’s salesman in Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester. In 1915, Sydney married Florence Mary Roughley at St. John’s Church, Broughton.

Sydney Keigwin’s army record no longer exists. Soldiers Died in the Great War records that he was a lance corporal, number 266067, in the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. However, the number 266067 replaced an earlier number in 1917 during the renumbering of the Territorial Force and this particular number was issued in a tranche allocated to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion. How and when Sydney joined the 6th Battalion is unknown as is the date when he was posted to the 7th (Service) Battalion which had been in France since June 1915.

On 17 August 1918, Sydney Keigwin died aged 28 of wounds received in action. He was buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen – Rouen being the location of numerous hospitals. The place, time and circumstances of Sydney’s wounding is unknown.

Florence Keigwin did not remarry; she died at Salford in 1927.

 

(Thomas) Herbert Knight

  • 817, Lance Corporal, 6th Royal Irish Regiment
  • Killed in action, 13 August 1917, aged 26
  • No known grave (Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Deganwy connection
    • Named on Llanrhos (Deganwy) War Memorial

Thomas Herbert Knight, the son of Samuel Knight, a gardener, and his wife Edith Knight (née Dawson) was born at Davyhulme, Lancashire on 9 March 1891. The following month, Thomas Herbert (as Herbert) was recorded as the youngest of a family of six living at Bent Lanes, Davyhulme; he had three older brothers: John, Harold and Samuel. Ten years later, the family, which now included a daughter Eliza, lived at 21 George Street, Urmston. In 1911, Herbert Knight was resident at the home of his aunt Esther Wilson, at 6 Victoria Street, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. Esther Wilson, the sister of Herbert’s mother, was described as a fruitier and greengrocer whilst Herbert was described as a greengrocer’s assistant.

Thomas Herbert Knight’s remaining military documents name him as either Thomas Knight or as Thomas H Knight. He enlisted at Darwen, Lancashire, giving his residence as Blackburn and joined the Somerset Light Infantry at its Taunton depot in early September 1914. At that time, the service authorities were having considerable difficulties raising volunteers for Lord Kitchener’s Service Battalions in Ireland, especially for the component battalions of the 10th (Irish) Division. As a consequence, the War Office resorted to fill the vacancies with English recruits. Thomas Knight was transferred to the 5th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment on or about 18 September 1914. His service number in the RIR was 817, the regiment beginning a new series of numbers starting at 1 for those who joined for the duration of the war only. The 5th RIR had formed at Clonmel in August 1914 and in June 1915 it converted to being a Pioneer Battalion. On 7 July 1915, the battalion embarked at Liverpool and sailed to Gallipoli, landing at Sulva Bay. Thomas disembarked on 8 August 1915. The 5th RIR moved to Salonika and fought on that front until 1918 when it moved to France. However, Thomas Knight was posted at an earlier, unknown date to France, joining the 6th (Service) Battalion of the RIR.

Thomas Herbert Knight was killed in action on 13 August 1917 aged 26. His battalion was then holding the front in the Ypres Sector – the war diary indicates that there had been some incoming shellfire causing some casualties. Thomas Knight’s body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. It is not known when Thomas Knight was promoted to lance corporal.

NOTE

Thomas Herbert Knight’s connection with the Llandudno area is through his maternal aunt, Esther Wilson (née Dawson) with whom he was living in Craig-y-Don in 1911 after the death of her husband. Ten years earlier, Esther Wilson lived at the same address with Henry Wilson (greengrocer). However, in 1891, the Wilsons lived at Tywyn, now part of Deganwy.

 

William Thomas Kyffin

  • 277351, Sapper, Royal Engineers
  • Accidentally drowned, 13 May 1918, aged 21
  • Buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

William Thomas Kyffin, the son of Thomas Kyffin, a railway carter, and his wife Ellen Kyffin (née Metcalfe), was born in Llandudno on 18 August 1896. In 1901, the family lived at 1 James Street, Llandudno, William being the elder of three recorded brothers: William, Joseph and Idwal. William attended Lloyd Street School – the register for 1903 records the family’s address as “Elm Cottage”, Bodarfon Row. Ellen Kyffin died in 1905 and Thomas Kyffin married Ellen Salisbury in 1907. William left school for work in July 1910 and in the following year he was recorded as living at home.

At a date unknown, he moved to Birmingham and took up employment with the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). It was locally reported after the war that William had worked in a munitions factory.William Kyffin’s enlisted in Birmingham on a date that is uncertain and was mobilised on or around 27 February 1917 into the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment with a regimental number of 24190. William was transferred to the Royal Engineers with a service number 277351 which was probably issued in April or May 1917. At a date unknown, he was posted to the Macedonian Front. His unit was the General Base Depot at Salonika.

William Thomas Kyffin was accidentally drowned on 13 May 1918 aged 21. His death certificate states that he was drowned at Salonika but since he was buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, some 45 miles away, then Salonika may not have been the precise place of death.

NOTES

The medal rolls indicate that William’s first unit in a theatre of war was the 4th Warwick’s. This is unlikely because this battalion was in Home service and also because a studio photograph shows William wearing the cap badge of the Royal Engineers.

Two of William’s brothers also fought in the war and both survived: Joseph Henry served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Machine Gun Corps and Idwal John served with the South Wales Borderers.

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