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Edgar Walker

  • 16591, Private, 16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 24 August 1918, aged 34
  • Buried at Ovillers Military Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mrs Mary A Walker, of “Guildford”, Lloyd St, Llandudno)

Edgar Walker, the son of George Walker, a railway clerk, and his wife Mary Ann Walker (née Winn) was born in Mottram-in-Longendale, Cheshire on 1 July 1884. George Walker died in early 1891 aged 33 and the census of that year records Mary Ann Walker as head of the family: William, George, Gertrude and Edgar. Ten years later, the family still lived at Mottram and Edgar was employed as a labourer at a calico print works. In 1904, Edgar joined the Royal Navy on an engagement of 12 years. His service number was 306312. However, he was dismissed after only 42 days. In 1911, Edgar was a print work labourer boarding in New Mills, Derbyshire, his mother living with her daughter, Gertrude and her husband at “Guildford”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno.

Edgar Walker joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers having enlisted at Llandudno at the end of October 1914. He was allocated to the 9th (Service) Battalion that was forming at Wrexham as part of K2, Kitchener’s second New Army. Edgar disembarked with his battalion at Boulogne on 19 July 1915. Edgar’s medal roll indicates that he spent three separate periods with the 9th RWF interspersed with postings to the infantry base depot. He was reported as being wounded in 1916 and in September 1917, he was taken to the New Zealand Stationary Hospital and the 41st Divisional Rest Station with an undiagnosed nervous condition. Back with the 9th RWF, Edgar received a gunshot wound to the face in April 1918 when the battalion was in the line at Bouzincourt; after hospital treatment, he was transferred to No 6 Convalescent Depot on 21 April 1918. On a date unknown, he was posted to the 16th (Service) Battalion RWF.

Edgar Walker was killed in action on 24 August 1918 aged 34. The battalion had been bivouacked two days previously a little to the west of Albert and it moved forward to assembly positions on the 23rd for an attack near La Boiselle, part of an Allied advance after the Battle of Albert. Edgar was buried at what was to become known as Welsh Dragon Cemetery at Ovillers-la-Boisselle. After the war, he was reinterred at Ovillers Military Cemetery which had been retaken by the 38th (Welsh) Division on the day Edgar was killed.

 

John Arthur Walker

  • Captain, 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 19 February 1916, aged 24
  • Buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (Son of John and Margaret Walker, of “Osborne House”, Llandudno. Member of Trinity Hall, Cambridge)

John Arthur Walker was born in Llandudno in 1891. He was the son of John and Margaret Walker of “Osborne House”, Llandudno. John Walker (senior), born in Scotland, the brother of Peter Walker, owner of the brewery in Warrington, was a wine and spirit merchant. (Peter Walker had died in 1882 leaving a fortune of over £200000; John Walker had bought “Osborne House” in 1883.) John Arthur Walker was educated at Shrewsbury, Trinity Hall Cambridge, and King’s College London.

On the outbreak of war, John Arthur Walker joined the Officers’ Training Corps. He was gazetted as a temporary second lieutenant in November 1914 and as a captain in the 10th (Service) Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers the following July. The 10th RWF had been formed at Wrexham in November 1914. By 3 June 1915, the battalion was at Aldershot and it disembarked at Zeebrugge on 27 September 1915. Captain John Walker was second-in-command of A Company. On 16 February 1916, the 10th RWF marched to the trenches and relieved the 7th East Yorks near Poperinghe in Belgium. Twenty officers and men were killed on the following day, six on the 18th and one on the 19th, the one on the 19th being John Arthur Walker aged 24. He was buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium.

John Walker (senior) had died in 1913 and had left a considerable estate of £266347, some willed to John Arthur. After his death, John Arthur Walker’s estate was over £76000. He willed £20000 to Miss Violet Perkins of Bath – the residue to his mother.

 

Edward Wallace

  • 6349, Private, 1/10th (TF) attached 13th The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
  • Died of wounds, 17 August 1916, aged 39
  • Buried at Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec, France
  • CWGC registered (Mrs Wallace, “Hazel Cottage”, Somerset St, Llandudno)

Edward Wallace, the son of Thomas Edward Wallace, a labourer, and Alice Jane Wallace (née Kelly) was born in Liverpool in 1876. Thomas Wallace died two years later and Edward’s mother married John Stackhouse in 1879. In 1881, the family lived at 6 Scotland Place, Liverpool. On October 3 1900, Edward married Mary Jane Cahill at Emanuel Church, Everton. They both gave their address as 65 Ogwen Street and Edward was described as a shop assistant. On 22 February 1901, their daughter Alice Jane Wallace was born at Liverpool. The census of that year records the family living at 9 Edge Mount, West Derby, Edward being employed as a dock labourer. In April 1911, the family lived at 33 Saxony Road, Liverpool. Edward was described as a ship’s steward on the White Star Line. In September 1911, the family lived at 52 Mostyn Street, Llandudno.

Edward Wallace attested to join the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) 10th (Scottish) Battalion, (Territorial Force) on 7 December 1915 at Liverpool. This was the last week he could volunteer before conscription was introduced. He gave his address as 52 Landseer Road, Liverpool and described himself as a munition worker. His wife’s address was noted as 26 Mostyn Street, Llandudno. He joined the Reserve and was called up on 23 February 1916. Shortly after the outbreak of war, the 10th (Scottish) Battalion KLR Territorial Force had split into the 1/10th for service overseas and the 2/10th for home service as a second line battalion, the 1/10th landing in France in November 1914. The 3/10th Battalion had formed at Liverpool in May 1915 and it was to this unit where Edward Wallace was initially posted. The 3/10th was renamed the 10th (Reserve) Battalion in April 1916 when it was located at Oswestry. Edward Wallace disembarked at Boulogne on 14 July 1916, posted to the 1/10th Battalion. However, he joined the 13th KLR, a Service Battalion, on 26 July 1916. There is some discrepancy in Edward Wallace’s service record as to which battalion he was actually posted, but since he retained his Territorial Force number, then it is likely that he was posted to the 1/10th and attached to the 13th.

On 16/17 August 1916, the 13th KLR was involved in a failed attack on the village of Guillemont and sustained 389 casualties. Edward Wallace was wounded in action on 17 August and died later that day at XIV Corps Main Dressing Station. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission records that Edward Wallace of the 1/10th KLR was buried in Plot II of Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec, Somme which contains burials from that dressing station between July and September 1916.

NOTE

There is an interesting footnote to this biography. In the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery, there is a stone marking the grave of Mary Jane Wallace, OBE who died on 7 September 1963 aged 86. This equates to a year of birth of 1876 or 1877 which is consistent with Mary Jane Wallace (née Cahill), Edward Wallace’s widow who was born on 26 October 1877. On 2 July 1917, Mary Wallace applied to join the newly formed Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps and she requested to keep her existing trade as a laundress. She began her WAAC service with a service number of 4958 on 29 October 1917 at the Connaught Club in London, the headquarters and hostel of the corps which became named Queen Mary’s Auxiliary Army Corps. Mary Wallace was posted to several locations and was promoted to forewoman, the equivalent of an NCO. Her last posting was as hostel forewoman at the Sherwood Foresters’ depot at Derby and she was compassionately discharged on 27 February 1919.

On 23 January 1920, Mary Jane Wallace was named in the London Gazette as a recipient of the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) in recognition of valuable service rendered in connection with the war. This medal should not be confused (but often was) with the honours, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), awarded to junior officers and warrant officers and Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded to more-senior officers. The Medal was the equivalent honour awarded to other ranks and NCOs, its recipients having associate membership of the Order. In 1922, the Medal of the Order was renamed the British Empire Medal (BEM). No doubt some original recipients of the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, because of its confusing title, believed that they been awarded the OBE.

The fact that Mary Jane Wallace was awarded the BEM and not the OBE in no way belittles her achievement, especially considering that she had left school at 12 and had spent most of her adult life working in a laundry. Things would never be the same.

 

Robert Walmsley

  • L/11078, Gunner, 149th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
  • Killed in action, 18 July 1917, aged 31
  • Buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Robert Walmsley, born in Chorley, Lancashire in 1886, was the son of Thomas Walmsley, a labourer, and his wife Fanny Walmsley (née Whittle). Thomas Walmsley died in 1890 and the Census for England the following year records his widow and five children living in Chorley: Robert being described as a scholar; his siblings were William, Helen, Margaret, Alice and Thomas. Fanny Walmsley died in 1892 and the Census for 1901 records Robert as the adopted son of Ellen Johnson and employed as a coal miner (above ground). In 1909, Robert married Kate Hobson from Llandudno, the marriage being registered at Chorley. In 1911, the couple lived with Robert’s sisters, Margaret and Alice, at Chorley, Robert being described as a collier/coal hewer. Their daughters, Ann and Grace were born in 1911 and 1914 respectively.

Robert Walmsley enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery at Preston in March 1915, his regimental number being L/11078. The prefix “L” stood for “Local Enlistment”. Little is known of his subsequent service though he is recorded as disembarking in France on 28 November 1915. Robert Walmsley’s ultimate unit was the 149th Brigade RFA, a brigade of the divisional artillery of the 30th Infantry Division. The 30th was a New Army division and originally part of K5, Kitchener’s 5th New Army which had many “Pals” battalions under its command. It had landed in France in November 1915.

Robert Walmsley was killed in action on 18 July 1917 aged 31. He was then in “D” Battery, of the 149th which was in the Ypres Salient. He was buried with ten others of his battery at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

Kate Walmsley returned to Llandudno and her son, Harold Walmsley was born there in 1917. In 1919, she married Ellis Jones and both were resident in Llandudno in 1939. There is no evidence that Robert Walmsley was ever a resident of the town.

 

John James Whewell

  • M2/079423, Acting Corporal, Royal Army Service Corps MT
  • Died of illness, 3 November 1918, aged 27
  • Buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of James William and Mary Ann Whewell, of Radcliffe, Manchester; husband of Primrose Jones [formerly Whewell], of 6 Madoc St, Llandudno)
  • Brother in Law of Frederick William Jones

John James Whewell, the son of James William Whewell, a baker’s carter, and his wife Mary Ann Whewell (née Vose) was born at Radcliffe, Lancashire on 3 January 1891. The Census of 1891 records that John had a brother Thomas and a sister Annie – another sister Nellie was born a couple of years later. James Whewell died in 1903 and his wife died in 1906. In 1911, John was employed as a waggoner on a farm at Ringwood, near Frodsham, Cheshire.

On 3 November 1914, John Whewell volunteered at Llandudno to serve in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was allocated to the 14th (Service) Battalion, then forming in the town, and given a regimental number of 20023. He was discharged on 3 April 1915 as medically unfit for further service – the actual cause is illegible. Undeterred, John volunteered to join the Army Service Corps (Military Transport) on 22 April 1915 at Coventry and joined at Grove Park, Lewisham the following day. Interestingly, on his attestation paper his answer to the question about previous military service was “Yes, R Wel F (Corporal)” which may have been a little economical with the truth. He gave his home address as “2 Tynewydd Cottage”, Old Road, Llandudno and his trade as a motor mechanic. His new regimental number was M2/079423. John sailed from Southampton on 26 May 1915 although his initial posting in France was cut short because he caught bronchitis in July 1915 and was repatriated to England on 25 September 1915.

On 23 December 1915, John Whewell married Primrose Miriam Jones, sister of Frederick William Jones (qv), at St. George’s Parish Church, Llandudno. He gave his residence as 2 Tynewydd, Cottage and his age as 21 though he was in fact three years older. Primrose, claiming to be 20, was actually 18.

John Whewell sailed back to France on 16 August 1916 and appears to have been a lorry driver attached to various anti-aircraft companies. He enjoyed two periods of leave and was given small promotions, achieving acting corporal on 4 June 1918. Whilst attached to “M” Anti-Aircraft Battery, John Whewell contracted bronchial pneumonia and died on 3 November 1918 aged 27 at the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen. He was buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.

In May 1920, Primrose Whewell sailed to New York with a destination of Villanova, a suburb of Philadelphia. She returned to 25 Madoc Street, Llandudno in May 1922 and sailed back to the USA the following October. She married Charles Francis McCann the same year at Philadelphia. She died in October 1976.

 

James Whittle

  • 26209, Private, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of wounds, 8 August 1917, aged 20
  • Died at Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of James and Mary Whittle, of Tany-Fron, Penrhynside, Llandudno)
  • Penrhynside casualty

James Whittle, the son of a house painter, James Whittle and his wife Mary Whittle (née Simons) was born at Preston in 1897. When he was baptised on 17 February 1897, the family’s home address was recorded as 20 Brewery Street. The Census of 1901 records Mary Whittle and her daughter Margaret living at “Bryn Dedwydd”, Penrhynside at the home of Thomas Simons, Mary’s father – she was described as housekeeping for her father. Meanwhile, both James (senior) and James (junior) were boarding at Preston. In 1911 the family was living at 1 Tan-y-fron Cottages, Penrhynside and had been joined by Eleanor, Albert Thomas and Mary – last two having been born at Penrhynside. James (junior) was employed as an apprentice to his father.

Now employed as a grocer’s assistant, James (junior) joined the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (2nd North Wales) at Llandudno on 7 June 1915. His regimental number was 26209. The 17th RWF had formed at Llandudno on 2 February 1915 and was destined for the short-lived “Welsh Army” that eventually came under the command of the 38th (Welsh) Division. The division moved to Winchester in August 1915 and landed in France in December 1915 – James himself disembarked on 5 December 1915. The division received a mauling at its first major action when it was ordered to assault and clear Mametz Wood in July 1916. The division was withdrawn from the front line and it was not engaged in a significant attack until 31 July 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, otherwise known as Passchendaele. It is probable that James Whittle was employed as a signaller because he is recorded as having attended a Signal Class with the Royal Flying Corps and attended a School of Signals.

On 8 August 1917, James Whittle died of wounds at 32 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, a town on the coast just north of Boulogne. He had been injured by a shell wound to his left thigh which had caused a compound fracture. The place and date he received those wounds is unknown, but it was most likely in the early days of the Third Battle of Ypres. James Whittle was buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery. He was aged 20.

 

Charles Pryce Wilde

  • 25007, Company Quartermaster Serjeant, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness, 20 February 1916, aged 47
  • Buried at Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of William Wilde, of Wrexham; husband of Laura Wilde, of 2 Gloddaeth Cottage, 19 Bodafon St, Llandudno)
  • Uncle by marriage of Henry Daines Hutt

Charles Pryce Wilde was born at Denbigh in 1868, the son of William Wilde, a police sergeant, and his wife Martha Jane Wilde (née Pryce). The Census of Wales for 1871 records the family living at the “Boro’ Lock Up”(!), Denbigh. Ten years later, the family lived at 8 St. Mark’s Terrace, Wrexham. William Wilde was a police superintendent and Charles, a scholar.

On 27 March 1890, Charles Wilde joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers at Naas, Co Kildaire. On his attestation papers his occupation was described as that of a clerk. His regimental number was DF/3582. He joined the 1st Battalion RDF on 16 May 1890 but brought himself out for £18 on 3 February 1891.

Charles returned to Wrexham and in 1891 lived with his parents at Regent Street (County Buildings); Charles was now employed as a grocer. On 25 February 1896, Charles married Laura Daines (Dolly), aunt of Henry Daines Hutt (qv), at St. George’s Church, Llandudno. The couple moved to Dublin and their sons Charles and Arthur were born there on 3 February 1897 and 25 February 1899 respectively. In 1901, Charles was employed as a grocer and the family lived at Drumcondra, Dublin, Charles being described as a grocer. Ten years later, Charles was employed as a station warehouseman. On 9 June 1913, Charles Pryce disembarked from the Corsican at Quebec bound for Montreal and employment with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He gave his age as 40 though he was 44. His son Charles followed him a year layer. Their Canadian venture did not last – presumably because of the war – and both disembarked at Liverpool from the Corsican on 18 February 1915.

On 22 February 1915, Charles was enlisted into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Llandudno with a regimental number of 25007. He gave his address as “Nevillehurst”, Mostyn Street and declared his age as 43 years and three months though he was actually three years older. The maximum age one could normally be recruited at that time was 38 except for men who had previously served in the army who could be recruited up to the age of 45. It was noted during his medical examination that he had an enlarged heart which rendered him incapable of combat duties. He joined the 17th (Service) Battalion (2nd North Wales) (formed at Llandudno on 2 February 1915) the following day and was promoted to company quartermaster serjeant.

The battalion left Winchester on 4 December 1915 and landed at Le Havre on the following day. On 12 January 1916, the battalion was at Hamet Billet. Charles Wilde was declared unfit for duty in the trenches and sent to No 38 (Welsh) Division headquarters at Locon for light duties, suffering from disordered action of the heart. On the evening of 19 February, he was noticeably unwell and was worse the following morning. A medical officer was summoned but when he arrived, Charles Wilde had already died, his heart having failed in a fit of vomiting. He was aged 47 and was buried nearby at Locon New Military Cemetery. He was reinterred in 1919 at Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture, France.

Charles Daines Wilde joined the Royal Marines after his return from Canada and survived the war. He died in 1977. Laura Wilde died in 1952.

 

Aldwyth Katrin Williams

  • Nurse, Voluntary Aid Detachment
  • Died of illness, 8 November 1918, aged 26
  • Buried at St. Tudno’s Churchyard
  • Not an official war grave (see note)

Aldwyth Katrin Williams was born in Dolgelly on 14 September 1892. Her father was the Rev Robert Williams, a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist minister, and his wife Mary Louisa Williams (née James). In 1894, Robert Williams severed the connection with his church and was ordained in the Church of England, being appointed curate of Porth and Cymmer, Rhondda in April 1984. Aldwyth’s brother, Robert Vernon C Williams, was born in 1895. In 1896, Robert Williams was appointed senior curate at Llandudno, in charge of Holy Trinity Church. In 1901, the family lived at “Bryn Awen”, Old Road, Llandudno. Four years later, Robert Williams was appointed as rector to the parish of Llanbedr-y-Cennin in the Conwy Valley. Aldwyth Williams received a scholarship to the Welsh Girls’ School at Ashford in Middlesex and passed the Junior Cambridge examination with distinction in religious knowledge in 1907 aged 14. Mary Louisa Williams died in 1908 having been an invalid for some years. In 1909, Aldwyth repeated her academic success: distinguished in religious knowledge, seventh in all England. She became organist at her father’s church.

From 1914, Aldwyth was a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at the Red Cross Hospital at Llandudno. VAD nurses and other personnel were civilians, looking after sick or wounded soldiers. The first Red Cross Hospital in Llandudno was the “Red Court”, home of the Lecomber family on Church Walks. Another hospital was the “Balmoral” on Trinity Square, formerly the YMCA. Aldwyth worked for three days a week at both these establishments.

Aldwyth Katrin Williams contracted pneumonia and died on 8 November 1918, three days before the Armistice. She was buried in her mother’s grave at St. Tudno’s Churchyard by the Rector of Llandudno the Rev. Robert Llewelyn Hughes whose son Darryl Hughes (qv) had been killed in Mesopotamia.

NOTE

VAD nurses who died in service under a military contract qualify for commemoration by the CWGC. Unfortunately, no VAD record card for Aldwyth can be found which would prove her service and confirm a contract should she have had one.

 

Arthur Llewelyn Williams

  • Second Lieutenant, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 26 March 1917, aged 26
  • Buried at Gaza Military Cemetery, Gaza
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Deganwy casualty

Arthur Llewelyn Williams, the son of a Calvinistic Methodist Minister, John Williams and his wife Jenny (Jane) Williams (née Jones), was born at Bangor on 22 June 1890. The Rev Williams was the minister of the Bangor Tabernacle Chapel. The following year, the family lived at “Gwynfryn”, Holyhead Road, Bangor and Arthur had two elder brothers: Idwal and Caradog. The Rev Williams later took livings at Dinorwic and Holyhead. In 1901, the family lived at “Plashyfryd”, Holyhead and had been joined by three daughters: Peggy Tudwen, Gweneira and Jenny Jones. Arthur was educated at Holyhead County School. By 1911, Rev Williams, his wife and three daughters still lived in Holyhead; Caradog and Arthur were both living at Toxteth, Liverpool, Arthur being employed as an apprentice wholesale grocer.

Arthur Williams enlisted into the 6th (Rifle) Battalion (Territorial Force) of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) in September 1914 with a regimental number of 2659. After training with the 2/6th KLR, he landed in France on 4 August 1915, joining the 1/6th. Arthur’s stay with the KLR at the Front was brief for on 17 September 1915, he was gazetted as a second lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Posted to the 1/6th (Carnarvonshire & Anglesey) RWF (TF), he went to Egypt in January 1916. A component of the 53rd (Welsh) Division, the 1/6th RWF had served at Gallipoli before being moved to Egypt in December 1915.

On 26 March 1917, the 53rd (Welsh) Division attacked the Ottoman forces at what became known as the First Battle of Gaza. The division suffered 3500 casualties including Arthur Llewelyn Williams who was killed in action aged 26. It was reported that he was buried near where he fell. He was later reinterred in Gaza Military Cemetery.

NOTE

Arthur William’s parents had moved to “Southam Lodge”, Deganwy shortly before he was killed. There is no evidence that Arthur had any other connection with the village.

 

Ellis Williams

  • 2857, Shoeing Smith, Royal Field Artillery
  • Died of illness after discharge, 15 June 1916, aged 53
  • Buried at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin
  • Not an official war grave
    • Died of a non-attributable illness after discharge
  • Father of Ellis J Williams

Ellis Williams, the son of David and Ann Williams was born in Llangystennin in 1864. David Williams was a blacksmith and in 1871 the family lived at “Yr Efail”, Llangystennin. In 1888, Ellis Williams married Margaret Owen and in 1891 they lived with their two children in Madoc Street, Llandudno. Later addresses included Alexandra Road, Church Walks and Taliesin Street. The Census of 1911 records that Margaret Ellis had had ten children, three having died. The seven surviving children still lived with their parents and included Ellis J (qv).

Ellis joined the Royal Field Artillery as a shoeing smith with a regimental number of 2857. His brigade and battery is unknown though the 119th to 122nd Brigades were the divisional artillery to the 38th (Welsh) Division. He was discharged as unfit on 21 October 1915 to his home at Llandudno.

Margaret Williams died on 15 April 1916 and Ellis Williams died of heart failure caused by vascular disease of the heart on 15 June aged 53. Both were buried in the same grave as their son, Ellis J Williams, who had been buried in January 1916 at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin. Because Ellis’ (senior) death had not been deemed attributable to service causes, he is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

 

Ellis J Williams

  • 96444, Sapper, Royal Engineers Signal Depot
  • Died of illness, 12 January 1916, aged 22
  • Buried at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Son of Ellis Williams

Ellis J Williams was born in Llandudno on 14 January 1893. He was the son of a blacksmith, also Ellis Williams (qv), and his wife Margaret Williams (née Owen). In September 1900, Ellis (junior) attended Lloyd Street School, the family’s address was entered in the school register as Church Walks, Llandudno though the following year, the Census recorded their address as 29 Alexandra Terrace, Llandudno. Ellis left school in January 1906 and became apprenticed to a printer. In 1911, he lived with his family at 2 Belgium Cottage, Taliesin Street.

Ellis Williams’ service record no longer exists though it is known that he enlisted at Llandudno into the Royal Engineers and that his service number was 96444. This number indicates his enlistment as being in May 1915. Little more is known about his service life except that he served at the Royal Engineers’ Signal Depot at Fenny Stratford, now part of Milton Keynes, as a telephone linesman. The Royal Engineers’ Signal Service became the post-war Royal Corps of Signals.

Ellis J Williams died on 12 January 1916 aged 22 at the family home, “Grimsby Villa”, Taliesin Street, of acute pleurisy, the doctor certifying death added “tuberculosis” followed by a question mark. Ellis was buried at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin which is attached to Capel Ainon (Welsh Baptist). Ellis’ parents, Margaret and Ellis (senior) both died later that year and were interred in the same grave.

 

Frank Williams

See Samuel Llewelyn Frank Williams.

 

Griffith Williams

  • 15198, Corporal, 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Kiled in action, 5 October 1917, aged 23
  • Buried at Duhallow ADS Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Deganwy Casualty

Griffith Williams, the son of a general labourer, Edward Williams and his wife Elizabeth Williams, was born at Tywyn, Deganwy in March 1894. In 1901 the family which included Griffith’s siblings Edward and Grace and his stepbrother William (Pierce) lived at 1 Brickland Villa, Llanrhos. Griffith attended Deganwy infants’ School and transferred to Deganwy National School in March 1903. Edward Williams died that same year and in 1911, Elizabeth Williams and three of her children lived at 4 Park Terrace, Deganwy. Griffith was employed as a shop assistant selling fish, game and poultry.

Griffith signed up to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham in mid-October 1914. He was given a regimental number of 15198 and was allocated to the 10th (Service) Battalion. The 10th RWF was the third of the New Army Service Battalions of the RWF to be raised. All were raised at Wrexham, the regimental depot. The 8th had been formed in August 1914, the 9th on 9 September 1914 and the 10th on 16 October 1914 as part of K3 (Kitchener’s Third New Army). The 10th RWF moved to Codford St. Mary, Bournemouth, Ramsay and Aldershot (3 June 1915). It landed at Boulogne on 27 September 1915. Griffith Williams was a private when he landed in France and he was a private when listed as “wounded” on 4 September 1916. Having spent some time on the strength of the infantry base depot, he was posted with the rank of corporal to the aforementioned 9th RWF which had been on the Western Front since July 1915.

According to Soldiers Died in the Great War and his death certificate, Griffith Williams was killed in action on 5 October 1917. However, this seems curious because the battalion’s war diary mentions neither action nor casualties on that day. His burial at Duhallow ADS Cemetery, one mile north of Ypres, indicates that he died at an advanced dressing station, either of wounds or another cause. Perhaps he had died before treatment could be administered.

 

Hugh Williams

  • 17507, Private, 15th Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
  • Killed in action, 28 April 1917, aged 25
  • No known grave (Arras Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mary Williams, of 3 East Parade, Llandudno, and the late William Williams)

Hugh Williams, the son of a joiner, William Williams, and his wife Mary, was born in Llandudno on 31 January 1892. The family lived at 1 Ocean View Terrace. The 1901 Census of Wales records a widowed Mary Williams and three children including Hugh living at 3 East Parade, Craig-y-Don. In 1902, Hugh moved from Lloyd Street School to Craig-y-Don School. In 1911, the family lived at the same address, Hugh being employed as a draper’s apprentice.

On 26 September 1914 and described as a clerk, Hugh Williams joined the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) in Manchester. His regimental number was 17507. This was not unusual as the Royal Scots recruited in the city and he was one of approximately 500 recruited from Manchester into the 15th (Service) Battalion (1st Edinburgh) (aka Manchester Scottish) which had formed at Edinburgh in September 1914. The battalion moved to Troon (March 1915), Ripon (June 1915) and Sutton Veny near Warminster (September 1915). The battalion landed at Le Havre on 8 January 1916.

Recorded as a signaller in B Company, Hugh Williams was reported missing in action on 28 April 1917 during the Battle of Arleux, a phase of the Second Battle of Arras. His father made a fruitless enquiry to the Red Cross as to whether Hugh had been taken prisoner. Hugh Williams was officially listed as killed in action on 28 April 1917 aged 25. His body was never knowingly recovered and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

 

Hugh Edward Williams

  • 49983, Private, 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 22 March 1918, aged 29
  • No known grave (Arras Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Hugh Edward Williams, the son of a painter, John E Williams and his wife Ellen Williams (née Allman), was born in Llandudno on 4 May 1888. When Hugh was baptised on 18 July 1888, the family’s address was recorded as Back Caroline Street. In 1891, the family lived at 17 Talisen Street, Llandudno. Hugh Williams attended Lloyd Street School which he left in May 1896 when the family left the neighbourhood. In 1901, the family lived at 2 Bryn Maelgwyn Cottages in Llanrhos and in 1911 it lived at “Ephraim Villa”, Old Road, Llandudno; both John and Hugh Williams were employed as painters.

It would appear that in December 1915, Hugh Williams volunteered under the Derby Scheme to join the Royal Artillery. He would have been given a day’s pay and put on the reserve. He was probably called up around May 1916 and given the service number of 137575. Unfortunately for Hugh, the Military Service Act that had just been passed gave the army authority to compulsorily transfer him to an infantry regiment – in his case the Royal Welsh Fusiliers with a service number of 49983. Only a little is known of Hugh William’s active service. On arriving at an infantry base depot in France, probably in late 1916, he was posted to the 13th (Service) Battalion. On 11 September 1917 he was listed as wounded, the actual date being unknown. After being on the strength of an infantry base depot again, he was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, the second of the New Army battalions of the regiment to be formed, that had landed in France in July 1915.

A German offensive, Operation Michael, began on 21 March 1918. On the first day of what became known as the Battle of St. Quentin, the 9th RWF was in billets near Haplincourt. The following day, the battalion created a new line of defences near Morchies and awaited the oncoming enemy. Over the next few days, the battalion suffered 460 casualties, the greater number being missing. Hugh Williams was still on a list of missing dated 13 May 1918. Because his body was never recovered, both Hugh’s father and his sister Ethel made fruitless enquiries to the Red Cross to ascertain whether or not he had been taken as a prisoner of war. Later, Hugh Williams’ official date of death was deemed as on or after 22 March 1918 and he was commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

 

Jack Williams

  • 44005, Private, 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness after discharge, 22 October 1918, aged 31
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mrs A J Williams, of Alexandra Villas, Caroline Rd, Llandudno)

Jack Williams, the son of a grocer’s assistant, William Williams and his wife Ann Jane, was born at Llanrhos in November 1886. In 1891 the family lived at 2 Adelphi Street, Llandudno and Jack had five siblings. Early in 1911, Jack married Sarah Ellen (Nellie) Davies and the census for that year records the couple living with Nellie’s parents at “Riviera”, Trinity Street, Llandudno. Jack was described as a house painter. Jack and Nellie’s daughter Ann Gertrude was born later that year though their twins, Robert and Lily, born the following year did not survive infancy. To compound the tragedy, Nellie Williams died in 1914.

Jack Williams was conscripted under the Military Service Act of 1916 and was enlisted into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 30 June 1916 at Wrexham. He gave his address as “Alexandra Villa”, Caroline Road, Llandudno which was also the address of Jack’s mother who was his daughter’s guardian. Jack’s initial posting, with a regimental number of 44005, was to the 12th (Reserve) Battalion RWF at Kinmel Bay though he was posted again on 23 August 1916 to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Litherland near Liverpool. He was posted to France on 15 November 1916 and disembarked at Rouen on 20 November. However, illness and hospitalisation delayed his posting to the 15th (Service) Battalion RWF until 5 April 1917 although a month later he was attached to the 113 Brigade Trench Mortar Battery. Jack was hospitalised again for various ailments from 2 July 1917 and joined 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen on 27 August 1917. His subsequent posting was to the 9th (Service) Battalion RWF which he joined on 8 September 1917 though he was at 58 Field Ambulance just three days later with disordered action of the heart. On 21 September 1917 he was had admitted to No 2 General Hospital, Abbeville with vascular heart disease. He was evacuated to England on 27 November 1917 and admitted to the General Military Hospital at Edmonton the following day and was put on the strength of his regiment’s depot on 12 January 1918. A medical board at Wrexham Military Hospital on 1 February 1918 judged that his condition was due to excessive weather conditions whilst on active service and recommended that he be discharged from the service as being unfit for duty. Jack’s discharge date was 22 February 1918. He was awarded the Silver War Badge No 333154.

Sadly, Jack William’s retirement was to be a short one for he died on 22 October 1918 aged 31 of lobar pneumonia. He died at his home address of “Alexandra Villa”, his death being witnessed and reported by his brother William. He was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard. It was locally reported that Jack had suffered gas poisoning but this is not confirmed in his medical documents.

Ann Gertrude Williams married Bernard Arthur Rathbone in 1932. She died in 1987.

 

John Williams

  • 26145, Private, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 9 July 1916, aged 45
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

John Williams was born in Hanley, Staffordshire circa 1870. In 1881, he lived with his parents, John and Margaret Williams at “The College” Llansadwrn, Anglesey. John Williams (senior) was employed as a general labourer. John (junior) married Mary Hughes in 1889 and their first son Owen John Williams was born at Aberffraw on 12 August 1889. The Census for Wales of 1891 records Mary Williams and Owen Williams living with Mary’s parents at Aberffraw; a contemporary record for John cannot be found. More children were to follow: Catherine in 1892, Thomas in 1894 and John in 1898. In 1901, the family lived at 24 Belmont Street, Bangor.

Mary Williams died in 1902 and on 3 September 1903, John Hughes married Ann (sometimes Anne or Annie) Williams, a widow. The Census for 1911 records John, Ann, John, and Herbert and Miriam (John’s stepchildren) living at “Berwyn House”, Bodhyfryd Road, Llandudno – John worked as a stoker for the Llandudno Urban District Council.

On 25 May 1915, John attested at Llandudno after volunteering to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He stated his address as “Siloh Villa”, Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno. He gave his age as 39 years and 8 months though he was actually aged about 44 and well over the maximum age to enlist. John joined the 17th Battalion of the RWF the following day with a regimental number of 26145. The battalion had formed at Llandudno in February 1915, becoming part of the 38th (Welsh) Division. The battalion moved to Winchester and it disembarked at Le Havre on 5 December 1915.

John Williams was reported missing in action on 9 July 1916 aged 45 after the 38th Division’s attack on Mametz Wood. His body was never identified and that date was assumed as his date of death for official purposes. His wife Ann made enquiries to the Red Cross as to whether he was a prisoner of war but was informed in December 1916 that there was no record of this.

 

John Evan Williams

  • 20346, Serjeant, 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 15 June 1917, aged 35
  • Buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Brother of Robert Williams

John Evan Williams, the son of a labourer Robert Williams and his wife Sarah Ellen Williams (née Evans) was born at Conwy in 1881. The Census for 1881, shortly before John’s birth, records the recently married Robert and Sarah living at 1 Sea View Terrace, Conwy. Ten years later, the family lived in Salford, Lancashire; John was recorded as a scholar – he had a younger sister Catherine and baby brother Robert (qv). Another sister, Edith, was born later that year. In 1901 the family lived at 9 Council Street, Llandudno, John being an upholsterer. John became a prominent member of the Llandudno Amateur Football Club. On 2 November 1910, he married Edith Emma Davies at Llanrhos Parish Church. The following year, the couple were recorded as living at 1 Ernestine Villas, The Royal Golf Links, Llandudno. John was still an upholsterer and working for himself. Their daughter, Lilian Clarissa Williams was born on 25 April 1912.

In November 1914, John volunteered at Llandudno to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His service number was 20346 and he joined the 14th (Service) Battalion which was then forming at Llandudno. Unfortunately, John’s service record no longer survives though a photograph of him exists at Winnal Hill Camp Winchester wearing serjeant stripes. Whether John had any previous service experience is presently unknown. He disembarked in France on 2 December 1915.

John Evan Williams was killed in action on 15 June 1917 aged 35. The war diary of his battalion records that it was in support trenches near Ylamertinghe in the Ypres sector of Belgium. No casualties of the day are recorded though the diary mentions hostile shelling and aerial activity. John was buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery and the grave register for 15 June 1917 records five deaths, all from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, one from the 13th Battalion and two each from the 14th and 15th.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission records indicate that Edith Williams’ address was “Ogwen Villa”, Winllan Avenue, Llandudno. The 1939 register records that Edith E Williams lived at “Avondale”, Trinity Square, Llandudno. Lilian Williams married Cecil Wynne in 1937; she died in 2005.

 

John Richard Williams

  • 310051, Gunner, 1/1st Welsh (Carnarvonshire) Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 2 May 1918, aged 23
  • Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (Son of Samuel and Catherine Williams, of Ty Hen, Little Orme, near Llandudno, Carnarvonshire)
  • Penrhynside casualty

John Richard Williams was born at Penrhynside circa 1894. Though the records of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (above) indicate that he was the son of Samuel and Catherine Williams, he had been adopted and his biological parents remain obscure. Samuel Williams, a farm labourer, and Catherine Williams (née Williams) had been married in 1890 and had no issue. The Census of Wales for 1901 indicates that the family, Samuel, Catherine, Ellen (Nellie – Catherine’s daughter) and John Richard (as son) living at “Ty Hen” (where Catherine had been brought up) which was in the civil Parish of Penrhyn and the ecclesiastical Parish of Eglwys Rhos (Llanrhos). Ten years later, the family still lived at the same smallholding though it also included Robert Williams, the son of Catherine’s younger sister Anne (and Ellen’s cousin). Samuel Williams and his adopted son John Richard were employed as general labourers.

John Richard Williams’ early army career is also obscure. He joined the Welsh (Carnarvonshire) Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Force). His regimental number of 310051 was issued in 1917, replacing an earlier number from which the date of his joining the battery might have been deduced. The 1/1st Welsh Heavy Battery landed at Le Havre on 3 March 1916, joining the 23rd Heavy Artillery Group.

The Battle of the Lys, also known as the Fourth Battle of Ypres, was fought from 7 April until 29 April 1918 and was part of the German Spring Offensive in Flanders.

John Richard Williams was killed in action on 2 May 1918 aged 23. He was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

 

John Richard Henry Williams

  • 13282, Serjeant, 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 25 October 1916, aged 23
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

John Richard Henry Williams, the son of a railway carter, John Elias Williams and his wife Eleanor Williams, was born in Llandudno on 6 August 1893. In March 1900, John transferred from Lloyd Street Infant’s to Lloyd Street Mixed School, the family address being Back Caroline Street. The following year, the family lived at 8 Augusta Street (back), Llandudno. Ten years later, the family lived at 1 Levern Cottage, Brookes Street, Llandudno, John Richard being employed as a butcher’s apprentice.

John Williams enlisted at Wrexham into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on or around 2 September 1914. Given the regimental number of 13282, he was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion when it formed at Wrexham on 9 September 1914. The battalion initially moved to Tidworth but was in billets at Basingstoke by December 1914. It returned to Tidworth in March 1915 and disembarked at Boulogne on 19 July 1915.

Nothing is known about John Williams’ record in France except that he was killed in action on 25 October 1916 aged 23. The war diary records that the battalion was in bivouac at Ovillers Post carrying out working party duties – one officer was wounded and one other rank was killed that day. He has no known grave. A local newspaper reported that he had died on way to hospital after being hit by shrapnel just above the heart; since his place of burial is unknown, this seems unlikely.

 

Leonard Williams

  • 21343, Corporal, 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, later Depot RWF
  • Died of illness/wounds, 16 February 1917, aged 32
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mrs Rachel Williams, of “Bryn Marl”, Clifton Rd, Llandudno)

Leonard Williams, the son of a plumber John Williams and his wife Rachel Williams (née Clinch) was born in Llandudno on 2 June 1884. The family lived at “Bodhyfryd Cottage”, Cwlach Street, Llandudno. In November 1888, Leonard was admitted to St. George’s National School. The Census for Wales for 1891 sadly records John Williams as a patient at the asylum at Denbigh whilst Rachel with seven children, including Leonard, still lived at “Brynhyfryd”. Leonard left school in April 1897. In 1901, Rachel, now a widow, and the family were living at 3 Claremont Villas, Curzon Road. Ten years later, the family lived at 14 Victoria Avenue, Craig-y-Don, Leonard being employed as a gardener.

Leonard enlisted at Llandudno in early 1915, joining the 14th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; his regimental number was 21343. The 14th (Service) Battalion RWF had formed at Llandudno on 2 November 1914. In August 1915, the battalion moved to Winchester, landing in France on 2 December 1915. At a time and a place unknown, Leonard Williams was wounded and his name appeared on list of wounded dated 28 August 1916. He might have been wounded on the 38th (Welsh) Division’s attack on Mametz Wood the previous month. Leonard Williams was repatriated and was placed on the strength of the RWF’s depot at Wrexham.

Leonard Williams died on 16 February 1917 aged 32 at Llandudno of epileptic convulsions. He was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard.

 

Morgan Scoltock Williams

  • M/315439, Private, Army Service Corps (MT)
  • Died of illness, 17 May 1917, aged 23
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Not judged a local casualty
    • Born Llandudno
    • Buried Llanrhos Churchyard

Morgan Scoltock Williams was the son of William Williams, a butcher of Madoc Street and later of Mostyn Street. William Williams’ father was Morgan Williams, landlord of the King’s Arms on Mostyn Street. In 1871, Morgan Williams, a licensed victualler and William Williams, a butcher, lived next door to each other at Nos 5 and 6 Mostyn Street respectively. William Williams had a wife Sarah and four daughters.

On 27 August 1889, a widowed William Williams married Emma Jane Scoltock at St. John’s Methodist Church, Llandudno. Later that year, Morgan Williams died, leaving his estate of £2432 to William who became the licensee of the King’s Arms. In 1891, William and Emma Williams lived at 6 Adelphi Street, on their own means. A son, Morgan Scoltock Williams was born in early 1894 though this happy occasion was marred by the death of his father on 25 June of that year. In 1901, both Emma and Morgan still lived at Adelphi Street though the house was now named “Scoltock Villa”. Emma died in 1903, probate £1688/13s being granted to her solicitors.

The orphaned Morgan Williams came under the guardianship of the Rev. W H Nixon, Vicar of Winster in Derbyshire in 1905. He made a will in 1914 effectively leaving his interest in a freehold house, four acres of land and six leasehold houses (presumably in Llandudno) to the Rev Nixon’s daughter, Winifred. In the summer of 1916, he changed his mind having fallen in love with May Prince and proposed to her that October. Apparently, she rejected him though had spoken to him about joining the army. However, Morgan had been found unfit for service but not wanting to be thought a coward, eventually joined the Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport). On enlisting in April 1917, he gave his trade or calling as an independent gentleman. His address was Winster Vicarage, near Matlock and he named the Rev. Nixon as his next of kin. He was accepted as a dispatch rider and served at No 1 Reserve MT Depot, Grove Park, Lewisham.

Morgan Williams was taken ill with measles and died of double pneumonia at Davidston Road War Hospital, Croydon on 17 May 1917 aged 23. He was buried in his family altar tomb at Llanrhos Churchyard.

Morgan Williams had made a “soldier’s will” on 1 May 1917 written in his diary in which he left his estate to May Prince though he neglected to rescind his former will. Both wills were presented for probate and the intrigue had to be settled in court which found in favour of May Prince, who received the small fortune of £8431/1s/10d as well as Morgan’s back pay of £3/5s/1d – a total of over £650,000 in today’s money.

NOTE

Had not Morgan Williams been orphaned, then he might well have been regarded as a Llandudno casualty if he had died under similar circumstances.

 

Robert Williams

  • 41987, Private, 1st Lancashire Fusiliers
  • Died of illness whilst a prisoner-of-war, 10 May 1918, aged 28
  • Buried at Condé-Sur-L’escaut Communal Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)
  • Brother of John Evan Williams

Robert Williams, born at Conwy on 24 July 1889, was the son of a labourer, Robert Williams and his wife Sarah Ellen Williams (née Evans). In 1891, the family lived at Salford, Lancashire; they had three children: John E Williams (qv), Catherine J Williams and Robert. Another daughter, Edith, was born later that year. Ten years later, the family lived at 9 Council Street, Llandudno. Robert attended Lloyd Street School which he left in 1902 aged 12 years and 10 months. In 1911, Robert’s parents lived at the same address. Where Robert lived and what his occupation was in 1911 is unknown but a clue might come from the fragments of his army record that survive for he may have worked with horses.

Robert Williams enlisted in Birmingham and he joined the Army Veterinary Corps with a regimental number of SE/16267 – SE stands for Special Enlistment. He was mobilised in April 1916 as a horse keeper, a non-combatant position and not available to those aged under 40 who were eligible for service in the infantry. The Medal Award Roll indicates that he spent some time in France or Belgium with the AVC but was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in early 1917 with a regimental number of 41987. Why he was transferred to a front-line battalion is a matter of conjecture, but it was not unusual for the ranks of non-combatant troops to be trawled for reassessment. Robert Williams was taken prisoner at the Battle of Cambrai on 30 November 1917. German documents indicate that he was uninjured and imprisoned at Le Quesnoy, Dülmen (recorded there 7 January 1918) and Friedrichsfeld (recorded there 24 April 1918).

According to Robert’s UK death certificate, his official cause of death was “Died (cause not stated)” and that he died in Germany. This is not the case. Again, according to German records, Robert Williams died of pneumonia on 10 May 1918 at Condé-Sur-L’escaut in France. He was aged 28. Seemingly, the Germans had returned him to France to carry out prisoner of war work. He was buried at Condé-Sur-L’escaut Communal Cemetery.

 

Robert John Williams

  • 21010, Private, 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Accidentally shot, 23 February 1916, aged 26
  • Buried at Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Henry and Elizabeth Williams, of 3 Penyffordd Terrace, Penrhynside, Llandudno, Carnarvonshire)
  • Penrhynside casualty

Robert John Williams, the son of a quarry labourer, Henry Williams and his wife, Elizabeth Williams (née Jones) was born at Llanfairfechan on 25 January 1890. The following year, the family which included Robert’s two elder sisters, Jane and Mary Ellen, lived at “Nantwich”, Llanfairfechan. By 1901, Robert John Williams had three younger sisters: Katie, Annie and Elizabeth; the family now lived at Maesdu Farm, Llandudno and Henry Williams worked as a farm labourer. In November 1897, Robert John transferred from Deganwy Infants’ School to the National School, transferring again in April 1898 to Llanrhos School. In 1911, the family lived at 3 Penyffordd Terrace, Penrhynside, Henry Williams being employed as a shepherd and Robert John as a domestic gardener.

Robert John Williams enlisted at Llandudno in January 1915 into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Given the service number of 21010, he was posted to the 14th (Service) Battalion which had started to form at Llandudno in November 1914, a component of the short lived “Welsh Army” which evolved into the 38th (Welsh) Division. The battalion moved to Winchester in August 1915 for further training. Robert Williams landed in France with his battalion on 2 December 1915.

The 14th RWF was in the front line at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée when Robert John Williams was accidentally killed on 23 February 1916 when shot by a soldier, according to the war diary, of the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was aged 26 and was buried at the nearby Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

 

Robert Richard Williams DCM

  • 22589, Lance Corporal, 15th (attached 14th) Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 1 or 2 September 1917, aged 32
  • No known grave (Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Robert Richard Williams, the son of Hugh Williams, a labourer, and his wife Alice Ann Williams (née Williams) was born in Llandudno on 16 November 1884. In May 1888, Richard was admitted to St. George’s National School. In 1891, the family: Hugh, Alice, Robert, Rebecca and Roger still lived at Cwlach Street. In March 1892, Robert transferred to St. Beuno’s School. In 1901, Robert lived with his parents at 1 Ty Isa Cottage, Mostyn Street and was employed as a general labourer. In 1911, Robert still lived with his parents at “Bay View Villa”, Howard Road; he was employed as a house painter and was also a fireman.On 16 January 1914, Robert married Ellen Williams at the Tabernacle Chapel, Llandudno. Robert gave his address as “Bunyan Villa”, Chapel Street, Llandudno.

In early January 1915, Robert Williams enlisted at Llandudno into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and joined the 15th (Service) Battalion (1st London Welsh) that had formed at London on 20 October 1914 before moving to Llandudno. His regimental number was 22589. Little is known of Robert’s army service though it is noted that he disembarked in France on 3 December 1915. On a date unknown, Robert Williams was appointed lance corporal and it was also on a date unknown when he was attached to the 14th RWF.

A memorial in St. Tudno’s Churchyard states that Robert Williams was killed in action on 1 September 1917, aged 32. Commonwealth War Grave Commission and other official records give his date of death as 2 September 1917, aged 33. The war diary for the 15th RWF states that late on 1 September it relieved the 14th RWF in the trenches at Langemarck near Ypres and reported no casualties taken that day and only slight casualties on the following day. However, 1 September had been a calamitous day for the 14th RWF when a shell struck the battalion’s forward command post and many men were killed. Thirteen men including nine signallers were buried including Private Hugh Owen B Jones (qv). These deaths are also officially recorded as being on 2 September. Robert Williams of the 15th RWF was still attached to the 14th at the time.

On 26 January 1918, Robert Williams of the 15th RWF, attached 14th, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Hearing that there were many wounded in front of the line held by his battalion, he went forward in daylight and in full view of the enemy, over ground which was heavily sniped, and brought his wounded comrades back to the aid post. He set a very splendid example of devotion and total disregard of his own safety.”

It was locally reported that Robert and Ellen had had two children.

 

Robert William Williams (Pritchard)

  • Mersey Z/239, Petty Officer, RNVR, Drake Bn, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division
  • Killed in action, 17 April 1917, aged 26
  • No known grave (Arras Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Robert William Williams was born at Newborough, Anglesey on 1 July 1890. He was the son of Owen Williams, a sailor, and his wife Catherine Williams. When Robert was baptised at St. Peter’s Church, Newborough on 27 July 1890, the family’s address was “Glasgoed”, Pendref Street. The Census for 1891 records Catherine Williams, now widowed, living at “Glasgoed” with her two sons: Owen and Robert. Catherine Williams died in late 1897 and on 7 March 1898, Robert Williams was admitted to Lloyd Street School, Llandudno – his guardian was noted as Mrs Pritchard of Back Caroline Street. Robert left school in July 1904. In 1911, Robert lived with his uncle and aunt, Thomas Pritchard and Rubina Pritchard (née Andrews), at 12 Alexandria Road, Llandudno, Robert being employed as a house painter.

Robert Williams joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on 15 October 1914. He stated that his next of kin was his aunt, Mrs Rubina Pritchard. Because the Royal Navy had more reservists and volunteers than it required for service at sea, thousands of men were formed into two naval infantry brigades and a brigade of Royal Marines, collectively known as the Royal Naval Division. Robert joined the division on 23 January 1915. He was promoted to leading seaman on 21 April 1915 and to petty officer on 13 May 1915.

The division was transferred from the Admiralty to the army in July 1916 as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division and moved to France. Robert Williams joined Drake Battalion on 12 December 1916. He was killed in action on 17 April 1917 aged 26 during the Battle of Arras. He has no known grave.

 

Samuel Llewelyn Frank Williams

  • 44137, Private, 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 26 September 1917, aged 20
  • No known grave (Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Pryce and Mary Williams, of 9 Marl View, Marl Lane, Deganwy, Carnarvonshire)
  • Deganwy casualty

Samuel Llewelyn Frank Williams (known as Frank), the son of a railway labourer, Pryce Llewelyn Williams and his wife Mary Williams (née Barber) was born at Stourbridge in Worcestershire in September 1897, Stourbridge being the home of his maternal grandparents. In the 1901 Census, Frank and his mother were recorded as visiting Stourbridge whilst his father was living at 7 Rathbone Terrace, Deganwy. In September 1903, Frank transferred from Deganwy Infants’ School to Deganwy National School, the family’s address being noted as Marl View Terrace. The following July, he transferred to Llandudno Junction School. In 1911, the family’s address was 9 Marl View Terrace, Deganwy. Samuel Roberts now worked as a road man for Conway Corporation though whether Frank was still at school or had an occupation is not clear, but he eventually became a gardener.

Frank became 18 years of age in September 1915. Consequently, when the Military Service Act came into force on 2 March 1916, Frank was liable for conscription. He was attested at Bangor on 24 May 1916 and indicated that he had previously served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Frank joined the 12th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park on 14 July 1916 with a regimental number of 44137. He was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Litherland on 28 August 1916 for further training, then to the BEF in France on 23 December 1916 and finally to the 10th (Service) Battalion three days later which he joined on 9 January 1917. In May 1917, Frank was hospitalised at No 6 Stationary Hospital at Frévent with ICT foot (inflamed connective tissue of his foot). He returned to his battalion on 30 August 1917.

Samuel Llewelyn Frank Williams was killed in action on 26 September 1917. It was on this day when the 3rd Division, which included the 10th RWF, attacked the German lines on either side of the Ypres – Routers railway at 5.50 am. This was the first day of the Battle of Polygon Wood, a phase of the 3rd battle of Ypres, otherwise known as Passchendaele. Frank Williams has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

 

Thomas John Williams (William Thomas Jones)

  • 47922, Private, 1/1st Hertfordshire Regiment (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 19 September 1918, aged 30
  • No known grave (Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Pryce and Jane Williams, of 11 Lleyn St, Pwllheli; husband of Margaret E Williams, of Glenfield, Rhos-on-Sea, Denbighshire. Enlisted in Nov. 1914)

Thomas John Williams was born in 1888 at Pwllheli. He was the son of William Price Williams, a mariner, and his wife Jane Williams (née Evans). The Census of Wales for 1891 records the family including Thomas John and his younger brother William living at 11 Lleyn Street, Pwllheli – this was to remain the family’s address for many years. In 1911, Thomas was employed as a tinsmith at Llandudno; he lodged at 5 Glandwr Terrace.

Thomas John Williams volunteered to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in early November 1914. His regimental number was 20009, 20006 being Robert Jones, 20007 being William Alfred Hart and 20008 being Arthur Houston (all qv). These numbers were in a series generally taken up by those allocated to the 14th (Service) Battalion that was forming at Llandudno at the time.

On 25 May 1915, Thomas John Williams married Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd at the Ebenezer Chapel, Llandudno. The wedding certificate confirms that he was a private in the 14th RWF and that his trade was that of a whitesmith (= tinsmith). He gave his address as “Derwenog”, St. David’s Road, Llandudno. “Derwenog” was a private hotel which is where Thomas may have been billeted. Their son Edward Price Williams was born on 7 March 1916.

In the meantime, the 14th RWF had moved to Winnal Hill Camp near Winchester for further training and disembarked in France on 2 December 1915. Fragments of Thomas Williams’ army service exist. It is recorded that on 22 September 1916 he was conveyed by ambulance train from Remy to Boulogne suffering from tonsillitis. In (possibly) mid-1917, Thomas was transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment, almost certainly the 6th (Service) Battalion with a serial number of 47922. On 22 May 1918, the 6th Beds was reduced to cadre status and 680 officers and men, including Thomas John Williams, were absorbed into the 1/1st Battalion of the Hertfordshire Regiment to bring it back to fighting strength. The Hertfordshire Regiment was a Territorial Force-only regiment and the 1/1st had received a severe mauling during the German Spring offensive of 1918. Unusually, Thomas’ regimental number remained the same.

During the advance on the Hindenburg Line on 18 September 1918, and after a heavy bombardment, the enemy attacked the 1/1st Herts and took some forward posts before being repulsed.  In that engagement, Thomas Williams was originally listed as wounded. However, a list for 21 November 1918 lists him as both wounded and missing. Later, his date of death was officially declared as on or around 18 September and because he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.

In 1939, Thomas’ widow and son lived at Rhos-on-Sea.

NOTE

One of the names on the Llandudno memorials is William Thomas Jones – the Roll of Honour states that he was a private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. A soldier with these details has not been identified. A plaque in the Tabernacl Welsh Baptist Chapel names a private in the RWF who died on 18 September 1918 as Thomas John Williams. This second soldier has been identified as 47922 Private Thomas John Williams of the Hertfordshire Regiment who had previously served as 20009 RWF. Could William Thomas Jones (main Llandudno memorials) and Thomas John Williams (Tabernacl Chapel) be one and the same person? If the latter name is written surname first, Williams, Thomas John, then it is possible to envisage how such confusion arose. William Thomas Jones was from Pwllheli and he married a Llandudno girl who moved to Rhos-on-Sea. If an error was made in the Llandudno listings, then it went unnoticed.

 

Thomas John Atherton Williams

  • 1095, Private, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Died of wounds, 9 October 1915, aged 19
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of John and Annie Williams, of 4 Brickfield Terrace, Llandudno Junction)
  • Llandudno Junction casualty
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • Nephew of Ellis Atherton

Thomas John Atherton Williams was born in Llandudno Junction in 1895. His father was John Williams, an engine driver, and his mother was Annie Williams (née Atherton), the elder sister of Ellis Atherton (qv). In 1901, the family lived at 3 Station Terrace, Llandudno Junction and ten years later at 4 Glyn Marl Terrace, Llandudno Junction. The Census of that year recorded that Thomas was the eldest of six children.  Thomas Williams was employed as a baker’s carter; he later became an engine cleaner for the London and North Western Railway at Llandudno Junction.

On or around 14 March 1914, Thomas Williams, using his full name, enlisted at Conwy into the 6th (Carnarvonshire and Anglesey) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force). His regimental number was 1095. He was embodied for permanent service on 5 August 1914 and shortly thereafter volunteered for overseas service. He was posted to the 1/6th Battalion when the 6th divided into first and second line battalions. Thomas sailed with the 1/6th from Devonport on HMT Caledonia on 19 July 1915 destined for Gallipoli, disembarking on 9 August.

On 19 August 1915, Thomas Williams was wounded and was ultimately evacuated to England. He died of wounds at Netley Hospital, Southampton on 9 October 1915. His body was returned to his home and he was buried in Llanrhos Churchyard. As a resident of Llandudno Junction, he would normally have been buried in Llangwstenin Churchyard – his interment at Llanrhos being possibly due to his mother’s association with that parish.

 

Thomas Norman Williams

  • 37780, Private, 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of wounds, 4 August 1916, aged 23
  • Buried at Llanbeblig Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Thomas Norman Williams, the son of a farmer and butcher, Thomas Williams, and his wife Elizabeth was born in Caernarfon in 1893. In 1901, the family lived at 40 Pool Street, Caernarfon; Thomas had three younger brothers: Enoch, Gwilym Evan, and John Glyn.  Thomas Norman received a bursary at the County School and was later employed as a clerk with the London, City and Midland Bank at Porthmadog and Llandudno. The 1911 Census records Thomas Norman Williams as a lodger at “The Bryn”, Abergele.

Thomas Norman Williams was attested for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 18 November 1915 at Llandudno. He gave his address as “Maenan House”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno. Put into the Reserve and given a day’s pay, he was allowed to return to his place of work. He was called up on 31 January 1916 and joined the 21st (Reserve) Battalion RWF at Kinmel Park on 2 February. He was posted to France on 16 June 1916 and crossed from Folkestone to Boulogne the following day, destined for the 38th Infantry Base Depot at Étaples. He joined the 10th (Service) Battalion RWF on 30 June 1916 at St. Omer. The 10th Battalion had formed in October 1914 and had been in France since September 1915.

Thomas was wounded in action with a gunshot wound to the shoulder on 22 July 1916. The battalion had fought the action at Delville Wood, Longuavel (Battle of the Somme) two days earlier. He was evacuated to England on HMHS Lanfranc on 25 July 1916. Sadly, he died of his wounds at the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester on 4 August 1916 aged 23. His body was returned to Caernarfon and he was buried at Llanbeblig Churchyard on 8 August.

 

William Benjamin Williams

  • 591323, Rifleman, 1/18th London Regiment (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 27 May 1917, aged 24
  • Buried at Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (Son of William and Mary Williams, of “Bod Gwilym”, Vaughan St, Llandudno)

William Benjamin Williams was born in Llandudno on 3 October 1892. He was the son of William Williams, a joiner, and his wife Mary. The family lived at “Bodgwilym”, Vaughan Street, Llandudno and remained there throughout William’s life. In September 1905, William transferred from Lloyd Street School to the newly opened Dyffryn Road School which he left in July 1906. The Census for Wales of 1911 records William living at home and employed as a draper’s apprentice.

William joined the 18th (County of London) Battalion (London Irish Rifles), (Territorial Force) at Chelsea in May 1915. His regimental number was 3335 (later 591323) and he trained with the 2/18th (the second line battalion). William disembarked in France on 3 March 1916 and joined the 1/18th LR. On 12 May 1916, William Williams was admitted to the 2nd General Hospital with “PUO” – pyrexia of unknown origin. He was discharged on 4 June 1916 to a convalescent depot before returning to his battalion.

William Benjamin Williams was killed in action on 27 May 1917 aged 24. The 1/18th LR was in reserve trenches at Swan Château, near Ypres. He was buried at Bedford House Cemetery.

 

William Edwin Williams

  • 148, Sergeant, 14th Australian Infantry
  • Died of wounds, 31 August 1915, aged 30
  • Buried at sea (Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

William Edwin Williams, the son of William Williams, a railway signalman, and his wife Catherine (née Roberts) was born on 9 August 1885 at Abergele. In 1891, the family lived at 7 Jubilee Terrace, Llandudno, William (junior) having five siblings: Henry, Fanny, Thomas, Ellen and Catherine. From March 1893 until March 1899, William attended Lloyd Street School. In 1901, the family lived at 2 Albion Terrace, William being employed as a grocer’s assistant. He later became a butcher, apprenticed to Williams and Williams. On 12 January 1911, William departed from Liverpool on the SS Afric bound for Melbourne, Australia. Two of his brothers, Henry and Thomas also emigrated to Australia. The electoral roll for Charlton, Victoria 1914 records that William was a butcher living at “Barrakee”, Charlton, Wimmera.

On 14 September 1914, William Williams enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force at Charlton, Victoria. His number was 148. After initial training at Broadmeadows, the battalion embarked at Melbourne on the SS Ulysses on 22 December 1914. The following month, it disembarked in Egypt where it underwent further training. On 25 April 1915, the battalion landed at Gallipoli. On 29 June, William was promoted to corporal and on 18 August he was promoted to sergeant.

William Williams was wounded in action on 22 August 1915, probably at the Battle of Hill 60, and admitted to the 4th Field Ambulance. He died of wounds on 31 August aged 30 on board the ship HMAT Ascanius which was en route to Malta and was buried at sea.

 

William George Powdridge Williams

  • Captain, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of wounds, 29 August 1917, aged 26
  • Buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mr and Mrs H Williams, of Llandudno; husband of Amy Evelyn Williams, of “Inglehurst”, Sylva Gardens, Llandudno)

William George Powdridge Williams was born in Llandudno on 12 February 1891. He was the son of (David) Henry Powdridge Williams, who worked for the Post Office, and who was a prominent member of the Ebeneser Welsh Wesleyan Chapel, and his wife Dora Williams (née Griffiths). In 1891, the couple lived at “Castleton House”, James Street, Llandudno with a daughter, Mary and William. Ten years later, the family lived at “Tryphena House”, Lloyd Street. William attended Lloyd Street School and was transferred to the John Bright County School in July 1904. He attended the Westminster College of Pharmacy and in 1911, he boarded at 3 Cremorne Road, Chelsea and was employed as a chemist’s assistant.

After cavalry training, William disembarked in France on 4 December 1915 and joined the 9th Lancers with a regimental number of 4754. He transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on being granted a commission. A local newspaper reported his marriage at St. John’s English Wesleyan Church, Llandudno on 24 January 1917 to Amy Evelyn Fleming. William Williams was given a battlefield promotion to captain and served with the 17th (Service) Battalion.

William Williams died of wounds on 29 August 1917 aged 26 at No 4 Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium. He was buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery. Dozinghem is not a village in Belgium but one of three groups of casualty clearing stations located near Poperinge prior to the third Battle of Ypres named by the troops. The war diary of the 17th RWF records that one officer was killed and two were wounded on 28 August 1917 but, unusually, does not name them.

There is no indication that William and Amy Williams had a child. Amy Williams lived in Surrey in 1939.

 

William R Williams

See Robert William Williams.

 

William Thomas Williams

  • 43901, Private, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 8 October 1918, aged 37
  • Buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Thomas and Margaret Williams, of Llandudno; husband of Ann Williams, of “Silverdale”, Lloyd St, Llandudno, Carnarvonshire)

William Thomas Williams was born on 15 December 1880 in Salford, Lancashire to Thomas Williams, a railway labourer, and Margaret Williams (née Roberts). In 1881, the family of three lived at 5 Bradshaw Street, Salford. The Census for 1891 records William residing at the home of his grandparents, “Gale House”, Tyn-y-Coed Road, Llandudno. The register of St. George’s National School dated 21 April 1891 records William living at the same address. He was appointed as a postman in Llandudno/Llanrhos in 1900. In 1901, William lived at the home of his aunt Jane Roberts at “Thorn Lea”, Tyn-y-Coed Road. On 6 November 1907, William Williams married Annie Hughes at St. George’s Church, Llandudno; he gave his address as 4 Ormonde Terrace, Llandudno which was his aunt’s address as recorded in the Census of 1911. The same census recorded William, Annie and their son Arthur Gilbert Williams, born on 13 April 1909, living at “Gwalchmai”, Tudno Road. In 1913, the family was recorded as living at “Silverdale”, Lloyd Street.

William Williams enlisted at Llandudno and his regimental number in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers was 43901 and was called up in mid-1916. Where he carried out his infantry training is unknown but others with close numbers joined the 21st (Reserve) Battalion. His service in France is unusual in that he spent six separate periods with the 17th (Service) Battalion RWF as well as time on the strengths of the infantry base depot, the railhead (postal work), Headquarters 38th Division and the brigade school headquarters. These periods away from the front line indicate that he may have been ill and/or wounded and thus carrying out light duties. He is known to have appeared on wounded lists in September 1917 and August 1918.

Having advanced into recently evacuated German trenches on 5 October 1918, the 38th (Welsh) Division found it could advance no further because the Germans had reorganised themselves into another defensive line which ran through Mortho Wood. The 17th RWF attacked at 01.00 on 8 October with the objective of the Beaurevoir Line and high ground in front of the village of Villers Outreau. Although the objectives are taken as well as 50 prisoners, the battalion suffered some casualties – 10 officers and 100 other ranks including William Thomas Williams who was killed in action aged 37. William Williams was buried half a mile west of Villers Outreau but in 1920, his body was exhumed and he was reburied at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy.

Annie Williams died in 1927, her son in 1970.

 

William Wood

  • 26350, Private, 17th Welsh Regiment
  • Died of wounds, 17 July 1916, aged 19
  • Buried at Chocques Military Cemetery, Béthune, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of William and Mary A Wood, of Norwood, Mostyn Avenue, Llandudno)

William Wood, the son of a master butcher, William Wood, and his wife, Mary Ann Wood (née Hardwick) was born in 1897 at Levenshulme, Lancashire. In 1901, the family lived at 65 Stockport Road, Levenshulme; four children were recorded: Ethel, Norman, William and Janet. Ten years later, the family lived at “Norwood”, Mostyn Avenue, Craig-y-Don. William Wood (senior) was employed as a butcher’s assistant.

Soldiers Died in the Great War states that William Wood was in the 17th (Service) Battalion (1st Glamorgan) of the Welsh Regiment though the Llandudno Roll of Honour gives his regiment as the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. This discrepancy can be explained because William Wood was short in stature and not tall enough to join a normal Service Battalion. The Royal Welsh Fusilier’s Bantam Battalion, the 19th, did not form until March 1915 (at Deganwy) and when William volunteered at the end of January 1915, he was posted to the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, a Bantam Battalion which had formed in November 1914 and which was then nearby at Rhos-on-Sea. William’s regimental number was 26350 and at 17, he was under-aged. The 17th Welsh moved to Prees Heath, Shropshire in July 1915 and Aldershot in September 1915. The battalion left Southampton on 2 June 1916 and disembarked at Le Havre the following day.

Aged 19, William Wood died of wounds on 17 July 1916 and was buried at Chocques Military Cemetery, near Béthune. This cemetery was close to the location of No 1 Casualty Clearing Station which in turn was about 10 miles from Calonne, to the west of Lens which is where the battalion had been in the trenches since 8 July, sustaining some casualties from artillery and mortar fire.

 

Harold Wyatt

  • 2589/200568, Private, 1/5th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 28 June 1916, aged 25
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Albert and Mary Wyatt, of 78 Thimblewill Rd, Bearwood, Birmingham)
  • Deganwy casualty

Harold Wyatt, born on 10 January 1891 at Deganwy, was the son of a coachman and gardener, Albert Wyatt, and his wife Mary Wyatt (née Wickstead) who lived at “Platt Cottage”, Deganwy with their daughters: Clara Ethel, Fanny, Rose Ellen, and Alice, and their son Albert William. Ten years later, the family lived at 9 Marl View Terrace and had been joined by Elsie May, Alfred Stanton, John, Lucy and George E. The Census of 1911 noted that the family’s address was “Marl Lodge” though Harold had moved to Birmingham, being a lodger at 61 Reservoir Road, Edgbaston and employed as a private groom.

Now employed as a storekeeper, Harold Wyatt joined the 5th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, (Territorial Force) at Birmingham on 1 September 1914 and was embodied (made full time) the same day. His regimental number was 2589. Volunteering for overseas service, Harold joined the first line 1/5th Battalion which was part of the Warwickshire Brigade in the South Midland Division, landing in France at Le Havre on 22 March 1915. In September 1915, Harold Wyatt was treated for scabies. After returning to his battalion, he was hospitalised again, evacuated to England and spent 77 days in hospital diagnosed with rheumatism, being discharged on 3 January. When Harold returned to his battalion is not known.

On 22 June 1916, the 1/5th Warwicks returned to the front line near Gommecourt. The war diary of the battalion records raids made on two successive days, 26 and 27 June, on the same position in the enemy front trench. Both raids were unsuccessful with 14 wounded on the first day, and 21 wounded and three missing on the second day. Harold Wyatt was listed as wounded and later as missing. His body was never recovered so, for administrative purposes, his date of death was given as 28 June 1916. Between the time Harold Wyatt had been listed as missing and being listed as killed, his service number was changed to 200568. That second number is used in the records of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission which lists him on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

 

David and John Wynne

The brothers were the sons of a sawyer (later stonemason) David Wynne and his wife Margaret Wynne (née Davies) who had married in 1869. They had at least ten children: Margaret Jane, William, Annie, Catherine Jane (Kate), John (b 1877), Elizabeth, David (b 1881), William, Hugh Edward and Thomas. They also brought up Annie’s illegitimate son Llewelyn Ewart Wynne. In 1881 the family lived at Glan Conwy (address not identified); John Wynne was recorded as a scholar. Ten years later, the family lived at “Brickfield Cottage”, Llanrhos. Their parents died in 1903 and 1904.

David Wynne

  • 14560, Private, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died from illness after discharge, 1 May 1915, aged 33
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (see note) (Son of David and Margaret Wynne, of Brickfield Cottage, Llandudno)

David Wynne was living with his sister Kate and her husband at “Bodfari Cottage”, Back Madoc Street, Llandudno in 1911. David was employed as a general labourer. David Wynne had already appeared before the magistrates ten times before he was imprisoned for six months with hard labour in September 1913 for assaulting a policeman.

In spite of a deformed index finger on his right hand, the result of an accident, David volunteered to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He signed up at Llandudno on 5 September 1914 claiming to be 30 years of age though he was actually 32. His regimental number was 14560 and he was assigned to C Company of the 11th (Service) Battalion when it formed at Wrexham on 18 October 1914. The battalion trained at Seaford in Sussex and it was here on 19 October that it was recommended that he be discharged because of his previous injury. After serving a total of 53 days, he was discharged on 27 October 1914.

David Wynne died of pneumonia on 1 May 1915 at “Drummond Cottage”, Trinity Street, Llandudno – the home of his sister Kate and her husband. The registry for Conway and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission records indicate that he was 29 years of age when he died though it appears he was actually 33. He was buried in his parents’ grave at Llanrhos Churchyard.

NOTE

David Wynne was discharged from the army for the “traumatic deformity of the index finger of his right hand.” Since he died from pneumonia six months after discharge from the army, it is difficult to understand why his death was considered as attributable or partially attributable to his army service. Nevertheless, his grave at Llanrhos Churchyard was registered after the Great War as a war grave. The grave of Robert Jones (qv), also at Llanrhos, was registered as a war grave, almost certainly in error.

John Wynne

  • 27226, Private, 8th Welsh Regiment
  • Killed in action, 8 August 1915, aged 37
  • No known grave (Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

In 1900, John Wynne married Mariana Roberts and they lived in Llandudno at 2 Pant-y-Wenol. John was employed as a bricklayer at this time. A son David Richard Wynne was born in Llandudno on 12 May 1903 after which the family moved to South Wales. A daughter Margaret Jane Wynne was born in Porth, Glamorganshire on 6 January 1906. The 1911 Census records the family plus John’s brother, Hugh Edward Wynne, living at Llanhilleth in Monmouthshire. John was employed by a colliery as a stonemason and Hugh a hewer. Mariana Wynne died in 1913 and school records indicate that at about this time, the family returned to Llandudno living in “Drummond Cottage”, the home of his sister Kate and her husband.

At the end of August 1914, John Wynne volunteered at Llandudno to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. John’s regimental number was 12510 and he probably joined the 8th (Service) Battalion RWF at Wrexham. An early solution to the shortage of labour within the army was to designate a number of infantry battalions as Pioneer Battalions. Though trained as infantry, these battalions’ primary task was as heavy labour: making roads and digging trenches for example. The average volunteer infantrymen of the time was not particularly robust and men with a background in strong physical work were required for the Pioneer Battalions. Consequently, on the restructuring of these battalions in January 1915, many men were transferred out and many men were transferred in. As a stonemason, John Wynne was an ideal candidate for a Pioneer Battalion and he was transferred to the 8th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers), of the Welsh Regiment in January 1915 with a regimental number of 27226.

The 8th Battalion Welsh Regiment had formed in Cardiff in August 1914 as part of K1, Kitchener’s first new army and it embarked at Avonmouth in June 1915. It landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 5 August 1915. On 8 August 1915, the Allied forces began an offensive now known as the Battle of Chunuk Bair. Though initially successful, there were many casualties: the war diary of the 8th Welsh Regiment recorded that four other ranks were killed, 154 were wounded, and 266 were missing. John Wynne was listed amongst the missing and was later declared as being killed in action. He was aged 37 when he was killed. His effects became the property of his children whose guardian was John’s sister, Mrs Kate Roberts. John Wynne has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

John Wynne’s nephew Llewelyn Wynne also served at Gallipoli but survived the war.

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