Williams, John

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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 recorded)

John Williams was born in Hanley, Staffordshire in 1870. In 1881, he lived with his parents, John and Margaret Williams at “The College” Llansadwrn, Anglesey. John Williams (senior) was described as a general labourer and his son (10) as a scholar. John (junior) married Mary Hughes circa 1888 and their first son Owen John Williams was born at Aberffraw on 12 August 1889. The Census for Wales of 1891 records Mary Williams (26) and Owen Williams (1) 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 (39), Ann, John (12) 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 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 113th Brigade 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.

Known memorials:

  • Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno

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