Williams, John Evan

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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 recorded)

John Evan Williams was the son of a labourer Robert Williams and his wife Sarah Ellen Williams (née Evans). He 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 Census recorded the family living in Salford, Lancashire; John (9) was recorded as a scholar – he had a younger sister Catherine (7) and baby brother Robert (1) (qv). Another sister, Edith, was born later that year. The Census for 1901 records the family living at 9 Council Street, Llandudno; John (19) was an upholsterer. John became a prominent member of the Llandudno Amateur Football Club. On 2 November 1910, he married Edith Emma Davies (b Bethesda 1884) 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 it is known that when he disembarked in France on 2 December 1915, he was a serjeant. Whether John had any previous service experience is presently unknown.

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.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Conwy War Memorial

8 comments to Williams, John Evan

  • Carole wynne

    I have photo of john evan with wife and daughter before leaving for france and he has only two stripes on uniform.

  • Carole wynne

    I have a hard backed maroon exercise book belonging to JEW which has inside that he was in Hauling Island from 25th Oct to 12th Nov 1915. Inside it has all instructions for looking after rifle and info on all firing tech piques. It also has details of lectures he attended. Also have postcard pictures of him at training camps. Don’t know where one of them has a sigñ –saying Snowdonians 14 RWF- 1 Platoon.

    • admin

      Almost certainly Hayling Island to the east of Portsmouth. There was a musketry school on the island. The island was about 35 miles from Winchester where the 38th (Welsh) Division was based at the time.

      Any material information you have extra to the narrative above would be appreciated.

  • Carole wynne

    John evan also had brother Robert in lancashire Fuseliers who died on 10th May 1918 as prisoner of war. Was captured on 30th November at Cambria. Am trying to find photo of Robert

  • They had a daughter , Lillian.
    Lillian married Cecil Wynne and in 19707s lived in Bryniau Road.
    She later lived in a cottage in Bodafon Street.
    Lillians daughter ran the hotel on corner of Gloddaeth Crescent/Clonmel Street now part of the Chatsworth House Hotel.

    • Carole wynne

      The hotel was Lockyers. Joyce Green was her daughter also Carole Wynne. Have recently been contacted by someone saying John Evan was not killed in war and he lived with another woman and had nine children. Think they have got the wrong person.

      • admin

        Thank you both for your information. I have updated the narrative accordingly. Please let me know if there is any material disinformation.

        Further to this: John Williams enlisted in 1914 and when he disembarked in France the following year he was a serjeant. I would be particularly keen to know if he had had any previous service experience.

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