Williams, John (Jack)

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John (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 William and Ann Jane Williams, was born in Llanrhos in November 1886. The Census of Wales for 1891 describes William Williams as a grocer’s assistant – 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.

Known memorials:

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

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