Williams, Robert William

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Robert William Williams (Pritchard)

Mersey Z/239, Petty Officer, Drake Bn, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division
Killed in action, 17 April 1917, aged 26
No known grave (Arras Memorial, France)

CWGC registered (no family recorded)

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 (née Pritchard). When Robert was baptised at St. Peter’s Newborough on 27 July 1890, the family’s address was “Glasgoed”, Pendref Street. The Census for 1891 records Catherine Williams (38), a widow, living at “Glasgoed” with her two sons: Owen (9) and Robert (9 months). In 1898, Robert Williams was admitted to Lloyd Street School, Llandudno – his guardian was noted as Mrs Pritchard. The Census of Wales for 1901 confirms Robert living with his aunt Mary Pritchard at “Dulwyn Cottage”, Back Caroline Street, Llandudno. He left school in July 1904. The Census in 1911 recorded Robert living with his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Rubina Pritchard, at 12 Alexandria Road, Llandudno. Robert (21) was described as a house painter.

Robert Williams joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on 15 October 1914. 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 to the army as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division in July 1916 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.

Known memorials:

  • Arras Memorial, France
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Annibynnol Chapel, Llandudno (as Robert William Pritchard)
  • (possibly) Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy (as William Robert Pritchard or William R Williams)

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