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Williams, Thomas John

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Thomas John Williams

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 does not appear on the Llandudno Roll of Honour, the Llandudno War Memorial or in the Memorial Chapel of Holy Trinity Church. However, his name does appear on a plaque in the Tabernacl Welsh Baptist Chapel. It gives his address as “Kimnel Villa”, Adelphi Street, his rank as private, his regiment as the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and his date of death as 18 September 1918. No Royal Welsh Fusilier could be found with those particular details but the Commonwealth War Grave Commission does record a private in the 1/1st Hertfordshire Regiment who had previously been in the RWF.

One of the very few soldiers on the Llandudno memorials who has not been identified is Private William Thomas Jones RWF. It is possible, but certainly not confirmed, that Thomas John Williams and William Thomas Jones were one and the same person.

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 (3) and William (1) living at 11 Lleyn Street, Pwllheli. Ten years later the family lived at the same address – Thomas now had another brother, Ellis (9).

Thomas John Williams volunteered to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in early November 1914. His regimental number was 20009, 20007 being William Alfred Hart and 20008 being Arthur Houston (both qv). These numbers were in a tranche allocated to the 14th RWF.

On 25 May 1915, Thomas John Williams married Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd (b Penmaenmawr, 1886) 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. He gave his address as “Derwenog”, St. David’s Road, Llandudno.

Thomas John Williams disembarked in France with the 14th RWF in December 1915. Very little is known about Thomas’ army service. His son Edward Price Williams was born on 7 March 1916. It is recorded that Thomas was transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment with a service number of 47922 which was possibly issued in mid-1917. This suggests that Thomas Williams may have previously been wounded or taken ill. His battalion was almost certainly the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Bedfordshires which, on 22 May 1918, effectively disbanded, 680 officers and men, including Thomas Williams, being absorbed by the 1/1st Hertfordshire Regiment, Territorial Force. He retained his serial number of 47922.

Thomas John Williams was killed in action on 18 September 1918. The war diary records that after a heavy bombardment, the enemy attacked and took some forward posts before being repulsed. Thomas Williams’ has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.

In 1939, Thomas’ widow and son lived in Colwyn Bay.

Known memorials:

  • Pwllheli War Memorial
  • Capel Tabernacl, Llandudno
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour (possible as William Thomas Jones)
  • Llandudno War Memorial (“)
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church (“)

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