Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Viv Williams and Anne Parry
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Gronant and Gwaenysgor
Name / Enw: Evans Ellis Thomas
Regiment/Catrawd: 14th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 240879
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery Montay
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: IV. A. 2
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals
Date of Death: 6th November 1918
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
He was killed in action on 6th November 1918 in France
Ellis Thomas Evans was first recorded on a census in 1901. He was living with his family in Mostyn Road Gronant. Head of the household was Thomas Evans 30, a ‘Stricter Bricks’. His wife was Ann 30 – she had been born in Meliden. Their son Ellis T Evans was 3.
In the census of 1911 things had changed significantly. Thomas Evans 40 was then recorded as a Collier. His new wife of less than a year, was Emily Evans. She was 39 and hailed from Dolgellau. The form says that 4 children had been born but 2 had died. Presumably Ann, the first wife had died and she had been the mother of the children. The listed children were Ellis T Evans 13 who was at school and Elizabeth Jane Evans 5. The family was living at Mount Pleasant Berthengam Holywell.
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details at the top of this page. It adds that Ellis enlisted in Flint and this source tells us he was killed in action in France/Flanders. His medal index card also on ancestry lists his two medals.
By the time Ellis joined up at 18 years of age he was living in the Gwaenysgor area, possibly in Plas Gwen as this is the address his father gave both as next of kin and on the Record of Service card now held in the Flintshire Record Office. Plas Gwen was a cluster of small cottages situated at the end of Well Lane. Now no longer there, they were inhabited up to 1937.
Many of Ellis’s service records have survived and can be accessed on ancestry. When he enlisted on the 14th of Jan 1915 he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Reserve). He served three years in all, the last 18 months overseas with the British Expeditionary Force in France. The Record of Service card gives his rank as Lance Corporal. He is listed as such in the Register of Soldier’s Effects. However other sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves website, cite his rank as Private.
This conundrum can be explained. His records show that on the 15th of October 1918 he was ‘appointed unpaid lance cpl’ in the field. Sadly just days later on the 6th of November he lost his life. As the index card poignantly records ‘4 days before the armistice’
His possessions were returned; 1 disc, 1 religious book, packet, wallet and photos with instructions they were to be divided between the two legatees; sister Elizabeth and her Aunt Sarah (Ellis). At this time (1920) 15 year old Elizabeth was living in Prestatyn with her aunt Sarah. The Army Register of deceased soldier’s effects where they calculated monies owed, also lists as Ellis Evans’s legatees his sister Elizabeth and his Aunt Sarah.
Young Elizabeth had already lost her mother and brother – possibly her father too.
Ellis is commemorated on both Gronant and Gwaenysgor War Memorials