Walter Williams was born in Abermorddu in 1890, the youngest of three children (all boys) of Walter and Mary Williams. Walter and Mary (nee Hayes) were natives of the Hope/Caergwrle area with both their families living there for at least 2 generations.
In 1891, we see in the Census that the family are living in Abermorddu, quite near to Castle Farm. Walter, aged 10 months, is there with his parents elder brother – 7 year old Herbert. His eldest brother, William Alfred is not present. Walter senior’s listed occupation is a ‘Slater’.
In the 1901 Census, we see Walter – now 11 years old – and his family at his maternal grandparents house in Plas-yn-Bwl, Caergwrle. His grandfather Joseph is 80 years old and a retired carpenter; His grandmother Catherine is 78. Also there with Walter is his father, mother and 2 brothers. Walter senior and his eldest son William Alfred, are listed as builders, with the ‘middle’ brother Herbert an apprentice carpenter.
By 1911, Walter is 21 and is still living at home – Brynyfynnon, Caergwlre, with both his parents and eldest brother William Alfred, who is 31. Walter senior is 57 and working as a slater and plasterer, while William Alfred and young Walter are both bricklayers.
There are no records available to indicate when Walter enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery but we do know that the 287th Siege Battery was a War Raised Unit, formed in Aldershot in September 1914, and they arrived in France in July 1915. I think it is reasonable to assume that as Walter was not awarded the ’15 star, that he entered the war sometime after 1st January 1916.
The Royal Garrison Artillery fired heavy long range guns – Walter’s Battery became D (howitzer) Battery. The R.G.A. were in fixed positions and difficult to move. My research is on going to find where Walter’s Battery were positioned at the time of his death.
There is a little confusion as to his date of death, as on some official documents it was recorded as the 16th September 1918, yet on his Grave Registration Document it is recorded as 17th September 1918.
Walter was awarded the British Medal and the Victory Medal. he is buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, Somme France – Grave number IV.A.18. On the headstone documents, his next of kin is Mr W. Williams, High Street, Caergwrle.