Coulson, William

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Coulson, William

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Bn*

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 10297

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Lillers Communal Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: IV. A. 13.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals and 14 Star

Date of Death: 9th August 1915

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died at the No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station of Exhaustion 9th August 1915.

I believe that William was born in the December Qtr 1890, in the Oswestry Registration District, Shropshire. (Volume: 6a Page:   608).   I believe his mother was Esther Coulson, who married a Walter John C. Coombes on the 25th December 1903 in the Registration District of Whitchurch S (Vol 6a, Page 1549).   Her address was given as Broughall Fields, and her father was Francis Coulson, a Groom. 

William Coulson first appears on the 1891 census living at 12, Swan Crescent, Oswestry Town, Shropshire as a Great Grandson age 6 months to Joshua Field, age 71, widower and Millwright, born in Cripplegate, London.   Joshua’s daughter Esther, William’s Aunt, was single, age 50 , housekeeper, born in Wellow, Nottinghamshire, son John was age 43, single, a Smiths Striker also born in Wellow, Nottinghamshire, son Oswald, was age 26, single and a Stoker born in Oswestry  Shropshire.    Living with them was Grandson Frank, age 16 an Engine Cleaner and Grandson Larry age 8, a scholar, both, like William, were born in Oswestry, Shropshire.

The 1901 census sees William living still at 12, Swan Crescent, Oswestry Town, Shropshire with his Aunt Esther Leigh*, who must have married and was now widowed, now age 60 and head of the household.    Nephew Larry Coulson was now age 18, single and an Engine Cleaner, Nephew William Coulson was age 10.   * There is a possible marriage of an Esther Field to a Samuel Leigh in the June quarter of 1879 in the Holy Trinity Church in Oswestry, Shropshire (Vol.6a Page 1202) and a possible death of an Esther Leigh age 68 in the March quarter of 1909 in the Registration District of Oswestry (Vol. 6a  Page 535).

I cannot find William on the 1911 census, but he must have come to the area of Deeside at some time to be included in the Memorial.  Especially the Connah’s Quay area, as William was named on the Memorial Plaque in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.    He enlisted in Wrexham where lots of local men enlisted, so he was in this area then.   Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.          

UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that he was born in Oswestry and enlisted in Wrexham.

William’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was France and that he entered it on 6th October 1914.   Reverse of card:- Mrs. E. Coombes* applies for the  1914 Star in respect of her late son Pte W. Coulson.   Address:- 35 Mill Braw Cottage, Spuke (sic)(Speke?), Liverpool.  –  * see Marriage of Esther at the top of the page.

William Coulson in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that William died of Exhaustion at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station and the sole Legatee was his mother Mrs Esther COOMBES who was paid £18.8s 7d on the 2nd August 1916 and his War Gratuity of £5.10s 0d on the 22nd July 1919.  *  see Marriage of Esther at the top of the page.

There was no Flintshire WW1 Index Card for him, neither “Living”, nor “Fallen”, which may have given more details and I cannot find any Service Records for William. Many were destroyed in the 2nd World War by bombs.

William is mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War    Royal Welsh Fusiliers  Volume 28″.

*http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/welchfusiliers1-gw.php