7th September 1917
Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Baird, James Cecil
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 19535
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Artillery Wood Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: III. B 19
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Belgium
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals
Date of Death: 31st July 1917
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action 31st July 1917
I believe that James Cecil and Hugh Baird are cousins, please see Hugh’s page. James Cecil’s father Thomas was a brother to Hugh’s father James.
James Cecil’s father, I do know, thanks to Mark Gronow, Thomas, was the son of James Baird (Mark’s 3x great grandfather), was the owner of Ferguson and Baird shipbuilders of Connah’s Quay. Thank you Mark.
James Cecil Baird was born on the 28th November 1897 and Baptized in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay on the 22nd December 1897, he had been born in Golftyn and he was the son of Thomas & Mary Ann Baird, Thomas was a Shipwright according to his baptism entry.
He appears on the 1901 census aged 3. He lived with his parents at 13 Church Street Connah’s Quay. His father was 60 year old Thomas Baird, a ships’ carpenter who spoke English and Welsh. His mother was 45 year old Mary A Baird who originated from Walkden in Lancashire.There is evidence to suggest that this was the 3rd marriage for Thomas Baird. From mapping out the family history, I think that Thomas (son of James & Elizabeth) married 3 times. Firstly to Mary Griffiths in 1866*, (Chester, St Mary, Cheshire West. Cheshire. CE14/6/283) she died in 1879, Thomas then married Jane Lloyd, Chester, Holy Trinity, Cheshire West Cheshire CE12/3/436 in 1880, she died in 1893, then Thomas married Mary A Hodgkiss in 1894 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden*. The certificates would need to be looked at to confirm my speculations. * I have the transcriptions of these marriages.
In the 1911 census James Cecil now aged 13 and a scholar, was still living in 13 Church Street with his father Thomas was 70 and still a ship’s carpenter. Mary Ann his wife was 55. They had been married for16 years and 2 children had been born. Sadly one had died*. There were no other children at home.
* This child, Richard, had been born on the 29th August 1895, a private baptism for him was held on the 30th August according to the Parish Registers for St. Mark’s Church, so the child was very frail, because he died the same year, 1895, (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/23/37) their address was Pen-y-llan, and Thomas was a Ship Carpenter.
Soldiers Who Died in the Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk gives us all the regimental details as above.It tells us that he enlisted in Shotton and that he was Killed in Action. His medal card also accessible on www. ancestry. co.uk says that he first served in France and first entered a theatre of war on 2nd December 1915.
James Cecil Baird in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that his Mother Mary Ann BAIRD was the Sole Legatee (£5.2s 4d) on the 17th January 1918, but the War Gratuity was paid to his Uncle (Grantie?) John HODGKISS £11.10s.od. on the 8th January 1920.
James C Baird in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 confirms his regimental details and that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered it on the 2nd December 1915.
There is no card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Archive Office in Hawarden, Flintshire.
He is also named on the memorial in St Mark’s Church Connah’s Quay and the Hawarden County School Roll of Honour, please click on the link to read his entry.
In the Flintshire Observer 11th March 1915, J. Cecil Baird is named as having been recruited into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. (Hawarden County School Roll of Honour (Old boys) Non-Commissioned). Please click on the link.
In the County Herald dated 5th October 1917 a List of Casualties was published and James was among the men who were named as having been killed – Royal Welsh Fusiliers – Baird 19535 J.C. (Connah’s Quay).
James Cecil Baird had a brother Frank also in the war, but he survived, although he was wounded as can be seen by the newspaper cutting below. Frank was on the Absent Voter’s Lists of 1918/19 he was No. 1398 on the 1918 list – BAIRD, Frank, 13, Church Street, 210007 R.Q.M.S. 4th Res. Bn., R.W.F., H.D.L.* (Disembodied 29/2/20) – No. 615 on the 1919 list of the same name.
*H.D.L. – Home Defence Labour
James’s living will has now bee digitalized and can be purchased from :-
James C Baird’s grave in Artillery Wood Cemetery near Ypres. The inscription at the foot of the grave says ‘The midnight stars shine o’er the grave of the one we loved but could not save’. On either side of James are two ‘Soldiers of The Great War’ ‘Known unto God’. This is a battle site cemetery. The photograph was taken on 9th October 2013 by E & V Williams.