Brassington, John

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Brassington, John

Regiment/Catrawd: 11th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 69835

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Doiran Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: None given

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals

Date of Death: 18th September 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Missing then presumed Killed in Action 18th September 1918

John Brassington’s mother,(formerly Williams, nee Weigh) – Eliza Weigh age 20, living in Ewloe Town, had been married, I believe, to Edwin Williams, 21 a Collier, whose father was named as John Williams, a Game Keeper,  Her father was named as John Weigh, a Labourer, and they married in St. Deniol’s Church in 1872 (C106/02/E80).

The 1881 census shows a family living at Ewloe Lanes, Ewloe Town, i.e. Eliza Williams,25 and a widow, who the census tells us “Keeps of a Mangle.”.   Her children, Eliza A.,6, and Maria E.,4 were scholars and daughter Hannah, 2 and Edwin, 1 made up her family. So in 9 years, Eliza had married had 4 children and then became widowed, if this is the right family.

Living next door in 1881 was a family of Weigh’s, William Weigh, 67 a Farmer of 7 acres, his wife Martha, 65 and daughter Elizabeth, 17, described as a Farmer’s Daughter.   They too had all been born in Hawarden, Flintshire. Was there any connection?

4 years later, in 1885 Eliza was to marry George Brassington in St. Mary’s Church, Chester, I think this was most probably St. Mary’s on the Hill, near the Castle and Bridge Street, many local Deeside couples married there.(CE14/9/397).

I do not know what happened to her children but by the 1891 census, only Edwin was with her.   She had been married to George for about 6 years and they were still in Ewloe Lanes where Eliza had lived with first husband Edwin Williams.   Head of the household was George, 46, a Dock Porter, born in Minsterworth, Gloucestershire.   Eliza, 37 and all the children had been born in Hawarden. Their children, son Norman, 5, daughter Clara, 3, son George, 1 and step-son Edwin Williams, 11 made up the household.

John Brassington was born circa 1892 in Hawarden, according to the 1901 census, and his death makes the number of men and boys who died in the war and who resided in Brook Road or the Nine Houses to 19.

The 1901 census shows the family still in the Nine Houses, Shotton.   John’s father George Brassington, 57 a Bricklayer’s Labourer had been born in Minsterworth, Gloucestershire.   His mother Eliza, 45 and all the rest of the family had been born in Hawarden, Flintshire.   George and Eliza’s family were son James, 15 a Coal Carter, daughter Clara, 13 and sons George, 11 and John, 9 and William, 7.   Also in the household was Edwin, Williams, George’s Step-son, 21, and a Labourer in the Brass Works.

Ten years later in the 1911 census the family was still living at the same address. The form says George Brassington was a widower, as I believe Eliza had died in 1910 (HAW/05A/89), and that he was 55 years of age. (This does not fit with his age on the last census where he had been listed as being 57). Living at home were three sons George 21, John 19 and William 17. The father and three sons were all general labourers.

There is a card for John Brassington in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Archive Office in Hawarden. The address it gives is Dee Bank Lodge Pentre Queensferry. It gives regimental details as above and adds that he served from 1917. It says he was missing believed killed 18th September 1918.   The card not signed or dated.   But someone who knew him put the information down.

UK Soldiers who died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible of www.ancestry.co.uk says he was born in Ewloe Flints and gives regimental details as above. He enlisted in Shotton. It says the death location was Serbia.

John Brassington in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that his death was assumed on the 18th September 1918 and the sole Legatee was father George Brassington, who was paid £9. 7s 1d which included his War Gratuity of £5. 0s 0d.

John Brassington in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.

In the newspaper County Herald dated Friday 25th September 1914 (Page 7, Col.1/2) under the heading ” Connah’s Quay and Shotton Recruiting for Kitchener’s Army”, it is referring to the local household’s that have sent their sons to the War and the Brassington’s sent 4 sons, one of whom was John.

According to the Mold, Deeside &  Buckley Leader of the 3rd October 1924 a W. Brassington* was listed on the Oddfellows memorial plaque at the Wepre Lodge, is this John and there was an editorial mistake?   Please click on the link to see the article on the Post War News Items.

Wepre Lodge Fallen Oddfellows ,Title & top part of the newspaper cuttingMold, Deeside & Buckley Leader 3rd Oct 1924 2

Wepre Lodge Fallen Oddfellows , Excerpt from Mold, Deeside & Buckley Leader 3rd Oct 1924

Excerpts from the newspaper cutting.

*Please read further down about how the W. Brassington could be the same as John Brassington as on the Absent Voter’s List of 1919 he is shown as John W. Brassington, but he is, I think, entered twice at 2 different addresses, but with the same Regimental numbers.

Brassington_J_W_02

John is also remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial and the Screen in St. Ethelwold’s Church in Shotton.

On the Absent Voter’s List of 1919 John is shown as missing – Parish of West Saltney –  No. 2875   BRASSINGTON, John   Dee Bank Lodge  69835 Pte., 11th R.W.F. (Missing)  (No. on the 1918 Absent Voter’s List – 5506).   There is another entry on this same list – 2787   BRASSINGTON, John W.  Nine Houses 69835 Pte. R.W.F. 1918 list – 5400, (It was not noted that he was K.I.A. 18/9/1918), with his brother William – 2788   BRASSINGTON, Wm.  Nine Houses  56802 Pte., 1st Bn. Ches. 5401.  We can presume he survived as he is not on the Cenotaph.

A relative who was on Ancestry.co.uk was kind enough to send me more details of John,

John Brassington was killed at the 2nd battle of Doiran Salonika (Balkan campaign) 18th Sept 1918 his Regt was the 11th Bat Royal Welsh Fus.  He lived in the 9 houses Brook Rd., Shotton.   He was a neighbour of Harold Weale VC.    He was hit by an enemy shell while carrying munitions.  He has no known grave. Regards John Leonard – Many thanks to John.