Morris, Isaac Walter

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Morris, Isaac Walter

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 13th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 36692

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 22.

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medal Cards

Date of Death: 31st July 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed at Pelkan Ridge 31st July 1917 aged 19

The 1901 census finds the family living at 5, No. 5 Court, Off High Street, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.  Father, John T. Morris  47, was a Steamship Engine Driver who had been born in  Liverpool, Lancashire. His wife Catherine 44 hailed from  Marchos in  Carnarvonshire.  Their children were listed as  Janet E 23,  John P  22,  a ‘General Labourer’, Elizabeth A 18,  Mary T 16,  Susannah 13, Catherine 11,  Sarah A.  9,  Alice M.  6, Isaac W 3 and the baby of the family Emily was aged 1.

By the 1911 census Isaac Walter, age 13, was living at Davies Cottages,  Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire with his married sister Susannah Hughes (nee Morris), age 23 She  had been married under 1 year and had no children.   Susannah was with her husband Joseph Hughes.

Isaac’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk  they tell us he enlisted in Shotton on the 12th November 1915 and he attested on the 15th November in Wrexham. The address he gave was 1 Belgrave Terrace Queensferry (in Flintshire). He was 19 years old and was a ‘labourer’.

He was 5 feet 4 inches tall. His  chest measurement: was 33 inches with a  range of expansion 2 and 1/2 inches.  He named his sister  Mary Teresa Morris as his ‘next of kin’. She lived at  Belgrave Terrace, Queensferry. He served 1 year and 262 days and was ‘Killed in Action’ in France after previously being reported missing.

There is a relatives form in the records on which the living relatives of the deceased soldier are named. This only contains two names. His sister Mary Theresa Morris who was 34 and his brother William Thomas Morris was 9 years old. This was signed on the 27th October 1919.

There is some correspondence in the records between the army and Mary Theresa Morris concerning Isaac’s medals and his scroll and plaque.

There is a Casualty Form that is not so easy to interpret but he was admitted to hospital at least once before his death.

Isaac Walter Morris in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his sister Mary T. who was paid 14/11d on the 10th January 1918 and his War Gratuity of £7. 10s 0d on the 8th December 1919.

There is an index card for Isaac in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards  F17 Queensferry) It confirms the regimental details above and gives the address  37, Fairfield Road, Queensferry. It says he served from the 17th November 1915 and was Killed 31st July 1917.  It adds that he  Fought at Ypres and at  Mametz Wood and  was Killed at Pelkan Ridge  The card was signed by J.P.Walters.

Isaac Walter Morris was named on 3 other memorials – the Hawarden War Memorial and the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church and the Queensferry School Plaque. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.

Note. He gave his age on enlistment as 19 and he served 1 year and 262 days, yet his age at his death was still 19. According to the census returns he was born in 1898 which would have actually made him just 17 on enlistment. He lied about his age.

MORRIS, I. W. Photo taken at the Menin Gate 16th April 2016 by Mavis Williams

MORRIS, I. W.  Photo taken at the Menin Gate 16th April 2016 by Mavis Williams

MORRIS, I. W. Close up Photo taken at the Menin Gate 16th April 2016 by Mavis Williams

Isaac Walter – Close up of his name photo taken at the Menin Gate 16th April 2016 by Mavis Williams