Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Hotchkiss, Richard Benjamin
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Bn
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 53937
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: St Leger British Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: B3
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals
Date of Death: 3rd April 1917
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
3rd April 1917 Killed in Action
Richard Benjamin Hotchkiss was born on the 10th October 1897 and was Baptized on the 6th November 1897 at St. John’s Church, Duckinfield, and make his first appearance on a census was in 1901. He was living at 88, Bridge Street, Stalybridge, Cheshire with his father William Hotchkiss 39, an Ironworker and his mother Sarah aged 40. The children listed were William 11, Frederick 9 and George 7 and Benjamin 3. All had been born in Staffordshire.
I believe his parents William Hotchkiss and Sarah Weager were married in 1883 in Dudley registration district, (Dudley Vol. 6c, Page 168).
The 1911 census sees the family living at 15, Dee Road, Connahs’s Quay. Father, William 50 was working at the steelworks as a ‘Sheet Millworker’. His wife of 28 years, Sarah was 49. She had given birth to eightchildren of whomthree had died. The children listed were William 21, Frederick 19, George 17 all three were ‘Sheet Millworkers’. Benjamin was 13 and at School. A Grandson was living there too, John Norton, was 5.
UK Soldiers who Died in the Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the regimental details above and adds that Benjamin enlisted in Shotton and that he was ‘killed in Action’.
Richard B Hotchkiss in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his father William Hotchkiss who was paid £9. 0s 7d on the 16th July 1917 and 2/1d on the 27th August 1917, and his War Gratuity was paid £10. 10s 0d on the 21st November 1919.
The County Herald on Friday 4th May 1917 carried the following announcement ‘Hotchkiss, 53937 R.B. Connah’s Quay, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, – Killed’.
There is a card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the Flintshire County Record Office that confirms the regimental details above and tells us that he had served since October 1914. (He was one of the early recruits).
Richard Benjamin was remembered on 2 other memorials, the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay and on the St. Ethelwold’s School Roll of Honour.
Richard Benjamin is mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh FusiliersVolume 28″
Their parents were to suffer so much later on in the year as Richard Benjamin’s brother Frederick also lost his life in the war and is named on the Connah’s Quay/Shotton Memorial. He has his own page on this website, please click on the link to read his story.
In the County Herald dated 4th May 1917 a List of Casualties was published among the men who were named as having been killed– Royal Welsh Fusiliers – Hotchkiss 53937 R.B. (Connah’s Quay)