Robert was born in 1897 in Connah’s Quay. He appears in the 1901 census living with his family at 27 Dee View Road. The head of the household was John Latham aged 44 a self employed fisherman who had been born in Connah’s Quay. His wife was Hannah 41 and the children were Mary P 17 shop keeper, George 15 a fisherman, Margaret 14, John 11, Ann 9, Maude 8, Ena 5, Robert 4 and William 1.
Ten years later in the census of 1911 the family was still in the same house in Dee View Road. John then 54 was still a fisherman. His wife of 31 years Hannah was 51 and living at home were George 26 a fisherman, John 22 a fish dealer, Ann 20, Maud 18, Ena 15, Robert 14 and Willie 11
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 Robert enlisted in Shotton and that he ‘died of wounds’.
Robert Latham in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that he died of wounds at the 8th Stationary Hospital*, France and the Sole Legatee was his father John who was paid £34. 1s 5d, including his War Gratuity of £23 on the 17th June 1919.
*Please click on the link to see photographs of this hospital.
There is an index card for Robert in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at Flintshire County Record office.It too confirms the regimental details and his home address (27 Dee View Road). It says he served from 9th November 1915 and that he fought on the Somme in 1915 and Ypres 1918 (38th Divn). It is this source that tells us that he was wounded on 20th September 1918 and died on the 15th October.
Latham, Robert. named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.
Oddfellows Memorial Tablet – Wepre Lodge. – In the Mold, Deeside & Buckley Leader dated 3rd October 1924, a list of the members were honoured:- Connah’s Quay Memorial Tablet. To Wepre Lodge Fallen Oddfellows. The Saturday preceding 3rd October 1924, the Tablet was unveiled by the Vicar of Shotton, J.J.J. Robinson. – R. Latham’s name was among those honoured.
His poor family must have been left wondering about young Robert as this newspaper cutting tells.:-
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER & NEWS – 17th October 1918
MILITARY NEWS – Since the report that Robert Latham had suffered amputation of his leg no news has been received at Dee View, but it is presumed that the unfortunate man is progressing favourably. He is in Hospital in France.
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER & NEWS -24th October 1918 – CONNAH’S QUAY & SHOTTON. – Death of a Soldier. – News has been received at Dee View that Private Robert Latham, who was lying in hospital in France, seriously ill, and who had suffered the amputation of a leg has now died, from the effects of his wounds and the subsequent operations.
Robert was also mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War, Royal Welsh Fusiliers Volume 28″ – 14th Bn Latham, Robert, born Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, enlisted Shotton, Flintshire. 20706 L/Sgt. Died of wounds, France & Flanders 5th October 1918.
The family had already suffered the loss of Roberts mother Hannah the previous year, so poor John Latham was indeed suffering a lot of grief.
Robert Latham is commemorated on a family grave in Connah’s Quay Cemetery.
In Loving Memory of my Dear Wife Hannah Latham of Dee View Road who died July 28th 1917 aged 58 years.”Peace Perfect Peace”.
Also of Sergt. Robert Latham 14th Batt R.W.F. Beloved Son of the above. Died France Oct 15th 1918 aged 21 years and was interred in the British Cemetery Terlingthun Boulogne.
Also John Latham Beloved Husband who died April 23rd 1934 Aged 77 years.
“Thy Will Be Done”.
Also Thomas Pritchard Son-in-Law of the above who died Dec. 17th 1966 aged 71 years.
(Seperate Plaque.) Also Ena Pritchard Dear Wife of Thomas Died Jan 6th 1968 aged 72 years. Also Thomas Pritchard son of the above Died Jan 15th 1997 aged 77 years.
Connah’s Quay Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions – Page 2 J1 8,9. Double Plot