Fellows, William Thomas (Senior)

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Fellows, William Thomas (Senior)

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Garr.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 12341

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals

William Thomas Fellows was christened at the Great Bridge Street Methodist Church on 16th May 1872 his parents were – Joseph Fellows (b.1838-d.1915) and his Mother was Mary Morton (b.1845-d.1877), and William Thomas first  appeared on a census in 1881  living with his family at 3, Old Forge, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.  Head of the household was Joseph Fellows 40,  a Puddler. He was listed as married but his wife was not present on the census*. Daughter Emily was 16 and a housekeeper for her Father. The other children listed were Joseph H.  13,  Mary Jane 12, William Thomas  9, David  7 and  Sarah  also  7.  There was a nephew  David Martin 18 who worked in the Iron Works. All were born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

* Joseph’s wife Mary had died early according to Rich (Racoon R) who contacted me in 2011, thank you Rich for all your information regarding William.   His great grandmother was William’s older sister, Mary Jane at number (3) The old Forge in West Bromwich.

By the 1891 census the family was  living at 132, Great Bridge Road, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.  Father Joseph was a widower. He was 54, and still an Iron Puddler  as was  William 18.  David was 16 and a ‘Boiler Riveter’ Sarah was also 16, they were twins.  This address was not far from where William had been christened.

William Thomas married Susannah Rushton age 22 on the 26th March 1894 at St. Andrew’s Church, in the Carters Green area of West Bromwich.

On the 1901 census William Thomas was 28 and was a ‘Coal Miner Loader’ a hewer below ground. His wife Susannah was 28. They were living at Arthur Street, Wimblebury in West Staffordshire. The children listed were William Jnr 7,  Joseph H  5 Violet  3. (The boys had been born in Staffordshire but Violet had been born in Flintshire).

By the 1911 census the family had moved to Connah’s Quay probably for the work at the Steelworks and they were living at 6 Upper Brook Street.  William Senior 38, was a ‘Breaker Down’ at the Ironworks. His wife of 17 years, Susannah was 38. She had given birth to 3 children all of whom had survived.  Son William junior was  16 and a ‘Scrap Cutter’ at the Iron works Joseph  15, was an Errand Boy.  Violet was 13.

There is an index card for William Thomas Fellows in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. He was not, however recorded as a ‘fallen’ soldier.  (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards Connah’s Quay L110 Living)   The card records the regimental details above and gives the address  6, Upper Brook Street, Connah’s Quay. It says he served from the  25th August 1914  to the 28th February 1919.  The card was stamped with the signature of  W.M.Fitzpatrick and was not dated.

William Thomas’s medal card is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. It confirms the regimental details above and It gives his medal details. It says his first theatre of war was The Balkans and he entered it on the 28th June 1915. The card also contains the note ‘demobbed 28th March 1919.

So we know that he survived the war.

In fact, William Thomas Fellows (senior) died of natural causes at his home in Upper Brook Street in 1926. (Information was received from the registrar Mold in July 2011)   The Connah’s Quay/Shotton Memorial was  unveiled on Sunday 1st May 1927. William Thomas Fellows (senior)’s death was in time for him to be added to the memorial.

His death, however, came too late for him to be added to the Commonwealth war Grave Commission’s database, the cut-off date was 31st August 1921.

William Thomas Fellows junior, his son, lost his life in the war and is also named on the Connah’s Quay/Shotton memorial. He has his own page on this website.

There is one William Thomas Fellows named on the plaque in St Mark’s Church Connah’s Quay. (Father or son?)

William Thomas Snr & Susannah’s other son Joseph was also in the war, but survived.