Williams, William Owen

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Williams, William Owen

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 13th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private, 37165

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Dragoon Camp Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: B. 5.

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals

Date of Death: 31st July 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

31st July 1917 Killed in Action

William first appeared on a census in 1901. He was living with his family at Ffordd Isa, Prestatyn, Denbighshire. The head of the household was Robert a labourer aged 26. Mary Elizabeth Williams 25 was his wife.  Their children were William Owen  aged 5,  Edward aged 7,  Annie 3 and Maggie was 1 month old.

On the 1911 census they were living in Lower Brook Street, Connah’s Quay and William was 15. He had 3 brothers, (Edward  17, Robert John  8, and  Tom  3) and 4 sisters, (Annie 13, Maggie 10, Katie May  5 and Sophia  1).    His father Robert had been born in Dyserth and his mother Mary Elizabeth hailed from Prestatyn. Eight children had been born to them, all living with the six eldest children had been born in Prestatyn and the two youngest in Connah’s Quay.  They had been married 17 years.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton. It is this source that tells us he was Killed in Action.

His Flintshire WW1 Index Card was signed by M.J. Fitzpatrick, the local Custom’s Officer and Church Warden, who was charged with getting these cards written and signed,

County Herald – 25th August 1917 – ROLL OF HONOUR -Williams – Killed in action, Private W.O. Williams, son of Mr. Robert Williams, 4, Lower Brook Street, Golftyn, Connah’s Quay.

JONES, J. Roll of Honour County Herald 25th August 1917 2

County Herald – 5th October 1917 – In Memorium – Williams – In loving memory of William Owen Williams, son of Robert and Mary Williams of 4, Lower Brook Street, Connah’s Quay, who was killed in action while fighting for his country, in the 21st year of his age.

In the prime of his life he was cut down,
In the pride of his manhood days,
Fighting for his King and country,
And laid in a hero’s grave.
But the hardest times has yet to come,
When the heroes all come home,
And we miss amongst the cheering crowd,
Our son we loved so well.

Also from his Sisters and Brother Ted from India.

Nameless his grave on a battle glory,
Only a cross o’er a mound of brown earth,
Dead in the pride of his youth and his glory,
Far from his home and the land of his birth.

William’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, confirms regimental and medal details, but there is no other information.

William Owen Williams in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Mary E. who was paid 9/5d on the 27th November 1917 and his War Gratuity of £7. 10s 0d on the 31st October 1919.

In the County Herald dated 5th October 1917 a List of Casualties was published and William was among the men who were named as having been killed – Royal Welsh Fusiliers – Williams – 37165 W.O. (Connah’s Quay)

William Owen Williams is named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay

 

CQ Williams W O 001

William’s grave in Dragoon Camp Cemetery near Ypres. This small cemetery was surrounded by a crop of tall corn when E & V Williams visited on 9th October 2013. Nearly all the soldiers in this cemetery died within the same two or three day period.

 

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Dragoon Camp Cemetery – in the middle of a cornfield. Unmade bumpy track to get to it. Viv Williams in blue coat.