John (Jack) William Hayes was born on 31st December, 1884 at 2, Castle Street, Flint and baptised on 25th January, 1885 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the third of seven children to Richard Hayes and Frances Alice (Hartland).
The Hayes family lived at 2, Castle Street for a number of years until moving to Chester Street by 1901.
The 3rd April, 1903 issue of the County Herald reported that Richard Hayes senior, Chester Street, was charged with allowing his pony to stray on the highway on 2nd March. PC Jones, in his evidence, stated he had previously cautioned defendant about it. Hayes pleaded guilty, and stated that as soon as he knew about it, he sold the pony. The Bench fined him 1 shilling and costs, the mayor remarking that it was a great nuisance having those ponies straying about the roads.
The 1911 census found Richard lodging with 10 other men at 4, Evans Court, Flint, the home of a Mr and Mrs William Williams. He was employed as an agricultural labourer. It is not known where Richard’s wife Frances was at this time.
John, however, was a boarder at 177, Chester Road, the home of widower Margaret Hughes. He was a bachelor and employed as a furnace man at the ironworks.
He enlisted in Flint c. October 1914 and was killed in action in France on 10th October, 1917. Just a few months previously his mother, Frances, had died in Birmingham, (the place of her birth) aged 53.
Private Hayes has no known grave but is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, on Panel 11.
He is remembered on two war memorials: Flint Town and St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
John’s father, Richard, was born in Flint, died on 8th April, 1939, aged 79, at Lluesty Hospital, Holywell, and is buried in the Northop Road Cemetery.
His obituary stated that Mr Hayes, of 2, Fourth Avenue, Flint, was employed for some years by the United Alkali Company Ltd, and afterwards by Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, later being in the yard at Messrs Courtaulds Castle Works. In his younger days he was a keen athlete and a clever high jumper, winning numerous prizes for the high jump at Flint Whitsun sports. He was a member of St Mary’s Parish Church.