Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Eifion & Viv Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Halkyn Memorial
Name / Enw: George Williams
Regiment/Catrawd: 1/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 241495 (Formerly 3766)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Dier el Belah
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: B204
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Died of Bacillary Dysentery 15th November 1918 in Alexandria Egypt.
Census returns tell of George’s early life. The census of 1891 records him, the youngst child of David Williams, a coachman aged 37 who had ben born in Halkyn and his wife Anne Williams 32 from Tryddyn. There were three children in total John 9, Elizabeth A 5 and George T who was 2. The family lived at Windmill, Halkyn.
In the next census of 1901 they were living in Old Rake, Halkyn. David the head of the household was by then 45 and a lead miner. Ann his wife was recorded as were their children John 19 also a lead miner, George T was 12 and Hannah P was 9.
In 1911 the family was still at Old Rake Halkyn. George was the only child still at home and he was 22 and he too was then a lead miner. The census form tells us that Ann had given birth to 4 children and all had survived. They lived in 2 rooms.
We know from his service records that he attested on 11th Dec 1915 in Mold. His medical history form completed at that time tells us he was strong and healthy – over 6ft tall weighing 167 lbs. His occupation was listed as Silk worker. He joined the army reserve on the 12th December 1915. He was appointed to the RWF in March 1916.
George married Jemima Roberts on the 10th June 1916 at the Weslyan Chapel in Chester Rd Holywell just a few weeks before leaving for Egypt. He sailed on the ‘Northland’ from Devonport arriving in Alexandria on the 9th July 1917.
George’s health throughout his time in Egypt caused him problems. A Casualty Form in his records tell a story of deteriorating health. He was admitted to hospital in 1916 and 1917 with various complaints including scabies and tonsilitis returning to his duties after each episode. In October 1918 bouts of diaorrhoea were eventually diagnosed as dysentery. He was taken to 69 General Hospital in Alexandria. His medical records from that time consists of a graphic day by day account of his decline.
There are copies of telegrams sent to his wife – these are not easy to read but we believe that this is what they say:
14 Tan Trevor , Llanerchymor Holywell
Regret to inform you your husband 241495 Pte George Williams Royal Welsh Fusiliers is dangerously ill dysentry 9th November at 69 General Hospital Egypt.
14 Tai Trevor
***** Deeply regret to inform you no 241495Pte G Williams Royal Welsh Fusiliers died from dysentry at 69 Hospital Alexandria. I am to express the sympathy and regret of the Army Council in your sad bereavement.
There is correspondence in the file between the army and Jemima regarding George’s personal effects which included a pair of cloth titles (?), disc, cap badges, hankerchief, razors, chevrons, leather purse, cross, metal ring, coins, devotional books, wallet, cards and photos.
There was correspondence too, concerning the receipt of his medals and a commemorative scroll and plaque.
A Living Relatives Form was completed by Jemima for the Army on the 6th August 1920. That form included the following details:
Widow Jemima Williams, 14 Trevor Holywell. Children Nil.
Father David Williams Windmill Halkyn
Brother John Williams 36 Anfield, Liverpool
Sisters Lizzie Roberts 34 Windmill Halkyn and Prudence Thomas 29 Garden Place, Mold.
There is an index card for George Trevor Williams in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. It is filed with the Mostyn cards. It confirms the regiment and number as above. The address given was 15 Tai Trevor Whitford. It says he served from March 1916. It adds that he served and died in Palestine. The card was signed by Jemima on 23rd September 1919.
George Trevor Williams is also named on the Mostyn Memorial.