I do think that this is the right man as it states on the “UK Soldiers died in the Great War” that he was born Gwersyllt and his residence was there too, but while searching for another Hawarden Soldier who is named on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database, a Frank Davies, who was buried in Gwersyllt, I find that he had a brother Hedley, who’s wife was from Gwersyllt. So I do believe now that this is the right soldier. So I am proceeding on the assumption this is the right one.
This is an amended version of Hedley’s family history and now I know that there were 3 brothers and 1 cousin who sadly died in the Great War. You may have to read the 4 stories to get a proper picture of them all.
Hedley is a Brother to Charles & Frank Davies, who also died in WW1 and their family paid a heavy price. Hedley and Charles are remembered on the Hawarden Memorial, but Hedley and Frank are remembered on the Gwersyllt War Memorial, Frank was living there with his wife and family and is buried in Gwersyllt Churchyard. Edward John Wainwright is his cousin, he is mentioned further in the story.
Hedley is born in 1887 and his birth was registered in Hawarden (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/33/75) He was the son of John & Mary Davies who were living in Ewloe Lane, Hawarden, Aston & Shotton, then in the county of Cheshire.
In 1891 John Davies, 40, a Gardener was head of the household and his wife Mary, 41, had, like all the family, been born in Hawarden, Flintshire.
Their 6 sons were John, 19, a Coal Miner, Walter,14, a Stable Boy. Frank, 11, Scholar,, Samuel, 6, Scholar, Hedley, 4, and Thomas, 1. Daughter, Jessie, 8 was also a scholar. Two other children, son William, 21, (who at age 11 on the 1881 census had been a Labourer in the Ironworks) and daughter Elizabeth, 17 were not on the 1891 census.
By 1901 tragedy had struck, as Hedley’s mother Mary had died, and his father John, 51 and still a Gardener and a new brother Charles, 9, were living with Hedley’s sister Elizabeth Wainwright, 26, and her husband Thomas, 28 and a Coal Miner (Hewer) and their 3 children in Ewloe, Flintshire. I cannot find Hedley on that census.
1911 shows Hedley, 24, a Coal Miner (Hewer) now living with his other sister, Jessie Shone, 29, and her husband Walter, 29, they had been married 5 years and had 2 sons, Walter and James Leonard. They lived at Bunkers Hill Buckley, Flintshire.
I do believe that Hedley married May Hughes, in a Civil Marriage in Wrexham in 1913 ((Wrexham) WM/073/18).
I cannot find any Army Records re his enlistment, and his British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 about Hedley Davies does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 about Hedley Davies give us the information about his birth, which I know is wrong, it says that he was born in Gwersyllt, but he was born in Hawarden, a clerical error, no doubt. He did resided there though. He enlisted in Wrexham.
Hedley Davies in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 (Regiment: R Welsh Fusiliers Regimental Number: 6601) gives the information saying that Hedley’s widow Mary (sic)* DAVIES was the sole Legatee of £7.3s 2d including his War Gratuity.
* Again this could be a clerical error, as Hedley married a May HUGHES, not Mary.
There is no Flintshire WW1 Index Card for him, but someone wanted him to be remembered and put his name forward for it to be added to the Memorial.
There was a mystery as his brother Frank was also in the Army briefly in 1914, he enlisted on the 23rd August 1914 and was discharged on the 6th November 1914, however he died in 1917, but has been added to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database. I could not find anything on his Attestation Papers for 1914, to say why he was added to it, as he had only served 75 days. I have now searched further and his story is on his page, click on the link above.
Both Hedley and Frank are remembered on the Gwersyllt War Memorial.