Ottley, William Richard

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Viv Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Meliden

Name / Enw: Ottley, William Richard

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 8th Bn ('C Coy')

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Sapper 12468

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Helles Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 78 to 81

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

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

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died at sea (H S Caxton) from wounds received at  Gallipoli  on the 13th August 1915 aged 35.

Richard William Ottley was born in 1880 in Marleybone, London. He was baptised there on the 4th April that year. His parents were George William and Mary Maria Ottley.

He was recorded on the census of 1891 living at Wesley Street Marleybone with his family. Head of the household was George Ottley aged 31, a glass and picture frame maker. His wife was Mary M Ottley (nee Preston) who was 27. Their listed children were George H who was 3 and Richard W who was 1.

I can find no trace so far of the family in 1891 but William Richard Ottley was working as a footman in 1901 at Llantysilio Hall in Denbighshire. It was the home of John Thomas, a man who was ‘Living on his own means’. There was a large group of relatives in residence according to the census. There were 9 servants which included William Richard Ottley whose birth place was recorded as Basingstoke  Berkshire.

In 1905 William Richard Ottley married Ellen Lloyd at St Asaph.

The census of 1911 finds William with his family at Underwood Cottage, Preswylfa Road, Prestatyn. He was head of the household aged 31 and he earned his living by being a ‘Jobbing gardener’. His wife of five and a half years, Ellen, was 30. She had given birth to two children who had both survived. Dorothy was 4 and a half and Herbert was 1.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914-19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk  includes an entry for William Ottley. It confirms all the regimental details above and adds that he resided in Meliden and that he enlisted in Rhyl.  This source tells us that he died of wounds at sea.

His medal index card, also on Ancestry lists his three medals and adds that his first theatre of war was The Balkans (Gallipoli) and he entered it on the 28th June 1915. He was dead about 6 weeks later.

The Register of Soldier’s Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers is the source that gives us the name of the ship on which he died. The sum of £3 was paid to William’s sole legatee- his wife, Ellen.