Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Eifion & Viv Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Mold
Name / Enw: Connah/Cunnah, John Joseph
Regiment/Catrawd: 1st South Wales Borders (formerly Royal welsh Fusiliers)
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 28390 (Formerly 2839)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Basra Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panels 16 and 62
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Iraq
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War Medals
Date of Death: 15th January 1917
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 15th January 1917
He was born in Belfast in 1890 the son of John and Catherine Cunnah.
The census of 1901 records the family living in Holyhead, Anglesey. The head of the family was John Cunnah, a 32 year old Railway Guard who had been born in Prestatyn. His wife was Catherine aged 33. She had been born in Ireland. Their listed children were John Joseph 11, Mary Elizabeth 9, Edward George 6, Francis 4, Charlie 2 and Irene May 9 months. The two youngest had been born in Anglesey but the rest had been born in Ireland.
The next census of 1911, records a Joseph Cunnah aged 21. He had been born in Belfast and was working as a Colliery Labourer. He was living at the home of his Aunt – Jane Cunnah at 7 Garden Place Mold. This is a speculative guess but it might be him.
A John J Cunnah married an Ann Jones in the District of Holywell. (Vol 11b page 238) in the 1st quarter of 1915. Again speculation but possibly him. We see from the newspaper cutting below that the couple had two children. We also learn that he was a good footballer.
UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great war 1914 – 19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the military details at the top of this page. It adds that he enlisted in Mold and that he had originally been in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. This source tells us he was killed in action.
The Register of Soldiers’ Effects in which the Army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for J Joseph Cunnah. It noted that his widow Ann received a total of £9..7sh..0d in four separate payments
The Commonwealth War Grave Certificate (see link above) tells us that Joseph’s parents were living in Newcatle upon Tyne. of Newcastle on Tyne. It was the lot of the Railway worker to move around.