Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Eifion & Viv Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Mold
Name / Enw: Whitley, Walter
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Marine Light Infantry HMS Vindictive
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: PO/2594 (S)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Mold Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: A RC 13
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Wales
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War Medals
Date of Death: 17th July 1918
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Mortally wounded at Zeebrugge and died at the Royal Naval Hospital Chatham on 17th July 1918
The 1901 census places this family at 3 Maes y Dre, Mold. The head of the family was also called Walter Whitley. He was a 38 year old engine driver. His wife was Mary 38 and they lived with their children John 13, Annie 10, Ellen 7, Walter 5 and Catherine 2 months.
In the 1911 census the family was still at 3 Maes y Dre and the ‘Tin Plate Works’ in Mold provided employment for 3 of them. Father Walter was a ‘Stationary Engine Man’, Ellen 17 was an ‘Assorter’ and Walter 15 was an ‘Attendant’ all at the Tin Plate Works. In the household in addition was mother Mary 48 and the youngest May who was 7 and at school. The form tell us that Mary had given birth to 7 children, six of whom had survived. The family gravestone in Mold cemetery continues the family story as Walter and Mary lost another three of their children.
Prior to him enlisting Walter was a furnaceman at the Tin Plate Works. The family house was Ffynnonfa Cottage Maes y Dre.
The inscription on the gravestone reads as follows
In Loving Memory of
Son of Walter and Mary Whitley, Maes y Dre Mold
Entered into rest Feb 21st 1901
Aged 16 yrs
In love he lived, in peace he died
His life was desired but God denied
daughter of the above
who entered into rest January 5th 1916
Aged 15 years.
Thy will be done
Also in Loving memory of
Pte Walter Whitley RMLI
Son of the above named
who was wounded in the raid on Zeebrugge and Ostend
on the Belgian Coast April 23rd 1918
And died in the Naval Hospital at Chatham
July 17 1918 aged 22years
He has given his life for his country’s cause
May he rest in peace.
The Zeebrugge Hero
Well done, well done ye hero bold
England swells it to and fro
Love for your country you have shown
Left dismayed the Zeebrugge foe
Sleep on brave heart in perfect peace
Your task on earth is done
For Christ our king shall crown you with
The crown of life you’ve won
Annie Blackwell daughter of above
January 2nd 1919
Aged 28 yrs
To read more about the 1918 raid on Zeebrugge and Ostend follow the linkhttp://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/zeebrugge.htm
Many thanks for help with this story from David Rowe of Mold Civic Society. Most of the images on this page were provided by him.