Francis Dann Fitzjohn was born in Overton on the 25th June1886, the first son of Francis & Jane Fitzjohn (nee Dann) who had married in the June quarter of 1884 at Boston, Lincolnshire (Boston Vol. 7a, , Page 735).
Francis Dann (named after his mother Jane’s surname) was seen for the first time on the 1891 census living on the High Street, Overton with his family. Head of the household was father Francis, 32 a Chemist & Grocer who had been born inWhittlesey, Cambridgeshire. His wife Jane, 35 had been born in Boston, Lincolnshire. Their children were Francis Dann, 5, Ethel, 4, both born in Overton, Flintshire. Francis’s brother Edward Fitzjohn, 30 was a photographer, also born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. There was a servant Maria Martin, 16 born in Overton.
Sadly in the intervening years between censuses, Francis’s mother, Jane, had died in the June quarter of 1897, age 40 years. (Ellesmere Vol. 6a Page 419)
Francis Fitzjohn then remarried in St Cyndeyrn’s Church, St. Asaph (Denbighshire North (Rhyl) CW04/02/E116) to Mary Williams on the 15th August,1899. The marriage Certificate tells us that his father was Edward FITZJOHN and he was a Builder. Mary was a Schoolmistress living at Elwy Grove, St. Asaph, and her father, Edmund Williams was an Assistant Overseer
By the 1901 census the family were still living in the High Street, with father Francis still a Chemist and now a shopkeeper, an employer. Mary, his new wife, 35 had been born in Henllan, Denbighshire. The family had expanded to 3 children, Francis Dann, 14, Ethel, 13 and Lilian, age 8. All were the children of Francis & Jane. There was a servant, Edith Jones, 17 who had been born in Erbistock, Denbighshire.
Francis Dann Fitzjohn was to emigrate to Canada in 1910 as he is seen on the Canadian Shipping Line Ship the “Montrose,” departing Liverpool on the 23rd April 1910, destination – Quebec. He was 23 years old.
Francis made his home in Canada, but he was thinking of home when the war was declared and on the 21st July 1915 Francis Dann Fitztjohn joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and on his Attestation Papers he states that he had been in the 4 West Lancashire Royal F. Artillery for 3 years. He gave his date of birth as 25th June 1886. Address and Country born – Overton, Flintshire
Name of Next-of-Kin – Francis FITZJOHN
Address of Next-of-Kin – Llys Caradog, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales
What is the Relationship of your Next-of-Kin – Father
D.O.B. – June 25th 1886
Trade or Calling – Advertiser
Are you married – No
Do you now belong to the Active Militia – Yes
Have you ever served in any Militia Force – 4 West Lancashire Royal F. Artillery / 3 years.
Form signed on the 21st July 1915 at Saskatoon.
The next paper:- Description of Francis Dann Fitzjohn
Apparent Age – 29 years 1 month.
Height – 5 feet 8 and ½ inches
Chest Measurement – Girth when full expanded – 35 inches, Range of expansion – 1 and ½ inches.
Complexion – Fair
Eyes – Grey
Hair – Fair
Church of England – Yes.
Signed as fit – 21st July 1915 at Saskatoon.
Library and Archives Canada.
Francis Dann Fitzjohn died in Canada, but after he had been discharged on the 11th September 1916 at Winnipeg as medically unfit, he had suffered with Anaemia for quite a while. He had married at some time to Ada ? , either before he went to Canada or when he was there, but they had separated as on his army papers there was a Separation Order and Francis had to pay Ada, money for quite a few months, she gave both Canadian addresses and an address in Crewe on his papers. Ada was awarded $100 but she was said on the papers to be ineligible as they had been “unmarried.” However, on the War Service Gratuity paper it states:-
Mrs Ada BARBER (nee FITZJOHN) (Wife)
Address – 203 Walthall St., Crewe, Eng.
P.A.B. ruling to pay whole of WSG to (Wife) now unmarried 10th November 1920
Pay Dependent $100.00
Days – 31 Rate $100 due 100.00
Cheque sent 18th November 1920 £20 11s 0d.
I believe that Ada remarried in the March quarter of 1920 to a James Barber at Nantwich (Nantwich Vol.8a, Page 677).
His father Francis died on the 24th June 1919. – Probate was granted on the 26th September 2929 –FITZJOHN, Francis of Llys Caradog, Coedpoeth, Bersham, Wrexham, Denbighshire retired chemist died 24th June 1919 at Liverpool. Probate St. Asaph 26th September to Mary FITZJOHN, widow. Effects £3609 9s 10d.
His father Francis’s burial in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Overton was on the 28th June 1919 age 60 years, his address was given as Coedpoeth, Nr. Wrexham.
However, someone was here to put his name forward for inclusion on the Overton War Memorial, although there was no Flintshire WW1 Index Card made out for him, sadly, as that would have told us more.
Also commemorated on the Minera War Memorial.