Edwards, Archibald

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Albert Richard Evans

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Rhuddlan

Name / Enw: Edwards, Archibald

Regiment/Catrawd: 8th Bn. Royal Welch Fusiliers

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: 16261 Private

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Kirkee Memorial, Poona.

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Plot F, Row 1, Grave 8

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory Medal, British War Medal

Date of Death: 24th June 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died in the Deacon War Hospital from Gastritis on 24th June 1918.

Archibald Edwards was born in Bodelwyddan, the son of Robert & Sarah Edwards.

The Admissions Register for Rhuddlan School, records his admission to the school on the 27th November 1899, and notes his date of birth as 12th January 1893.

The 1901 Census locates him living with his parents in Gwyndy Street, Rhuddlan. Aged 9, he is the middle child of five. His father’s occupation is recorded as “Prudential Assurance Agent”. The census records that the family spoke only English.

On the 1911 Census he is still living in the family home in Gwyndy Terrace and employed as a “Grocer’s Clerk”.

The fact that he is commemorated on Rhyl County School {High} Roll of Honour, confirms he was, at one time, a pupil of the school.

Rhyl County School Roll of Honour. War Memorials on Line. Picture credit, Mr James Owen

A Clerk to Mr. George Perkins, Auctioneer, of Rhyl & Abergele, by the time of his enlistment on 12th October 1914. The Abergele & Pensarn Visitor recorded him on all their rolls of honour in 1914 and 1915 and gave his home address as Brynffynnon House.  Brynffynnon House however, seems to have been Mr Perkins’ place of business/residence according to his advertisements in the Welsh Coast Pioneer. [Newspapers on line http://papuraunewydd.llyfrgell.cymru/view/3879370]

However, the local press, i.e. Abergele district, carried no news of his death in 1918 and he is not commemorated locally. He deployed to France 1st December 1915 with 13th RWF and served in B Company. He was awarded an inscribed watch for reasons unknown. In February 1916 his Mother received a letter from Brigader-General Owen Thomas stating that Archibald was to be commissioned as an Officer. [Andrew Hesketh -Abergele Post]

Brig-Gen Owen Thomas was responsible for the training of north Wales recruits. He was the only Welsh speaking General in the British Army.

For whatever reason, this obviously never happened. He was later transferred to 8th RWF serving in Mesopotamia, date unknown where he contracted a fever. He was transferred to Deccan War Hospital, Poona, India, where he later died of gastritis. A memorial service was held in Rhuddlan Church, 14 July 1918. His Victory Medal turned up in a shop in Rhyl in 1984 and was sold for £1. [Andrew Hesketh – Abergele Post]

Unfortunately, I can find no record of him on the various military records available on Ancestry. However, the Flintshire War Memorial Record Card, at Hawarden Records Office signed by the Vicar, Revd. W. R. Davies dated 21st September 1919, gives his period of service from 12th October 1914 to his death. According to his Medal Roll Index Card, he was deployed to France on 1st December 1915.

P1020462

Flintshire Roll of Honour Card

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, confirms his burial in Kirkee New Cemetery. It also identifies him as; Edwards Archibald, 16261 8th Bn. RWF, son of Robert & Sarah Edwards of 4 Marian Villas, Parliament Street, Rhuddlan.

His Personal effects including engraved watch, were returned to his parents.

He is commemorated on the Rhuddlan War Memorial, The Royal British Legion Roll of Honour [now in the Community Centre], St Mary’s Church Roll of Honour and the North Wales Memorial Arch at Bangor. He is also remembered on the family headstone in St Mary’s Churchyard.

I am indebted to Sarah Hodnett of the Rhuddlan Local History Club, for her assistance in compiling this record.