I believe that William Thomas was the son of William Tudor Thomas and Hannah Tudor, co-incidentally having “Tudor” as part of both of their names. They were married in St. Mary’s Church, Chester on Christmas day 1882, Hannah’s father being William Tudor.
They initially lived in Saltney as their 5 children were all born there and they were all first seen on the 1891 census living at 32, Curzon Street, Chester (St. Mary’s without the Walls.) William T. Thomas, 31, head of the household w a Printer’s Labourer who had been born in Chester. Hannah, 34 had been born in Gwersyllt, Denibighshire. Mary Tudor, 7, Joseph, 6, William, 5, Samuel, 3 and Sarah 9 months, were all the children that William & Hannah would have.
By 1901 the family had moved to 10, Pyecroft Street, Chester, with 5 rooms. William, 41, was now a Railway Labourer, Hannah was 45. Mary T. 17 was a Dressmaker, Joseph, 16 a Railway Wagon Builder, William, 15 a Boot Shop Assistant, Samuel, 13 and Sarah, 10 completed the family. There was a visitor Thomas Smith, 50 a Joiner who had been born in Ruabon.
The family had settled at 10, Pyecroft Street as they were still there on the 1911 census, but sadly Hannah had died, William, 51, now a Carriage Cleaner at the Railway Co., states he was a widower and had been married for 20 years, and 5 children, all still living had been borne to him, although this was crossed off by the Enumerator. Mary Tudor, was 27 and single, with no occupation, presumably taking over the role of her mother Hannah. Joseph, 26, single was a Wagon Maker, Samuel, 23 and single was a Railway Porter, both at the Railway Co. William, 25 and single was still a Boot Shop Assistant. Sarah, 20 and single was a Dressmaker.
William married Agnes Hayes in 1912 at St. Mary’s Church in Chester (Cheshire West CE14/11/45) as is confirmed by William’s Army Service Papers.
He enlisted at Chester, his Attestation Papers being signed on the 31st August 1916, he was 30 years and 9 months old and he was now a Boot Shop Manager. His address was given as 5, Cheshire View, Handbridge and he had a son Kenneth William Thomas, who had been born on the 2nd March 1915.
His description was given as Height – 5 feet 4 and ½ inches
Chest Measurement – Girth when fully expanded – 34 ½ inches, Range of expansion – 3 inches. His teeth were very bad but by December 1916 he had Dentures.
Next Paper – Statement of Services
Attested Pte. – 7th June 1916
To Army Reserve – 7th June 1916
Mobilized – 31st August 1916
Posted – 31st August 1916
Cheshire – Posted 1st September 1916
1st Expeditionary Force 9th December 1916 3rd Cheshire Regt.
13th Cheshire Posted 3rd April 1917
Killed in Action or Died of Wounds on or since 16th April 1918, Report read on an Official German List of Dead. Auth. W.O. Letter 10th April 1918
Next Paper – Letter from War Office, London to Shrewsbury Infantry Records date stamped the 12th December 1918 stating that with effect from 23rd December 1918 his widow and child would receive 20/5d a week.
As can be seen under “Circumstances of Death” above, William must have been in Enemy territory, perhaps captured, but in any case died behind German lines, as the letter above tells us and his death could only be assumed to have taken place on the 10th April 1918.
I would like him to be remembered as no one put his name forward for any memorial that I can find and as he was born in Saltney, perhaps he could be remembered here.
Below is a letter from the War Office London, S.W.1 dated 12th August 1918.
C.2. Casualties, P.M.329E.
The Officer in Charge of No. 2 Record Office.
Shrewsbury is informed that the report received on an Official German List of Dead D8/19 45827 Pte., W. THOMAS 11/Cheshire Regiment Fallen & buried. Further details unknown Disc forwarded be a Pioneer Regiment 26th April 1918.
Has been accepted as sufficient evidence of death for official purposes, and that the date of death has been assumed to be on or since 10th April 1918.
The next-of-kin should be notified accordingly and the usual papers prepared, if not already done.