Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Eifion & Viv Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Sychdyn
Name / Enw: Thomas J Williams
Regiment/Catrawd: 10th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 240817
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Ypres (Menin Gate)
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 22
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Belgium.
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: The British War Medal 1914-1920 The Victory Medal 1914-1919
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
4th August 1917 (According to the military information) and 31st July 1917 (according to the Flintshire Roll of Honour) Killed in Action.
Thomas was born in 1897 and lived in the house that is currently 9 Pen y Bryn. (Referred to as Top y Mynydd in early census reports). The 1901 census records him living with his family at Top y Mynydd. Head of the household was Thomas 34, a Roller at the Tin Plate works. His wife, Elizabeth was 37. They had both been born in Sychdyn. Their listed children were Catherine 8, Maggie 5, Thomas 4, Roda 1 and Jane 3 months.
We know that when he left school Thomas went to work as an errand boy at Sychdyn Co-op. (see photograph below).
In the 1911 census the family was recorded at Pen y Bryn Sychdyn. Thomas was 44 and still a Tin Plate worker. We know from family members that he was eventually a Foreman. His wife of 19 years, Elizabeth was 47. She had given birth to 7 children all of whom had survived. Listed at home on the census were Thomas John 14 – also a Tin Plate Worker, Roda was 11, Jane was 10, Ellen was 7 and Elizabeth was 4.
A family member has told us that he joined the army in December 1914 when he was only 17.
Tom was the only adored boy and had six sisters some of whom had pet names. Catherine (Kit), Maggie, Rhoda, Jane (Jinny), Ellen (Nell) and Elizabeth (Bessie). It was a Welsh speaking family and they were members of the Bryn Seion Chapel, so young Thomas is also commemorated on the memorial inside the chapel. Thomas’s mother, it is said, never got over his death and she died in 1925.
UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914-19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Thomas’s regimental details as at the top of this page. It adds that he had been born and resided in Soughton and enlisted in Flint. This source tells us that he had been killed in action on the 4th August 1917. He is named on the Menin Gate at Ypres so he has no known grave. His Medal index card also on Ancestry lists his two medals.
The Register of Soldier’s effects in which the army calculated monies owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for Thomas. It conforms his death date as the 4th August 1917 and states that his father Thomas had received the £17..13sh..10d that was owed.
Thomas and his mother are commemorated on a family gravestone in Northop churchyard as follows:
Er Serchog Gof Am
Anwyl briod Thomas Williams
A Hunodd Mai 25 1925
Hefyd Pt Thomas J Williams
Mab yr ychod
A Rhoddodd Ei Fywyd I Iawr
Yn y Rhfel Awst 1917
Yn 20 mlwydd oed
Hedd Perfaith Hedd
Many thanks to family member Tegwyn Roberts for photographs and extra information.