William Williams, No- 240798 (previously 2519) Private 1/5th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (TF) died of wounds after an engagement with the Turkish enemy in Egypt on 20th June 1918 and is buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery (now in Israel).
William Williams was born in the village of Flint Mountain (near Northop) in 1892, the son of Edwin and Mary Williams (nee Jones) and the Nephew of Edward and Mary Elizabeth Wilcock (nee Williams) of The Common, Buckley. William spent his adult years living and working in Waen Isa (near Northop) as a Farm Labourer prior to him enlisting as a volunteer in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Flint for service at Gallipoli and Egypt with the 1/5th Battalion of his regiment.
William’s service record lists William’s parents, brother Evan, sister Emily, half brother Tom Jones and four nieces and an uncle all living in Northop; then William’s Aunt, Mary Wilcock, age 59, living at The Common, Buckley. Mary Wilcock was the sister of Edwin Williams married to Edward Wilcock.
William’s death was remembered in the County Herald June 20, 1919
In Loving Memory of William Williams the loving son of Edwin & Mary Williams who died of wounds received in action 20th June 1918 in his 26th year. Never forgotten by loving Mum & Dad. Waen Isa. Northop
From William’s service record:
- Enlisted as a volunteer on 18 November 1914 at Flint, choosing to join the local 5th Battalion RWF of the Territorial Force with number 2519.
- William’s personal details were as follows: address: Waen Isa, Flint Mountain, near Northop; age 23 years + 1 month; born in the town of Flint Mountain occupation Farm Labourer; height 5ft 5 inches and passed fit for overseas service subject to signing an agreement wavering his right to only be employed in the Home theatre as a TF soldier, which he signed on the day he enlisted. Next of kin was Mr. Edwin Williams, father of same address (mother was Mary Williams).
- After training at the Infantry School William was posted to the (by now ‘fractured’) 1/5th Battalion and went overseas on 8 August 1915 to fight at Gallipoli (via Egypt and the island of Mudros for re-shipping for a landing at Sulva Bay). Having been evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915 for wounds, William returned to England for treatment on 3 January 1916. During recuperation in England William was posted to the reserve 3/5th Battalion.
- William recovered and returned to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Egypt on 31 May 1916 rejoining 1/5th Battalion RWF. In early March 1917 his TF number was changed to the 6-digit sequence that all TF men received at that time, his being 240798.
- William was wounded a second time at the Battle of Gaza in Egypt on 26 March 1917 with a gun shot wound to the left forearm and was hospitalised at Alexandria. On 5 July he went down with dysentery and remained in hospital until 7 September, after which he rejoined his battalion. On 16 June 1918 William was mortally wounded in the right buttock. There was no major engagement involving the 1/5th RWF at that time, so it may have been enemy shelling of the Allied lines using shrapnel which was very common? William died of his wounds four days later on 20 June 1918.
- William’s service sheet has the following notation…Died of wounds received in action in Egypt 20.6.18 and it sums up the high casualty rate during the Great War when you see that the words DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION is a rubber stamp.
- The War Office wrote to Infantry Records on 18 November 1918 instructing that any personal effects and medals for Private 240798 Wm. Williams should be dispatched to Mr. Edwin Williams, Waen Isa Northop Flintshire. Mrs. Mary Williams (mother) subsequently signed receipts as “For Edwin Williams” for her son’s Memorial Scroll (see a facsimile of this in the Evidence Pack ‘Census & Scroll’) plus the Kings Message and Memorial Plaque on 3rd December 1912 and then later she signed the receipts for William’s medals, being the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
William Williams also is named on the Flint Memorial