Frank Emlyn Williams was born on 22 May 1894 at Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Ellen Williams, having two younger brothers, Henry William Williams and William Edward Williams.
The 1901 Census shows that the family lived at Fernbank, Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan. Thomas Williams was 34 years of age and employed as a Mining Engineer. His wife Ellen Williams aged 28 and their three children previously mentioned – Frank Emlyn Williams aged 6, Henry William Williams aged 5 and William Edward Williams aged 1 year. Also living with them and employed by Thomas Williams was Elizabeth Ann Davies aged 21, a Domestic Servant and Grace Angove aged 19, a Children’s Maid.
The family later moved to live at Troedyrhiw House, Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, which was known locally as ‘The Pink House’. Thomas was by now an elected local Councillor.
Frank Emlyn Williams was educated in South Wales and upon leaving school obtained employment as a Surveyor at Nixons Collieries, Mountain Ash.
On 16 July 1912 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Territorial Force of the Welsh Regiment.
During 1913 the South Wales and Monmouthshire School of Mines was opened with 17 Students. One of these being Frank Emlyn Williams, who had enrolled in October 1913 to study a general mining course and studied Mechanics and Heat, Physics and Chemistry, Colliery Practice and Mathmatics. This school together with other establishments in the area was later to become the University of South Wales.
On 4 August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War, Frank left his studies and joined the 1st/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment and was promoted to Lieutenant on 2 September 1914 and later to Captain.
During 1915 he was wounded twice within months in Gallipoli. In August he received wounds to his neck and was treated in Malta and during late September he was wounded a second time. A fellow officer, Lieutenant Tremellen reported to the Aberdare Leader Newspaper on 2 October 1915 – ‘I saw Captain Frank Emlyn Williams, Mountain Ash, go out with 10 men to locate snipers, he returned shot through the cheek. He made light of his wound and refused to be carried on a stretcher’.
On 28 March 1917, Frank transferred to 57th Squadron Royal Flying Corps, later to become the Royal Air Force.
He married Elizabeth Sybil Margaret Sinnett-Jones during October 1917, at St. Michael’s Parish Church, Caerwys, Flintshire, where the Reverend James Sinnett-Jones was the Rector. After a short honeymoon he returned to his Squadron.
On 1 January 1918, he was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished service in the field. This was in connection with military operations culminating in the capture of Jerusalem.
On Saturday 7 April 1918 while stationed at Abu Sueir, Egypt, Frank Emlyn Williams died of injuries sustained in a training flight. The Royal Air Force was at this time just 6 days old. He is buried at Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt and his name appears on the Roll of Honour at Merthyr County School, St Margaret’s Church, Mountain Ash, the University of South Wales Memorial Plaque and of course Caerwys War Memorial.
Elizabeth Sybil Margaret Wiiliams’s two brothers – Captain Gilbert Lloyd Sinnett-Jones aged 23 and 2nd Lieutenant James Victor Sinnett-Jones aged 19, both of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were killed in action during the First World War and both are remembered on the Caerwys War Memorial.
The National Probate Calendar for 1919 states that Frank Emlyn Williams on his death had left the sum of £348.14s.6p. to his wife Elizabeth. She later re-married to Andrew Fulton Rankin.
He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.
There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for Frank Emlyn Williams at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, which was completed on 16 January 1920 by his father-in-law, the Reverend James Sinnett-Jones.