Williams, William Morris

William Morris Williams was born in Caerwys, Flintshire during 1883.

In early 1891 the family lived at The Cross Foxes, High Street, Caerwys, where John Williams, the head of the family aged 32 was the Inn Keeper.  His wife Eliza aged 34 and their four children – William Morris Williams aged 8, Sarah Williams aged 6, Florence Williams aged 5 and Frank Tudor Williams aged 2.  Also living with them at that time was Elizabeth Lloyd aged 24, who was employed as General Servant.

William’s Grandfather was known locally as ‘Williams the Timber and he built Glasfryn Hall, which is situated in South Street, Caerwys.

The 1901 Census tells us that the family now lived at Brynhyfryd, Caerwys.  John Williams who was now 42, was employed as a Bailiff.  His wife Eliza aged 44, and four children living at home – William Morris Williams, who was employed as a Machine Attendant at Afonwen Paper Mill.  Florence Williams aged 15, who also worked at the Paper Mill as a Paper Sorter, Frank Tudor Williams aged 12 and an additional member of the family, Blodwen Williams aged 7 years.  Sarah Williams aged 16, had by now left home and was working away.

During early March 1910, he obtained employment as an Attendant at The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, where he lived on the premises.

On 20 August 1916, he enlisted as a Private with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and in 1917 married Emily Edwards at Wrexham, Denbighshire.

He had only been married for a few months when he travelled with the Battalion to France.   At that time  the Welsh Guards were attached to the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division and in late 1917 were in the area of Cambrai.  They remained there over the final winter of the war and were stationed near Gouzeaucourt when the German Spring Offensive hit the area on 21 March 1918, at the Battle of St. Quentin.

On the night of 27 March 1918, the Welsh Guards moved into the front line to relieve the 1st Battalion Genadier Guards, at Boyelles.  On the following morning 28 March 1918, the Germans launched a final assault on the Welsh Guards position and it was at this time that Private William Morris Williams was killed in action repelling the attack.  His body was not recovered and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.

On 24 August 1918 a payment of £11.17s.11d was made by the War Office to Emily Williams, this being monies owed to her husband William.  On 13 December 1919, a further payment which is recorded as a War Gratuity of £5.0s.0d was also made to her.

There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for him at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, which was completed by his father John Williams on 13 November 1919.

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