Guest, William

I found William Guest when I was looking on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for all Connah’s Quay and Shotton men, who may have been missed and William was one of them, living at 13 Health Street, Shotton, with Rebecca and probably as by the time the War Memorial was being considered and names put forward, Rebecca had moved up to Wrexham, where originally William had come from.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission additional Information: Son of Henry Guest; husband of Rebecca McCaddon (formerly Guest), of 13, Heath St., Shotton, Chester.

I believe that Rebecca had remarried on Boxing Day, 26th December 1917 at the same church, Holy Trinity, in Gwersyllt, as she had married William Guest in 1911.   Her bridegroom was George Ernest McCaddon, 31, and Ironworker, who lived in Hawarden, his father was James McCaddon, a Joiner who was deceased.   Rebecca was now 31, a widow and her address was given as Gwersyllt, her father had now died.

William was the son of Henry and Sheba Guest, and he appears on the census of 1891 census living in Newton-in Makerfield, Lancashire, although all the children had been born in Wrexham, including William who had been born in 1881, but was born after the census of that year, when the family were living at Castle Town, Broughton, Brymbo, Denbighshire.   The family home in 1891 was in Short Street, Henry Guest, 49 was a Coal Miner and had been born in Tipton, Staffordshire, his wife Sheba, 46 had been born in Coseley, Staffordshire, their eldest daughter Sarah, 16 was a Sweeper in the Cotton Mills, William, 10, Sheba, 8 and Arthur 6 were all scholar, baby Isiah (sic) was 4.

The 1901 census shows the family living at 4, Engine Oil Houses, Hindley, Lancashire.   Henry had died as Sheba was shown as a widow, age 53, William, 19 was a Drawer in the Coal Mine (Below Ground), daughter Sheba, 18 and Isaiah, 14 were Screeners at the Colliery (Surface), while Arthur, 16 was a Tally Hanger at Colliery (Surface).

William Guest was to marry Rebecca Hughes in the June Quarter of 1911 at the Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt, Nr. Wrexham. (Wrexham County Borough (Wrexham)C10/2/51), William was 29, Bachelor & Collier, his father was Henry Guest, also a Collier.   William and Rebecca lived in Summerhill, she was 24, spinster and her father was Jonathan Hughes, a Collier.

They must have moved straight away to Sheffield as they were living at 25 Spring Street, Sheffield  where, it seems, the adjoining 4 houses were owned by a Mr. Doyle who lived in one of the houses in Spring Street that he owned,  with about 50 people living in them, all lodgers, except his family, who were mostly Hawkers, single, couples and widowed, but no children.   The houses had only about 6 rooms each, so it must have been terrible to live there.   However there is a query, but probably a clerical error, they state, written in pencil, (or the enumerator did) that they had been married for 6 years and no children had been born, that part was probably right as no children was shown, although they had only just married), a query indeed.   William Guest , 29, was a Collier with Rebecca, 24 a Hawker, (General) both  born Rexom (sic) N. Wales.

They must have come to Deeside after the 1911 census probably for the work at the Steelworks.

William Guest  in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was  his widow Rebecca who was paid £6. 8s 11d on the 15th December 1915 and his War Gratuity was paid to her, now, Mrs. Rebecca McCaddon, the sum of £3 on the 9th August 1919.

William Guest  in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells us that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered there on the 11th August 1915, nearly 6 weeks later he was killed in action on the 21st September 1915.

William Guest  in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms his regimental information above and tells us that he was born in Wrexham and enlisted in St. Helen’s, Lancashire.

Footmnote – The 1861 census shows the unusual names of William’s aunts and uncles, – siblings of Sheba  –  James Son 16 Miner, Zorobabel 11 Son Miner, Selathiel Son 5 and  Theodosia Dau 2. Sheba herself, 14 was a Nailor.   Her parents were Thomas and Ester Spinks, 40  a Cordwiner All living and born in Coseley, Staffs.

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