Adams, Joseph Francis

Joseph Francis was born in 1889 in Newmarket in Flintshire and his parents were James and Suzannah Adams.

We first find Joseph on the 1891 census where he is living with his family at Byron Street, Newmarket, Flintshire. His father James was a 35-year-old Police Constable who had been born in Ireland. This was a Roman Catholic family. The mother was Susannah aged 34, originally from Liverpool. Their children were Mary,14, Esther 12, John H 11, James 8, Margaret 6, Francis 5, George 4, Joseph 2 and Agnes 1.

In the 1901 census circumstances had changed. The family lived at The Police Station in Saltney, Flintshire. James Adams the father was now a 46-year-old widower. He had been promoted to Police Sergeant. Living at home with him were Francis 15, a Butcher’s Apprentice, George 14, Joseph 12, Agnes 11 and there was a nephew Charles Ellard who was 4.

Ten years on in 1911 the family was living at 51 Church Street Connah’s Quay. James was then 55 and was a retired police pensioner. He had remarried and his wife Mary, 45 had been born in Rhyl. (According to the census she had been married to James for 13 years, but on the 1901 census he had stated he was a widower).  Mary had given birth to 5 children all of whom had survived.  They were listed on the census as Charles 13, Richard 12, Alfred 6, Ena 5 and Sydney 1 month.

Joseph Francis was not there because in 1907, at the age of 19 he had decided to emigrate to Australia. He sailed from London on 15th November 1907 on the ship ‘Oruba’ His destination was Sydney, and his occupation was listed as a ‘labourer’. He was a single man.

Like many young men in the Empire, he signed up to fight for the mother country. He enlisted at Newcastle in New South Wales on 20th of November 1915. He was 27 years old and described himself as a seaman. He named his father James Adams in Connah’s Quay as his next of kin. His service records are intact and available to view on the Australian National Archives website.

Enlistment Papers for J. F. Adams: –

The 1921 census sees the family living at 102, Church Street, Connah’s Quay, Nr. Chester.   Head of the household was James Adams, 66 years, and 6 months old, born in Portarlington, Queens County, Laois, (Queens), Ireland and was a Special Constable at John Summers & Sons, Hawarden Bridge Steelworks, Shotton, Chester.   His wife M. Catherine Adams was 54 years and 8 months old, born in Rhyl, Flintshire.   Their children were Francis Adams, aged 35 years and 10 months old, Single, born in newmarket, Flintshire and a Loco Driver at John Summers & Sons.   Charles E. Adams was 23 years and 11 months old, single, born in Sealand, Flintshire and a Crane Driver at Courtaulds, Flint, but was ‘Unemployed.’  Richard Adams was 22 years and 11 months old, single, born in Flint, Flintshire and a Crane Driver for John Summers & Sons, but was ‘Out of Work.’  Alfred Adams was 16 years and 5 months old, single and a Clerk for Bridge Color Co., Shotton, Chester.  Their one daughter, Ena Adams was 15 years and 5 months old, single and with Alfred had been born in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.   Ena was ‘At Home,’ like her mother.

He was obviously loved and missed by his family as they put his name forward to be added to the list for the new Cenotaph for his name to be remembered in Perpetuity.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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