Wilson, Charles Henry (Alias Batten)

This soldier’s family life was complex and can be explained by going back a little before he was born.

In 1890 Amelia Pearce of Pontypridd Glamorgan married Charles Lewis Batten.(Qtr June, Vol 11a  page 649)

In the census of 1891 Amelia and Charles Batten were living in Pontypridd with her parents Nicholas and Susan Pierce (the spelling of Pierce/Pearce changes)

In 1895 Charles Henry Batten was born in Pontypridd.

In the census of 1901 the family looked very different. Amelia Batten 37 was living at 6 Bolt Street Newport  where she was listed as a ‘servant’, a housekeeper. The head of the household was Samuel Wilson, 36, a ‘puddler’ who hailed originally from London. Listed as “Daughter of Servant” was Elsie M Batten aged 8 months. Charles Henry was not there.   In fact on the 1901 census Charles H Batten was a ‘visitor’ at the home of Stephen and Edith M. Hewitt of Nine Houses Shotton. He was 5 years old.   I believe that Edith was Charles’s Aunt, his mother Amelia’s sister.  This couple hailed from Glamorgan originally.

I cannot find a marriage of Amelia and Samuel Wilson, on the 1911 census Amelia (now named Wilson) 41, states that they had been married 14 years, which would have meant they were married on the 1901 census, which we know they weren’t, see above.   She was living as his wife with Samuel Wilson at 34 Kirby Grove Shotton. He was 41 and listed as a ‘carter’. Their children are listed as Elsie Maud Wilson 10, Frederick Pearce Wilson 7 and Susan Elizabeth Wilson 1 and stepson Charles Batten 15 who was listed as ‘out of work’.    In actual fact I believe, that Elsie Maud was born “Batten”, as Charles was and they are full-blood siblings, but I believe that the other children are Samuel & Amelias’ and are half-blood siblings.   Amelia also states that 6 children had been born, but sadly 2 had died.

In the book “Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918  Royal Welsh Fusiliers  Volume 28” he is listed – 5th Bn WILSON, Charles. Born Cardiff, enlisted Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. Residence Shotton, Flintshire, 240163  L/Cpl. Killed in Action Egypt 7th November 1917

UK Soldiers who Died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on confirms all the regimental details above and tells us that he enlisted in Connah’s Quay. He is listed  as Charles Wilson. It is this source that tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’.

His medal card tells us that his  regimental number had changed during his service. It also says that he first entered a theatre of war on 8th August 1915 and that was ‘The Balkans’  – so he served at Gallipoli.

Charles Wilson in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Amelia who was paid £25. 19s 3d on the 10th May 1918, then on the 29th August she was paid £1. 12s 6d. Also his War Gratuity of £15 which was paid on the 14th November 1919.

There is an index card for Charles Henry Wilson in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record office in Hawarden. Flintshire WW1 Index Cards  F 45  (Shotton):-Wilson Charles Henry. 34, Kirby Grove, Shotton.  Reg. No.:- 240163 1/5 RWF.  Pte.  Period of Service:- 4 years 4 (sic).  Killed on 7th November 1917 at Egypt. Card signed 28th January 1921 by Mrs. A Wilson

Also named on Hawarden Memorial as Charles Wilson  but on the  *St Ethelwold’s Church (Shotton) Memorial Screen as C Batten

(Interesting footnote. In the 1891 census, Samuel Wilson aged 21 was a guest as a prisoner in her Majesty’s prison Maryport St, Usk, Monmoutshire)

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

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