Catton, Edward aka Yates, Edward

This story is complicated and until I find a few more pieces of the jigsaw, it cannot be completed, but my feeling is that 2 names were put forward to go on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton Cenotaph, by different people using the names that they knew the man by, namely Edward Catton & Edward Yates but I believe that they are one and the same person.

Lydia Yates gave birth to Edward in 1896. He was Edward Yates

Lydia Yates married Isaac Catton in 1899 in St Michael’s Church Huyton Lancashire (PrescottC2/2/460). Her son Edward was then known by some as Edward Catton. The 1901 census records  Isaac, 32, an Ironworker, Lydia, 24 and young Edward Y. Catton, 4  living at Hale View, Huyton with Roby, Lancashire.

This is why the dual names happened. Some people knew him as Edward Yates and some as Edward Catton.  It seems that the army always knew him as Edward Yates. This complication continued in the years after the war when details were collected for the War Memorials.

The census of 1911 records the Catton family living at number 26, Kirby Grove, Shotton. Isaac Catton was 42 an Ironworker who had been born in Kildwick, Yorkshire. Lydia, his wife of 13 years was 34 and had been born in Warrington. She had given birth to two children who were both still living. The listed children were Edward Catton 15 (born in Warrington) and Sarah May Catton 5 (born in Connah’s Quay). There were two boarders in the household -John Sunner and Richard Guy both Ironworkers.

Isaac & Lydia were to have another child, William Stanley Catton who was born on the 17th November 1913 and baptized on the 17th of December the same year. The address was 26, Kirby Grove, Shotton.   Sadly William Stanley was to die age 9 years and was buried on the 13th August 1923.

Isaac Catton died in 1917 and was buried on 11th January. Lydia remarried the following August in St Ethelwold’s Church, one Thomas Williams. Their address was given as 26 Kirby Grove.

UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914-19 accessible on  confirms Edward Yates’s regimental details as 40679 of the Lancashire Fusiliers  and tells us his birthplace was Warrington and that he enlisted in Shotton. This source tells us he was originally in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

There are two cross referenced medal Index Cards for  Edward Yates. (As if his dual named identity wasn’t complicated enough.  He is named Ernest Yates on one of the medal cards and Edward on the other). The numbers are the same however, and the person making the cards out has recognised the error and cross  referenced the cards. It is these sources that tells us he was previously in the Cycling Corps with the regimental number 3530. One of the cards says he was entitled to the Victory and British War medals and the other states the 1915 Star.  One of the cards tells us his first Theatre of war was entered on 17th July 1915.

There is an index card for Edward Yates in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. It is filed with the Shotton cards (F 46). It gives his address as 26, Kirby Grove, Shotton, his Regimental number  as 40679, Private of the Lancashire Fusiliers. It says his period of service  was 4 years. And the card was signed on the 28th January 1921 by Mrs. L. Williams.

It would seem that Lydia’s new husband, Thomas Williams had a son named Edward Williams who was also killed in the war in 1915 and who is named on the Connah’s Quay/Shotton memorial.  The “Absent Voter’s List – 1918 in the County Record Office at Hawarden includes entry number 5665,   an Edward Williams who was stated to have been  “Killed in Action”and who had been living at 26, Kirby Grove, Shotton, (which was of course the same address as  Edward Yates  440679 L.Cpl 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers).

Edward Yates  in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 states that the sole Legatee was his mother Lydia Williams.   Likewise Edward Williams Effects was listed and the sole Legatee was Thomas Williams.

Edward Yates was also named on the St. Ethelwold’s Church Memorial Screen which is in the Lady Chapel to the left of the Altar

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

Back to top