Watts, John E. is also named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.
John Edward Watts first appeared on a census in 1891. He was living with his family at Prodigal Lane Kelsterton, Connah’s Quay. Head of the household was Edward 28 a general labourer who hailed from The Isle of Man. His wife was 27 year old Ellen from Flint and their two children were Florence 1 and John E who was 3 months old.
On the 1911 census John Edward Watts was living at 3 Princes Street Connah’s Quay with his parents and 4 siblings, Florence 21, Maggie E. 17 Lizzie May 9 and Albert 16. John Edward was 20. He and his brother Albert were working as labourers at the Iron works. Their Father working as a bricklayer’s labourer. Interestingly on this form, the father Edward, records his nationality as ‘Manx’.
UK soldiers who died in The Great war 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the regimental details above (including the death date). It adds that he enlisted in Wrexham. This source tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’.
His medal card also accessible on ‘Ancestry’ also confirms regimental details above including the death date. It tells us that his first Theatre of War was the Balkans which he entered on 28th June 1915.
There is an index card for John Edward in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. His Mother filled in and signed it on the 22nd September 1919.. She said his period of Service was from the 4th of August 1914 and she entered his date of death as 14th September 1915. On all other documents, his date of death is shown as 19th August 1915. His war lasted just over 7 weeks.
Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh Fusliers Volume 28 however states he died on the 7th August 1915. WATTS, John Edward. Born Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. Enlisted Wrexham, residence Connah’s Quay. 11611 Pte Killed in action Gallipoli 7th August 1915. (when, incidently, many RWF’s died on the same day, including the ROGERS boys.) –
I have the war diaries for around that date for you to see if there is a clue to when and where he was wounded. Please contact the website and I can send it to you, or they may be found on Ancestry.co.uk
John Edward Watts in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that there were 2 Legatees, his parents, Edward & Ellen, who were paid £3. 6s 1d on the 16th December 1915 and his War Gratuity of £3. 10s 0d on the 9th September 1919. This source also tells us that his date of death was the 19th August 1915.
John Edwards Watts’ s Army Service records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk
His Attestation Papers state that he signed up on the 14th August 1914 at Wrexham. His papers reveal that his Father Edward had died by 1920. There is correspondence between the army and Ellen regarding the receipt of his personal property, his medals and a commemorative scroll and plaque.
In his papers there is a description of him – Description of Soldier John Edward Watts on Enlistment:- His height was 5 feet 4 and 1/2 inches and he weighed 121 lbs. His chest measured 36 inches with a range of expansion:of 2 and 1/2 inches. Hiscomplexion was fresh, his eyes were blue and his hair was brown. He had a mole below his left buttock and his religion was C of E.
If anyone has any more details on John Edward, I would love to hear from them.