R Williams has been difficult to research. He appears as R Williams on the Connah’s Quay/Shotton Memorial and also on the Memorial Screen at St Ethelwold’s Church. On the Hawarden War Memorial, however, there is a Richard Williams listed.
Although it is difficult to be absolutely certain, it seems likely that he is ‘our Richard’. His story appears here on this website in good faith but if anyone knows better, then please get in touch with us via the Contact Page.
Richard Williams first appeared on the 1901 census age 9, he was living at 32, Golftyn Street, Connah’s Quay with his parents, Thomas & Emma Williams, Thomas, 34 and born in Wednesbury was a Furnace Man. His wife, Emma had been born in West Bromwich, as most of the children had, except Elizabeth, 2, who had been born in Scotland. Richards 2 remaining sisters were Beatrice, 8, and Sarah J., 5. Also in the household was Thomas’s mother Elizabeth, a widow age 63, and his brother Richard H., 24, single and an Iron Catcher, they also were born in Wednesbury. There was a boarder, Joseph George, 25, single and a Furnace Man, born West Bromwich.
Emma is not on the 1911 census with the rest of the family, in fact they had moved and were boarders in Shotton, but I don’t know why, had Emma died or was she somewhere else on census night? Any help would be gratefully received.
The 1911 census had Thomas Williams, 43, married and born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire and & Richard Williams, 18, single, living at 60 Jubilee Street Shotton as boarders. Also there were 2 of Thomas’s daughters, Jane 15 and Elizabeth 12, the children had been born in West Bromwich, except Elizabeth, who had been born in Scotland. There was another child, also a boarder, Lawrence Williams, 6, born in Queensferry, Flintshire. I don’t know if he was related to the Williams family above. They were in the household of James and Phoebe Blackham who hailed from West Bromwich. They had a son James who was 11, born in Shotton, Flintshire. They, sadly had lost 2 children and been married 12 years. All the men in the household including Richard were ironworkers.
UK Soldiers who died in The Great War accessible at www.ancestry.co.uk confirm the regimental details above and adds that Richard enlisted in Wrexham. It is this source that tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’.
His medal card gives us medal details and also says that the first Theatre of War he entered was The Balkans and he entered on the 28th June 1915.
Richard Williams in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his father Thomas who was paid £6. 19s 11d on the 22nd November 1915 and his War Gratuity of £4. 10s 0d on the 16th July 1919
There is no index card for Richard Williams in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record.
I have the War Diary entries as it might throw some light on the death of Richard, although it might add more questions – I believe that Richard may have been injured in the action of the 7th and 8th August and died days later as a result of his injuries, although he supposedly was killed in action, but could, I suppose, have been killed in the “considerable firing” that occurred on the night of the 10th August. I will send the excerpts from the War Diaries if you would like to get in touch with the website.