Matthews, William Arthur

Arthur William was born about 1880 to John & Matilda Mathews, who were living in Wood Street, Ettingstall, Sedgley, Staffordshire on the 1881 census.   John, 37 was a Hollowfireman  (On the 1871 census, he had been described as a Holloware Man).  He had been born in Cookley, Worcestershire. His wife, Matilda, 37 had been born in Birmingham, Warwickshire.  Their 5 children had been born in Bilston, Staffordshire.   They were Alice Maud, 9, John P., 6, Mary B., 5, Fanney E., 3 and Arthur W. 1year

The 1891 census found them at No 37, Wood Street, Ettingstall, and John, 47, was  a Life Assurance Agent. Matilda, 42 was a General Shop Keeper. The ‘children’ were described as follows:   Alice was single, 19 and a Tin Plate Polisher.  John P.J. was a Tin Plate Dipper.  Mary B. Helped in the Shop. Fanny E. was a scholar as were the rest of the children, including Arthur W. 11,  Annie, 8, Samuel A, 7, and Harry 5.   All the children that came after Mary B had been born in Sedgley, Staffordshire.

1901 recorded them at No. 1 Wood Street. John, 57, was still an Insurance Agent. His wife Matilda, 52, was a Green Grocery Shop Keeper. Their children were Mary Barbara, 25 a Barmaid at a Cafe. Fanny Elizabeth,22, was a Mother’s Help,  Arthur William,  22 was a Blacksmith’s Striker.  Annie was 18. Samuel Albert, 17, was a Boiler Maker’s Assistant.  Harry, 15 was a Pupil Teacher and James Alfred was 9.

The 1911 census found the family still living at 1, Wood Street and John, 67 was still an Insurance Agent for the Royal Liver ( it says on this census he had been born in Wolverley, Worcestershire).   His wife of 39 years  Matilda was  62. 10 children had been born to them, of whom 3 had died.  The children still at home were listed as Harry,25  an Assistant Teacher with the Local Authority.  James A. was 19 and a Booking Clerk with the Railway Company. A a Grandaughter, Leah Wooton, 15, who had been born in Sedgley, was also in the household. Arthur William had left home and had his own family.

Arthur William & Emma Jane Marks were married in St. Deniol’s Church, in Hawarden in 1905. (C106/03/E146)

In the 1911 census we find that Arthur William Matthews was 31 years old and a married man with two children. He lived at 24 Kirby Grove, Shotton, where he was a sheet mill level and furnace man. His wife of 6 years was Emma Jane  32 who had been born in Tipton Staffordshire. Their children were Alice Matilda Matthews 5 and Sidney Gordon Matthews 1. Both children had been born in Connah’s Quay. The census form tells us that 3 children had been born to Emma but one of them had not survived.

There is an index card (Connah’s Quay F 45) for Arthur William Matthews in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. It confirms the regimental details above and adds that he served from 29th August 1914 until his death at Gallipoli. The card was signed by Mrs Morris 34 Spring St Connah’s Quay on the 18th December 1919.

UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on confirms regimental details as above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton.

Arthur William Matthews in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Emma Jane MORRIS* who was paid £3 War Gratuity on the 7th August 1919.
* Emma Jane had remarried in the December Qtr of 1918 to William MORRIS at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay (C104/02/E83)

He is also named on the Memorial Plaque in St Mark’s Church Connah’s Quay and on the Hawarden War Memorial

James could have been involved with the action on the 7th August and died a few days later, War Diary of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers – 5th – 8th August, 1915.   If anyone wants to see this extract, please get in touch via the website or it can be seen on

Conservative Club, Shotton, Minutes 1915/16

Page 1 First Committee Meeting held on Friday, Feby. 19th 1915 @ 7.30 pm.

Present. Merrs. J.V.HARRIS, Lieut. MARRIOTT, W. PARISH, H.RICHARDS, T. RUGMAN, W.COOPER, W.H. JONES, Jas. WILLIAMS. Treasurer & Secretary.
Mr. HARRIS was voted to the Chair pro tem.

In the Minute Book dated 9th October, 1916, the Committee decided that16 Widows of men Killed in Action were to receive 5/- each.

The undermentioned sixteen widows were sent 5/- each.
Mrs. J. JONES, Primrose Hill.
Mrs. MATHEWS, Spring Street
Mrs. BROMLEY Albert Place
Mrs. R.(or N.) JONES 231, High Street
Mrs. A. PRESTIDGE, 167 High Street
Mrs. THOMAS, Pentre, Hawarden
Mrs. BUNNELL, 83, Sydenham Road, Smethwick
Mrs. CROFTS, Bach Lodge, Leighton, Nr. Welshpool.
Mrs. ATTWOOD, Beaconsfield Road, Shotton
Mrs. AMOS, Brook Road, Shotton.
Mrs. BITHELL, Nine Houses, Shotton.
Mrs. WELCH, Ashgrove, Shotton.
Mrs. PETERS, Brook Road, Shotton.
Mrs. BELLIS, Shotton Lane, Shotton.
Mrs. S.? MARSTON, Henrietta St., Shotton
Mrs. AUTON, Nine Houses.

Signed by J.V. HARRIS, Chairman, Nov. 6/1916


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

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