Bettany, David Ormond

Chester Chronicle 14th October 1944 – Connah’s Quay & Shotton. Killed in Action.

Mr. & Mrs. BETTANY, 44, Church-street, Connah’s Quay, have received news that their son, Fus. David Ormond BETTANY, R.W.F. has been killed in action in Burma.   He was 20 and before joining the Army was a film operator at the Alhambra.   Two brothers are in the Army, Vernon & Sergt. Fred BETTANY.    The latter has been in the Middle East and Italy for nearly 5 years.

David Ormond Bettany was born in 1924 the son of Montague and Gertrude Mary Bettany (nee Wardle) (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/59/34).

Monty as he was known and Gertrude had married in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay on the 27th September 1919, Monty Bettany was age 25, Bachelor, Plater and his address was 87, High Street, father William Bettany, Solicitor & Gertrude Mary Wardle, age 20, Spinster, 40, Church Street,, father Anthony Wardle, Bridge Erector, by Licence. Witnesses were John Roberts and Mabel Mark.

Monty and Gertrude Mary had another son, Raymond James, he was baptised on the 9th June 1926 at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay, but sadly, I believe his death is recorded in Chester the following year, 1927 age 1 year.( Cheshire West CHC/11/83), so the family had already suffered bereavement before they lost David Ormond.

The 1939 Register on Find my Past shows the family living at 44 Church Street , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales

Montague J F  Bettany           01 Mar 1893    Male    Artificial Silk Worker Married           265      1

Gertrude M     Bettany           25 Jun 1899     Female Unpaid Domestic Duties        Married           265      2

Frederick A     Bettany           23 Oct 1919    Male    Scrap Cutter Steel Mills          Single  265      3

Vernon W       Bettany           05 Apr 1921    Male    Scrap Cutter Steel Mills          Single  265      4

Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.

Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.

Maureen E  Barron (Edwards,Bettany)          02 Oct 1934    Female At School        Single  265      7

Sarah H           Bettany           14 Feb 1862   Female Unpaid Domestic Duties        Widowed        265      8

There are 2 redacted records on this and I believe that David Ormond probably was one of them.

David Ormond Bettany was christened with the second name Ormond after his Grandmother Ellen Wardle’s maiden name.

This family had suffered hardship and bereavement many years before they suffered the death of David Ormond.

His father Montague had a very sad childhood, as I believe that his father William Thomas Bettany, a Solicitor, had died early at age 43 in 1897, after 8 years of marriage, leaving his mother Sarah Ellen Bettany (nee Ford) alone to bring Montague up.    Sarah Ellen had to make a big decision, she had lost her other child, Valentine in 1893 and now she had to have some means of providing for herself and Montague, so she must have trained to be a Nurse, or was a Nurse previous to her marriage and Margaret & Ellen Roberts, sisters, “adopted” Montague before the 1901 census, where he is seen living with them, age 8 years, at 19, Dean Street, Bangor, Carnarvonshire.

Sarah Ellen, then on the 1901 census was in the household of  William Jones, his wife Mary Adderea? and their son Wm. R.L. Jones, age 4.   They were “living on their own means” at Firm Hill, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf, Anglesey.   She is shown as Sarah Ellen Bettany, widow, age 40 and a Hospital Nurse (Sick) born in Burslem, Staffs.  She was a visitor.

By the 1911 census Sarah Ellen was a Professional Nurse, still a widow, age 46, living at Nursing Home, Llanbelig, Carnarvonshire (8 Rooms).   There were 2 visitors and a servant living there on Census night.

Again, Sarah Ellen, before her marriage and age 20 was to be “adopted” into another family when her family faced breakup as she is shown on the 1881 census as an “Adopted daughter” to the Poole family.

David’s father Monty had been in the Great War as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, and his Regimental numbers were 2039 and 486594, but luckily he survived.

I do not know when David Ormond Bettany was to enlist or be conscripted but he joined the 2nd Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Second World War   Extracted from

Extracted from the above:-

The 2nd Battalion also served in British India during the war. It was part of the 29th Independent Infantry Brigade. The battalion fought with the brigade throughout the war and served in the Battle of Madagascar in 1942 against the Vichy French. It was transferred to the South-East Asian Theatre soon after. In 1944, the battalion and brigade became part of 36th British Infantry Division, previously an Indian Army formation.[50]

Both battalions came under the command of Lieutenant-General Bill Slim, commander of the British Fourteenth Army, described at the time as the ‘Forgotten Fourteenth’ (so-called because their exploits went almost unnoticed in the British Press and were seemingly of little or no importance to the war).

Also taken from the Burma Star Association website – British 36th Division:-

The Division first saw action in the Arakan during February, March and April 1944. It was withdrawn to Shillong in May. After a short rest and re-equipping, orders were issued In June that the Division was to join Northern Combat Area Command, un­der the command of General Stilwell. The move was carried out by road and rail to Ledo from where the com­plete division, except its very limited transport, was flown to Myitkyina.

The advance down the Railway Corridor began early in August 1944. The monsoon was in full spate, turning the few tracks into quagmires. The only reliable means of communication was the railway itself. This was also the main axis of advance, down which the famous jeep trains were run by Divisional Engineers, but not before they had repaired a large number of bridges; entirely with cap­tured and local material.

The inscription on David’s grave far away in Myanmar, and chosen by his family, gives us an insight into his nature, – “Always A Smile, Always Content, Always Respected Wherever He Went.”   He was obviously very loved.

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

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