Foulkes, Ernest

It appears that tragedy was to hit the Foulkes family a generation or two before young Ernest was to die, as Thomas Foulkes, Ernest’s Grandfather was to die in a boating Accident on the River Dee on the 5th July 1894.      2 other FOULKES’ men also died.    I have numerous Newspaper reports of the incident, please contact the website.

Thomas and Elizabeth Foulkes (nee Hewitt) were the parents of Joseph Foulkes and are seen on the 1891 census and they were living on Primrose Hill, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.    Thomas, 44, a Pilot (Seas) was head of the household, his wife Elizabeth was age 41.    Their children, like themselves had all been born in Connah’s Quay.   John, 15 was a Brickmaker, Thomas, 12, Shop Assistant, Andrew, 10, Edward, 8, Stephen, 5 and Joseph, 3 were all scholars, while baby Leonard, 1, made up the family.

Elizabeth was to suffer, as well as the rest of her children the loss of both her husband Thomas, her  son John and also a nephew/cousin Thomas FOULKES on the night of the 5th July 1894 when they died in the River Dee however their colleague, John HEWITT managed to get himself ashore, exhausted.    John HEWITT heard Thomas (Snr.) saying before they entered the water “Lord have mercy upon us, this is an awful job,” the other two didn’t speak and he didn’t see any of them again……

So Ernest’s father Joseph was to grow up with tragedy but he met Ada Griffiths and they married in the Presbyterian Church at Gaolftyn in 1922 (Flintshire (Mold) A116/01/E2)

According to the 1939 Register they were living at 38 Mold Road , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales (5 People): –

38 Mold Road , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales

Joseph  Foulkes                08 Oct 1887         Male      Steel Conveyor Operative Heavy Worker Married 207    1

Ada Efoulkes (Foulkes)  26 Jan 1891         Female Unpaid Domestic Duties               Married 207        2

There were three closed records.

(The above address matches that of Ernest, given in the 23H HQ Squadron nominal roll)(“Harkness”)

I found 2 births that might be Ernest, in 1923, the Reference numbers are :-

Flintshire (Mold)              FLNT/58/99   and  Flintshire (Mold)          HOL/55/84, so they would have to be purchased to confirm or deny.

I have no information about Ernest’s early days, so if anyone can cast any light onto this it would be gratefully received, so he is not forgotten as the man.   He may have had two sisters.

Thanks again to “Harkness” who has had sight of the Nominal Roll of the 23rd Hussars. – We have an idea about Ernest’s death.

The Regimental History lists his death on 15th April. This is repeated in the War Diary:-

“At 08.00 hours. 23rd Hussar Group moved through Winsen, turning north, “B” Squadron leading. Some Bazooka and machine gun opposition was met north of Winsen in 4758, but this rapidly cleared and the enemy dispersed by setting fire to the wood. North of Walle, 4862 there were notices in English declaring the Belsen area to be typhus infected and to be a Neutral Zone. This was observed without incident and we passed the camp at great speed, little knowing what horrors it concealed. At about 14.00 hours “A” Squadron Group which had moved via 5186, passed through “B” Squadron Group which had established itself in Bergen, 5070 without incident. 1/100,000 Sheet M4. Some opposition was encountered both at Dohnsen, 5472 and Beckedorf, 5671 and many hundreds of Allied Prisoners of War were liberated. In the meantime the recce troop was sent to recce the crossings at Bonstorf, 5576 and 545770, two sections going to the former and one to the latter. Both found the bridges intact, but after a short time they were attacked by infantry with Bazookas. “C” Squadron Group immediately went to Bonstorf and “B” Squadron Group to the western crossing and by nightfall the opposition, which consisted of Companies of a Hungarian SS Battalion, was demolished, another company being destroyed at Bornboster, 5576 by “A” Squadron Group which came up from Beckedorf. “C” Squadron Group remained to maintain the Bonstorf bridgehead during the night and “B” Squadron Group the westerly bridge just north of Hetendorf from which they were fired on throughout the hours of darkness. The remainder leaguered in a hollow behind the feature at 554759. During the afternoon and evening’s fighting about 300 PWs were taken.

1 x Other Rank died of wounds. 2 x Other Ranks were wounded*.

There are no deaths reported in the 23H History or War Diary for 16th April. 

*It may be that Ernest was one of the Wounded on the 15th April as on the Graves Concentration Report Form, it was initially noted that he was “Killed in Action,” but this was crossed out and “Died of Wounds” was written.   He was the only one who died on that day.

It is seen on the same form that all the men on it were all reburied on the 25th June 1947 in the Hanover (Limmer) British Cemetery after having been initially buried in the Hamne, Germany, Temporary Burial Ground, South side of Uchte – Stolzenau Road.

Uchte is a municipality in the district of Nienburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approximately 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Nienburg, and 25 km (16 mi) north of Minden.

Stolzenau is a municipality in the district of Nienburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the left bank of the Weser, approx. 20 km southwest of Nienburg, and 25 km northeast of Minden. During the second half of the 20th century, a unit of the Royal Netherlands Air Force was stationed in Stolzenau.    (Please see the Report below) 

Sadly Joseph and Ada were to suffer another tragedy, Joseph, I believe died in 1952.




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

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