William Reddin was born 9th November 1911, but his birth was not registered until the New Year, 1912, (Flintshire (Mold)FLNT/49/89). This date was confirmed by his Naval Records.
They were the sons of Job & Catherine Reddin, who had married in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay in 1892. (Flintshire (Mold) C104/01/E312).
They are seen on the 1911 census living at 13, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire (5 Rooms). Head of the household was Job Reddin, 45, a Labourer in the Iron Works, with his wife Catherine, 39 telling us that they had been married 18 years and 9 children had been born to them, all still living. They also tell us that they whole family had been born in Connah’s Quay. The children were Mary Alice, 17, single and in Domestic Service, Hilda, 15 at home, while children Thomas,13, Edward Peers, 8, Job, 7, Kitty, 5, Percy, 4 were at school, Agnes, 3 and baby John, 1 made up the family. Later that year William Reddin, was to be born in 1911 and was a brother to Kenneth, he too was to lose his life in the War years, please click on the link to read his story.
The story of William obviously follows that of Kenneth Reddin, his brother, (Click on the link to read his story)in that they were the sons of Job & Catherine Reddin, and one of the many families in Connah’s Quay and Shotton, whose sacrifice to their country was heavy.
As with Kenneth, there were no Censuses published since 1911 to let us know about their lives, so any information would be gratefully received, so the next time we see William is when he married Phyllis Basket in a Civil Ceremony in Holywell in 1935 (Flintshire (Mold) HOL/60/29).
The couple and their little family are seen on the 1939 National Register (Taken on the 29th September 1939 living at 360 High Street , Connah’s Quay, William’s birthdate was given as the 9th November 1911 and he was a Club Steward, his wife Phyllis’s birthdate was 31st August 1912 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” as this Register states for all married women who are not in work. There is one closed Record, which could be a child. Also on this page was Catherine Reddin, William’s mother, living at 13 Dock Road , Connah’s Quay , her date of birth was the 29th November 1871, Ethel Reddin, married (I think a Clerical error), born 19th February 1917, later to marry a gentleman called James H. Tomkinson in the December Quarter 1946 (Walsall Vol.9b Page 1883). Also in the household was I believe another daughter who had married , Hilda Vernon, date of birth the 4th December 1895 and her son, Philip, born 1st July 1934 and under school age. There was one closed record. I believe that Hilda married in the March Quarter of 1917 to George F. Vernon (Wirral Vol. 8a Page 661).
I have no knowledge either of when William either enlisted or was conscripted but he was a Leading Steward on HMS Grecian at the time of his death, which was in port after patrols.
There is a newspaper cutting that the Portsmouth History Centre was kind enough to find for us to better understand how he died, and it is sad to know that after all he was to go through, stresses of the war work and dangers that he faced every day, that he was to die in an accident on his way back from having a drink with his shipmates at a public house to catch the Liberty Boat at 10.10 pm with P.O. F.S. Pike leading the way holding a torch. The night was dark and the boat was crowded, so he was not missed from the party; nor was he missed from the minesweeper because the others were accommodated aft, whereas William’s quarters were forward. The badly lit gangway had only a wooden rail and chain to protect anyone falling into the Dock. Sadly William was to stumble and fall into the dry dock and he wasn’t missed until 8.30 am the next day, which was about the time his body was found. Detective Cordell suggested because of the accident, and the fact that now that modified lighting was permitted, it would be of a help if lights were placed at both ends of the footway. The Dockyard Safety Officer said a request that this should be done had already gone forward. The Doctor stated that the state of the heart might have produced giddiness. By the time of the inquest the Minesweeper HMS Grecian had left the port, but the detective had been on board and made inquiries.
Allied Warships – HMS Grecian (J 352)
Minesweeper of the Auk class
Navy The Royal Navy
Pennant J 352
Built by Savannah Machinery and Foundry Co. (Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.)
Ordered 2 Dec 1941
Laid down 7 Sep 1942
Launched 10 Mar 1943
Commissioned 22 Sep 1943
End service Jan 1947
History – Returned to the United States Navy in January 1947. -Transferred to Turkey in January 1947 and renamed Edincik.
Commands listed for HMS Grecian (J 352) – Commander From To
1 A/Cdr. (emergency) Charles Duncan Alexander Irvine, RN 28 Sep 1943 19 Apr 1945
Minesweeper | ship | Britannica.com – https://www.britannica.com/technology/minesweeper
In naval warfare, minesweepers have two primary tactical functions: to clear mines from sea lanes in order to protect the minesweeping nation’s warships and merchant shipping; and to clear a path through minefields so that other warships can engage in battle or launch an amphibious landing (such as those in the Pacific …
Although the CWGC states that he was on the Ship HMS Grecian, his death was reported at the Shore Establishment of HMS Boscawen, which is the shore establishment that dealt with training, and the pay and documents etc., even though he was on HMS Grecian.
HMS Boscawen From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Boscawen
Two ships and a shore establishment of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Boscawen, after Admiral Edward Boscawen, whilst another ship was planned:
HMS Boscawen (shore establishment) was a training establishment in a number of locations, in service from 1862 to 1922 at Portland and later Shotley, and again from 1932 to 1947. A number of ships were renamed HMS Boscawen whilst serving as homes for the base.
Job & Catherine Reddin were to sacrifice 2 of their sons in WW2 and the family were also steeped in the seafaring world as another son Percy was also at sea during WW2 as can be seen by the newspaper report below, his Commanding Officer tells the family he had been Mentioned in Despatches.
William’s name along with his brother Kenneth’s were added to the War Memorial so they would not be forgotten for their sacrifice, so they were well loved.
In the Chronicle 10th August 1940 another son of Job & Catherine Reddin, Percy is mentioned with pride and there is more to learn about the family, see below.