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Wigglesworth, Herbert Welland

Herbert Welland Wigglesworth was born in the June quarter of 1894 and registered in Hawarden (Flintshire (Mold)HAW/40/72).   He was the son of Thomas & Elizabeth Wigglesworth (nee Downing).

They had married in the St John the Baptist Church, Toxteth Park,, Lancashire on the 20th April 1878, Thomas Welland Wigglesworth, 22, was a Railway Porter, his father was Henry Bastow WIGGLESWORTH, Engineer (deceased) & Elizabeth DOWNING was 23 and a spinster, her father William DOWNING,was a Farmer.

The 1901 census sees the family living at 64, Allerton Road, West Bradford, Yorkshire.   Thomas W. Wigglesworth , 45, was a Electric Car Driver and had been born in Bury, Lancashire.   His wife Elizabeth, 46 had been born in Flintshire.   Their three children had been born in Chester, Elizabeth, 14 was a Worsted Spinner, Hannah, 12 and Herbert, 6 made up the family.

They probably travelled from job to job around the country as Thomas appears to have worked on the Railway in earlier censuses, so by 1907 they were in the Queensferry area as I have found a School Register for the Queensferry C.P. (Mixes) School for 1907, which tell us that his father was Thomas.  This source gives Herbert’s date of birth as the 8th of May 1894 and his address as Excelsior Cottage, Sandycroft.   He left on the 8th May 1908, his 14th birthday.

The 1911 census shows the family living at 4, Coppacks Cottages, High Street, Connah’s Quay, Thomas, 55, was an Electric Crane Driver in the Ironworks and Elizabeth, 56 tell us that they had been married for 32 years, 8 children had been born but sadly 2 had died.   Hannah was 22 and single, she tells us that 2 children had been born, but 1, sadly had died, this was crossed out by the Enumerator.   Herbert Willand (sic) was 16 and a Steelworker, Dorothy May, age 2 was their Grand-daughter, born in Queensferry.

Herbert was in WW1 and on his medal card, he is seen entering France on the 19th July 1915, his Regimental number was 12639, Royal Welsh Fusiliers,, and he had been a L/Cpl and a Private, according to this he was demobbed on the 1st May 1919.   To enter France in 1915, he would have had to have had training, so he may have been in the Army from the outbreak of war.

1916 sees Herbert marrying May Ellin Roberts in the Chapel in Brunswick Road, Rhyl (Denbighshire North (Rhyl) AP101/01/E21).

Herbert then according to the R.W.F. Enlistment Register , which incidentally lists a number of Connah’s Quay soldiers, including Harry Weale, our V.C. Holder.  Herbert re-enlisted on the 3rd February 1921, he was 26 years 9 months old, then re-enlisted again on the 6th July 1921 age 27 years.   His trade was an Ironworker and his lists his wife May Ellen Roberts  as his next of Kin.   His place of marriage is Rhyl and the date was given as 1st August 1916.   He was discharged on re-enlistment into the 5th Defence Force Bn. R.W.F. on the 11th April 1921 (No.5/RWF/61).   Then on the 2nd February 1927 he was discharged by Para 193 (1) T.A. Rgns.      This also tells us that his former service in WW1 was 5 years 213 days as Regt. No.. 12639 R.W.F.

I have no information on Herbert’s life from then until his death, except that Herbert and his wife May Ellen came to live in my street, and they had a son Idris circa 1938/9, but I grew up with Idris in Richmond Road, and to my shame, I never asked about his Dad, or what had happened to him, as Idris would have only been 2 or 3 years old when Herbert died in 1941.

I contacted Idris, through an old Telephone book and asked him about his father and why I wanted to information, he gave me the date of his father’s discharge from the Army :- Certificate of Discharge Serial No 4834- Herbert Welland  11th (HD) Royal Welch Fusiliers No D/11593.   Date of Discharge 16th February 1940 –    Place Barnet.

Idris also told me:-“ My Dad was wounded in the First World War but it must not have resulted in his death as we never had a War Pension.”    He went on to say, “My mam described that my dad was a boy-Soldier at the out break of war in 1914 he served in France and Egypt.   When I was born they lived in Sandy Lane Garden City, before moving to Richmond Road in the 1930s a large number of workers were laid off at Shotton.    Dad, I believe, worked on the Staffordshire Rolling Mills.   He was then called up for service in the second world war but he was then discharged within six months due to ill health. He had cancer and as you know died in 1941.” 

According to the newspaper report below, he had been injured, so this confirms what Idris told me.

Chester Chronicle 10th May 1941

Death of Mr. H. WIGGLESWORTH.   The death occurred on Saturday of Mr. Herbert WIGGLESWORTH, 40, Richmond-road, Connah’s Quay.    Mr. WIGGLESWORTH, who was 46, was a native of Mold Junction, his parents being the late Mr. & Mrs. T. WIGGLESWORTH, Garden City.    He served throughout the last war with the R.W.F. in France and Egypt, and was wounded in France.    Before the outbreak of the present war he joined the National Defence Co., and served until he was discharged in February last year.   He was a member of the local branch of the British Legion and Club.    The funeral took place on Wednesday, the interment being in Hawarden Churchyard, the Rev. A. THACKRAY officiating.   The coffin was draped with the Union Jack and members of the Legion Club were bearers.   The mourners were Mrs. WIGGLESWORTH (son ) Idris (son), Mr. And Mrs. T. WIGGLESWORTH (brother and sister-in-law), Mrs FARRELL, Mrs. NUTTER, and Mrs. HAWTHORNE, (sisters), Mrs. NORRY (niece), Mrs. ROBERTS, (mother-in-law), Mr. And Mrs. I. LLOYD, Mr. D. ROBERTS, Mr. T. ROBERTS, Mrs. JONES, and Miss Gwladys ROBERTS (brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law), Mr. I ROBERT (nephew), Mr. And Mrs. W. COLLINS, Mr. E. CURTISS, Mr. J. WILLIAMS, Mr. And Mrs. A. JONES, Mrs. MARTIN, Mrs. SHOTTON, Mrs. BRIDGE, Mrs. BENNE£TT, Mr. And Mrs. G. STUBBS, Mrs. W.WILLIAMS, Mrs. S. JONES, Mrs. MORBY, Mrs. CATHERALL and Mrs. KINLAN, Mr. MULLINER, Shotton had charge of the arrangements..

Herbert Welland Wigglesworth is not on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, as far as I can see, and he should be as he gave up so much in two World Wars.   He obviously slipped through the net.

Many thanks to Idris for his help and also we know that Herbert Welland Wigglesworth was sadly missed and remembered by his family as May Ellen probably put his name forward to be remembered on the War Memorial, as his service to this country surely shortened his life.


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

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