Williams, Joseph

Joseph Williams, Joseph’s father, was the son of Joseph & Priscilla Williams, who I believe married in St. Mark’s Church, Connah;s Quay in 1887.  (Flintshire (Mold) C104/01/E269)

Joseph & Priscilla are seen on the 1891 census living at 31, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.   Joseph, 29, is head of the household and a Bricklayer, Priscilla, 26 and baby Thomas Lathom, age 2 had all been born in Connah’s Quay.

By the 1901 census, the family were living at 196, High Street, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, again, Joesph, now 40, was the head of the household and with Priscilla, 35, their family had enlarged, Thomas L. 12, Martha E. 10, Joseph, & and Margaret , 5, completing in the family, again all born in Connah’s Quay.

Sadly, I believe that Priscilla died in 1903 age 39. (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/26/55) and Joseph remarried in 1907 to Harriet Jones, in a Civil Marriage in Holywell. (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/02/E182).

The 1911 census see that the family had had another disruption as they are now living at 118 High Street, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire (6 Rooms).   This is the census where the householder fills in the form and therefore, we have now Joseph, 48, still a Bricklayer and Employer at Home and his new wife Harriet tell us that they had been married 4 years and no children had been born to them.

The family were still intact, in that Priscilla’s children were living there as well, Thomas L., 22, and a Bricklayer, Martha E., 19, Joseph, 17, all single, also a bricklayer, Maggie, 15 and Edward J. Age 9.

I found Joseph & his sister Martha E.’s names in the Custom House (Infants) Admission’s Book, I have a copy, if you would like to see it.    Joseph’s birthdate was given as 27 Jan 1893 (* d.o.b. on 1939 Register 28th January 1894) and was admitted in 1897.   His Parent name was given as Joseph Williams, Address – Nr. Ivor House.   Also listed with Joseph – Martha E. Williams d.o.b. 19th September 1891 – Joseph’s sister.

I did find Joseph’s marriage to Ellen Edwards in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay: –  Page 32, No 64 1st November 1917 Joseph WILLIAMS, 24 Bachelor Furnace Bricklayer 118, High Street, Father Joseph WILLIAMS, Furnace Bricklayer & Ellen EDWARDS, 24 Spinster 364 High Street, Father John EDWARDS, Pilot.   (By Licence)                Witnesses:- Thomas EDWARDS & Mary JONES

Young Joseph was born on the 20th August 1920 and baptised on the 8th September 1920 at St. Mark’s Church:- Page 241 No. 1923 8th September 1920. Joseph s/o Joseph & Ellen WILLIAMS, 35, Primrose Hill, Brick-setter.

Then I find young Joseph’s parent’s on the 1939 Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, so it looks as though Joseph (Jnr.) was involved in the war which had been declared on the 3rd September 1939 as he is not on the Register, although there are redacted records which would have to be pursued.

1939 National Register – Williams Household (6 People) – 5 Howard Street , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales

Joseph  Williams 28 Jan 1894 Male Steel Furnace Bricklayer Heavy Worker Married            208         1

Ellen      Williams               09 Jul 1893           Female Unpaid Domestic Duties               Married                208         2

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

Nellie Williams (Wells )*                16 May 1922       Female Spooler Silk Works           Single    208         4

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

Mary     Jones (Williams)               28 Jun 1931         Female At School             Single    208         6

*Connah’s Quay Parish Register – Marriages

I then find a possible marriage of presumably, their daughter Nellie in 1943.   Any information would be again, gratefully received.

St. Mark’s Church Parish Registers. – Page 60 No 120 20th March 1943 Wilfred WELLS, 22, Bachelor, Leading Aircraftsman, Ivy Cottage, Rampton, Retford, Notts, Walter WELLS, Farm Labourer & Nellie WILLIAMS, 20 Spinster, 3 Howard Street, Connah’s Quay, Joseph WILLIAMS, Foreman.   (After Banns).  Witnesses:- Ruby JONES & Raymond WILLIAMS.

I have no other information about young Joseph’s growing up, so any information to help tell his story would be gratefully received.

Although Joseph is recorded as being on H.M.S. President III Royal Navy, this was the shore base for administration, below is the story of the King Frederick and young Joseph’s fate.

Ships hit by U-boats

King Frederick – British Steam merchant

Type:     Steam merchant

Tonnage              5,265 tons

Completed         1920 – Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co Ltd, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Owner  Dodd, Thomson & Co Ltd, London

Homeport           London

Date of attack    19 Jul 1944           Nationality:      British

Fate       Sunk by U-181 (Kurt Freiwald)

Position                9° 29’N, 71° 45’E – Grid MS 7974

Complement     56 (27 dead and 29 survivors).


Route    Haifa – Port Said – Aden – Colombo – Calcutta

Cargo    6600 tons of salt and mail

History – Laid down as War Sceptre for The Shipping Controller, completed in March 1920 as Greek Trialos for N.E. Ambatielos, Argostoli. 1923 sold to Britain and renamed King Frederick for Dodd, Thomson & Co Ltd, London.

Notes on event               

At 17.03 hours on 19 July 1944 the unescorted King Frederick (Master Richard John Esslemont) was hit by one torpedo from U-181 in the Nine Degree Channel in the Arabian Sea. The wreck was later dispersed. 20 crew members, five gunners and two passengers (military personnel) were lost. The master, 27 crew members and one gunner abandoned ship and were questioned by the Germans. The survivors were picked up by the British Liberty ship Samshee and landed at Aden.

Name    Age        Rank      Served on

Williams, Joseph, RN      23           Able Seaman (DEMS gunner)     King Frederick +

This is the history of the U-Boat that sunk the King Frederick. 

List of all U-boats

U-181 Type IXD2

Ordered               15 Aug 1940

Laid down           15 Mar 1941        AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1021)

Launched            30 Dec 1941

Commissioned  9 May 1942         Kptlt. Wolfgang Lüth (Knights Cross)

Commanders     -1 Nov 1943       –              5 May 1945                         Kpt. Kurt Freiwald

Career -4 patrols

9 May 1942         –              30 Sep 1942          4. Flottille (training)

1 Oct 1942           –              31 Oct 1942           10. Flottille (active service)

1 Nov 1942          –              30 Sep 1944          12. Flottille (active service)

1 Oct 1944           –              5 May 1945           33. Flottille (active service)

Successes  –  27 ships sunk, total tonnage 138,779 GRT

Fate –  Taken over by Japan at Singapore on 5 May 1945 and became the Japanese submarine I 501 on 15 July 1945.

Post war information: On 15 Feb 1946 (GMT), towed by HM Tug Assiduous to the Straits of Malacca, off Singapore, where U-181 (I-501) was scuttled (alongside I 502 / U-862) by the frigate HMS Loch Glendhu.

Many thanks to the work done by the members of, without whom we would never find out the fate of many of our servicemen.

Joseph was obviously loved and missed by his family, as they made sure he would be remembered by adding his name to the War Memorial, he is also remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial, please click on the link.

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

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