Menu

Williams, Sydney

Sydney Williams was on the War Memorial as simply WILLIAMS, S., just as are all the others, Surname and Initial, but he was one of 9 names that I was struggling with no information, so I appealed to the Leader for help on the 18th June 2018, and I was contacted by an old friend, Sarah (Sadie) Millington, who, with her late husband Walter, had done sterling work on the Monumental Inscriptions with the Clwyd Family History Society and had books published with all this information on, which have proved invaluable in the past.   Walter Millington, himself, had suffered the loss of his father Walter in WW2 and whose name is also on the Memorial, please click on the link to read his story.   On seeing the name S. WILLIAMS, it had struck a chord with Sadie, and she got in touch to say that she might have some little information about him.

As it proved, she was to open the door to Sydney’s part in the war and I will be eternally grateful for Sadie’s help.   The information was on his family’s gravestone.

“In Loving Memory of Agnes May beloved wife of Charles H. SHAW, died Oct. 17 1956 aged 47 years, also Ethel COLLINS, died 21 August 1960 aged 46 years.   Right Curb – Edward WILLIAMS, died Sept.1 st 1951 aged 78 years.    Margaretta WILLIAMS died July 28th 1955 aged 78 years.    Left Curb – and brother Sydney, Killed in Action over Germany, October 9th 1943, aged 29 years.   Sgt. Air Gunner, R.A.F.”   Foot- “In Loving Memory of our dear Father & Mother.”

 Sydney was the son of Edward & Margaretta Williams (nee Jones), who, I believe, married in the Neath District of Glamorganshire in 1895, but this certificate would have to be purchased to confirm/deny. (Neath, Glamorganshire Vol.  11a Page 1267).

They can be seen on the 1901 census living at 19, Walters? Road, Llantwit Lower, Glamorganshire, Edward, 28, was a Steel Smelter, Margretta, was 23, and their 2 children, David E., 5, Edward Ph. 3 and Edwards’s father Elias Williams, age 71 and a Widower, were in the household, all the family had been born in Neath.

By the 1911 census they had moved to 36 Fron Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire (6 rooms), Edward, 38, was head of the household, and Margaretta 33, tell us that they had been married for 15 years and 6 children had been born to them, and they were all still living.   Edward was Bilingual, the rest of the family only spoke English.   The children now one working, were David E. 16, a Helper Shearer (at Home, as was Edward), Phillip (sic) 13, John, 9, Beatrice, 7, Edward, 5, all at school and Agnes age 2.

 Sydney was born on the 11th of October 1914, according to the 1939 Register, (which was taken on the 29th of September 1939, the war having been declared on the 3rd of September.)

The 1921 census shows that the family are still living at 36, Fron Road, and the family had increased.   Edward E. Williams was now 48 years and 3 months old; he was a steel worker, and he writes that his last employer was Summers & Sons, Hawarden Bridge Steelworks.    Thousands were out of work on Deeside and the country because of the Miner’s strike.  Margaretta Williams was now 43 years and 3 months old, and she was doing “Home service.”  Their children were: – Phillip Williams, now 23 years and 2 months old, John Williams 19 years and 4 months old, Edward Williams 15 years and 3 months old, all single and Steel Workers, just like their father.   Beatrice Williams, 17 years, and 3 months old was doing “Home Duties.”   Agnes Williams was 12 years and 3 months old. Annie Williams was 10 years and 1 month old, Ethel Williams was 8 years and 10 months old, Sydney Williams was 6 years and 7 months old, T. Harris Williams was 3 years and 9 months old and lastly, but not least was baby William Williams, 4 months old.

Sydney is seen on the 1939 National Register, but I do not know anything about his youth or early life, except for the 1921 census, so any information would be gratefully received, so he will be remembered.

The Williams family on this National Register shows the family living at 36 Fron Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, Wales.   This source gives us the dates of birth.   Head of the household was Edward Williams, born on the 4th of March 1873 and was a Steelworker, his wife Margretta (sic) Williams had been born on the 1st of March 1878 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”    Sidney (sic) Williams had been born on the 11th of October (looks like 16, but the enumerator wrote his 6’s in a bolder fashion), so I believe that it was the 11th.   Sydney was a Steel Sheet Worker and single.  David E. Williams had been born on the 13th of February 1896 and was a Steel Smelter, he was a widower. Mary Williams*, born on the 30th of May 1922 was single and an Art Silk Spinner.   There were two redacted or closed records, so I don’t know who they were, and there were two other residents, – Agnes Shaw, born on the 13th of March 1909 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”    Jean Shaw**had been born on the 12th of July 1938, under school age.

*Mary Williams married a gentleman names Chesters on the 9th of October 1942, according to the National Register.

**Jean Shaw married a gentleman named Grieves on the 24th of June 1959, according to the National Register.

I do not know when Sydney enlisted or was conscripted, but he was to be in the 102 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Bomber Command, and I downloaded from the National Archives the Operations book for the 102 Sqdn for the month of October 1943, and on the night of the 8th October , Sydney’s Halifax 11 HR.927 “N” with the crew F/S R. ELLIS,  Pilot; Sgt. J. ROWLATT, Nav.; Sgt. J. WOOLLERTON, W/OP.; Sgt J.M. BUCHANAN, A/G.; Sgt. S. WILLIAMS, A/G.; Sgt. T.G. PALLGRAVE , Eng.; and Sgt. J. MASON, Born   (If you would like the Operations Book for October 1943, please contact the website.)

They were “Up” at 22.50; Down –Blank- Details of Sortie or Flight – Aircraft Missing, no news after take-off.

From Sydney’s Grave Registration Report Form on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission pages for Sydney, it shows that 2 of Sydney’s crew are buried with him, in Graves 1 and 2 , Sydney being in the 3rd Grave on Plot V, Row B, all dying on the 9th October 1943 and presumably died and buried at the same time.

I then wondered about the rest of the Crew and as usual, I asked the WW2 talk Forum the question – “Did they all die?” and  if they could shed any light on the fate of the Halifax and the Crew.    As usual they were to answer the questions and more so.   Many thanks to them all.  http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/did-they-all-die.73801/#post-792287

http://www.aircrewremembered.com/AlliedLossesIncidents/?q=hx173

You searched for: “”hx173″”

#            Name* (↑)        First Names       Title      Rank     Service No.              Role      Awards Air Force (↑)     Command (↑)  Unit (↑)              DateofIncident (↑)        Aircraft (↑)       Type      Serial    Code              Victories (Fighters)         Base (↑)            Time     Mission Incident              Fate      Commemorated             Photo (Click to Expand) Notes

 

1            Buchanan J McN                           Sergeant                                                                       Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              PoW     

 

2            Ellis R                  Flight Sergeant                                                           Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              Killed    Hannover War Cemetery

 

3            Mason J                            Sergeant                                                                      Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              PoW     

 

4            Palgrave T G                     Sergeant                                                                      Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              Killed    Hannover War Cemetery

 

5            Rowlatt H F                      Sergeant                                                                      Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              PoW     

 

6            Williams S                        Sergeant                                                                      Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              Killed    Hannover War Cemetery

 

7            Woolerton J                     Sergeant                                                                      Bomber Command         102 Sqd

1943-10-08        Halifax  II            HX173   DY-N                   Pocklington        2250      Hannover           Crashed S of Lichtenhorst              PoW

Also

“Alieneyes” replied telling me that there was a message from Don Mason 30 days ago regarding his father James Mason, (see above Crew list), which tells more of the story about the flight :-

No 102 Squadron RAF Halifax VI, No 4 Group Bomber Command 1944-45

Don Mason 30 days ago

My dad was a bomb aimer in Halifax HX173 DY-N out of Pocklington. He was shot down on 8th October 1943 over Lichtenhorst, on the way home from Hanover. It was his 13th op (unlucky 13?). He was one of four survivors (obviously, otherwise I would not be here to tell the tale), baling out through the bomb bay doors as other exits were impossible to reach. After the war he became a Baptist Minister and died in 2002. 

https://ru-clip.net/video/ikULJPFM-pU/no-102-squadron-raf-halifax-vi-no-4-group-bomber-command-1944-45.html

Again “TD” from the Forum was able to add to the story, telling us that from the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 they were paired off to different Prisoner of War Camps.  Many thanks to him.

To find out more, click on the link:-

Prisoners of War Camp Mühlberg (Stalag IV B)  https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/433/Prisoners-of-War-Camp-M%FChlberg-Stalag-IV-B.htm

Name: J Mason

Rank: Flight Sergeant

Army Number: 1339448

Regiment: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

POW Number: 259886

Camp Type: Stalag

Camp Number: 4B

Camp Location: Muhlberg (Elbe), Germany

Section: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

Name: H F Rowlatt

Rank: Flight Sergeant

Army Number: 1389625

Regiment: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

POW Number: 259906

Camp Type: Stalag

Camp Number: 4B

Camp Location: Muhlberg (Elbe), Germany

Section: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

To find out more about this Camp, go to :- Life as a German POW at Stalag Luft III

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/blog/2015/04/02/life-as-a-german-pow-at-stalag-luft-iii

Name: J Mc N Buchanan

Rank: Flight Sergeant

Army Number: 1351233

Regiment: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

POW Number: 259853

Camp Type: Stalag Luft 3

Camp Number: L3

Camp Location: Sagan and Belaria, Poland

Section: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

 

Name: J Woollerton (Sometimes Woolerton) (Seems to be slightly different spellings of his surname)

Rank: Flight Sergeant

Army Number: 1035101

Regiment: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

POW Number: 259925

Camp Type: Stalag Luft 3

Camp Number: L3

Camp Location: Sagan and Belaria, Poland

Section: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

I have no knowledge of how they fared the war, I do hope there was a happy ending for someone.

Sydney was well loved, and his family made sure he would be remembered for perpetuity by putting his name forward to be added to the Connahs Quay & Shotton WW2 Memorial.


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

Back to top