Augustus William Wheeler was born in Silvertown, West Ham in 1894 and was the eldest of six children to William Edmund Wheeler and Anna Martha (Fitzgerald). William Edmund Wheeler who also died in the war and has his own page elsewhere
In the 1901 census William, Anna, Augustus and his two brothers, William Edmund Jr and Percy were living at 52, New City Road, West Ham. Sometime before the 1911 census the family, but without Augustus, had moved to 6, Bryn Houses, Flint.
There was no sign of Augustus in that census, in fact he is very much a mystery. In June 1915 his mother appeared in court in Northop charged with stealing a young turkey. It was reported in the newspapers which also stated “she had two sons in the Army and had lost one in the Navy.”
His father was killed in action on the 26th March, 1917 and in his death report it was mentioned that “the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Wheeler was lost on a vessel which was torpedoed.”
So was Augustus a sailor? The answer to that is a definite no, for he could not be found in any Naval records, Royal or Merchant; not the army either. He does however show in the Deaths at Sea register which states he died in January 1915.
He may have been a civilian which begs the question, at 20 years old, why was he not a serviceman? Another theory is that if he wasn’t a serviceman then since he died a year before conscription was introduced then he was quite likely to have been in an occupation which was regarded as war essential work. But we may never know for sure.
It’s quite likely he lived in Flint for a short while since he is remembered on the St Mary’s Parish Church war memorial.