Edward Welch was born in Flint in 1895 and baptised at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint on the 22nd May, 1895. He was the third of six children to Owen Welch and Bridget (Heaney).
Owen was born in Flint and was employed as a plumber. He and Bridget were married on the 30th May, 1880 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He died at the age of 45 on the 2nd April, 1900 at his home at 4, Mount Street and was buried in the Northop Road Cemetery.
Two of their children died in infancy; William in 1889 aged 6 and Sarah Elizabeth in 1890 aged 1. By 1911 Bridget and three of the children, including Edward, were living at 19, Feathers Street. The fourth, Mary, was working as a domestic servant in Manchester. She eventually married Private Thomas Roberts who also died in the war.
On the 14th February, 1913 yet another tragedy was to befall the Welch family when Bridget’s eldest child, John Owen, died at the age of 30.
Edward was employed at the British Glanzstoff Factory before he enlisted in the Army in Flint in September 1914. He was posted to Gallipoli in August 1915 and in December that year he contracted dysentery and enteric fever and was transported to a hospital in Egypt where he died on the 17th. He was buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Plot C, Grave 103).
His death was reported in the County Herald on 7th January, 1916.
DEATH OF A FLINT SOLDIER IN EGYPT
THE RAVAGES OF DYSENTERY AND ENTERIC
It is now a well-known fact that a large percentage of men of the 1/5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers have been suffering from the effects of dysentery and enteric, the ravages of which were keenly evident amongst the men of the various battalions which were sent and did duty on the Gallipolian shores. The majority of the Flint men who were ill and sent to the hospitals in Egypt and other places have recovered, and are either with the 1/5th, or in England in the hospitals and convalescent institutions, where they are receiving excellent nursing and attention.
We have with regret to record the death of Private Edward Welch (2334), of the 1/5th Battalion. He was with the Battalion at the Suvla Bay landing, and remained with his comrades some time afterwards, until seized with illness, which proved to be dysentery. He wrote several letters to his mother Mrs B Welch, of 19, Feathers Street, Flint; and one – the last – which was written on the 13th December, and received on Christmas Eve, stated he was in hospital in Alexandria. This letter from him was written by one of his nurses of the institution, and it contained the information that he was improving in his condition.
From the Territorials’ Record Office, at Shrewsbury, there has been received by his mother the sorrowful news that he died on the 17th December, the cause of death being dysentery. This would indicate that he succumbed to the malady four days after the letter was written by the nurse. The sad intelligence is much regretted in Flint, where Private Welch was known to many of the residents. He was one of the employees at the British Glanzstoff Factory, and he joined the Territorials, having placed to his credit 14 months’ service for his King and Country. We are sure the sympathies of the public of Flint will be extended to the bereaved mother and relatives. Private Welch was only 21 years of age.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on three war memorials – Flint Town, St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Flint and his parents’ headstone in the Northop Road Cemetery (Grave 3, Line 9, North Side). He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Bridget died on the 27th January, 1934, aged 73, and buried with her husband and three of her children.