Edward Williams was born in 1891 in Prescot, Lancashire and was the third of five children of Thomas and Mary Williams. Thomas was born in Holywell and Mary in Flint and were married in circa 1884. They spent some time living in Whiston nr Prescot where Thomas was employed as a coal miner. By 1911 they had moved to 20, Castle Street, Flint where Thomas was now a self-employed chimney sweep and Edward a general labourer.
In November 1913 Mary died, aged 56, and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Northop Road cemetery.
Edward was employed at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, Shotton and living with his sister, Mrs Jones, at 5, Roskell Square when he enlisted in the Army at Flint, but it is not known exactly when.
What is known is that he arrived at Gallipoli on the 8th August, 1915 and was killed in action by a shell on the 22nd September, which is the official date, but might not be correct as the war diary mentioned no action on that day. However, on the 23rd September it states: “Shelled by enemy (shrapnel). Casualties 0 Ranks, 4 killed and 6 wounded.” So Edward was probably one of the four killed that day. A piece of the copper belting of the shell was sent home to his sister as a relic.
SAD NEWS FOR FLINT HOMES
(County Herald 15th October 1915)
The news arrived on Tuesday afternoon that Private Edward Williams, son of Mr Thomas Williams, of Roskell Square, and Private Robert Ellis Johnson, of Castle Dyke Street, Flint, had been killed at the Dardanelles. It appears that the men, along with others, were in their Rest Camp, or “Dug Out,” when a shell burst a short distance away, causing fatal wounds. Three men were killed, two of them being Johnson and Williams. Sergeant R Davies, of the Regiment has written to his wife, who resides in Evans Street, stating that he was only a few yards away at the time when the shell burst, and saw his comrades killed. It is understood that Sergeant Davies and Private Dan Roberts whose home is at 64, Mount Street, have witnessed the interment of the remains of their comrades. There were other men wounded at the time.
“IN THE PINK AND PULLING THROUGH”
SERGEANT ROBERT PARRY, OF SWAN STREET, SENDS NEWS OF CASUALTIES
(County Herald 22nd October 1915)
Sergeant Robert Parry, whose home is at 27, Swan Street, and who is with the 1/5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the Dardanelles, writing on the 25th September to his wife, states that he was in the pink and pulling through. He says his comrades and himself had received a copy of the “County Herald,” and he could say that they all looked forward to getting the paper, which contained very fine reports respecting the men of the Battalion. The Battalion had been sent down to the Beach, which was called the base, for a fortnight’s rest; but, of course, the men were performing fatigue work during the day such as the unloading of the ships. Still they were not even safe there, because they were shelled very heavily. The first day they landed at the Beach Base there were five killed and nine wounded, and of their Company were four killed and three wounded by one shell. Amongst the killed were Johnson, of Castle Dyke Street, and E. Williams, of Roskell Square, and two others. Indeed it was wonderful how their nerves stood it all. They were at the Base free of the snipers, who were awful when the men were in the firing line. The men had all done their best out there, and it was quite true, as stated in the “County Herald,” the men who were not hit in the big fight were very lucky. He was quite close to the late Colonel Basil Philips in the charge when he shouted “Come on boys; come on the Fighting-Fifth.” At the end of his letter he states that Private Joe Hogan, of Flint, went into hospital when the Battalion were sent for the rest down to the Base.
Edward was presumed to have been buried in Hill 10 Cemetery, Turkey but his grave had not been identified, so his headstone was recorded as Special Memorial No. 55.
He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on the St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint war memorial.