Conway, James

James (Jim) Conway was born in Flint 17th April 1888 and baptised 17th June 1888 at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Flint. He was the fifth child of ten children to Thomas Conway and Sarah Ann (Hayes) of 1, Castle Terrace, Flint and the brother of Lance Corporal Henry Francis Conway who also died in the war and has his own page here.

Like his brother Henry he was employed at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, Shotton but subsequently moved to the United Alkali Works, Flint.

James married Margaret Burke in 1912. She was born in Flint and a daughter of Thomas Burke, bricklayer, and his wife Mary, of Roskell Square. James and Margaret resided at 16, Roskell Square and had no children.

Prior to the war he had been a member of the Territorial Army for seven years.

He enlisted in Flint but it is not known exactly when. Since he had served with the Territorials for a number of years it is most likely he joined in August 1914. He landed at Gallipoli 8th August 1915.

He was killed in action at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 22nd August 1915 and buried in the Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey, in Plot II, Row B, Grave 7.

He is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town and St Mary’s Catholic Church, Flint and was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.

Since the departure of the 1/5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers for the Dardanelles, Turkey, several relatives of the members of the Battalion had been without news of soldiers, and Mrs Conway made enquiries per letters to the Territorials’ Records Office, Shrewsbury, respecting her husband. After the landing of the Battalion on the 10th August 1915 at Suvla and the subsequent battle charge Private Conway was missed from the ranks by his fellow comrades. The information at that time was that he had been removed to one of the hospitals; but there was a remarkable and mysterious absence of news regarding him at the Base and at home. On the 18th September there was information that he was believed to be suffering from wounds at one of the Alexandria Hospitals; but there were still no letters from him, or any intimation from anyone as to his condition, or whereabouts, subsequently. But one afternoon, in mid October, Mrs Conway was shocked to receive direct from the War Office an official intimation, dated the 14th, in reply to her letter of the 27th September that he had been “killed in action,” but no date was given. Private Conway was very popular amongst his friends in Flint.

Private Benjamin George Bellis, of Leadbrook Cottage, Oakenholt, was a Dispatch Rider with the 8th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Gallipoli, and in a letter to his parents he said that his battalion was near that of the 1/5th Battalion, and they were visited by some of the men. They had Ernie Joyce to tea; and Joyce was now a Lance Corporal. On another occasion they had tea with Lieutenant Alexander, of Oakenholt. They were located at Suvla and while walking round a field a few days previous to the date of his letter, their sniper Sergeant came across the grave of a Pte J Conway of the 1/5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He thought the number of Conway was 713. The name and regiment were written on an old envelope. He believed the man belonged to Flint. The earth was only just thrown over him; but the comrade had “tidied it up” and put a nice little wooden cross over it.

Private Conway’s wife, Margaret, never re-married and she died 19th May 1958, aged 70, at the Cottage Hospital, Flint, and buried in Pantasaph Cemetery.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Flint Memorial

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