Peter Wynne was born in Flint in 1895 and baptised on the 16th October, 1895 in St Mary’s Parish Church. He was the fourth of 14 children to Robert Wynne and Mary (Ingman), seven of whom died young. Robert and Mary were married in St Mary’s Parish Church on the 27th March, 1886 and they resided at 1, Bryn Houses.
Robert, for some reason, was missing from the 1891 census, but Mary and their only two children at that time were living with her widowed mother in Bryn Houses. He was back with his family for the 1901 census and was employed as a coal miner.
On leaving school also became a coal miner, but decided this life was not for him and joined the Army on the 26th February, 1913, signing the declaration and signing the oath witnessed by Captain E J H Williams, the brother of Lt Hugh Osborne Williams, whose story appears elsewhere in this book.
His medical examination was taken by Dr W A F Twemlow, of 33, Church Street, Flint who declared him fit for service in the 5th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers Territorial Force. His service number was 1163. He was 18 years 5 months old, 5ft 2 1/2 ins, a chest measurement of 34 ½ ins when fully expanded and his vision and physical development were good, he had a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair. He was given a character reference by Mr H Powell of Mount Pleasant, Flint who stated he had known Peter since boyhood and saw him only a few days ago to talk to, and to the best of his belief he is sober, honest, a good steady young man and is single.
He was Home based and was embodied the day after the war began on the 5th August. He remained Home based until he was sent to France on the 13th April, 1915 embarking at Folkestone. On the 6th August he was granted Class II Proficiency Pay and on the 19th December he was wounded in action. He was admitted to No. 10 Casualty Clearing Station with shrapnel wounds to the face and left arm. They must have been considered serious for he was transported to England on the Hospital Ship “St Patrick” arriving on the 22nd.
WOUNDED FOURTEEN TIMES: CORPL PETER WYNNE OF FLINT
(County Herald 31st March 1916)
Corporal Peter Wynne, son of Mr Robert Wynne, of the Bryn Houses, Flint, is in hospital at Whalley, near Blackburn. He was admitted into that Institution towards the latter end of last December, and since he as been located there several other men belonging to Flintshire have been under treatment there. Wynne, who is said to be about 18 years of age is a young soldier who has experienced some thrilling times at the Front in France. He was at one time connected with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers; but he went to Barnsley, in Yorkshire, to follow up the employment as a collier, and whilst in that district he joined the “York and Lancasters,” with which he proceeded to the battlefields of France. Anyone who has been observant of the names of the Battalions which have been conspicuous in the fighting upon repeated occasions will not have forgotten that the “York and Lancasters” have been in the midst of some of the severest engagements. Wynne has participated in one of the bayonet charges, and also emerged from one of the enemy’s gas attacks successfully. When returning from the firing line to the billets for a few days’ rest he had been conversing with a friend whom he left. Soon afterwards a shell burst overhead, and he received fourteen shrapnel wounds in different parts of the body and face. He has not seen the Battalion since, but he states that the men had been in very heavy fighting. He was removed to the Base Hospital and Clearing Station, and eventually arrived at the Whalley Military Hospital where he has undergone surgical operations, and where he has been visited by his parents and friends. His friends in Flint and elsewhere hope that he will have a speedy recovery under the expert medical treatment and advice; but it is not expected he will be able to leave the hospital for some time, his wounds having been of a serious nature.
He remained in England until the 18th August, 1916 when he was sent back to France. On returning to France he joined the British Empire Force and reverted back to Private.
His service record is very confusing as it doesn’t say when he was transferred to the York and Lancaster Regiment. It may have been when the war began. At some point he was promoted to Lance Corporal but there seemed to be some confusion as to when it was as this letter, dated 9th September, 1916 suggests: “Will you kindly inform me if the late above man was appointed to Lce Corpl, as I am unable to trace same in Part II order.” Colonel C.F. James.
On 13th September, at Chipstone Camp, Mansfield, the Commanding Officer G. Fitzgerald replied: “The above man must have been appointed Lce Cpl whilst serving with the Expeditionary Force. He was posted to this unit 18-4-16 from the 1/5 Y & L as a Corpl.” So it would seem that Pte Wynne was transferred from the RWF to the York and Lancs at the start of the war, then back to the RWF, then back to the York and Lancs.
Private Wynne was killed in action in France on the 3rd October 1916 and buried in Foncquevillers Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France (Plot I, Row J, Grave 8). He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town and the Bryn Mission (which is now situated in the Caersalem Chapel). He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Robert, of 4, Maesydre Avenue, died on the 24th October 1943, and his obituary stated: Mr Wynne, who was 79, and who had been ailing for some time, was a native of Flint, and had lived in the district all his life. Most of his working life was spent as a coal miner at Bettisfield Colliery, and afterwards he worked at Aber Works. He was a member of Caersalem C.M. Church. He leaves a widow and seven children.
Mary died at her home on the 1st June 1947, aged 82, and according to her obituary, she was a native of the Bryn, living there practically all her life. She attended the Bryn CM Chapel.