William Henry Johnson was born on 28th October, 1883 at 14, Winter Street, Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. He was the eldest of two children to John George Johnson and Elizabeth (Bradshaw).
Mr Johnson was born illegitimate in Stalybridge, Cheshire in 1863 and the 1881 census gave his occupation as a Bullyman Carter. He and Elizabeth were married on 18th May, 1883 at St George’s Parish Church, Stalybridge and his occupation on the marriage certificate was a mechanic and his father’s name was given as Dr Brierley, surgeon.
John and Elizabeth had another son named Amos in 1888 then sometime within the next seven years John George died and Elizabeth remarried to Liverpool born Charles Littleton on 21st December, 1895 at the Ashton-under-Lyne Register Office. They had a daughter, Alice Ann in 1901 and they all lived at 10, Queen Street, Flint.
William married Flint born Rachel Edwards at the Register Office, Holywell on 4th November 1905. By this time he was living at 3, Corporation Street. There were no children from this marriage. The 1911 census found Charles, Elizabeth, Alice Ann, Amos, William Henry and Rachel all living at 78, Ash Grove, Shotton. Charles, William and Amos were all employed as ironworkers at John Summers’ steelworks.
William enlisted in Shotton on 20th August, 1914 and his regiment landed at Boulogne on 27th September, 1915. According the 10th Battalion War Diary he was reported wounded and missing during the Battle of Ancre on 13th November, 1916. Another source stated he “died on 19th November, 1916, while a prisoner of war in Germany, from grenade wounds on his left thigh which resulted in blood poisoning”
He was probably initially buried in a German cemetery then later exhumed and buried in Ontario Cemetery, Sains-les-Marquion, France, in Plot II, Row E, Grave 10. He is remembered on three war memorials: St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint; Connah’s Quay Town and St Ethelwold’s Parish Church, Shotton. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor on the Connah’s Quay panel.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
William mother, Elizabeth, was widowed again in 1921 and she herself died on 1st April, 1927 at Lluesty Hospital, Holywell and buried in Connah’s Quay Town Cemetery. At the time of her death she was living at Princes Brickyard, Connah’s Quay.
Rachel re-married in 1921 to Thomas John Evans Bentley (1885-1966) and they lived at 22, Mumforth Street.
She died on 24th February, 1962, aged 76, and is buried in the Old London Road Cemetery with her second husband.
William is also named on the Connah’s Quay memorial.