Hewitt, William

William George Hewitt was born in Flint in 1861 and baptised on 1st January, 1865 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, and was the youngest of three children to Hugh Hewitt and Catherine (Edwards).

William’s older brother Edward was the father of Private Thomas Hewitt.

The 1871 census found the Hewitt family living at 38, Chester Street but sadly William’s father, Hugh, died in July 1873, aged 49, and was buried in the Old Ground of the Northop Road Cemetery. He was born in Connah’s Quay, was a Pilot on the River Dee and came from a well-known family of mariners.

The 1881 census revealed William was a boarder at a lodging house on Chester Road, where widow Elizabeth Williams was the Lodging House Keeper. William was employed as a cooper at the local chemical works.

William married Lucy Evans on 24th April, 1887, at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. She was born in Flint and was a daughter of William Watkin Evans and his wife Ann of Mount Street. Lucy died in December 1890, aged 20, and lies in an unmarked grave in the Northop Road Cemetery. They had no children.

William married a second time in Chester in 1894 to Margaret (Maggie) Williams. She was born in Flint and was a daughter of John Williams and his wife Jane of Mount Pleasant. They lived for a while at 9, Mill Brow before settling at 54, Mount Pleasant, Northop Road.

His mother, Catherine, was born in Greenfield, and died in January, 1897, aged 76, and is also buried in the Old Ground of the Northop Road Cemetery.

William and Margaret had 13 children: John William (1894–1964); Maud (1896–1915); Hugh (1898–1898); Enoch (1899–1899); Catherine Jane (1900–1900); Elizabeth (1901–?); Enoch (1903– 1903); Ada (1904–1977); Edward (1905–1906); Margaret Jane (1907–1907); Albert (1908–1916); Enoch (1909–1909); Margaret Jane (1911–?).

The seven who died in infancy, Hugh, Enoch, Catherine Jane, Enoch, Edward, Margaret Jane and Enoch, were buried with William’s first wife Lucy.

By the 1911 census William was employed as a steelworker (gas producer) at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks and he was also a member of the Flint Castle Lodge of Oddfellows.

Before the war he was with the Flint Company of National Reserves (Flintshire Battalion) when it had headquarters in Mold, and afterwards he became attached to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and held a non-commissioned rank.

When the war began he joined the service in response to the appeal for ex-non-commissioned officers and enlisted in Flint on 10th September, 1914. For a long time he was a Sergeant Instructor in the Reserve 3/5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers near Oswestry, and at some point was transferred to the 11th Battalion.

While he was away tragedy was to befall William and his wife Maggie when their 19-year-old daughter, Maud, passed away on 18th December, 1915. Worse was to come the following year when their eight-year-old son Albert accidentally drowned while playing with two friends at the Halkyn Road Brick Works. William was home at the time and was present at the inquest. Albert was buried in the Northop Road Cemetery with his sister Maud.

William’s eldest son, John William, served in the war for four years and six months as a Private with the 10th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, No. 15207. In March, 1916 it was reported that Private Hewitt had been wounded. Private Joseph Frances, of the Manchester Gun Section, connected with the Battalion, writing to Private Hewitt’s parents, said he took the liberty of doing so to inform them that Will had been wounded in the leg whilst doing his duty. He and other friends of Private Hewitt, had not heard from him since, and that might probably be due to his having landed in England at one of the hospitals. Before leaving he said that Hewitt left word that if any parcels arrived addressed to him they were to open them and distribute the contents amongst his chums. One parcel had arrived since he was sent away by the hospital authorities, and it was opened in the presence of the remainder of the men of the Gun Section. On behalf of the chums he wrote thanking the senders, and at the same time expressing their sympathy with them, trusting that they would soon hear from their son. They hoped he would be soon all right again.

William was discharged from the army on the 27th March, 1918 and returned to work at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks.

He died on 29th August, 1921, at Chester Royal Infirmary, of cirrhosis of the liver and heart failure, and was buried four days later in the Northop Road Cemetery (Grave 7, Line 44, South Side).

He is remembered on the St Mary’s Parish Church war memorial, Flint. It is not known if he was awarded any medals.

William was not still serving in the army when he died and his death does not appear to be related to his army service, so it is unclear as to why he has a military headstone or why his name is commemorated on the Parish Church war memorial.

William’s wife, Margaret, died at 9, Woodfield Avenue, Flint on 23rd June, 1939, aged 70, and was buried in the Northop Road Cemetery, but not with her husband. She was a member of St John’s English Congregational Church and Sisterhood.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Flint Memorial

Back to top