David Edward Ames was born in Greenfield, Flintshire during 1889.
The 1901 Census tells us that the family lived at 15 Battery Row, Greenfield, Flintshire. The head of the family was John Thomas Ames aged 40, who was employed as a Railway Labourer. His wife Elizabeth Ames aged 36 (nee Jones) and their 6 (six) children – Jane Ames aged 18, William John Ames aged 16, who was employed as a Carter in the Greenfield Iron Foundry. David Edward Ames aged 12, Sarah Ann Ames aged 7, Margaret Elizabeth Ames aged 3 and Mary Ethel Ames aged 3 months. Also living with the family was Elizabeth’s father, David Jones aged 74 and his three sons, who were all employed as Carters at Greenfield Iron Foundry – Robert Jones aged 38, Thomas Jones aged 30 and William Jones aged 23.
The 1911 Census states that the family now resided at 4 Green Bank, Greenfield. John Thomas Ames who was now 50 year old was still employed as a Railway Labourer. His wife Elizabeth Ames aged 46, and they now had 5 (five) children living at home. – David Edward Ames aged 22, a Railway Labourer. Sarah Ann Ames aged 17 years, who was employed as a Weaver in the Welsh Flannel Mill, Greenfield Road, Holywell. Maggie Elizabeth Ames aged 13, Robert Thomas Ames aged 8 and Mary Ethel Ames aged 6, who were all scholars. Robert and William Jones were still living with the family.
On 14 July 1915 David along with many other Flintshire Soldiers embarked HM Transport Ship ‘Caledonia’ at Devonport bound for Gallipoli, arriving in that Theatre of War on 8 August 1915.
The 9,223 ton S.S. Caledonia was a British passenger ship built for the Anchor Line by David and William Henderson & Company at Glasgow, Scotland. The ship was launched on 22 October 1904 and plied a tourist route between Glasgow and New York. When World War 1 commenced in August 1914, the British government requisitioned Caledonia and converted this once elegant liner into a troop ship. Post conversion, Caledonia could carry 3,074 troops and 212 horses.
Flintshire Observer dated Thursday 23 December 1915 – The Last Letter Home. Private David Edward Ames of the 1/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, wrote from the Floriana Hospital, Malta on the 27 November to his parents at Holywell, that he was in hospital with bronchitis. ‘ I am in a very good place, so don’t worry’, he wrote and wished all at home a Merry Christmas. On the 1 December another letter was written, this time by Mrs Edith Dace of Floriana Hospital, in which she said ‘ It is my sad duty to write and tell you of the death of your son Private D. Ames, which took place very suddenly on the 30 November at 10.30pm. He came into the hospital on the 26th with bronchial catarrh, but it was soon found that he had kidney disease, probably caused by damp and cold. The medical officer had good hopes at first, but he took a turn for the worse and died suddenly. He was given a full military funeral. A wreath was placed on the grave bearing the inscription ‘Malta’s tribute to dead heroes’. Please accept my very sincere sympathy. He mentioned your name, but was not, owing to his illness, inclined to talk much’.
On 10 March 1916 a payment of £6.5s.2d was made by the War Office to John Thomas Ames, this was monies owed to his son David. On 11 August 1919, a further payment which is recorded as a War Gratuity was also made to him.
He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.
There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for David Edward Ames at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, containing very little information. Details of his medals were obtained fromwww.forces-war-records.co.uk and also from the British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index which can be viewed on www.ancestry.co.uk