Price, Joseph

I believe that Joseph Price may have been born in the Ellesmere Registration District as his father William Evan Price was a Policeman and may have been stationed there when Joseph was born.   (Ellesmere Vol. 6a Page 1160 – The district Ellesmere spans the boundaries of the counties of Flintshire and Shropshire.)    Any help would be appreciated.

Although when William Evan Price and Mary Davies married at All Saint’s Church, Doddleston on 23rd October 1900, he was a Signalman.

All Saint’s Church Parish Registers – Marriages – Doddleston. – 23rd October 1900 William Evan PRICE, 26, Bachelor, Signalman, Bannel, Hawarden, Robert PRICE, Labourer & Mary DAVIES, Spinster, 25, Penyffordd, James DAVIES, Farmer. (After Banns). – Witnesses:-William DAVIES & Jemima DAVIES.

William Evan was still a Signalman on the 1901 census when the newly married couple can be seen living at Belle View Terrace, Hope, Flintshire.   William E. was head of the household, age 26 and a Raiilway Signalman born Hawarden, Flintshire.   Mary,26, had been born in Hope Flintshire.

By the 1911 census the family had moved to 5, Summer Hill, Holywell, Flintshire.   William Evan Price was now a Police Constable and they tell us that they had been married 10 years and that 3 children had been born to them. Mary Elizabeth, 9 had been born in Pennyfford, Hope.    Edith,7, born in Mold and Adalaide (sic) age 4 born in Holywell.   So we know that William Evan had been a Police Constable for at least 4 years and in Holywell.

So it not an impossibility that Joseph had been born in Ellesmere if he father was stationed there, as Policemen did move around.

I have no record of Joseph’s early years, nor his teen years, except that I believe that Joseph lost his mother when he was 4 years old, and a possibility that he lost his sister Mary Elizabeth the same year – 1916.   Then his father, William Evan, died when he was 12 years old.   Joseph was to suffer greatly when he was just a boy.

Hope Parish Church, – Burials  (I believe that William Evan was buried with Mary)

Page 279  No. 2226 Mary PRICE, 10, Salisbury Street, Shotton*, 5th April 1916 age 41 years.

*I believe that this was the Shotton Police Station.  10/12 Salisbury Street, Shotton was the Police Station in 1939.

But there is this burial in the Hope Parish Registers as well, is this his sister Mary Elizabeth? – Page 280 No. 2235 Mary Elizabeth PRICE, Wells Farm, Penymynydd,  4th May 1916, Age 14 years.

Was William Evan stationed at Shotton that year?    They may have kept his home at Well Farm going and the children lived there.   Any help would be appreciated.

However he was to pass his exams to go to Hawarden Grammar School in September 1924: – Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10 – 963/1416 PRICE, Joseph, Date of Birth – 25th October 1912, Well Farm, Penymynydd, Father Police Serg. (decd.), Date of Entry – 16th September 1924, Previous school – Clwyd St., Rhyl, Schl. £6, Date of 1st Leaving – 23rd July 1926 –returned 17th January 1927, 2nd date of leaving – 27th July 1928 – Rhyl Cty. School.

Again this proves that the family moved around a lot as a Policeman, as Joseph’s previous school had been in Rhyl and 4 years after entering the school, he left to go back to Rhyl.   Although by this time his father had died: –

Hope Parish Church, – Burials  (I believe that William Evan was buried with Mary)

Page 320 No. 2560 William Evan PRICE, Prince Edward Memorial Hospital, Rhyl, 28th August 1924 age 50 years.

William Evan Price in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995: – PRICE, William Evan of the Police Station, Rhyl, Flintshire died 25th August 1924 at the Prince Edward War Memorial Hospital, Rhyl.   Administration London 9 December to Edith Price, Spinster.    Effects £1890 14s 10d.

He must have been staying with relatives, but I have no proof.   War was declared on the 3rd September 1939 but when the National Register was taken on the 29th September 1939, Joseph is seen living at 65 Penymynydd Road , Penyffordd, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire,  I think that Joseph was living with his married sister Edith. I believe that she married Thomas K. Hughes at the Methodist Church, Hawarden in 1930 (Flintshire (Mold)   A144/01/E10).

This source also tells us the dates of birth for each person.   Thomas K. Hughes’s birth date was the 21st November 1904 and he was a Road Works Driver, Heavy Worker.  Edith Hughes had been born on the 28th June 1903 and as most married women with no job was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   There are 3 redacted or closed records, which, I believe are their children.   Also living there was Joseph Price, born on the 25th October 1912 and he was a Railway Carriage Cleaner and Single.   He was not in the Army on that day.

Joseph’s sister Adelaide was married in the September quarter of 1936 to Thomas Ellis at the All Saint’s Church, Higher Kinnerton (Flintshire (Mold) C110/01/E84).

I do not know if Joseph enlisted or was conscripted as but as this website explains  –,had%20to%20register%20for%20service

Your Country needs you. – On the day Britain declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939, Parliament immediately passed a more wide-reaching measure. The National Service (Armed Forces) Act imposed conscription on all males aged between 18 and 41 who had to register for service.

So Joseph may have had no choice, in any case he found himself in the 2nd Bn of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Madagascar in 1942.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission History Information tells us : –

History Information

After the fall of France in 1940, the French possession of Madagascar, which lay across the Allied lines of communication in the Indian Ocean, became of strategic importance to the Axis powers and, later, Japan. In May 1942 the large naval base and harbour of Diego Suarez was seized in Operation ‘Ironclad’, the first amphibious assault undertaken by Commonwealth forces in the Second World War.

Excerpt from  – Royal Welch Fusiliers –

The 2nd Battalion was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade throughout the war. In 1942, it fought in the Battle of Madagascar, then part of Vichy French, before being transferred to the South-East Asian Theatre. In 1944, the battalion and brigade became part of 36th British Infantry Division, previously an Indian Army formation.

Also read –British Armed Forces and National Service

1942.05.05 Madagascar 29 Bde, Force 121

Battle of Madagascar –

The Battle of Madagascar was the British campaign to capture the Vichy French-controlled island Madagascar during World War II. The seizure of the island by the British was to deny Madagascar’s ports to the Imperial Japanese Navy and to prevent the loss or impairment of the Allied shipping routes to India, Australia and Southeast Asia. It began with Operation Ironclad, the seizure of the port of Diego-Suarez (now Antsiranana) near the northern tip of the island, on 5 May 1942.[1][5]

A subsequent campaign to secure the entire island, Operation Stream Line Jane, was opened on 10 September. The Allies broke into the interior linking up with forces on the coast and secured the island by the end of October. Fighting ceased and an armistice was granted on 6 November.[6] This was the first large-scale operation by the Allies of World War II combining sea, land and air forces.[7][8]

More websites –

Operation Ironclad – The invasion of Madagascar – 5th May 1942: The invasion of Madagascar – Operation Ironclad.

5 May 1942.  Operation Ironclad –  Madagascar. [See coloured square markers for location of beaches. (On map below)] – “Operation Ironclad.” – Mostly about the Royal Scots Fusiliers, but a little story about a Welsh Fusilier.

Sadly it seems that Joseph died the first day of “Operation Ironclad” on the 5th May 1942.

Casualty List 839 (Page 5) Expeditionary Force – Madagascar.   Killed in Action – 4203978 PRICE, Fus. J.   Date not Reported.

Casualty List 860 (page 17) Expeditionary Force – Madagascar.   Killed in Action – 4203978 PRICE, Fus. J.   Date not Reported.   Date of Casualties should read 5th/7th May 1942.

Casualty List (Page 22) tells us  – “List No. 839 (Corrected by List No. 860) – Expeditionary Force – Madagascar.   Killed in Action – 4203978 PRICE, Fus. J. Date of Casualty should read 5th May 1942.  Date of Casualty 5th/7th May 1942.

CWGC Graves Concentration Report Form tells us that Joseph was buried at “Diego” possibly on the day he died and then was reburied on the 15th November 1943 at B.M.C. (British Military Cemetery?), the CWGC Graves Registration Report Form tells us that this is the Diego Suarez War Cemetery.

Joseph had suffered losses in his young life and then he sacrificed his life for us all.   His loss must have been hard on his sisters, so I hope that they were able to see the unveiling of the Roll of Honour.   The Roll of Honour was dedicated at Hawarden Grammar School on the 3rd February 1951 with a Remembrance Service for the 47* former pupils who died in the 1939 – 1945 World War.   As recorded in the Chester Chronicle Saturday 10th February 1951.

*Author’s note, there are 46 names on the Roll of Honour, clerical error by the newspaper.

Joseph Price is also remembered on the Hope WW2 War Memorial, please click on the link.


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