Arthur Connah appears on a census for the first time in 1901. He was the son of Alfred & Rose Hannah Connah. The family was living at the Warren Broughton, Hawarden (Flint). Alfred was a General Labourer,35 who had been born in Hawarden. Rose Hannah was 33 and had been born in Hope, Flintshire. Their listed children were Jane,11, George 9, Arthur 7 and Lee 4. All the children had been born in Hawarden.
By the 1911 census they had moved to Stony Hill, Near Hawarden, and their family had grown. Alfred 43 was a Woodman. He and Rose Hannah had been married for 22 years. Their children were listed as Jane 21. George Edward 19 and a Platelayer. Arthur 17, was a Bricklayer’s Labourer. Lee 14 was an Under Gardener. John was 10, Alfred-Jnr 7, Hannah 4 and Eleanor (Nellie) was 1.
Arthur married Josephine Nichol in a Civil ceremony at Hawarden in 1914. They had one child, a son, Alec Andrew Connah who was born 11th October 1914 in Hawarden. This was just a few months after war had been declared. (Alec died in 1986, in Shropshire aged 71).
1918 was a tragic year for this family. On the 29th April 1918, Arthur’s 21 year old brother, Lee Connah was killed in action in France. He is listed on the Hawarden memorial and has his own page on this website. Follow the link to read his story. On the 27th October 1918, Arthur’s sister Nellie Connah died in the flu epidemic. She was 9. On the 16th November 1918, Arthur Connah died of his wounds at Netley Hospital. He was 24. He was buried in Penymynydd, near his family home.
The following account was kindly given by Mary Lewis, please contact me again Mary, I would love to “speak” to you, but have no contact details.
“Arthur Connah was wounded in WWI and died later as a result at Netley Hospital. His name does not appear on the War Memorial as he did not die on active service. He is buried in Penymynydd Churchyard. He had a boy called Alexander (Alec) who was three or four when his father died. His wife, Josephine, was the daughter of Mr Nichols, gamekeeper on the Hawarden estate; he lived in the gamekeeper’s cottage on the estate. Arthur and Josephine lived in Park Head, the lodge at the entrance to Hawarden Castle”.
(In fact, Arthur and his brotherLee are both remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial and on the Penymynydd memorial inside the church at Penymynydd)
“I remember during visits to my grandmother, there was a set of huge photographs of the family on the wall and whenever tea was made, she would say, “Show it to the pictures!” In other words, let it brew a bit.
Lee, Arthur and George Edward were sons of Alfred and Rose Hannah Connah. Lee served as a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery and was killed on 29th April 1918 in Belgium; he is buried at the Hoogestadt Belgian Cemetery. George Edward, the third brother of my father John, returned safely from the War. My father was only seventeen so was too young to enlist. Nellie, their sister, died in the flu epidemic which followed the end of the war”.
Below is the text of the funeral card for Lee, Arthur and Nellie Connah, who all died in 1918.
In Loving Memory of the dear beloved children of Alfred and Rose H. Connah, (of Pentrobin)
LEE – Who was killed in Action in France April 29th 1918 Aged 21 years. Also dear little NELLIE who died Oct. 27th 1918 Aged 9 years.
Like the lilies fair and green
Soon cut down and no more seen;
In life beloved, in peace they died,
We craved their lives but God denied.
Also of ARTHUR The beloved husband of Josephine Connah (of Park Head) who died at Netley Hospital, England, from wounds received inAction in France. November 16th 1918 Aged 24 years.
He suffered much but murmured not,
We watched him day by day
With aching hearts, grow less and less,
Until he passed away.
We loved him, yes, no tongue can tell
He loved us too and Oh, how well;
God loved him too and thought it best
To take him home with him to rest.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk tell us that Arthur lived and enlisted in Hawarden and he died at home. Arthur’s medal card also accessible on ‘ancestry’ confirms his regimental details and lists his medal entitlement.
Arthur and his brother Lee were in the War and enlisted circa 1915/16. Arthur was wounded in France on the 23rd October 1918 and was brought home to Great Britain to the Netley Hospital in Southampton, (see below for the history of the Hospital) where he died of his wounds on the 16th November 1918, just days after the war had ended.
There is an index card for Arthur in the Flintshire Roll of Honour ( Penymynydd F2 ),at the County Record Office in Hawarden. Alfred Connah, the father of both Arthur and Lee, signed the Flintshire WW1 Index Cards for his sons on the same day 11th September, but no year was entered. The cards were all signed in either 1919 or 1920. He tells us that Arthur served for 1 year 9 months.
Information and history about Netley Royal Victoria Military Hospital: – After the Crimean war Queen Victoria ordered a military hospital to be built in the UK. Its purpose was to train army nurses and doctors and to treat military patients to ensure their swift return to duty. Netley was chosen as the site because it was near to Southampton so that hospital ships from around the British Empire could safely dock and disembark patients.