Hedley was born in 1887 and was the son of John & Mary Davies of Ewloe. In order to put his story into the context of his large family, we need to look at the census of 1881 – before his birth and then the 1891 census.
In 1881 the family was living in Reynold’s Houses in Hawarden. Head of the household, John Davies was a 35 year old labourer in the Ironworks. His wife Mary was 32. Their listed children then were William 11, John 9, Elizabeth 7, Walter 5 and Frank 2.
In 1891 the family lived in Ewloe. John Davies 45 was a Coalminer. Mary was 41. The children listed in the household were John 19 Walter 14, Frank 11, Jessie 8, Samuel 6, Hedley 4 and Thomas 1. In December of 1891, after the census, Charles Davies was born.
(Charles Davies also lost his life in WW1 and has his own page on this website. Follow the link)
(Frank Davies also lost his life in WW1 and is remembered on the Gwersyllt War Memorial. He was living in Gwersyllt with his wife and family and is buried in Gwersyllt Churchyard).
By 1901 tragedy had struck, as Hedley’s mother Mary had died, and his father John, 51, still a Gardener and a new brother Charles, 9, were living with Hedley’s sister Elizabeth Wainwright, 26, and her husband Thomas, 28 and a Coal Miner (Hewer) and their 3 children in Ewloe, Flintshire. I cannot find Hedley on that census.
The census of 1911 records Hedley, 24, a Coal Miner (Hewer) then living with his sister, Jessie Shone, 29, and her husband Walter, 29. They had been married 5 years and had 2 sons, Walter and James Leonard. They lived at Bunkers Hill Buckley, Flintshire.
I believe that Hedley married May Hughes, in a Civil Marriage in Wrexham in 1913.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk includes an entry for Hedley Davies. It confirms the regimental details above left. It says (wrongly) that he was born in Gwersyllt. (He was born in Hawarden and later resided in Gwersyllt). He enlisted in Wrexham.
The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for Hedley Davies. It says that Hedley’s widow “Mary” Davies was the sole Legatee and she received of £7.3s 2d including his War Gratuity. (Clerical error? Her name was May).
Both Hedley and Frank are remembered on the Gwersyllt War Memorial.
This family paid a very high price for WW1.