Joseph Thomas Ankers’ parents, William Ankers and Lizzie E. Cowper, I believe, were married in St. Mary’s Church in Chester in 1881.(CE14/9/117)
Joseph was the 2nd of 3 sons born to the couple. He was first recorded on a census in 1901 living with his family at the Lifeboat Inn, Saltney (Flint), Sandycroft. Head of the household and Joseph’s father was William Ankers, 41, a Grocer, born in Kellsall Cheshire. (They had been at the Lifeboat Inn in the 1891 census when William was a Grocer and an Inn Keeper). William’s wife was Lizzie, 46. She had been born in Burton Shropshire. Their children were all born in Hawarden. William was,18 and a Labourer. Adalaide was 17 and a Barmaid. Mary was 15 and a Housemaid ( Domestic). Annie was 13, Ethel was 9. Joseph was 6 and George E was 4. There were 4 boarders.
The 1911 census lists the family on the Saltney Road Pentre, Flintshire William, 51 was then a Butcher (Home). His wife of 29 years, Lizzie was 56. She assisted with the business. She had given birth to 7 children all of whom were still living. Their listed ‘children’ were William Henry 28 and still a Labourer. Joseph Thomas was 6 and a Coal Checker. George Edgar was 14 and an Errand Boy.
The census of 1911 was written by the head of the household in 1911 and should only have included people who were at that address on the night of the census. William, however, had included his daughters. They were crossed out, presumably by the Enumerator. As a matter of family history, I am adding them here:-
Adelaide Gertrude Ankers, 27 Married 2 years, Mary Elizabeth Ankers 25 Single, Servant, Annie Evelyn Ankers 23, Single Servant, Ethel Doris Ankers 18 Single Servant.
Joseph obviously attended the Queensferry School, because he is listed on a memorial plaque there. but I have no details of when he was there.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Joseph’s regimental details and tells us that he was born in Hawarden and enlisted in Chester. This source that tells us he was killed in action in France/Flanders and that he was formerly a Cheshire Yeoman. His Medal Index Card also on ‘Ancestry’ tells us his medal entitlement.
There is no index card for him in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record office in Hawarden.
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 Joseph Thomas Ankers. His Mother, Lizzie E received a total of £13..19sh .. 3d in two separate payments. Touchingly there were three payments of 13sh/11d made to two nephews and a niece – Edith, Kenneth and George. These were the children of his married sisters.
(Joseph’s sisters – Ethel had married Herbert H, Humphries December Qtr of 1914 in Skirlaugh. Mary E. had married Thomas E. Jackson in 1912 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden. Adelaide G. had married John Moorhouse in 1908 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden).
Joseph’s brother George Edgar died in 1916 of epilepsy/convulsions which he had suffered from for 6 years. It seems he did not serve in the war.
William Henry Ankers another of Joseph’s brothers did serve and survive and there is an index card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour in the County Record office in Hawarden. This card (Sandicroft L4) gives his name and regimental number, Private 32202 Royal Welsh Fusiliers. It says he was discharged in April 1918 but this was crossed out. It then says he served from 2nd March 1916 to 6th June 1918. He was transferred to the Army Service Corps Motor Transport – Home Service, medically unfit for overseas. The card had been signed by his mother, LE Ankers on 30th September 1919.
(I would like to find out if William Henry died of war wounds, or Army Service, as he was “medically unfit for overseas”. If so, we can try and bring him “in from the cold” and have him entered on the CWGC database for perpetuity. Can anyone help with his story? )
The family grave in the churchyard of St Deniol’s Church, Hawarden has detailed inscriptions which gives us some more family history.
In Loving Remembrance of William Ankers, beloved husband of L E Ankers who departed this life April 27 1920. His end was peace.
Also the above Lizzie Ethel who Died June 9 1920 aged 85 years. Reunited.
Also of Annie Evelyn Ankers who died October 17 1928 aged 41 years. Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her O lord and let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her.
George E Ankers who died April 2 1916 aged 19 years. Also Joseph T Ankers Killed in Action in France Dec 6th 1916 aged 22 years.
The sons of William and Lizzie Ankers Pentre, Hawarden.
Joseph is also remembered on the Queensferry School Plaque, in the Queensferry War Memorial Institute and the Sandycroft War Memorial in St. Francis’s Church Sandycroft.