Wilfred Parry and William Owen Parry were brothers who both died in WW1. They are both named on Hawarden’s memorial. (Follow the link to read William’s story)
The census of 1891 records the Parry family living in Mancot. Head of the household was William Parry aged 47, a Coal miner who had been born in Llanasa. His wife, Mary was 46, she hailed from Denbigh. Their listed children were twins William and Mary. they were 16. William was a Brickyard labourer and Mary was ‘At home’. John 13 and Thomas 8 were scholars and baby Wilfred was 2.
In 1901 William Parry, 56, was a Puddler,( although that had been crossed out). Mary, 56, was described as an’ Ironworks Labourer’ which hardly seems likely and is probably an enumerator’s error. The children listed at home on the census were John, 23, a Farm Labourer, Thomas 18 an Ironworks Labourer, Wilfred, was 12.
1911 finds the family still in Mancot. Mary was recorded as a widow aged 69. (There is a possible death of a William Parry in Hawarden in 1906), (HAW/03A/6). Wilfred was not in the household.
The 1911 census, records that Wilfred was living as a lodger at 14 Church View Pentre, Flintshire in the household of Timothy and Ellen Bungay their 2 daughters and another lodger. Wilfred was single, 22 and a Takeroff on a Corrugating Machine. He had been born in Mancot, Flintshire.
Wilfred’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. Many thanks to Christine Jones who helped me with this. His Attestation papers were completed on the 10th December 1915 in Queensferry. He was 27 years old. The address given at that time was Wilmslow Terrace, Mancot, Hawarden. His occupation was Labourer. He was 5 feet 6 and a half inches tall and he weighed 158lbs. He had a chest measurement of 38 inches with an expansion range of 3 and a half inches. His next of kin at that time was his father William Parry. The form says that he had previously served 2 years with the Royal Garrison Artillery. (I have found no papers at all concerning this earlier period of service) He was allocated to The Army Reserve, Class B on the 11th December 1915.
On 16th April 1917 he was appointed to the Royal Garrison Artillery at Brockhurst Gosport and he was mobilised on the 10th April 1917 and posted on the 12th April 1917. He served in the UK until the 17th October 1917 when he went to France.
Before he went to France, Wilfred married Sarah Jones at Emmanuel Church, Bistre (C101/01/E459) on the 29th August, 1917. Their daughter Linda Elizabeth Jones was born before the wedding, a fact that caused some consternation when it came to the army deciding how much pension Sarah should be awarded after Wilfred died.
Sarah became his next of Kin and she replaced her Father – in – law’s name in the records. Her address was 85 Mold Road, Buckley.
Wilfred was admitted to the General Hospital, No.39 – Le Havre from the 19th November 1918 until the 14th January 1919 when he was sent to No. 48 Casualty Clearing Station, Namur, Belgium.
A telegram had been sent to Sarah dated 15th February 1919 stating that her husband was dangerously ill with Broncho Pneumonia, but the Army “regretted permission to visit cannot be granted.” Sarah wrote to the regiment in Dover asking for further information on her husband, but he had died on the 15th February 1919.
The Army, in trying to establish what pension Sarah as a widow, should receive, wrote a letter to the police in Buckley asking them to verify that Linda Elizabeth was Wilfred’s child. The police replied and stated that they believed that the child’s father, was Wilfred. She was eventually awarded a pension of 20 sh and 5 pence. The Register of Soldier’s Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for Wilfred. His widow Sarah received a total of £32 .. 17sh .. 0d.
There is correspondence in the records between the army and Sarah Parry concerning the return of Wilfred’s personal property. Forwarded to her were a disc, letters, photos, club card case, 3 wallets, knife, cap badge, titles, collar badges, memorial card, greeting card, scissors, Parrs Bank cheque for £1.
There is a receipt signed by Sarah for Wilfred’s medals and also for a commemorative plaque and scroll.
Wilfred is entered on the Absent Voter’s List of 1919 of the Mancott Township:- 1706 PARRY, Wilfred Wilmslow Terr., H’arden 155493 Gnr., 127th H.B., R.G.A., P.A. (No.3067 on the 1918 list), written by the side was – Died 15/2/19.
Army Service Papers can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk. Thanks to Chris Jones, I have copies of most of Wilfred’s records but it is problematic to post them on the website as they become fairly illegible. Please contact me through the website if you would like to see them.
After Wilfred died, his widow, Sarah re-married in 1925, to George Edward Welch in a Civil Ceremony at Hawarden, (HAW/09/44) giving her address as still 85, Mold Road, Buckley. They were to have a daughter Norma Welch, who was a bridesmaid to Joyce Welch, Chris Jones’s mother-in-law, who has helped so much with Wilfred’s story. Thank you so much Chris.
George Edward Welch was Samuel Welch‘s younger brother, Samuel also died and is named on Hawarden’s memorial. (Please click on the link to read his story). He mentions in his letters Chris’s husband’s grandfather Len, who was another of Samuel’s brothers.