Parry, William Owen

William Owen Parry and Wilfred Parry were brothers who both died in the war and both appear on Hawarden’s memorial. Follow the link to read Wilfred’s story.

William Owen Parry was born in 1876.  He was  probably a twin to sister Mary, (They share the same registration number at Hawarden (HAW/20/39). In the 1881 census they were living with their family in Mancot. The father was William Parry, 35 a coal miner who had been born in Llanasa, Flintshire.  He was married to Mary, 34 who had been born in Denbigh, Denbighshire.  Their listed children were  Margaret J who was 8, William O  and Mary were 6  and John was 3.

The family was still in Mancot, on the 1891 census.William was 47 and still a coal miner. His wife Mary was 46. The listed children still in the household were William O, 16 who was a Brickyard Labourer, Mary, also 16 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.  John, 23 was a Farm Labourer, Thomas 18 was an Ironworks Labourer, Wilfred, was12. William was missing from this census and I cannot find him anywhere.

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)She stated on the census form that she had  been married 39 years.  Seven children had been born to her but 1 had died.  There were two listed ‘children’ in the household, William Owen was single, 37 and an Iron worker. John was single, 34 and , a Chemical Labourer.

In 1911, Wilfred Parry was single and 22, occupation, a Takeroff on a Corrugating Machine, born Mancott, Flintshire, was living, I believe, as a lodger at 14 Church View, Pentre with a family named Bungay, Timothy,49 & Ellen, 41 and their two daughters, Hilda, 17 and Ellen, 15.    Also in the household was another Lodger Frederick Hodgkinson, single, 24, a Bar Drager, born in Birmingham.

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on  confirms his regimental information and tells us that he was born and living in Hawarden and that he enlisted in Chester.  His medal card, also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals and tells us that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered it on 10th March 1915. He was killed 6 months later.

 Flintshire Observer 30th September 1915 – Hawarden man killed in action – Gallantry in the Field

(The newspaper cutting appears below but here is a transcript).

 Yet another name has been added to the list of gallant young men from Hawarden who have lost their lives fighting for their country.   Intimation has been received that William Parry, son of Mrs. Mary Parry, Mancott, near Hawarden, has been killed in action.   He was highly respected by the officers under whom he served, and had been with the battery in which he served since it’s formation in April, and was with it through the heaviest fighting.   He was killed on the 6th inst. In France.   

            His mother has received a most kind and sympathetic letter from the officer commanding his battery of the Royal Field Artillery, written on behalf of his comrades and himself.    Lieutenant E.A. Cooke says: – ” I have noticed him on several occasions for his bravery in action, and enclose a card signed by the General Commanding the Division thanking him for his gallantry.    His death is greatly felt by myself, as he was one of the few survivors of the original battery.    He is buried in a little village called Collinscamps in France, and his grave is marked by a cross bearing his name.”

            The card conveying the honour of special mention for distinguished service signed by the General Commanding the Division as follows:- “British Expeditionary Force, 282 Gunner W. Parry, R.G.A.  Your Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander have informed me you have distinguished yourself by conspicuous bravery in the field.  I have read the reports with much pleasure.”

            His neighbours and friends are proud of the honour bestowed on him, and of the brave part he has taken in the defence of his country, and at the same time feel the deepest sympathy with his mother and her family in their great bereavement.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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