David Bunnell was born circa 1924, (Flintshire (Mold))HAW/29A/79), the son of Edward William & Clara Bunnell, (nee Whatton), who had married in St. John’s Church, Chester in 1906 :-
St. John the Baptist Church Paris Registers – Marriages.
Page 120 NO. 239 20th December 1906 Edward William BUNNELL, 26, Bachelor Police-Constable, 6, Lumley Place, , William BUNNELL, Coachman & Clara WHATTON, 23, Spinster, Queen Hotel, Joseph WHATTON, Smith (Deceased.) (After Banns)
Witnesses:- John Henry RUTTER & Mose WHATTON.
The 1911 census shows Edward William and Clara living at 32, Overleigh Road, Handbridge, Chester (6 rooms). Head of the household was Edward William, 30, and a Police Constable for Chester City Police with Clara, 26 telling us that they had been married for 4 years, 2 children had been born to them and were still living, the eldest Edward William, age 3 and Arthur age 1, both born in Chester. There was a Boarder in the household, an Esther Foulkes, widow, age 79 and born in Hawarden. (Thanks to Chris Stockton).
Because there have been no censuses since the 1911 census published, we have no sight of Edward William, Clara or David Llewelyn, but on the 29th September 1939 a Register was taken and Edward William and Clara are seen on this Register, with lots of redaction’s of their children , so I suspect that David Llewelyn was one of those.
Thanks to Chris Stockton, who sent me this list of family members and who I am indebted for the extra family information. :-
Father: Edward William Bunnell born 29 Nov 1880 Tarvin, Cheshire, died 11 Feb 1948 Hawarden
Mother: Clara Whatton born 31 Oct 1886 Freasley, Warwickshire, died 31 Dec 1976 Wythenshawe, Manchester
Edward and Clara married during Q4 1906 at St John’s Church in Chester and had 12 children:
Edward William b 27 Dec 1907 Chester, d 13 Oct 1966 Crossley Hospital, Frodsham
Arthur b 30 Mar 1910 Chester, d 12 Jan 1983 Shotton
James b 12 Jan 1912 Shotton, d Q4 1951 Thurrock, Essex
Mary Elizabeth b 15 Jan 1913 Hawarden, d ?
Cyril John b 6 Dec 1914 Hawarden, d 14 Nov 1979 Hawarden
Herbert b 12 Aug 1916 Hawarden, d Q4 1995 Wrexham
Thomas Granville b 30 Oct 1918 Hawarden, d 27 May 1980 Shotton
Cecil Horatio b 1920 ?, d 20 Jun 1966 Queensferry
Sylvia May b Q2 1921 Hawarden, d ?
David Llewellyn b Q3 1922 Hawarden, d 10 Apr 1944 Burma
Phyllis Rosina b Q3 1923 Hawarden, d ?
Tinser Henry b 19 Nov 1924 Hawarden, d Q4 2003 Chester
At the time of the 1911 Edward, Clara and the two oldest children were living at 32 Overleigh Road, Handbridge, Chester. Edward was a constable in the Chester City police force.
In 1901 Edward lived at Aston Farm Yard, Aston, Hawarden – his father was the coachman at Aston Hall – and was working as an electric engine driver (I’m not sure what exactly this means) and Clara at Ratcliffe Culey in Leicestershire where her widowed mother was a laundress. The 1901 census reveals that her mother had been born in Flintshire in 1854 and that her older brother was born in Gwernymynydd in 1876 so it seems likely that Clara’s family moved back to their home area and that this is how Edward and Clara met.
As you can see from the details that David sent me, Edward and Clara were to have 12 children, one of whom, of course was David, and he was 2nd to the youngest son to be born, one daughter being born after him.
I have seen the entry of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Enlistment of David’s entry into the war, he enlisted with many others on the 1st July 1943 , then Transferred on the 30th March 1944 to the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (Docs were sent to Ashford on the 2nd June 1944.)
Sadly there are a number of Casualty Forms for David Llewelyn, showing a that there must have been a very fluid situations re the Casualty Lists, and the fact that he is referred to as Royal Welsh Fusiliers and then corrected, which in the chaos of war could have been expected.
Casualty List (Page 14) (Corrections), gives the no. of the previous List – 1443, corrected by 1447 Burma, Mssg. R.W. Fus. 14428930 BUNNELL – Fus. D.L. (Unit and Rank should read R.W.K. – Pte.
Next Casualty List (Page 2) – Previously reported Missing now reported Killed in Action – (Previous List No.1447 Corrected by 1523) (Date of Casualty – 10.4.44).
Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment – 14428930 BUNNELL, Pte. D.L. (Missing – 10th April 1944)
Next Casualty List (Page 6) Missing – 14428930 BUNNELL, Fus. D.L. – (Date of Casualty – 10.4.44).
A sad but interesting note – before his Transfer Documents had been sent to Ashford on the 2nd June 1944, David Llewelyn was missing and then believed Killed in Action. Such was the chaos.
Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 4th Battalion was a Territorial Army (TA) unit that recruited primarily from Royal Tunbridge Wells and formed part of the 132nd Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 5th West Kents and the 4th Battalion, Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). The 132nd Brigade was an integral part of the 44th (Home Counties) Division and, with the rest of the division, was sent to France in April 1940 where it became part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) stationed on the Franco-Belgian border. About a month after arriving, it was involved in the battles of France and Dunkirk and was evacuated to England. After returning to England, the battalion spent almost the next two years on home defence against a German invasion. The division left the United Kingdom in May 1942 and went on to serve in the North African Campaign, at Alam el Halfa and El Alamein, until the 44th Division was disbanded in early 1943. The 4th Battalion was then transferred to the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade (alongside 1/1st Punjab Regiment and 4/7th Rajput Regiment), part of the 5th Indian Infantry Division, and fought in the 1944 Burma Campaign, where the battalion played a major role in the Battle of the Tennis Court, part of the larger Battle of Kohima, against the Imperial Japanese Army. During the battle, Lance Corporal John Harman of the 4th Battalion was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the first and only to be awarded to the regiment during the Second World War..
Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment
1940: The Battalion was part of the 132nd (Kent) Brigade. It was sent to France attached to the 44th (Home Counties) Division and was part of the British Expeditionary Force.
May/June 1940: A long with the same Division was evacuated from Dunkirk and returned to the UK where it remained for a couple years.
May 1942: Was shipped out to North Africa.
July 1942: Had arrived with the 5th Battalion in Egypt. They joined the 8th Army and fought at the Battles of Alam Halfa and Alamein
December 1942: Were sent to Burma. They became part of 161st Indian Infantry Brigade, 5th Indian Division. They stayed with the Brigade throughout the war.
April- May 1944: Became attached to the British 2nd (Infantry) Division.
05 April 1944: Set off to Kohima, North-East India to reinforce the Garrison against Japanese forces
May-June 1944: became attached to the 7th Indian (Infantry) Division.
March 1945: Returned to 5th Indian Division.
If anyone has any information that might add to David Llewelyn’s story during his childhood and teenage years, please get in touch , so he won’t be forgotten.
There is a connection between the Bunnell family and the family of another soldier who lost his life in the same war, also remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial for WW2. Alfred Evans, who died on the destroyer HMS Eclipse which sank in the Aegean Sea east of Kalimnos after hitting a mine on the night of 23/24 October 1943. 119 of the ships crew of 145 were lost and 134 soldiers.
Alfred Evans had married Eunice Boswell at Ewloe, Highway Methodist Church (Flintshire (Mold) A103/01/E17) in 1937, please click on the clink to read Alfred’s story. Perhaps Eunice was to find happiness again, when she married David Llewelyn’s brother Cecil H. Bunnell in 1947 at Mancot, Presbyterian Church (Flintshire (Mold) A102/03/E18).