Edwards, Emlyn

Emlyn Edwards was born in the December quarter of 1911 (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/14A/16).   One of his Service records tells us that his birthday was the 13th December 1911.   He was the son of John Henry & Esther Alice Edwards (nee Bevan), who I believe, married in Swansea, in the September quarter of 1897, on the same day as Esther Alice’s brother Abraham, married Anne Arthur, (you would need to purchase the Marriage certificates to confirm/deny.)   (Swansea Vol. 11a Page 1324).

In the mid 1900’s they must have made the decision to move for work as they are seen living at Hawarden View, Queensferry, Flintshire, and on the 1911 census, John H, Edwards, 39,head of the household, a Steel Smelter, who had been born in Landore, Glamorganshire.   His wife Esther A., 35, had been born in born Dunvant, Glam.   They tell us that they had been married 13 years and 9 children had been born to them, and sadly 2 had died.   Theirs was a large family, with four of the children having been born in Gowerton, Glam, they were Gladys, 12, Ivor, 11, Doris, 9 and Edith, 7.   Edward, 5, had been born in Shotton, Flintshire and the last two children, Ester, 4 and Garfied, 2 had been born in Queeferry, Flintshire.   There was a servant Mary Morrey, also born in Queensferry, age 27 and single.

Sadly I do not have any information on the family from then until the 1939 Register was taken on the 29th September 1939 when John Henry & Esther Edwards are seen again in Queensferry, living at 14, Queens Street , Queensferry.    John H. Edwards was a Retired Steel Smelter. “At present doing A.R.P work at J. Summers & Sons.”  His date of birth was the 31st March 1872.  Esther’s date of birth was the 27th December 1876 and she was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties” as most women on this Register were described, who did not have a job.    Their daughter Edith (Hannah) Edwards was single and doing “Household Duties,” and her date of birth was the 6th October 1903, The name Pownall  was written in so she may have eventually married him, but I cannot find a marriage for them.    Their son Edward J. Edwards’s, date of birth was the 19th September 1905 and he was single.    The register goes on to add for Edward – “Marine Engineer on Eldorita*, discharged  Sept. 27th.  At present unemployed.”

*The Eldorita was part of the Summers fleet-

Eldorita –  “Coaster sinks in fog collision”. The Times (56813). London. 13 December 1966.

John Henry and Esther Alice were to live in that house until their deaths, John Henry in 1958 and Esther Alice in 1965, but Esther Alice was to die at 1, Moorfield Road, Aston, Hawarden, near Chester.

As Emlyn is not in the household, we now know that he enlisted as a Boy Entrant on the “Impregnable” on the 24th May 1927 and then  on the 1st January 1929, age 18 years and was posted to the “Hood,” he then enlisted on his birthday 13th December 1929  for 12 years.   His Service Record can be seen below, this I downloaded from the National Archives (document ADM 171/61) as I needed to show that Emlyn was part of the crew of H.M.S. Resolution that helped in an earthquake in Chalcidice, Greece in September 1932.   The Greek Government awarded  them the Greek Cross of Valour, which as you can see on the other papers, H.M. the King allowed them to wear.   (Many thanks to Tim from WW2 Talk for this information and below about “Jaguar.”  –  He was to be involved in Dunkirk, with his Ship H.M.S. Jaguar  which on the 29th May 1940 was deployed with HM Destroyers GRENADE and GALLANT to assess the strength of shore batteries at La Panne.

From the website :-

“Embarked 370 troops inside harbour at Dunkirk under air attacks and sustained damage when HMS GRENADE, berthed alongside, was hit by bomb and sank.   On return passage to Dover came under further air attack and disabled by near miss.   Unable to proceed and some troops transferred to another ship which established tow.   Restored power and arrived at Dover under own steam.“ 

and also the website (RN Casualties in WW2 by Name – Ea) )) which clarifies a little about  what happened to Emlyn, he was killed in the bombing attack. :-

EDWARDS, Emlyn, Able Seaman, D/JX 130124, Jaguar, 29 May 1940, bombing, killed. 

It must have been during this attack that Emlyn died or was wounded and died later of wounds, It seems that the ship was taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, so he would have been brought back during this.   Thanks to the post above, it seems he was killed during the bombing.

On the Commonwealth War Graves Registration Report Form Emlyn was said to have died on the 1st June 1940 but all other documents point to the 29th May and was buried in St. James’s Churchyard, Dover (Row C. 14.) in a Joint grave with Able Seaman C/SSX.27534 J.W. Adcock who died on the 29th May 1940 on the “Intrepid,” Many thanks to Kyle of WW2 talk (above) for the photograph of his gravestone, which as Kyle points out is very worn and I hope by now has been replaced.  Also thanks to James Harvey for pointing out The National Archives website (NTA). 

NOTABLE EVENT INVOLVING JAGUAR:- Taken from the above Website:-

29 May 1940 – During Operation Dynamo (the evacuation of Dunkirk) HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was bombed and damaged by German aircraft. Repairs were completed in mid-June.

Fate of H.M.S. Jaguar:-

 Allied Warships – HMS Jaguar (F 34) – Destroyer of the J class

HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. Lionel Rupert Knyvet Tyrwhitt, DSO, DSC, RN) was hit by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-652. The ship caught fire and sank in a short time north-east of Sidi Barrani, Egypt in position 31º53’N, 26º18’E. Three officers and 190 ratings were lost. Eight officers and 45 ratings were picked up by the armed whaler HMS Klo and taken to Tobruk.

Hit by U-boat – Sunk on 26 Mar 1942 by U-652 (Fraatz).

Fate  – Scuttled at 1050hrs on 2 June 1942 in the Mediterranean Sea in the Gulf of Sollum, in position 31.55N, 25.13E, by a torpedo from U-81, after being badly damaged by depth charges from a British Swordfish aircraft (815 Sqn FAA/L). 46 survivors (no casualties).

Emlyn was obviously loved as his family made sure that his name was added to the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial so he will be remembered in perpetuity.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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