William Arthur Nuttall was born in the June quarter of 1925, (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/60/12), the son of Richard Arthur & Louisa Margaret Nuttall (nee Bithell), who had married at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Halkyn Parish on the 11th October 1924:- Richard Arthur NUTTALL, 22, Bachelor, Spinner, Mersey View, Halkyn, John Nuttall (dec.) Miner & Louisa Margaret BITHELL, 21, Spinster, Level Cottages, Hawarden, William BITHELL, Ironworker (By Licence). – Witnesses:- Joseph BELLIS & Sarah Ellen NUTTALL.
His grandfather William Bithell had been born on the 25th July 1876 the son of John & Hannah Bithell (nee Turner) a Miner living in Ewloe. He married Fanny Peters in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended Ceremony at Chester,(Cheshire West ROC/38/108) in 1898.
The local newspaper tells us about William Arthur’s death and gives some information that helps tell his story.:-
Chester Chronicle 2nd September 1944 Page 6 Col. 5
KILLED IN ACTION – News has been received that Fus. Wm. Arthur NUTTALL (19) has been killed in action. Fus. NUTTALL lived with his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. BITHELL, Park View, Level-rd., Wood Lane, Hawarden. Before joining the Forces he was employed at Messrs. John Summers & Sons and was a member of the Methodist Church.
Sadly his parents, Richard Arthur & Louisa Margaret Nuttall, I believe,separated as early as 1932, if not earlier, as Louisa Margaret Nuttall is seen on the 1932 Electoral Rolls living at 21, Purley Knoll, living with Eveline Mary Bodie.
Then in 1939 there is a possible sighting of Louisa Margaret NUTTALL on the 1939 Electoral Register
living with Henry James Alderton, Clara Martha Alderton and Betty Carlotta Alderton at 16, Brighton Road, Purley , Parish of Coulson. (Woodcote Ward No. 2 (3 Parts – Part -1).
Then on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, she is seen again living at 10 Lansdowne Road, Coulsdon and Purley , Surrey. This document tells us Louisa’s birth date which was the 9th October 1901, she was a Cook and divorced. She is living with Edmund & Emily Duke. This document gave a clue to her future as well as it gave the name of the gentleman she was to marry the year after. I found their marriage in the March quarter of 1940, Louisa M. Nuttall (formerly Bithell) married George E. Sparkes in Surrey. (Surrey Mid E. Vol. 2a Page 1032 – The district Surrey Mid.E. is an alternative name for Surrey Mid Eastern and it is in the county of Surrey.)
I managed to find Richard Arthur Nuttall as well, on the 1939 Register (Taken on the 29th September 1939), living at 100 Celt Street, Liverpool , Lancashire. His date of birth was the 21st March 1902 and he was a Builder’s Labourer and a Special Constable, but he states he was married. Living at the same address was Millicent Thompson who later became Nuttall, and whose birthdate was the 20th Jul7 1887 and she was a Medical Nurse (Unemployed) and Single, but added by Enumerator – Married 9th August 1948.
I believe that they married in the September quarter of 1948 in Liverpool. (Liverpool N. Vol. 10d Page 812). I also believe that Richard Arthur died age 69 in the October of 1971 in Liverpool. Lancashire Volume: 10d Page: 1419).
The 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, shows William & Fanny Bithell living at Park View, Wood Lane, Hawarden , Flintshire. This document gives the date of birth of the people on the register and William’s was the 25th July 1876 and he was a Pump Attendant at the Steel Works. Fanny’s birth date was the 29th April 1876 and as most married women who didn’t have a job was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” There was a redacted or closed record, was this William Arthur as he would have only been 14 years old on this date.
I do not have any information about William Arthur’s early life and teen years so any help would be appreciated.
The RWF Enlistment Register tells us that William Arthur had enlisted on the 26th August 1943, so was only in the army for 11 months before he was to be killed alongside William Thomas Campden Freeth, and who now lies just 3 graves away from him.
The Casualty List (Page 44) tells us that William Arthur was among 17 4th Bn R.W.F. and 28 from the 7th Bn of the R.W.F. all missing that day.
The Casualty List (Page 13) tells us that William Arthur was previously reported as Missing on the 17th of July 1944, now reported Killed in Action on that day.
Excerpt taken from the CWGC Website:-
For the most part, the men buried at Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery were killed in the fighting from the second week of July 1944, when Caen was captured, to the last week in August, when the Falaise Gap had been closed and the Allied forces were preparing their advance beyond the Seine.
http://ww2today.com/16-july-1944-the-bloody-battle-for-hill-112 The bloody battle for Hill 112 – Excerpt from the above Website:-
On the 16th July the British put in another attack to try to break the deadlock that had emerged around Hill 112 outside Caen. Sergeants Laing, Mapham, Midgley and Walter of No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit were present to record various aspects of the day – and we have a reasonably complete photographic history of different units of the British Army as they prepare to make an assault.
In Normandy the bloody battle for Hill 112 had begun on the 10th July, with British troops gripped in a bitter struggle with the SS Panzer Divisions to seize the high ground on the battlefield outside Caen. Casualties were high on both sides. For the British commanders there was the knowledge that their losses were replaceable, whereas the German losses were not.
For those locked into this struggle there would have been little consolation that they were fulfilling their of role of grinding down the enemy and preventing the transfer of Panzer forces to the west, where the Americans were preparing to breakout of the bridgehead. These are accounts from men of the 7th Somersets:
Captain Marshall: – We had reached the farm buildings around Chateau de Fontaine, dug in positions in the meadows. Mortar and shell fire was devastating. Col. Lance [who had won a DSO in Africa] was killed by a shell from an 88mm while sitting in his jeep, the Gunner BC Major Mapp was killed, the Adjutant A. Scannell wounded and evacuated. A steady stream of wounded was arriving at the RAP. Maj. Young and Maj. Chalmers shared command of the Battalion with that of their own coys[Companys]. Snipers were at their worst.
Shortly after Col. Lance was killed, Maj. Young’s Coy was clearing some farm buildings. A shot whistled unpleasantly close. Maj. Y. turned to Pte. Lace (Battalion sniper) with ‘That’s the fifth shot that basket has fired at me, we must get him.’
They found him hidden in a junk—heap in the middle of a duck pond! They found another not more than seventeen years old, who had buried himself in the mud of a wet ditch — only his head, arms and riﬂe were free, even these covered with slime and weeds. Another was burned out from a hayrick set on fire by a German shell.
Several days after the occupation of Chateau de Fontaine, snipers were still being found. One had barricaded himself in a room on the first ﬂoor of a barn while a platoon of ‘D’ Coy occupied the ground floor. They got him with a Bren gun burst fired through the closed door when he refused to come out.
The enemy trenches in the area were full of German dead, passed over by the leading troops, and the usual scene of mutilated farm animals all around. Air was rancid with the smell of dead animals and ﬂies.
Royal Welch Fusiliers – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Second World War; Territorial and War Service
The 4th, 6th and 7th Battalions, all Territorial units, served in 158th (Royal Welch) Brigade assigned to the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division. They took part in the Battle of Normandy at Hill 112, where the 53rd Division suffered heavy casualties. Due to heavy fighting and casualties in Normandy, some of the battalions were posted to different brigades within the division. The 53rd again suffered heavily during Operation Veritable* (the Battle of the Reichswald) under command of the First Canadian Army, in which action the British and Canadians, and the 53rd Division in particular, endured some of the fiercest fighting of the entire European Campaign against German paratroops.
*That took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War.
Operation Jupiter (1944) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the 1944 Operation Jupiter in France. Part of the Battle for Caen
Operation Overlord – Invasion of Normandy
Operation Jupiter was an offensive by VIII Corps of the British Second Army on 10 July 1944 during the Battle of Normandy in the Second World War. The objective of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division (Major-General Ivo Thomas), was to capture the villages of Baron-sur-Odon, Fontaine-Étoupefour, Chateau de Fontaine and to recapture Hill 112. An attached brigade of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division would take Éterville, Maltot and the ground up to the River Orne and then the tanks of the 4th Armoured Brigade, supported by infantry, would advance through the captured ground and secure several villages to the west of the River Orne. It was hoped that the initial objectives could be captured by 9:00 a.m., after which the 4th Armoured Brigade would exploit the success.
The British advance went well at first but fighting for Hill 112 took all day and Maltot changed hands several times. On 11 July, counter-attacks by the 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen, 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg and the schwere-SS Panzer Battalion 102 in the afternoon, forced the British off the top of Hill 112 to positions on the north-facing slope. The operation was a tactical failure for VIII Corps but a strategic success for the Allies, attrition having reduced the II SS Panzer Corps to a condition from which it never recovered. British operations of the Second Battle of the Odon conducted in the Odon valley continued in July and the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division occupied Hill 112 almost unopposed on 4 August, after the Germans withdrew during Operation Cobra and Operation Bluecoat further west. A stone memorial to the 43rd Division was built on the hill in the late 1940s.
Another local lad, William William Thomas Campden Freeth was also killed and is remembered on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton WW2 War Memorial.
Both William Arthur Nuttall and William Thomas Campden Freeth were first buried, probably on the day they died, at Evrecy, and then reburied at Banneville-la- Campagne War Cemetery on the 25th January 1946. See the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Concentration Report Forms below. Please click on the link to read William Thomas Campden Freeth’s story.
https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/battle-of-normandy/cities/evrecy – Evrecy (Calvados)
The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles – Excerpt taken from above website – please read.:-
On 17 July the battle continued and was still raging in the Evrecy area, particularly at Mondeville farm, and the Germans counterattacked with the SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen and the SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 22 (10. SS Panzer-Division Frundsberg), preventing the British from controlling the sector. During the fighting for the liberation of Evrecy and the taking of the 113 mark of 16 to 17 July 1944, 120 soldiers of the 158th Infantry Brigade are killed.
Both William Thomas Campden Freeth and William Arthur Nuttall were first buried, probably on the day they died, at Evrecy, and then reburied at Banneville-la- Campagne War Cemetery on the 25th January 1946. See the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Concentration Report Forms below.
William Arthur was well loved by his Grandparents William & Fanny Bithell and they made sure that he would be remembered for perpetuity by adding his name to the War Memorial.
William and Fanny were still alive to see their grandson’s name added and to bear the grief and sadness on his death at such a young age, William dying in 1957 age 80 years (Hawarden Vol. 8a Page 467) and Fanny in 1969, age 93 years. (Hawarden Vol. 8A Page 585).