William Roy Williams was born on the 6th May 1924, according to the Hawarden County (Grammar) School Admissions Book, the son of Thomas & Miriam Williams, sadly I cannot find any information on where he was born precisely, except on his Army Roll of Honour his birthplace was stated as Liverpool and he resided in Cheshire. It is worth noting that at that time the postal address for most of Deeside was put as “Near Chester.” Therefore turning us up a blind alley, except that Roy did have connections to Chester as on the newspaper cutting below, Roy worked for the L.M. & S. Railway on the clerical staff. The family were in Mancot at 73, Mancot Lane, in 1936 as Roy entered Hawarden County (Grammar) School then, this is also below. This source tell us that he was at the Queensferry Senior School before he went to Hawarden County (Grammar) School, so any information would be gratefully received.
Chester Chronicle 11th November 1944 – MANCOT – Killed on Active Service
Mr. & Mrs. Williams, 73, Mancot Lane, have received news that their son, Roy, has been killed in action in Italy. He was educated at Hawarden County School and before joining the Force two years ago was employed on the clerical staff of the L.M. & S. Railway at Chester.
Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10
1903/2788 WILLIAMS, Roy William ,Date of birth – 6th May 1924, 73, Mancot Lane, Queensferry, Father – Turbine Driver, Date of entry 15th September 1936, Previous School – Queensferry, Senior, Left 40.
I cannot find the marriage of Thomas & Miriam Williams, nor the birth of Roy as there are a couple of possibilities, but without Miriam’s maiden name, I am stuck. Please if you can help, I will be able to tell Roy’s story more accurately.
I do find Thomas & Miriam on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, this shows them living at 73 Mancot Lane, Mancot Royal, Queensferry , Hawarden, Flintshire and this source tells us that Thomas was born on the 25th June 1884 and he was an Electric Power Station Turbine & Engine Man, Miriam was born on the 26th May 1887 and as most married women on this register who didn’t have a job, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” There were 2 Closed or redacted records, and William Roy was probably one of the redacted records as he would have only been about 15 years old then. So did he have a sibling? Again help please.
I do not have any information when Roy did enlist, possibly enlisting as soon as he was able to be in Italy in 1944, but he was in the 1st Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by 1944 fighting in Italy at 20 years old. I have a Casualty List that tells us that he died of wounds on the 7th October 1944.
He was first buried probably near where he died, the only reference given on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission papers is 2CGRU/GLRK/2052, and then reburied on the 11th May 1945 at Faenza, it seems that he was identified by a “Cross & Container.” (See Below).
I needed to find out more about what Roy had gone through so contacted WW2talk on http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/1st-bn-argyll-sutherland-highlanders.85655/ and “Alieneyes” came through with this website:-
See page 162 here. – Chapter 16 –Eighth Army – Fifth Army’s Flying Squad
He added:- “Two days later Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders fought their way up Monte Cavallara, and hurled the enemy from its summit. The way was open for a bid for Monte Casalino, a steep tree-clad hill a mile to the north-east. This height barred the way to Monte Gaggiolo, three miles further north, which rose above the gut of high ground where Sword and Star Routes converged to within five miles of each other.”
“AB64” answered with:- “Just last night I finished reading a brilliant book “The Mirror of Monte Cavallara” by Ray Ward who commanded A Company 1st A&SH in the attack where Pte Williams was killed, Pte Williams was one of 12 men of A Company killed in the attack on Monte Cavallara – I had a quick look at the section covering the battle and he isn’t mentioned by name but near the end where the authors son talks about revisiting his father’s battlefields he gives a list of the 12 A Company men and Pte Williams is mentioned.
I’d strongly recommend the book, ebay has a few copies fairly cheap.”
Then I had another reply, this time from dryan67
“Here is what Graham’s regimental history has on October 7, 1944 for the 1st Battalion.”
dryan67 sent me 4 pages of the above book, on the 4th page William Roy is mentioned as “William Williams.” Please see the copies below on this page.
Stuart Avery from the WW2 Forum added:- Hi Mavis, included is a map that is taken from the book on 1 A & SH by Brigadier R.C.B. Anderson, D.S.O., M.C. On page 109, it says The loses sustained by the Battalion were 2 officers and 13 other ranks killed and 1 officer and 43 other ranks wounded. The killed were buried in a Battalion cemetery made under the pine trees near Vonnibio. (See first map.) Many thanks to Stuart.
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during WW2
There were nine Argyll and Sutherland battalions raised during the Second World War.
The 1st Battalion fought in the Western Desert Campaign, Crete, Abyssinia, Sicily and in the Italian Campaign. The first action for the 1st Battalion was at Sidi Barani where they joined the battle on 10 December 1940 as part of the 16th Brigade. On 17 May 1941 the battalion moved to Crete where they formed part of the defence based on the east side of the island at Tymbaki. Most of the Argylls marched from Tymbaki to the airfield at Heraklion on the night of 24 May to help support the 14th Infantry Brigade in the fighting at that airfield. They were successfully evacuated on 29 May from Heraklion but their convoy suffered air attacks and many casualties on the route away from Crete. The Argylls left at Tymbaki were captured when the island surrendered. The 1st Battalion was shipped to Alexandria and after garrison duties followed by a raid into the Gondar region of Abyssinia, they were sent back to the Western Desert where they were eventually attached to the 10th Indian Infantry Division and fought at the Battle of El Alamein. The 1st Battalion landed on Sicily during Operation Husky in 1943 and fought throughout the Italian Campaign with firstly the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and then the 8th Indian Infantry Division.
Roy was obviously loved as his name was put forward for it to be added to the WW2 War Memorial by his family and/or friends. He was also remembered on the Hawarden Grammar School Roll of Honour, please click on the link. to see more.
WHATEVER ELSE WE FAIL TO DO WE’LL NEVER FAIL TO THINK OF YOU