Walter was born in 1891 in Leeswood near Mold. He was the son of Thomas Langley a coal miner who had been born in Aldercar in Derbyshire and his wife Frances who also hailed from Derbyshire.
The family appear on the 1881 census living in King’s Terrace, Treuddyn, Flintshire but of course Walter had not been born at that time. Thomas was 33 and a coal miner, Frances was 29 and they had two daughters Martha 11 and Ann 8. Also living with them was Joseph Bennet a 14 year old coal miner fom Derby. (A relative?).
The 1901 census finds the family living 34 New Row Leeswood. The head of the household, Thomas Langley was 52 and was described as a ‘Contractor Man’ who was an employer. His wife Frances was 50. There were 4 sons living with them Tom 18 yrs and Richard 16 (These two were ‘coal hewers fillers’ . Albert was 11 andWalter 10.
The next census of 1911 places the family at Hawthorn Cottage Leeswood. Thomas was by then 62, a coal miner and a widower. Living with him were Albert, single, 21 and a coal miner. Walter was a 20 year old married man also a coal miner and his wife was Margaret aged 25 a native of Birkenhead. This 1911 census tells us a very sad family story. Frances Langley, the mother had given birth to an incredible 19 children, 10 of whom had died. In 1911, 9 Langley children were still alive.
We can only account for 6 of these children. We strongly believe that John Langley also named on the Memorial in Pontblyddyn Church was a member of this family. (Hawthorn Cottage is given as John’s address on his Flintshire Roll of |Honour card) He has his own page on this website.
Walter married Margaret Hughes from Birkenhead in 1910.
Walter’s Flintshire Roll of Honour card in the County Archives Office at Hawarden, gives regimental details as above and the death date. It also says that he served 3 years and 8 months in the army which is different from what his army service records say.
His service record has survived and is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk They say that he served 4 years and 18 days. His records suggest that he was in the Territorial Army from 1908 to 1912. He joined the regular army on 2nd April 1914 and served at home until September 1917. He served in France from 11th September 1917 until his death. The records include a disciplinary sheet which records that he got into trouble on the 3rd November 1916 for gambling in his hut at 10.20pm and failing to comply with the lights out at 10.15pm rule. He was ‘severely reprimanded’. Another document asks Walter’s wife Margaret to sign a receipt for the return of articles of his personal property- these were 2 identity discs, letters , testament, card , photo, 1 pendant.