William was born in 1896 in Llanferres and his parents were Edward and Eliza Williams. The census of 1901 records the family living at Ty Draw Llanferres. Head of the household, Edward was 43 and was a Woodman on an estate who had been born in Mold. His wife Eliza was 38. She’d been born in Cilcain. Their listed children were Thomas E 12, Jane E 10, John 7 and William A who was 5. There were two 10 year old children listed as visitors. Lily and George A Hind (? difficult to read). They’d been born in Yorkshire.
The next census of 1911 records the family at the same address Ty Draw, Llanferres. Edward was 54 and still a woodman. His wife of 24 years, Eliza was 50. She had given birth to 6 children all of whom had survived. Listed at home on the census were James Edward 23 who was single and a Gardener. William Arthur was a 15 year old Plumber. Winifred Phoebe was 10 and Gladys May was 7.
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details at the top of this page and adds that he enlisted in Mold. His Service Records have survived and tell us something of his life in the army. He enlisted and signed his Attestation papers on the 1st March 1915. His address was Laburnum Cottage, Cadole, Mold. His trade was Plumbing and he says he was a ‘Hot Water Filler’. He was just 19 years old, was 5 feet 5 1/4 inches tall and had a chest measurement of 34 1/2 inches with a 2 inch expansion range. He named his mother, Eliza Williams of Laburnum Cottage Cadole, as his next of kin. He was appointed to the 17th Bn of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on the 3rd March 1915 in Llandudno.
His army records show that as a bugler on the 20th September 1915 whilst stationed in Flower Down Winchester he committed an offence. He was 5 minutes late sounding quarter dress for the 2.00pm parade and was confined to barracks for 2 days as punishment.
His medal index card, on Ancestry, lists his three medals and adds that his first theatre of war was in France and he entered it on the 5th December 1915. There is a casualty sheet in the records that tells the saddest of stories. William Arthur Williams had the most miserable war imaginable. He had a gunshot wound to his left thigh in April 1916. By the 27th April 1916, he was back ‘in the field’. In July 1916 he was wounded in the back. On the 1st August 1916 he was back ‘in the field’. There follows several entries on the Casualty Sheet which are completely illegible. In December 1916 he rejoined the battalion again but why he’d been away,is impossible to decipher. In january 1917 he was given two weeks leave of absence. We can just make out that in April 1917 he was evacuated to hospital. It looks as if he returned to duty on the 19th April 1917.
He was killed in action on the 31st July 1917. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
The records incude two receipts signed by William’s mother Eliza, confirming receipt of his medals.
The Register of soldier’s Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for William. His sole legatee was his mother Eliza and she received £16 .. 19sh .. 5d in two separate payments. This source says he was killed in action in France but we believe that he died in Ypres which is in Belgium.
After the war the parents’ address was Brook Villa Mold. (See CWGC certificate)