George Harold Williams was born circa 1918 (Flintshire (Mold) MOLD/61/76) the eldest son of Thomas Harold & Clara Alice Williams (nee Morris) who were married on the 28th March 1917 at Pontblyddyn Parish Church:-
Page 218 No. 436 28th March 1917 Thomas Harold WILLIAMS, 22, Bachelor, Shoeing Smith, Pontblyddyn, Thomas WILLIAMS, Collier & Clara Alice MORRIS, 21, Spinster, Pontblyddyn, George MORRIS, Signalman.
Witnesses:- Richard Thomas OWENS, Mary Georgina MORRIS, & George MORRIS.
Thomas Harold Williams, 16, is seen on the 1911 census living with his widowed Grandmother Elizabeth Williams, 75, who tells us that she and her husband, Thomas , had been married 54 years and 11 children had been born to them, sadly 2 of the children had died. This information had been crossed out, because Elizabeth was a widow, but for family researchers this is vital information. I believe that Thomas Williams, Elizabeth’s husband had died in 1903 and was buried in Pontblyddyn Parish Churchyard on the 12th February 1903 age 68 years.
Also in the household were other children, Emiline Fanny, 45 was single and born in Bella Cilston?, Wrexham. This is the first Census that the householder filled in the form, so Bella Cilston, may have been the name of a house? (Please see the 1911 census below.) The other children were, Thomas Richard, 35, Frank Owen, 29, both single and Coal Miners (Hewers), both born Denbighshire. Thomas Harold Williams was a Grandson, 16, single and an Apprentice Blacksmith, born in Mold Parish, Flintshire.
Clara Alice Morris’s family were also on the 1911 census living at Moel Fammaue View, Penyffordd, Nr. Chester (9 rooms). Head of the household was George Morris, 49, in Railway Employment (LNW Shunter), and had been born in China Longville, Shropshire. His wife, Mary Ann, 38, had been born in born Weston Jones, Staffordshire. They tell us that they had been married for 17 years and 9 children had been born to them, but sadly 1 had died.
The children were Mary Georgina, 16,Clara Alice, 14, Ellen, 13, Eva, 11, John 9, and Rupert, 5, all at School and also Beatrice Sarah,3, had all been born in Mold Flintshire, while Gertrude Hilda, 7 months, had been born in Penyffordd.
The next time we see Thomas & Clara Williams, George Harold’s parents, is on the 1939 National Register, which gives us the dates of birth of the occupants of the property. They were living at Rhyd Yr Defaid, Hartsheath, Pontblyddyn, Flintshire. Thomas H. Williams had been born on the 11th December 1894 and was a Steel Works Labourer (Heavy Worker), his wife Clara Alice had been born on the 13th June 1896 and as most women, who did not have a job, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” There was a closed or redacted record, so I don’t know who that may have been. *For individual people, records remain closed for a century after their birth (the 100-year rule), unless it can be proven that they passed away before this milestone. (This may have been Norman).
I found 2 possible entries in the North Wales Birth Indexes for 1921 for a Norman Williams (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/28A/19 and Flintshire (Mold) HAW/28A/75)
I was given a newspaper cutting of George Harold’s funeral by one of his relatives, and that tells us something of his youth. He won a Scholarship to Mold County School and then at Bangor Normal College he trained to be a Teacher, then went to Loughborough College for a Special Course in P.T. He went on to become well-known as a promising footballer an cricketer, having played for Wrexham F.C. and Pennyffordd Cricket Club.
This also tells us that his younger brother, Norman, was also in the Forces and was a Sergeant with the R.A.F. stationed in India.
I do not know for certain when George Harold entered the Forces, but as he was over 18 he would have to get involved, either enlisting or by conscription:-
Your Country needs you. – On the day Britain declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939, Parliament immediately passed a more wide-reaching measure. The National Service (Armed Forces) Act imposed conscription on all males aged between 18 and 41 who had to register for service.
However George Harold was to find himself as an Instructor in the R.A.F. and I believe that he was probably stationed at 21 Operational Training Hunit (21O.T.U.) at Moreton in Marsh.
He was to met and marry Mabel Joyce Osborne in the September quarter of 1942 at Spilsby in the county of Lincolnshire (Spilsby Vol. 7a Page 1598).
Apparently George Harold was an Instructor and as such he was on an exercise and must have been in the elements too long as he became ill and eventually George Harold died of pneumonia after being a patient of the Horton General Hospital, Banbury and died . Mabel Joyce was able to see him in hospital, but the day after he suddenly died. He was buried in Ponblyddyn Parish Churchyard on the 4th December 1944. His death Certificate – Banbury Vol. 3a Page 1667.
The Horton General Hospital – Banbury
Moreton-in-Marsh to Banbury is approx 20 miles.
List of Royal Air Force Operational Training Units
No. 21 Operational Training Unit RAF (21 OTU)
21 OTU was formed in January 1941 at RAF Moreton-in-Marsh to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. In 1942 is carried out a number of operational sorties. It moved to RAF Finningley in November 1946 before being re-designated No. 202 Advanced Flying School in March 1947.
RAF Moreton-in-Marsh – Excerpt from:-
RAF Moreton-in-Marsh was a Royal Air Force station near Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. It was opened in November 1940 with three concrete and tarmac runways and five aircraft hangars. It closed for operational flying in early 1948. The base remained in use as a relief runway and for training. After a period of care and maintenance, the Station was handed over to the Home Office in 1955.
Unit History: RAF Moreton in Marsh
RAF Moreton was built in 500 acre area on the Batsford Estate belonging to Lord Dulveston.
The contract for building work was awarded to G. Wimpey and Co. Ltd. for ?845.000 for the runways taxiways and erection of the J type hanger.
On the 27th of November Hurricanes from ’D’ Flight of 55 Sqn OTU arrived to relieve overcrowding at Aston Down, the rest of the Sqn arriving on the next day.
Airfield receives its first visit from the Luftwaffe on 3rd April at around 23.40. With a Wellington on the runway and others in the pattern, a blanket of incendiary bombs fell. Two landed under the wing of the aircraft on the ground and one of the crew climbed down to deal with them, sadly walking into a propeller in doing so. He was rushed to Sick Quarters with an amputated arm, but after being moved to the local hospital and then to RAF Little Rissington, succumbed to his injury. Two 500lb H/E bombs fell on the N/W side of the airfield, though only damaging telephone wires and two drums of cabling.
We do know that his widow Mabel Joyce was eventually to remarry to Alex Sandover in the December quarter of 1948,again at Spilsby (Spilsby Vol. 3b Page1033), but we know that she never lost her love for George Harold, she used to visit his grave every year on the Anniversary of his death after her second husband died, her love was everlasting.
His parent’s Thomas & Clara are also buried with their son George. Clara Alice died on the 3rd November 1956, age 61 and Thomas Harold died on the 29th December 1970 age 76.
His family were of course devastated at his sudden passing and they made sure his name was added to the Penyffordd & Penymynydd WW2 War Memorial, which is in the War Memorial Institute.