Davies, William

I found William whilst searching the Commonwealth War Graves database for any soldiers from Saltney or Saltney Ferry.

William Davies was born circa 1877 in Denbighshire, the son of Richard & Dorothy DAVIES.   On the 1881 census they were living at 2, Post Office Lane, Denbigh, Richard, 46 was a Railway Fireman, born in Ruthin, Dorothy, 39, his wife, was born in Llandyrnog, Denbighshire, daughter Jane, 18 was also born in the same village as her mother.  Charles, 11, Robert. T. 8, Arthur, 5, William 4, Mary A. 2 and baby Edwin, 1 month old.

By the 1891 census the whole family had moved to 13, Mold Junction, Hawarden.  Richard, 46 was now a Railway Engine Driver born Denbigh, Denbighshire, his wife Dorothy, 48.   Daughter Jane, 27 and Mary A., 12 were the only daughters.   Sons Charles, 22, was single and a Railway Engine Stoker,, both Robert T. 15, and Arthur, 16 were Railway Engine Cleaners, William, 14 and Edwin, 10 were Scholars.

William married Sydney Meredith in , St Mark’s Church, Lach-cum-Saltney in 1898. (Cheshire West, CE35/1/48)

The 1901 census shows the couple living at 30, Glynne Street, Lache-cum-Saltney, Chester with their young daughter Adelaide, age 1.   William, 24 was a Chair Dresser, born in Denbigh, Denbighshire, and Sydney gave her age as 24 and born in Chester as was Adelaide.

In 1911 the family had grown by 1, a son Harold.   They were now living at Carlingford Cottage, River Lane, Saltney, Chester.   William, 33 was a ) Foreman Manure? Works (Chemical) and stated that all the famiy lhad been born in Saltney.   Adelaide was now 12 and Haold age 9, both at school.   A boarder, James Ryan, 66, General labourer, born in Tipperary made up the household.

William enlisted on the 18th September 1915, giving his address as the same on the 1911 census, his trade was a Fitter and he was 39 years 8 months old.

His attestation papers gives his – Description on Enlistment

Height – 5 feet 8 and ¾ inches.Weight – 148lbs

Chest Measurement – 39 inches, Range of expansion – 2 and ½ inches.

Distinctive Marks – Nil

C of E.

Name and address of Next of Kin – Sydney DAVIES, Carlingford Cottage, River Lane, Saltney, Chester. – Relationship – Wife.

Particulars as to Marriage – Sydney MEREDITH, Spinster, 14th August 1898, St. Mark’s Church, Saltney, Carlingford Cottage, River Lane, Saltney, Chester.

Particulars as to Children – Harold DAVIES born 3rd August 1901*, Saltney, Chester.

* Later in the papers the year of his d.o.b. is different, 1903, and Adelaide is not mentioned, but by then she would have been 16 years old and I suppose old enough to work.

On the papers where Sydney makes a declaration stating Williams relatives who are still living, on this she states that his father was dead and the space for his mother was left blank.   Only 1 full blood brother was mentioned – John DAVIES. Age 50, 61, Ewart Street, Mold Junction, Flintshire.   It seems he had no other relatives,   I found the 1871 census which shows the William’s family living at 7, Post Office Lane, Denbigh and there was a John DAVIES age 4, which would make John around 50 years old in 1919.

The Declaration was signed by Sydney DAVIES, 3 Cable Street, Saltney,Chester. On the 3rd September 1919 by Edwyn SPOONER?, Clerk in Holy Orders, St. Mark’s Vicarage, Chester.

It seems that sadly William died very suddenly whilst at Litherland Camp on the 23rd September, 1916.

Next paper – Letter from Ministry of Pensions, London dated 3rd May 1917. The Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions requests that you will be good enough to obtain and forward a detailed Report on the cause of death of No. 36032 Pte. William DAVIES 3rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Answer on the same letter – Herewith Medical Officers report on the cause of death of man named, no inquest having been held on the body.

Next Page – Letter address “Litherland Camp, May ?? 1917

To O/C 3rd Bn R.W.F. 36032 Pte. DAVIES, Wm. (dec).

I have the honour to report this man died very suddenly from Heart Failure on Sept. 23rd 1916 from unknown cause.   Acting on my report at the time the Colonel did not consider an inquest was necessary. 

Sydney was awarded a Pension of 15/- a week for herself and 1 child, with effect from the 2nd April 1917 increasing to 18/9d from 4th April 1917.

William Davies in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the Legatees were Wife Sydney and Children who received  £3 11s 7d on the 21st March 1917 and £3 5s War Gratuity on the 19th September 1919.

William Davies in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms the Service details above, but I cannot find any Medals.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Saltney Ferry Memorial

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