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Lewis, Cyril Edwin

Cyril Edwin Lewis was the brother of Robert John Lewis, who is also on the Saltney Ferry WW2 War Memorial, please click on the link to read his story, and was born in the September quarter of 1922 in the Hawarden Registration District, (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 359), he was the youngest son and last born child of Robert & Mary Lewis, (nee PRICE) who had married on the 12th July 1905 at St. Mark’s Church, Lache cum Saltney.    Robert Lewis was 25, a bachelor and Fireman, his address was 1, Saltney Villas and his father, William Lewis, was an Engine Driver.   Robert’s bride, Mary Price, was a spinster, age 21 years and her address was 1, St. David’s Terrace, Stone Bridge, Saltney.   Her father, Charles Price was a Labourer.   Their siblings, Joseph Lewis and Eleanor Price were their witnesses.

They are first seen on the 1911 census living as a family, at 4, St. David’s Terrace, Saltney, Flintshire, which had 5 rooms.   Head of the household was Robert Lewis, age 30, a Railway Engine Stoker (L.N.W. Railway) born in Higher Kinnerton, Flintshire.    His wife, Mary, 26, tells us that they had been married for 5 years and 3 children had been born, all still living.   Their children were William, 4, Charles, 2, and Margaret, 9 months, all had been born in Saltney, Flintshire.   There was a Boarder, Edward Wright, 30, single and a Boiler Maker working for the L.N.W. Railway, born in Horwich, Lancashire.

By the 1921 census, which was taken on the 19th June 1921, the family had grown, and again, Robert was head of the household, now age 41 years 10 months and a Loco Engine Driver with the London & N.W. Railway at worked at Mold Junction.   Mary was age 36 years 8 months.    William, 14 years 11 months, and a Fitter’s Apprentice for the London & N.W. Railways at Mold Junction.   Charles, was age 13 years and 1 month.   Margaret was age 11 years exactly.   Gwyneth was age 7 years 4 months, John Lewis (Robert John) was age 4 years 11 months and Phyllis was age 2 years 6 months.

Cyril Edwin’s parents, Robert & Mary were living in Blackpool on the night of the 29th September 1939, when the 1939 National Register was taken.  Were they on holiday or had the moved because of Robert’s work on the Railway?   They did move about a lot when they worked for the Railway company.  They were staying at 59 Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, Blackpool C.B., Lancashire, in the household of Walter & Alice Kershaw and a Sarah E. Fleming.   There was a redacted or closed record as well, but I don’t know who that was.   This source tells us the dates of birth, Robert was born on the 28th August 1880 and Mary on the 6th November 1884.   They also stated their occupation, Robert’s was a Railway Locomotive Driver and Mary was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” as most married women who did not have a job was described on this Register.

This same 1939 National Register shows Robert John & Phyllis living at 4 St Davids Terrace,Saltney, Hawarden, Flintshire.   Robert John’s birth date was the 9th July 1916 and he was a Bricklayer, while Phyllis’s birthday was the 2nd January 1919 and she was in the Women’s A.T.S.   This source also tells us that Phyllis was to marry a gentleman with the surname Harvey, and I was able to find their marriage in the December quarter of 1939.   Phyllis married Douglas John C. Harvey in St. Mark’s Church, Lache cum Saltney (Cheshire West CE35/3/161).

Cyril Edwin’s emergence into public documents is very little, he was not born when the 1921 census was taken and I cannot find him on the 1939 National Register, when his parents are living in Blackpool and Robert John & Phyllis Lewis, his older siblings, were living at the family home of 4, St. David’s Terrace, Stone Bridge, Saltney.   I can only presume that he was living with one of his older siblings, perhaps, as there is a redacted or closed record* on the Register for Gwynneth M. & Derek Foster’s entry on the Register.   Phyllis didn’t marry until December 1939, so perhaps he was with one of his brothers, either William & Charles.

*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.

I have no record of when Cyril Edwin actually enlisted or was conscripted into the Royal Air Force, whether it was before the war ended or after, I do not know, but family members can request the Service Records of all servicemen if they so wish, I believe the fee is £30.    For R.A.F. Service Records, the website address is :- https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

However he was to find himself, after the war, stationed at Earls Colne, according to the Essex Newsman, dated Tuesday the 9th April, 1946, when Cyril Edwin’s death was reported.    He was a passenger in a Jeep with 4 other men and three W.A.A.F. women, which crashed into a wall at 10.45 at Coggeshall, on Sunday the 7th April, which resulted in Cyril Edwin being fatally injured, and another man seriously injured. (Colchester Vol. 4a Page 805)

The Chelmsford Chronicle report on the 19th April 1946, tells us of the Coroner’s verdict of Accidental death, it also  stated that the Coroner had said that the accident was in measure caused by the Jeep being somewhat overloaded.   His death certificate c

So Robert & Mary were having to bear the grief o the loss of another young son, who was laid to rest next to his brother Robert John who died in a bomb explosion in 1940.    Please click on the link to read his story,

Mary, later in the year, on the 4th December 1946 was to lose her husband, Robert age 66 years, which must have been so hard for her and the remaining siblings.

Mary, herself was to live until the 4th October 1966, when she died, aged 81 years.   They are all reunited in the same grave at Overtleigh Cemetery, Chester.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Saltney Ferry Memorial

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