Kelly, William Thomas

William Thomas Kelly was born on St. Valentine’s Day, 14th February 1915, and Baptised on the 7th March 1915, the son of Thomas & Margaret Kelly (nee Bennion), they lived in Bennett’s Houses, Pentre, Flintshire.,   Father, Thomas Kelly was a Painter.

Thomas Kelly had married Margaret Elizabeth Bennion in St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden on the 9th September 1907.   Thomas KELLY was 34, Bachelor and a Painter, his home was in Rawtenstall, his father was William KELLY (Deceased) and a Painter.    Margaret Elizabeth BENNION was 32 and a Spinster, she lived in Saltney, Hawarden, her father was Thomas BENNION, Mariner.    They married after Banns.   Their witnesses were William Thomas Bennion & Mary Langley.

Thomas, 37, born in Salford, Lancashire& Margaret Elizabeth, 36, born in Sandycroft, are seen on the 1911 census living at 2, Bennett’s Houses, Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire. (3 rooms) and they tell us that they had been married 4 years and that 2 children had been born to them, and they were still living.    The children were Walter, 3 and Gladys, 1.    Both had been baptised in St. Deniol’s Church as William Thomas had.    I found another child baptised there, Doris Margaret, born on the 27th October 1911 and baptised on the 16th November 1911, then Thomas Kelly was a Labourer.   I have copies of the Baptisms of the 4 children, if you would like, please contact the website.

I believe that Margaret Elizabeth Bennion may have met Thomas Kelly when she is seen on the 1901 census living at Fairleigh (Hope Avenue), Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, as a Housemaid in the Household of Myles F. Davies, a Soldier and his daughter Vivian, age 5 and 4 servants, one of whom was Maggie Bennion, single, 26 years old and born in Hawarden, Flintshire.   I cannot find Thomas Kelly on the same census.

I believe that Thomas Kelly was to die in 1914, a few months before William Thomas was born in 1915.  He was buried at Hawarden Churchyard on the 28th December 1914 age 42 years, his address was  Bennett’s Houses, Hawarden.

So Margaret Elizabeth Kelly was a widow and had 4 children to look after, including a newborn baby in the February of 1915.

Margaret Elizabeth KELLY is on the 1939 National Register (Taken on the 29th September 1939) living at 6,Ratcliffe Row,Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire.   Margaret Kelly born 8th March 1875 and like all married or widowed women on the register, if they did not have a job, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  She was widowed.   Also in the same house, but obviously separate, was Mabel DAVIES, born 6th July 1909, a widow doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”

I do not know anything about William Thomas’s early and teen age years, and as I cannot find him on the 1939 National Register, perhaps he had enlisted or was conscripted, possibly on the outbreak of war, or perhaps he had joined years before.    Any help would be gratefully received.

He was in the Royal Armoured Corps -11th Hussars and I have found some Casualty Lists, but they are a little hard to follow, but in the midst of war it is understandable that wrong information would be written and then corrected.

Casualty List (Page 5) – 553497 KELLY Sjt. W.T. 11th Hussars Died of Wounds. 1st June 1940.

Casualty List (Page 8) List No. 236 Corrections.  – Expeditionary Force – France.   Died of Wounds 553497 KELLY Sjt. W.T. 11th Hussars – 1st June 1940. – Should read –  Abroad – Middle East.   Died of Wounds – Royal Armoured Corps – 553497 KELLY Sjt. W.T. 11th Hussars 1st June 1940.

Casualty List (Page 5) List No. 449 (Correction of List 236) – Casualty List (Page 5) List No. 449 (Correction of List 236) – Should Read – Died* – Royal Armoured Corps – 553497 KELLY Sjt. W.T. 11th Hussars 1st June 1940.

*Died usually means that they died of a disease or illness, he mustn’t have Died of Wounds or was Killed in Action, or if he died in an accident then that would be what they entered on the Casualty form.    Any help would be appreciated.

Looking at the CWGC – Graves Registration Report Form, William Thomas was the only one who died on the 1st June 1940.

The following websites might help you realise what William Thomas went through, but I do not know for certain how he died.

11th Hussars – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – The Second World War.  The regiment, which had been located in Egypt when the war started, deployed as part of the divisional troops of the 7th Armoured Division and conducted raids on Italian positions in Italian Libya using armoured cars during the Western Desert Campaign. It captured Fort Capuzzo in June 1940[23] and, in an ambush east of Bardia, captured General Lastucci, the Engineer-in-Chief of the Italian Tenth Army.[24]

Following the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940, the regiment took part in the British counterattack called Operation Compass, launched against Italian forces first in Egypt, then Libya. It was part of an ad hoc combat unit called Combeforce, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Combe, that cut the retreating Tenth Army off and led to their surrender at the Battle of Beda Fomm in February 1941.[25] The regiment fought at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. The regiment took part in the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943 and, after the Normandy landings in June 1944, took part in the North-West Europe Campaign.[26]

Also Capuzzo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

1940 – On 14 June 1940, four days after the Italian declaration of war on Britain, the 7th Hussars and elements of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, Gladiators of 33 Squadron Royal Air Force (RAF) and Blenheims of 211 Squadron captured Fort Capuzzo; the 11th Hussars took Fort Maddalena about 97 km (60 mi) further south.[6] The fort was not occupied long for lack of troops and equipment but demolition parties visited each night to destroy Italian ammunition and vehicles.[7] For the rest of June, the British patrolled to the north, south and west and began the Siege of Giarabub. The Italian 10th Army concentrated in the area from Bardia to Tobruk and brought forward the Maletti Group, a combined tank, infantry and artillery force, equipped with a company of Fiat M11/39 medium tanks, which were superior to their older L3/33 tankettes.[8]

The Italians reoccupied Fort Capuzzo and held it with part of the 2nd Blackshirt Division (Luogotenente Generale Francesco Argentino). On 29 June, the Maletti Group repulsed British tanks with its artillery and then defeated a night attack.[8][9] During the frontier skirmishes from 11 June to 9 September, the British claimed to have inflicted 3,500 casualties for a loss of 150 men.[10] On 16 December, during Operation Compass (9 December 1940 – 9 February 1941) the 4th Armoured Brigade of the Western Desert Force captured Sidi Omar and the Italians withdrew from Sollum, Fort Capuzzo and the other frontier forts; Number 9 Field Supply Depot was established at the fort for the 7th Armoured Division.[11]


Western Desert campaign – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –   (Redirected from Western Desert Campaign)

The Western Desert campaign (Desert War), took place in the deserts of Egypt and Libya and was the main theatre in the North African campaign of the Second World War. Military operations began in June 1940 with the Italian declaration of war and the Italian invasion of Egypt from Libya in September. Operation Compass, a British five-day raid in December 1940, led to the destruction of the Italian 10th Army. Benito Mussolini sought help from Adolf Hitler, who sent a small German force to Tripoli under Directive 22 (11 January). The Afrika Korps (Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel) was formally under Italian command as Italy was the main Axis power in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

He was loved and missed by his family as they added his name to the WW2 War Memorial in St. Francis’s church.










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