Joseph Davies was born in 1886 in Cyffredin Farm in the Waen. His father Robert was originally from Llansannan. The 1891 census records that his parents, Elias and Mary, were living with him and his wife Laura in Cyffredin. Laura hailed from Llanwnda in Caernarfonshire. She and Robert had 4 children; Robert, Mary, Joseph and Barbara. This was a Welsh speaking family. Teulu hollol Gymraeg.
Ten years later both boys were working on the farm. By now the family had been joined by a little girl – Robert and Laura’s niece, Ann.
By 1911 Robert senior had lost both his father and his wife*. His sons, now 30 and 25 respectively, were still working on the farm as were Barbara and Annie who both worked in the dairy. Robert’s mother was still alive aged 85.
It must have caused a considerable loss in manpower on the farm when Joseph joined up. He enlisted in Wrexham and served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the 2nd Battalion. Unfortunately no service records have survived so we do not know anything about Joseph’s time in the Army. However we do know that he lost his life in France on the 14th of March 1918. His body was interred in Merville Community Cemetery Extension. His father requested the following inscription on his gravestone:
GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS
St. John XV.13.
After his son’s death Robert received the sum of £13/4/3 (thirteen pounds, four shillings and threepence) which would have been Joseph’s wages. This was followed by a War Gratuity of £4.
There is some evidence on Ancestry to suggest that Robert suffered a further tragedy as his youngest daughter Barbara also died in December 1918.
*An account of the death of Joseph’s mother who drowned in a pond on the farmyard in 1907 is taken from Stori Capel Waengoleugoed: Sul, Gwyl a Gwaith ISBN 0 901332 97 6
“Roedd Joseph Davies yn fab i Robert a’r diweddar Laura Davies Fferm Cyffredin Waen. Bu farw ei fam Laura Davies wedi iddi gael ei darganfod wedi boddi mewn pwll ar fuarth fferm Cyffredin yn 1907 – roedd yn dioeddef o bendro a chredai ei gwr ei bod wedi mynd i lan y pwll i chwilio am nythod pan oedd yn casglu wyau a wedi syrthio i fewn – roedd yn 57 oed.”