Williams, John David

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have John David Williams’s parents as David and Mary Hannah Williams, of Mostyn.   His Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Whitford F 9) has his address as Bryn y Baw, Mostyn, and when I have searched this address, the family of Williams’s have a David and a John David living with them at different points, but the mother is stated as Margaret, although on Ancestry she was indexed as Mary, but when you look at the writing, the Enumerator had written Margt.   So I don’t know if the person below on the censuses is the right soldier, I am proceeding on the assumption that he is, so if anyone can enlighten me, I would be very obliged.

I wrote to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to see if they can tell me where they obtained the names of John David William’s parents.  They sent me a reply which gives this link on their CWGC webpages for John David.,%20JOHN%20DAVID  “We would explain that the additional information we record was provided by the next of kin after the war. The second headstone document on the above link shows the person who completed the Final Verification Form as Mrs S Matthews, Bryn-y-Baw, Glenydon, Mostyn. I am afraid we cannot confirm if the information Mrs Matthews provided is correct or what her relationship to the war casualty.”

I have found the marriage of David Williams and Margaret Evans, David was 25, a bachelor and Farm Labourer living at Brychton Hall, Mostyn, his father was William Williams, Farmer, Margaret Evans, 22 and spinster lived at Bryn Baw, Whitford, her father was Thomas Evans, Labourer.   The marriage was by Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate.

John David Williams was born circa 1898 in Bryn-y-baw, Mostyn, Flintshire, the 3rd son of David & Margaret Williams who it seems settled at Gwibnant, Whitford, Flintshire by the 1881 census.

Head of the household was David Williams,, 27 an Agricultural Labourer, his wife Margaret, 23 and two daughters, Mary H., 2 and Ann, 1 year old, all the family having been born in Whitford, Flintshire.

The 1891 census shows the family still at Gwibnant (After Downing Hall),, this time David, 38, states he was born at Henllan, Denbighshire, Margaret, 35, his wife at Holywell.   The family had grown, with Mary & Ann, 12 and 10 respectively and also William T., 8, scholars, as was Esther, 6.   Baby Elizabeth was 2.

Between the 2 censuses, Margaret must have died, and as there are too many Margaret Williams to know if I was to pick the right one, I cannot tell when she died.

The 1901 census sees that the family’s address was Bryn- y-baw, Nr. Holywell, Flintshire.   Sadly David, now 51 was a widower, and his occupation was as a Hay Trusser.    His family had grown, Annie, 20, William Th., 28 was also a Hay Trusser, Elizabeth, 12, with new members Caradoc C., 10, Myfanwy, 6, Ethel M., 4 and John D., 3.

1911 sees the family still at Bryn- y-baw, David, 56 (sic) tells us that 9 children had been born to him, all still living, this was crossed out by the Enumerator as he was a Widow.   He was now a Farm Labourer and tells us this time he had been born in Trelogan, Flintshire.   Some of the family had left home, but William Thomas, was 26, single and also a Farm labourer, born in Gwibnant, Mostyn, Flintshire, as had Esther Jane, 23, a General Servant.   Muriel, 14, also a General Servant, John D., 12, at school and a Niece Gladys Williams, 6 had all been born in Bryn- y-baw, Mostyn.

If David Williams remarried a Mary Hannah, it must have been after the 1911 census and I cannot find a marriage for them, any help would be appreciated.

John David Williams in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms his regimental details and also that he had been born in Holywell, Flintshire, he had enlisted at Wrexham and he had died at “Home.”

John David Williams in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that John David died in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley*  and the sole Legatee was his father David who received £10 5s 3d on the 15th October 1918 and his War Gratuity of £4 10s on the 9th December 1919.    * – Palace of pain: Netley, the hospital built for an empire of soldiers – The vast Royal Victoria Hospital was as big as a town, with its own gasworks, bakery, reservoir and even prison. But it was still too small to cope with the industrial-scale carnage of the first world war

John D Williams in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.

I cannot find his Attestation Papers, they may have been destroyed in WW2 in the bombings, as so many were.

There is another John David Williams in the village living at Saithffynnon, Whitford, who wrote a Flintshire WW1 Index card out as a surviving soldier:-

Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Whitford L62)   WILLIAMS, John David, Saithffynnon, Whitford, 20733   Sergt.   14th Bn R.W.F.    Period of Service 4 years 2 months.    Card signed by J.D. WILLIAMS & Ellis DAVIES* on the 17th September 1919.

*I suspect that this was the Vicar of Whitford who distributed and collected the cards as his name is on almost all the 10 “Fallen” cards.   Although as can be seen above he is also on the “Living” cards, but I must confess I haven’t been through all the “Living” cards to confirm.

Buried at at Pen Rhewl (a hamlet in the hills), behind Bethel Chapel, (Calvnistic Methodist – Welsh).  It belongs to Trustees appointed by five Nonconformist Churches. I think this is not far along the road from the Dry Bridge Lodge, part of the Lord Mostyn Estate.

If anyone can add anything to John David’s story, please contact the website.

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