Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22, 1917 to February 22, 2017: Rest in Peace, dear William.

100 years ago on February 22, 1917,
my great uncle, William Joseph Williams
gave his life in WWI, age 24, in Salonika, Greece. 
He fell in a skirmish against the Germans, and was
hit at close range in one of his legs. The newspaper clipping below gives a good description. His leg had to be amputated, and William didn't survive.

William was born in Blaenau Ffestiniog,
North Wales in 1893. I haven't yet sent away for his birth certificate, so I don't know the date of birth.
He joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Wrexham, Wales and on Sept 5, 1915 was sent to France.

I only have 2 photos of William, so I did a bit of photo-shopping and added William's head to this lovely Royal Welsh Fusiliers head shot of another soldier!

I had thought maybe this year, 2017, I would visit William's grave but I don't feel like that part of the world is safe at the moment.

William was part of the Machine Gun Corps during the last few months of his life.

The above clipping states William passed away 
"on the 6th day at the Casualty Clearing Hospital", so this means he would have been injured on Feb 17, which was his older brother's birthday.
(my Grandpa John Griffith Williams)
It also states that Miss Ellen Roberts, William's aunt, was the only person that the sender of the news had an address for, although the person knew that
"your nephew used to write to his girl very faithfully".
The clipping is cut off at this point. I'd love to know who wrote the letter, but I haven't yet been able to find it online. That sentence makes me cry every time I read it.

The above is the UK army register of Soldier's Effects, for William Williams. His brother is the one who received them, Robert David Williams, who was on the HMS Violet. 

Henry Hargreaves (should have initial C not E) was the chaplain and wrote this lovely letter.

I recently was given a link to the Welsh newspapers online which shows the above, "Williams, 14842,
W. (Blaenau Festiniog)" under
No wonder I couldn't locate an obituary without any help! This was found in The North Wales Chronicle.

And this is where William is buried.
His plot is in section D, #828.

I'm so thankful I purchased the photo of his
grave, from the War Graves Photographic
Project online.

William's medal index card, showing his enlistment and his date of death.

I created a collage for my Facebook page, to remember great uncle William.
I've done my best to learn all I could about you, dear William. One day I hope to meet you in Heaven.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

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