V – Z

Including deaths in France, the first soldier of the Great War to be laid to rest in his home town, and a champion boxer:

Walton, Private Francis (Frank) of the 1/7th Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, attached to the 159th (Cheshire) Brigade of the 53rd (Welsh) Division, from Macclesfield, and who when stationed in Bedford sent weekly letters to The Macclesfield Courier and Herald, under the name ‘Peeping Tom’ telling amusing stories about local Macclesfield lads in the Regiment. He went with the Division to Gallipoli and on 10 August 1915, the day after landing at Suvla Bay, was hit by shrapnel and suffered a fractured skull, was evacuated to England but died of his wounds in hospital at Devonport on 5 September. He was laid to rest with full military honours in Macclesfield, the first soldier of the Great War to be buried in the town.

Private Francis Walton
    Private Francis Walton
Private Walton's grave in Macclesfield Cemetery
Private Walton’s grave in Macclesfield Cemetery

Wardle, Private Albert of the 68th Welsh Divisional Cyclist Company, from Glossop, who died in County Hospital on Monday, 1 November 1915, and whose remains were conveyed with military honours on 3 November to the Midland Station en route for his home.

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Washer, Sapper of the 1/1st Welsh Company, the Royal Engineers, played in a cricket match against The Barracks, Kempston, on 3 July 1915.

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Waters, Gunner W of the 1st Welsh Howitzer Brigade, 53rd Welsh Division, from Swansea, competitor in the water polo tournament at Bedford in June 1915.

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Watkins, Company Sergeant Major of the 2/3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment, who whilst at Howbury Hall was in charge of the firing party and, with Sergeant Berrow, of the bearer party provided by the Battalion at the funeral of Drummer Ware, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, in Renhold.

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Watkins, Corporal of the 2/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, A Company, runner in the troops cross country race in Bedford on 26 July 1916.

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Watkins, Private Ivor of the Royal Field Artillery having transferred from the Brecknock Territorials, from Cwmtwrch.

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Watkins, Private Morgan of the Royal Army Medical Corps, from Abercrave.

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Watters, Thomas of the 1st Glamorgan Battery, Royal Field Artillery, aged 24 years, admitted in Swansea Police Court in June 1915 to being an absentee from the Battery at Bedford and was remanded to await an escort.

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White, Gunner W E of the Cardigan Battery, Royal Field Artillery.

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White, Bombardier of the 1/2nd Welsh Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, who competed in the military aquatic sports in July 1915.

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Williams, Lance-Corporal Albert of the 2/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Bontnewydd.

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Williams, Private A of the 2/1st Brecknockshire Regiment, who gave evidence at the inquest into the death of Private Daniel Thomas in March 1916.

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Williams, Private A of the Royal Horse Artillery, from Cwmtwrch/Cwmllynfell.

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Williams, Gunner D G from Pontardawe, who had been stationed at Bedford, was in August 1916 removed to Salisbury Plain to undergo training in gunnery. He was then shortly to leave for foreign service.

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Williams, David John in training at Bedford in January 1916, from Llanddewi-Aberarth.

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Williams, Gunner E H a winner in the athletic sports held at Kempston, Bedford, in August 1915, from Bangor.

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Williams, Private E of the 5th RWF, who took part in the Easter Monday Eisteddfod in the Skating Rink in April 1916.

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Williams, Private Elwyn of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Nant Peris.

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Williams, Gunner Evan of the 1/4th Welsh (attached to the Cheshires), ‘the light-weight champion’ (Herald of Wales of 15 May 1915), from Llandovery, challenged Corporal Londock, RFA, to a boxing contest at Bedford in June 1915. Gunner Williams was referred to later in the Herald of Wales of 26 June 1915 as ‘Private E Williams,  the well-known welter weight champion’. The paper also mentioned his brother, Private D J Williams, with the Expeditionary Force at the Front.

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Williams, Private F of the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 1st Monmouths, from Abergavenny, who whilst home on leave rendered first aid to two men who received injuries whilst tackling a fire in the oil stores of Mt Alfred Pritchard, ironmonger, in August 1916. The Fire Brigade were assisted by the Royal Engineers, Territorials, and civilians, said the Abergavenny Chronicle and Monmouthshire Advertiser in its full report on the fire in its 6 August 1915 edition.

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Williams, Lieutenant H G Stewart of the 2/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Machynllleth.

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Williams, Private Harry of the 18th Welsh Regiment, from Llangynidr, 23 years of age, who fell in action on the Cambrai front (Bourlon Wood) on 23 November 1917. He was stationed for nine month in Bedford where he was billeted with other comrades in an empty house attached to the old historic building where John Bunyan was imprisoned. The Brecon & Radnor Express Carmarthen and Swansea Valley Gazette and Brynmawr District Advertiser of 27 December 1917 carried a full report of the hero who had fallen in France.

Private Harry Williams, of the 18th Welsh Regiment
Private Harry Williams, 18th Welsh Regiment

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Williams, 2853 Private I S of the 2/1st Brecknockshire Regiment, B Company, a former Welsh international runner and winner of the troops cross country race in Bedford on 26 July 1916.

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Williams, Corporal J E of the 2/7th RWF, who took part in the Easter Monday Eisteddfod in the Skating Rink in April 1916.

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Williams, Private J I of the Brecknockshire Regiment, from Beulah.

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Williams, Major J R of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who gave medical evidence at the inquest into the death of Private Daniel Thomas in March 1916.

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Williams, Driver Jim contestant in the boxing contest at Bedford in June 1915, from Llandovery.

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Williams, Private John of the 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, from Aberaman, aged 29 years, died on 20 August 1915 of wounds received in the Dardanelles. Private Williams had left Bedford on 16 July en route for the firing line, and his widowed mother had not heard from him since. He had signed for four years service when he enlisted in September 1914.

Private William Jones, 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Private William Jones, 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment

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Williams, Major L T C of the 2/3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment, who whilst at Howbury Hall attended the funeral of Drummer Ware, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, in Renhold at which the Battalion provided a firing party.

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Williams, T4/087228 Sergeant-Driver Luther enlisted in the 2/1st Monmouthshire Regiment (as 2776) and transferred to 4 Company, 68th Welsh Division, Royal Army Service Corps, not long before his death in Bedford on 6 September 1916 after a short but severe illness. From Gilfach, Bargoed. Buried with full military honours in Bedford Cemetery, Foster Hill Road. There is a full report of his funeral in the Monmouth Guardian of 15 September 1916.

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Williams, Corporal Medwyn of the 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Caernarfon.

Corporal Medwyn Williams, 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Corporal Medwyn Williams, 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

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Williams, Owen of the 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Criccieth.

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Williams, Second-Lieutenant R of the Machine Gun Corps, from Harlech, died of wounds received whilst on active service in France in 1918. The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard of 17 May 1918 included a full report of his background and war service.

Second-Lieutenant R Wlliams MGC, Machine Gun Corps
Second-Lieutenant R Wlliams, Machine Gun Corps

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Williams, Roger Herbert attached to the Army Service Corps at Bedford, from Ruthin.

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Williams, Private Rufus of the Herefordshire Territorial Force, from Hay, one of five brothers serving with the colours.

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Williams, Driver T D of the Army Service Corps, from Beulah.

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Williams, Private T J of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Caernarfon.

Private T J Williams, 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Private T J Williams, 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

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Williams, Private Tom in hospital at Bedford in June 1917 suffering from a poisoned leg, having seen service in France where he was wounded and gassed, and not yet 18 years of age, from Neyland.

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Williams, Farrier-Sergeant W of the Royal Garrison Artillery, from Porthaethwy.

Farrier-Sergeant W Williams, Royal Garrison Artillery
Farrier-Sergeant W Williams, Royal Garrison Artillery

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Williams, Sergeant W Charles of the 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Caernarfon.

Sergeant W Charles Williams, 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Sergeant W Charles Williams, 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

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Williams, Private William from Pengorphwysfa, writing in December 1915 from Bedford to Rev B Thomas, said this was the first Christmas for him to be absent from carols at Llanddona, and he gave great praise to the care and diligence of the Rev T J Phillips* in regard to the Welsh soldiers in Bedford.

* might he be one and the same Rev J T Phillips, from Minffordd, Chaplain with HM Forces at Bedford

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Williams, Private William Henry of the 5th Welsh, from Aberaman.

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Williams, Private Willie M of the 2/6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, from Ebenezer.

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Williams, Sapper Willie R of the Royal Engineers, from Cwmyglo.

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Williams, Sapper of the 1/1st Welsh Company, the Royal Engineers, played in a cricket match against The Barracks, Kempston, on 3 July 1915.

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Williams Wynne, Lieutenant Watkin on the military staff at Bedford, and the heir to Wynnstay, Ruabon. He rode the winning horse “Glow worm” in the cross country steeplechase during the Welsh Infantry Brigade sports held on Saturday, 27 May 1916.

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Wilson, Second-Lieutenant A of the 2nd Battalion, the Herefordshire Regiment, part of the first reinforcement draft of 47 men who left for Gallipoli in August 1915.

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de Winton, Captain A J of the 2/1st Brecknockshire Regiment, commander of D Company, who gave evidence at the inquest into the death of Private Daniel Thomas in March 1916.

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Wooles, Driver H of the 1st Welsh Howitzer Brigade, 53rd Welsh Division, from Swansea, competitor in the water polo tournament at Bedford in June 1915.

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