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SGT: WILLIAMS, AARON

Aaron Williams, born in Cockett, Swansea, with his birth registered in 1887.1

Parents: Evan (Head), Doubler in Tin Works, age36, and Margaret Williams (Wife) age 32. Sons, John (scholar) age 9, Leychon (scholar) age 7, Fredrick (scholar) age 5, Aaron Williams (scholar) age 3, and David Charles age 1. They were all born in Eccles; St Peters Cockett in Swansea Higher. Lived at Gendros Middle Row No.1?2

Mary Williams (Head and Widow) age 82, Parents: Evan (Head) and a Tin Worker at Tin Works age 46 and Margret Williams age 43. Brothers, John age19, Leyshon, a Tin Worker at Tin Works age 17, Fredrick, brick labourer age 15, Aaron Williams, Coal Miner helper age 13, David C. age 11 and Brinley age 9. Sister, Margret A. age 1. Mary only spoke Welsh. All other family members spoke both, Welsh and English. They lived at Gendros Colliery & Brick Works.3

Parents: Evan, Tin Roller, age 56 and Margaret Williams age 53, married thirty years with eight children all living. Daughter, Margaret Amy at school age 12. Sons, Aaron Williams, Miner Hewer, single and age 26, David Charles, Standing Engine Driver and age 22, Bryn William, Standing Engine Driver and age 18 and Luther a Foundry labourer age 16. All the family was born in Cockett, Swansea.  Parents and Aaron spoke both Welsh and English, but the other four children only spoke Welsh.  They lived at the Mile End, Gendros, and Swansea.4

Entered as a Private and promoted to Sergeant, served with the Welsh Regiment 14th Battalion, service number (17871) in France and Flanders. Died age 31, killed in action on 18th September 1918.  Grave reference IV. G. 15. Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetry, Nord, France. Son of Evan and Margaret Williams, of Bryn Heulog, Mile End, Fforestfach, Swansea.5 & 6

“PATRIOTIC MEETING AT FORESTFACH.
A largely attended public meeting was held at London House, when the inhabitants of Fforestfach showed their appreciation of its representatives in the nation’s roll of honour in a practical manner. Suitably inscribed wallets have been handed or sent to the local participants in the present crisis. Five of them who had been granted a few days’ leave, were present, and received a warm reception upon taking their seats. The Rev. H. J. Stewart, Vicar of Cockett, presided. He opened the meeting with an excellent address in Welsh and English, welcoming the brave young men, and pointing out how proud all concerned should feel of those so filled with enthusiasm for righteous cause, as to offer their services for their country, homes, and friends. The wounded soldiers the speaker had lately met were amongst the happiest men he had known, for they were satisfied that they had done all they could do. He hoped that those present would live to come back, when they would have a great reception, and wished them every success. (Applause.) Mr. John Nicholas sang, or Britons, Raise Your Banners High," whereupon Mr. Thomas Williams said Fforestfach felt proud of all'-who had fallen in to fight for their safety, freedom, and honour. Some of them, he added, were members of his Sunday School class, and he hoped they would all come back alive and well. (Applause.) Mr. D. Jones, schoolmaster, Cockett, said he was proud of the Fforestfach men who had enlisted, many of whom had attended his school. The place owed a debt to them. The roll of. honour to be set up in Cockett School would bear 35 names, and he hoped they would all return. He wished them God's speed. (Applause.) Mrs. Hughes wife of the Rev. E. J. Hughes, Calfaria, who was heartily welcomed by the chairman, made the presentation. In a neat and pithy speech she expressed great pleasure in being present and felt honoured in being asked to make the presentation. Words to adequately convey the true sentiments of Fforestfach's inhabitants could not be found. The wallets showed the appreciation, kindness, and esteem of the people to whom she sincerely hoped God would enable them to return strong and well. (Applause.) She then handed the tokens to Private John Jenkins, Private David Howel Evans, Private. Clifford Rees, Private Aaron Williams, Private D. J. Jones. and Private D, J. Williams. Mr. Tom Williams, Llwyn Onen, followed. Mr. J. Nicholas gave a solo, and a splendid address, his touches of humour bringing the house down. He dwelt on the nearness of the present, war to most people, and spoke with pride of Fforest fach's representatives, who were a credit to the place. He wished them every success. (Applause,) John Jenkins responded, and, thanked all concerned, on behalf of his comrades, for the kindness extended to them.—The Chairman proposed, and-Mr. Sobey seconded, a vote of sympathy with Mrs. J. Stanley. Ystrad-road, whose husband recently died as a result of wounds. Mr. Ben Jones, on behalf of the committee, proposed, and the Rev. E. J. Hughes seconded, a vote of thanks to the chairman. Hen Wlan fy Nhadau" and "God Save the King" brought the meeting to a close.”7

“FFORESTFACH.
The parents of Corporal Aaron Williams, Mile End, have been apprised of the fact that he has been made sergeant on the field. A member of the now famous Swansea Battalion, Aaron has passed through strenuous activities, and is as yet unscathed. Prior to the outbreak of war he was a prominent figure in local sporting circles. The movement set on foot some time ago to give the late Ald. Rev. John Davies, Cadle, a testimonial as a token of appreciation of his valuable services in varied directions, resulted in over 100 guineas being handed to Mrs. J. Davies, widow. The officials concerned were: Chairman, Mr. Thos. Jenkins; secretary, Mr. J. Davies; treasurer, Mr. D. J. Richards (choir conductor).”8

“Yet another Fforestfach lad has made the supreme sacrifice upon the altar of his country in the person of Sergt. Aaron Williams, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Williams, Gendros. News was received by his parents on Friday morning to the effect that he had fallen in action on the Western front. Aged 31, he joined up when the Swansea Battalion was organized. Recently he was promoted sereant on the field. Prior to the war he was employed at Garngoch Colliery No. 3. He was a prominent member of Gendros R.F.C., and Ravenhill C.C.”9

MEDALS: Victory, British & Star.10

GALLANTRY AWARDS: Meritorious Service Medal.11

SOURCE
1 England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
2 1891 Census Wales
3 1901 Census Wales
4 1911 Census Wales
5 Commonwealth War Graves Commission
6 Forces War Records, 07.03.2014
7 Herald of Wales 16.01.1915
8 Cambrian Daily Leader 11.09.1918
9 Cambrian Daily Leader 30.09.1918
10 British Army WW1 Medals Rolls Index 1914-1920
11 Forces War Records, 08.03.2014

Further reading
Our Roll Of Honour – Fforestfach - Cambrian Daily Leader 19th November 1914
Swansea Pals by Bernard Lewis, 2004 ISBN 978-1844152520