WWI SPECIAL: Family's war service will not be forgotten

Published date: 31 July 2014 |
Published by: Stephanie Price 
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A RHYL man has shared his family memorabilia from the First World War  with The Journal.

David Hammas, 71, of Coast Road, has collected documents telling the story of his great uncle and grandfather’s service during the First World War. Letters, postcards and photographs are among some of the items Mr Hammas has in his attic room, dedicated to First World War and Liverpool football club memorabilia.

He said: “My nain came to live with me for a while before she passed, she lived to 102 years old. She had this memorabilia which has been passed down through the family and is still with us now. The documents are of my Great Uncle Bill and my grandfather, Henry Allen.”

Mr Hammas’ great uncle Bill, or Williams Williams, was a Royal Welsh Fusillier and died at the Somme, two months before the war ended.

Henry Allen was a Royal Engineer and was wounded in Greece in Solonika, a little known campaign of Franco-British forces who landed in Solonika, at the request of the Greek president, to aid the Serbians in their fight against Bulgarian aggression.

Mr Hammas has two certificates awarded to the family by the county of Fflint.

The first is to welcome the living back home and the second to honour and remember the dead.

More items are a group of letters addressed to Williams Williams’ mother, Elizabeth Williams, or Betty, who lived at 43 Wellington Road.

The first letter, dated September 11, 1918, informed Mrs Williams of her son’s injury to his left eye. Mr Williams died on September 14 from his injuries.

The second letter, dated September 16, informed Mrs Williams of her son’s death and a third, dated September 18, offered condolences on behalf of the matron of the 7th Canadian general hosptial.

Mr Hammas said: “It’s amazing how the mail worked back then, managing to get letters from France to Rhyl in just a couple of days.”

William Williams is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery on the North-West coast of France.

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