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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Colin Williams
Person Details
In 1871 Ellen Taphouse was working as a servant in the Vine Inn in Retford and on the 25 March 1878 at St Laurence, Heanor, Derbyshire, she married Arthur Williams. In 1881 she is working as a Licence Victualler Barmaid, has 2 children, George born 1876 and Arthur born 1879, unmarried and living with her parents at Carolgate, (Peach House), Retford. Rather strangely, over the next three census she is recorded as a widow, living with her parents in Albert Road but produces three more children, Alfred 1883, Charles 1887, Colin Williams 1895 and no husband in sight. There is a death in Retford of a 32 year old Arthur Williams in 1886, but even this precedes the birth of Ellen’s last two children. However, Colin, the youngest of Ellen William’s children was working by the time he was 16 as an office clerk in a brewery. Although still living in his grandfather’s house, his grandmother had died in 1910 age 78. Colin married Mercy Wilson, a cook from near Tunbridge Wells in Retford in 1914 and lived at 29 Cobwell Road, Retford, who by the time of his death was living back at her home town at Cares Cottage, Boar's Head, Tunbridge Wells. They had one child.
26 Jul 1917
23
41718 - CWGC Website
98661
Private
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
George enlisted at Retford on January 22nd 1917 and served in the 51st Coy of the Machine Gun Corps. He fought on the Western Front and having been shot in the head and died of these wounds on July 26th and is buried at the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France. Pte Colin Williams Retford Times 10 Aug 1917 As briefly recorded last week, Pte Colin Williams, Machin Gun Corps, made the great sacrifice on July 26th having been shot in the head. He was 23 years of age and was the husband of Mrs Williams, 29 Cobwell Road, Retford and youngest son of Mrs Williams, 18 Albert Road. He attended the Thrumpton School and shortly after leaving entered the office of Cobwell Road Brewery, eventually becoming a brewer. He joined the army on January 22nd of this year and had been in France twelve days and met his death on the second day in the trenches. He had a large circle of friends in the town and his death is deeply deplored. He was one of the boys in whom Mr Overbeck took a great interest. He was an athelete and while at school won a silver watch and chain at the Retford Atheletic Sports and also a silver medal in 1909 in a cycle race. The deepest sympathy is felt for the widow (who is left with one child) and his mother in their bereavement. Lieut Humphries, the deceased’s officer, in a letter of sympathy to the widow says:- “Everything possible was done for him and you will be thankful doubtless to know that he suffered no pain as he did not regain consciousness. He was popular with his comrades and a good soldier and will be missed in his section. I trust you will be given strength to bear this great trial and sorrow.” Pte Parker, Nottingham, the deceased’s chum writes:- He was a good chum and thorough gentleman and you have my deepest sympathy in this your very great trouble. He was well liked by all his comrades and they join with me in regret and sympathy,” Sergeant Stringer, in charge of the section of which deceased was a member says:- “The men join me in deepest sympathy to you. He died in the Casualty Clearing Station a peaceful death being struck in the head with shrapnel and never regained consciousness. He lived for five or six hours. He was a brave soldier, and I never once had any trouble with him.”
CWG additional information:- Son of Mrs. E. Williams, of 58, Albert Rd., Retford, Nottingham; husband of M. Williams, of Cares Cottage, Boar's Head, Tunbridge Wells. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Colin Williams
    Colin Williams - This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of Colin Williams
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais,France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Colin Williams - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais,France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle