According to the Clwyd Family History Society list of War Memorials, Henry Gittins was the son of George and Elizabeth Gittins, Wern Villa, Crickheath, Oswestry. (1901 Census) and it’s on this premise I have done the research.
There is a possible birth Certificate for Henry, but it would have to be purchased to confirm/deny:-
GITTINS Henry Llanfyllin Vol 11b Page 216
The district Llanfyllin spans the boundaries of the counties of Montgomeryshire and Denbighshire.
The 1901 census sees Henry appearing for the first time with the family living at Wern Villa Crickheath & Pant, Oswestry, Shropshire. (Eccl. Parish – Morton). Head of the household was George, age 37 and a Baker & Grocer working on his own account at home. He was born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire. His wife Elizabeth, 39 was also listed as a Grocer and had been born in Morton, Shropshire. Their eldest daughter, Ann e., 13 and also their eldest son, Thomas H., 11 had both been born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire. Henry, 9 and Martha A., 7, had both been born in Llandrinio, Montgomershire. Youngest child, John, 2, had been born in Llanydyrlis, Montgomershire, so the family had moved many times.
I cannot find the family on the 1911 census, but it seems that they suffered the loss of their husband and father George in 1910 (According to Stuartptkin (Ancestry – Jones Family Tree) and I did find a death of a George Gittins in the March quarter of 1910, age 47, which fits. (Oswestry Vol 6a, Page 463). This would have to be purchased to confirm or deny.
I suspect that Henry had joined the Army before the war as according to his Henry Gittins in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 on Ancestry, ((Ref. No. 552214 – E/388836/1)) the sole Legatee and Administrator was his mother Elizabeth who received £3 on the 3rd December 1917
(And at 218a/549384 – 16/17). Another Henry Gillins(Gittins) in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 on Ancestry also gives the sole Legatee and Administrator was his mother Elizabeth who received £27 1s 7d on the 3rd December 1917 and his War Gratuity of £11 10s on the 10th September 1919.
The average that I have seen for War Gratuities for soldiers who may have had a short time in the war in the Forces before their death seems to be £3.
Henry Gittins in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells s that he was awarded the Victory & British War Medals and the 15 Star. It also tells us that his first Theatre of War was the Balkans and he entered it on the 28th June 1915 and died of wounds on the 28th March 1917.
Henry Gittins in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that his birth place was Llandrinio, Mont. and his residence was at Crick Heath this source also confirms his Regimental details.
Henry Gittins in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 confirms his address above and also gives us a mystery to solve:- GITTINS, Henry of Wern Villa, Crickheath, Oswestry, Shropshire, Private, 8th Bn R.W. died 28th March 1917 in Mesopotamia, Administration (with Will), Shrewsbury 5th September to Elizabeth GITTINS, Widow. (sic)* Effects £194 4s 6d.
*Was this a clerical error?????? Did he marry, if so any help would be appreciated.
Henry’s father, George Gittins Will in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 which confirms the connection to Henry:-
GITTINS, George of Wern Villa, Crickheath, near Oswestry, Shropshire died 22nd February 1910 at Llynclys near Oswestry. Probate London 5th May to John Davies ROGERS Coal Merchant and Henry James Wallace PUGH, Solicitor. Effects £573 2s 6d.
Any help would be appreciated.
Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams