JOHNSON, Edward – Gresford War Memorial

Written and researched by Mavis Williams

Edward Johnson was born in the March Quarter of 1898, the son of John & Mary Johnson, who on the 1901 census were living at Gamford (Gamforo?) Cottages, Allington, Denbighshire.   Head of the household was John, 26 a Bricklayer’s Labourer who had been born in Poulton, Cheshire.   His wife Mary, 25 had been born in Minera, Denbighshire, young Edward was there too, but he was referred to as “Teddy,” age 3 and born in Allington, Denbighshire.   He and his mother were bilingual, John spoke only English.

The 1911 census see the family living at Singret, Llay,Gresford, John was, 36 and a Bricksetter’s Labourer, with his wife Mary, now 35 years old, tells us that they had been married for 14 years and 7 children had been born to them, sadly 3 of those children had died.    Also in the household was Edward, 13, Elizabeth, 9, Ethel May, 4 and baby John 7 months.

Edward Johnson in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that he was born and resided in Gresford, but enlisted in Liverpool, this source also confirms his Regimental details and that he died of wounds.

Edward Johnson in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells us that he was awarded the Victory & British War Medals but does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was, nor when he entered it.

Edward Johnson in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Maria who was paid £2 17s on the 25th August 1917(sic) and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 12th November 1919.

Edward Johnson and Maria Elizabeth Cox married at St. Nicholas’s Church, Liverpool:-

Page 15 No. 30 8th May 1916 Edward JOHNSON, 19 Bachelor Labourer Highfield Street father John JOHNSON, Labourer & Maria Elizabeth COX, 18, Spinster Cockspur Street  William Henry COC, Hatter

Witnesses:- William MARKS and Isabelle MARKS

As I cannot find his Attestation Papers, they may have been lost in WW2 in the Bombings of London, but I wonder if he had at the time of his marriage enlisted, I suspect he must have after May 1916, otherwise he would have entered his rank and possibly his Regiment, but he simply stated Labourer.    This makes his story even sadder, as he would have been in the Army a shorter time before he was killed.    His parents would have then lost a 4th child.   His marriage was the 8th May 1916 and he died on the 7th May 1917.

I also believe that Maria Elizabeth was to remarry in 1921 in St Chrysostom’s Church, Everton, Lancashire:-

Page 156 No. 311 26th March 1921 Wilfred POTTER, 22 Collier, 23, Lloyd Street, father Peter POTTER, Engineman & Maria Elizabeth JOHNSON, 22, Widow, 23, Lloyd Street, father William Henry COX (Deceased) Milliner’s Traveller.   After Banns.

Witnesses:- Richard COX & Isabella MARKS

Compiled and researched by Mavis Williams

Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

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