FORMSTON, Joseph – Gresford War Memorial

Written and researched by Mavis Williams

Joseph Formstone was born in the June quarter of 1898 (Denbighshire, Volume: 11b, Page: 246)

and was baptised on the 24th July 1898 the son of Walter & Margaret Formistone (sic), (nee Jones) at All Saints Church, Gresford.   Walter and Margaret (Maggie on the Marriage Certificate) had married in the same church in 1897, (Wrexham County Borough (Wrexham) C11/02/50).

Joseph first appears on the 1901 census, living at Oakfield Cottage, Gresford.   Head of the household was John Walter Formston (sic), 28 a Coal Miner, born Rhosrobin, Denbighshire.   His wife Margaret, 26, had been born in Gresford as had all the rest.   Joseph was the eldest at 2 years old and then Walter, age 1.    Margaret’s father William Jones, 56, and a widower was a general Labourer.

The 1911 census tells us that they had not moved house and were still at Oakfield Cottage.   John Walter Formstone, 38 tells us that he had been married 14 years and was still a Coal Miner, born in Gwersyllt, Denbighshire.   Margaret, 34, tells us that 5 children had been born to her and they were all living.  The family had grown as Margaret said.   Joseph, 13 and Walter, 12 had been joined by Margaret, 10, Harry, 6 and George, 3, all born in Gresford.   Margaret’s father, William Jones, 68, was still living with the family and he tells us that he had been married for 44 years, 6 children had been born to him, 5 still living.   This information was crossed out by the Enumerator, but it is valuable information for the family historian.   On this census William states that he had been born in Gwersyllt, Denbighshire.

I cannot find Joseph’s Attestation Papers but the Joseph Formstone in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 (Ancestry.co.uk) tells us that his birthplace and residence was Gresford and he enlisted at Wrexham

Joseph Formstone in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his father Walter, who was paid £7 3s on the 23rd September 1918 and his War Gratuity of £6 on the 13th December 1919.


Commonwealth War Grave Commission

FORMSTONE, J

Rank:Private

Service No:60782

Date of Death:09/05/1918

Age:21

Regiment/Service:Royal Welsh Fusiliers 14th Bn. attd. 113th Trench Mortar Bty.

Grave Reference: III. D. 9.

Cemetery:BOUZINCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Additional Information:Son of Walter and Margaret Formstone, of 5, Oakfield Cottages, Gresford, Denbighshire.

Country: France

Locality: Somme

Identified Casualties: 481

GPS

CO-Ordinates:

Longitude:2.60812Latitude:

50.02876

Location Information

Bouzincourt is a village 3 kilometres north-west of Albert on the road to Doullens (D938). The Communal Cemetery is on the northern side of the village and is signposted on the main road (D938) through the village.

Historical Information

Bouzincourt was used as a field ambulance station from early in 1916 to February 1917, when the Allied line went forward from the Ancre. It was in German hands for a few days in the spring of 1918.


BOUZINCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY was used for burials from March to July 1916 and again from April to June 1918; it contains 33 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

The adjoining CEMETERY EXTENSION was begun in May 1916 and used until February 1917. In the early part of July 1916, it was used not only for burials from the field ambulances but also for the interment of many soldiers killed in action and brought back from the line. The extension was reopened from the end of March 1918 until the following September and used largely by the 38th (Welsh) Division. In 1919, 20 graves were brought into Plot II, Row A from the immediate neighbourhood of Bouzincourt and 108 more were brought into Plots I, III and IV in 1924-25 from the various Somme battlefields and from the following Churchyard:-

FRAMERVILLE CHURCHYARD contained the graves of two Australian soldiers who fell in August, 1918. (The village was captured by the 2nd Australian Division on the 9th August.) They were at the South end of the Churchyard, which was later closed to burials and made into a public square.

The extension now contains 589 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 108 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

The extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.


Researches and compiled b Mavis Williams

Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

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