Francis Ahearn

Francis AHEARN
Private 22254
Welsh Regiment

Formerly Private 28924,
3rd Battalion,Welsh Regiment.

Born in Blaenavon, enlisted at Bargoed, resided in Phillipstown.

Francis Ahearn

Click on photo for a larger image

All family photos on this page are by kind permission of Alan Ahearn, his grandson

Francis Samuel Ahearn was born to Thomas Ahearn and Lucy Prosser. Thomas Ahearn was a check-weigher in the coal mines and his marriage to Lucy Prosser was registered in April-June 1890, the same period as the birth of Francis Samuel Ahearn was registered.

In 1891, Thomas, Lucy and Francis were living at 12, Lower Garn Terrace, Blaenavon, with Lucy’s mother Elizabeth (a widow), her brother Samuel and sister Mary.
Lower Garn Terrace is an isolated location that is not too far from the Big Pit mining museum. It is possible that Thomas once worked at the Big Pit, Blaenavon.

July-September 1891 shows the registration of birth of Winifred Ahearn, a sister to Francis.
In the April-June part of 1893, the death of Lucy Ahearn was registered in Abergavenny.

By 1901, Thomas Ahearn is living at 70 King Street, Blaenavon and is shown as a widower and a coal hewer. Also living at the address is Francis, who is now ten years old, his sister Winifred, shown as 9 years old and a Kathleen Ahearn who is five years old. Kathleen is also shown as being the daughter of the head of the household, Thomas.

By 1911, Thomas has again moved with his children and they are living at 79, Jones Street, Phillipstown. Thomas is still shown as a widower and Kathleen, is now 15 years old. Also living at the address with them is a Magdalene Long who is a 12 year old and shown as a great niece of Thomas’.
I have tried to locate a further marriage in 1894/5/6 for Thomas Ahearn, since the death of his first wife, Lucy, was recorded in 1893 and his daughter Kathleen is shown as being born in 1895/6 from two Census reports. I have found no certain matches.

Francis Ahearn and World War One

Francis Ahearn aged 21

Alan Ahearn, grandson of Francis Ahearn tells me that he believes Francis was working at Elliots Colliery, New Tredegar at the time of the outbreak of World War One. Francis enlisted at Bargoed on 16th November 1914, on the same day as a William Phillips enlisted.

On 31st May, 1915, Francis was married to Ruth Phillips, the sister of William Phillips. Francis was still living at 79, Jones Street, Phillipstown.
Francis did his initial training at a military camp in Rhyl, North Wales and on 2nd November 1915, he entered the French theatre of war. Francis suffered wounds during the war that caused him to go to Ty To Maen Convalescent home in St Mellons, Cardiff to recuperate from his wounds.
Francis is photographed (right) at Ty To Maen and he is the third from the right, with a tilted cap. (Click the photo for a larger image).

Francis Ahearn in Convalescent home -1

While Francis’ injuries did not cause his death, they were certainly serious enough that on 14th January 1919, he was discharged from the army under Paragraph 392, Kings Regulations, as being ‘no longer physically fit for military service’. Alan also informs me that Francis and Ruth later made their home at 13, Pritchards Terrace, Phillipstown.
Francis and Ruth Ahearn had three children who were Kathleen, b.Sept 1919, Francis, b. September 1920 and Doreen, b. May 1924.
The death of Francis Ahearn was registered in Bedwellty in 1950.

William Phillips and Seth Phillips

William and Seth Phillips were born in Tredegar and were two of at least six children that were born to Henry Phillips and Elizabeth Jane Treharne. Henry and Elizabeth were married in the Parish of Bedwellty in 1879 and in 1881 their address was shown as 18, Third Row, Sirhowy Tredegar, where William and Seth were born.
Their five known children were:

William, b 1881, Louisa, b. 1885, Seth, b. 1888 and Margaret, b. 1890, Martha A, b.1892 and Ruth, b.1895.

By 1891, the family had moved to an address in Cwmsyfiog, though the Census report does not identify that address.
By the time of the 1901 Census enumeration, the family had moved back to 2, Patch Houses in Tredegar. However, at this time, Henry is shown as a ‘Widower” and his daughter Margaret does not appear on the census, even though she should be only eleven years old. A death record is present for a MArgaret Phillips for the second quarter of 1891 indicating she may have died just after the 1891 Census enumeration.

William Phillips

Both Alan Ahearn and I have been trying to uniquely identify William Phillips’ military details but with little avail. However, Alan has sent me this photograph which is in his possession that he was always led to believe was William Phillips.

The photo shows a corporal and it led us to believe that William Phillips was Corporal 6387, Welsh Regiment, later promoted to Sergeant, Welsh Regiment.
However, THAT soldier was born in Porthmadoc, Meirionethshire and was killed in action on 26th July, 1916. Alan is certain that his William Phillips was born in Tredegar and Census reports corroborate this. Neither was Alan aware that the William Phillips in his family was killed in WW1.

Martha Phillips in uniform

William’s brother Seth Phillips follows the same address/timeline as William, but in 1907, Seth Phillips married an Elizabeth Poynter in the parish of Bedwellty.
By 1911, Seth and Elizabeth are living at 104, High Street, Tredegar with their three children, Harold, b. 1908, Seth, b. 1910 and Florance who was born in 1911. Seth enlisted into the army and we (Alan Ahearn and I) believe that he was Private 40170, Welsh Regiment and was not killed during the war.

The photograph, above to the right, shows Martha Phillips, sister of William and Seth wearing one of the men’s uniforms. The cap badge displayed does indicate The Welsh Regiment emblem.

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