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Tours The Williams Family Tour
Chapter 1: Summary
Chapter 2: Thomas Williams (father and son)
Chapter 3: Eliza Verry and her family
Chapter 4: Albert Williams
Chapter 4: Albert Williams
Albert was born 8 February 1891 in Wormbridge Herefordshire, the youngest of 5 children of Thomas and Eliza Verry. Eliza died of pneumonia when Albert was 3 years old, and Albert would never remember her. When Albert grew up he wanted to be a blacksmith (like his father) but was apprenticed to a butcher. He did not like this and when the First World War started in 1914 he joined the South Wales Borderers. There are stories of him being in India during the war, and that he was a Regimental boxer when in Gallipoli. After the war Albert worked with horses which was something that he wanted to do. He was a skilled farm worker, amongst other skills a ploughman working with a pair of horses.
At the age of 32, in 1924, Albert married Eva Barry. Together they would have 3 children: David, Margaret and Mary. During these early years the family lived on Coldstone Common in Kingstone near Hereford on an isolated farm cottage with no means of transport. The cottage was virtually in a field at the edge of common ground and served by means of an unsurfaced road. Deliveries, if any, would have been made by horse and cart. During an English winter, mud would have made the road impassable. When Margaret was born, snow had blocked the lane and the midwife had to struggle through carrying her bicycle. Margaret's birth was not registered until the first quarter of the following year due to the poor weather. Mary, Margaret's sister, weighed only 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) at birth. The midwife put Mary in a cardboard shoe box, packed her around with cotton wool, and said, 'If she lives, she lives and if she dies, she dies.' Mary lived of course although she had none of the medical care which we take for granted nowadays. The strain of caring for this new little baby, with Margaret's brother, David, who had a cleft palette and required surgery, together with Margaret who was a toddler under two and who also needed constant attention was too much for Eva, and Margaret went to live with her aunt, Winifred Reynolds (nee Barry) and her husband, Roland. Win and Roll, at that time lived in Leominster. Margaret lived at Leominster until she was five years old.
Albert Williams with his daughter Margaret on the occasion of her wedding, 13 June 1949.
Albert Williams with daughter Mary, 1950
The Williams family then moved to a farm cottage near Cardiff, then to another farm cottage between Newport and Cardiff, and just before the war to a cottage at Little Stoke on the Davis farm. During the early part of the war a break away Barrage balloon trailed its heavy wire tether across the roof of the house in the dark causing tiles to be torn off the roof. Margaret recalls it being a terrifying and noisy experience. German air raids started in 1940 the nearby Bristol Aeroplane Company factory was targeted and many of the bombs which missed the factory fell in the adjacent fields. One bomb, which luckily failed to explode, fell immediately outside their garden wall, less than two metres from their back door. Martin Davis, one of the farmer's children from this farm at Little Stoke, as an adult wrote a book called 'From Little Stoke to Slimbridge. The Farmer and the Goose with the Golden Eyes.' In this book he tells of the story of this bomb that landed outside the 'Williams' cottage on the night of 17 August 1940. The book has 3 photos of 'Bert Williams' (ie Albert) driving farm tractors. After the war Eva and Albert and Eva spent the rest of their days in Bristol.