Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Daniel was born on 14th June 1889 in Swansea, Wales to parents John and Anne (formerly John). He was the eldest of four children and was given as a middle name his mother’s maiden name as his parents were not married at the time of his birth. A brother William Evan, born in May 1893, sister Mary, born 1896 and the youngest son Howell, born 1905 completed the family. John and Ann married in 1897.
On the 1911 Wales census Daniel was aged 22 and working as a coal mine labourer alongside his younger brother William. The family lived at Raven Hill in Swansea, having previously lived at Fern Street recorded on the 1901 census.
A year after war had broken out Daniel enlisted with the RNVR, leaving his job at the colliery and entering service on 3rd August 1915. 6 days later he was attached to 5th Battalion and following his rating confirmation on 3rd November, he was drafted to HMS Victory I on 9th November 1915. He was noted as being 5’6” tall with dark hair and eyes and a dark complexion.
On leaving Victory I he embarked to HMS Neptune on 11th November 1915 until Christmas Day. His final posting was to HMS Vanguard the following day, 26th December 1915. On leave in early 1916, Daniel, aged 26, married Harriet Maud Hughes, the newly-weds no doubt nervous of the continuing war and the Battle of Jutland that Daniel was to participate in not long after their marriage. In either comfort or doubled fear for the family, Daniel and his brother William served aboard HMS VANGUARD during the dreadnought’s participation in the sea battle. William had joined the ship in September 1915 and survived being another brother killed as he left the ship on 18th January 1917 and sent to HMS PEMBROKE I where he was demobilised four months later.
Daniel’s untimely death a year later however brought the family closer together eventually - 10 years after Daniel’s death, his widow Harriet and Daniel’s younger brother William married in July 1927, their daughter Elizabeth born later that same year.
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England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - FreeBMD
1901 & 1911 Wales Census
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Service Records Index, 1903-1922 - National Archives
Royal Naval Division Index, 1914-1919 - National Archives
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005 - FreeBMD
The National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War. ADM 242/008; (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 - TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 1175
Western Front Association; London, England; PRC Ledgers; Reference: 603/05W
ADM-337-86-121 - National Archives
Photos courtesy of Sue Grigson