St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Josiah Henry Ankers

Josiah was the son of Josiah and Margaret Ankers nee Lloyd. Josiah, a bricklayer, had been born in Bunbury and Margaret was a Chester girl. The family of three girls and six boys were brought up at 8 Ingham Street. The 1911 census reveals that one sibling had died and that Josiah, who had left school, was working as an errand boy for a newsvendor.

Josiah’s enlistment papers have not survived, so details of his military career are minimal but we do know that he would have been too young to enlist at the outbreak of war. His Medal Roll card indicates that he probably joined up in 1916. Josiah was killed on 23rd August 1918 and was eligible to receive the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. His name is listed on the memorial in Vis-en-Artois, France.

The Ankers family do not appear to have been Catholics at that stage and had no links with St Werburgh’s parish before the Great War. However, Josiah’s elder brother William married Mary Thornton in 1916. She appears to have been a Catholic and later their two children, Doreen and Evelyn, attended St Werburgh’s Girls’ School. Another brother, John Russell Ankers, married Margaret, the widow of William Stanton of this parish. The children of both these marriages were also sent to St Werburgh’s School. Richard Ankers, younger brother of Josiah, then married Winifred Callaghan of this parish, in 1929.