John Richard Williams Papers

Scope and Content

The papers consist mostly of photograph albums, photographs and postcards. Most of the albums were compiled by John Richard Williams and Anne Williams following holidays spent in various parts of Europe and North Africa, ca. 1923 - 1938. They contain a mixture of postcard views, souvenirs, programmes, menus etc. and photographs taken by Anne Williams. One photograph album entitled 1914-1918 The Great War includes postcards and photographs of battle scenes, ruined buildings and of John Richard Williams with fellow servicemen.

The photographs and postcards cover a variety of subjects and can range from family photographs to those of chapels, war memorials and views throughout Europe.

Amongst the miscellaneous items, there are numerous certificates awarded to John Richard Williams and a few which belong to Anne Williams. They may relate to war service, the law society, free masonry and chapel-going. Also, there are souvenir booklets and guides to European cities, tourist attractions and cruises. There is some correspondence and other personal records.

A few items relate in particular to the First World War such as the Observer's Flying Log Book of Lt John R. Williams, 1918 which contains descriptions of aerial patrols and ground warfare.

The two books written by John Richard Williams are also included amongst his papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Richard Williams was born in Llandudno Junction, Caernarfonshire in 1892. He moved with his parents to Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire in 1902 and was educated at the Board School, Conway Road and then at the Higher Grade School, Dingle Hill.

In the First World War, he was commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and served on the Western Front. Later, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. In the Second World War, Mr Williams was one of the first volunteers to join the Home Guard and became Commanding Officer of No. 1 Battalion (Denbighshire) Home Guard.

In 1920, he became a solicitor and within a few months, he was appointed Clerk of the Abergele Urban District Council. He set up practice at Abergele, founding the firm known as J.R. Williams, Davies and Co.

After his retirement, Mr Williams represented Abergele on the Denbighshire County Council. He was a Liberal, and in 1950 he fought the West Denbigh Constituency at the General Election.

He wrote two books, No.1 Battalion (Denbighshire) Home Guard (1943) and Lt. Col. John R. Williams, An Autobiography (Denbigh, 1961). John Richard Williams died on 28 October 1961.

Miss Anne Williams, sister of John Richard Williams was the Registrar of Colwyn Bay.


The papers were received at three different occasions and have thus been catalogued separately and incorporated within the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts. They have been arranged according to record type and then chronologically.

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

The first sub-fonds was presented by Mr Norman Williams of Mochdre, Denbighshire through the good offices of Mr Derwyn Jones, former librarian of the University of Wales Bangor. The last sub-fonds received was donated by Eirian Evans of Abergele.


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, August 2001

Other Finding Aids

An item level list is available at the Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 33116-33228, 34057-34075, 39058-39071..

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the Archivist.