Welcome to my website, The West Wales War Memorial Project. The aim of this website is to remember the men and women of the old county of Dyfed (now Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire) who are commemorated on war memorials throughout the three counties. These many memorials cover such conflicts as the Anglo Boer War, World War 1, World War 2, Palestine, Korea, the Falklands, and Iran and Afghanistan.
The joy of this website is that it is easily updated or modified as more information comes to light, and as a result any further information, photographs or memorials can always be added at a later date, and any mistakes can easily be rectified.
An added bonus of being an online resource is that by using what modern research tools are now available, many men have been discovered who are not commemorated on their local war memorials. As a result of this, I have decided to add these men to the relevant memorial page on this website, and have noted them as such.
4 August 2014. With the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War now upon us, our thoughts go to all of those who served, whether they fell or returned home safely. The first local casualties of the war occurred on 6 August 1914 when HMS Amphion was sunk:
Carmarthen; Bowen, William Chief Stoker 276237
St. Dogmaels; Craig, David Leading Seaman 161407
Milford Haven; Martin, Albert Stoker 1st Class K/9641
Pembroke Dock; Simmonds, Alfred Ernest Petty Officer Stoker 289127
Burton and Llangwm; Skyrme, James Henry Stoker 1st Class 296150
These men were the first of many casualties suffered in our area of west Wales, and their stories can be read on the relevent pages.
ESTIMATED CASUALTY FIGURES FOR THE COUNTIES
To give some idea of the loss of life in both World Wars, over 16 million people were killed in the Great War. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone (on 1 July 1916) around 57,000 casualties were incurred by the British and Allied forces, including around 19,000 dead, and the remainder wounded or missing.
The original Carmarthen County War Memorial listed the names of 1,913 men and women of the County who gave their lives in the Great War. This was made up of 3 Nurses, 123 Officers, 254 Non-Commissioned Officers and 1,533 Other Ranks. After painstaking research, this figure has now been expanded to around 2,700 men and women to WW1, and 1,050 in WW2, and more are being uncovered all the time. Many of these are mentioned on the memorials of more than one village, which makes research difficult.
Over 1,100 men from the old county of Cardiganshire fell during the Great War of 1914-1918, and over 500 more fell during World War Two. These men are commemorated on War Memorials which are scattered all over the county, ranging from names on parents graves, single plaques in Chapels and Churches to Cenotaphs, such as the ones at Cardigan, Lampeter and Aberystwyth. Research is currently on-going to build this website, and so any additional information is most welcome.
The original Pembroke County War Memorial in Haverfordwest was erected in honour of the 1,300 men of the County who gave their lives during the Great War of 1914-1918. Ensuing research has uncovered many more, so these extra men and women will be listed on the pages of the village where they had connections to, and their omission from the memorials will be noted.
ABOUT THE SITE ITSELF
This website has been split into separate sections, and the aim is to ultimately have a page for each War Memorial, with a short biography of each casualty, along with a photograph of their last resting place or memorial, plus any photos of the men themselves when they are available.
The main sections are accessible by clicking on the buttons on the header of this page and are self explanatory. Clicking on these tabs will bring you into a sub menu down the left hand side of the page which holds links to each sub-page.
In addition to the war memorials of each of our three counties, which for ease of use have been split into three sub-sections (Carmarthenshire; Ceredigion; and Pembrokeshire) are several other sub-sections which open up a sub menu linking to separate pages:
Uncommemorated Men: As part of the research into each war memorial I have come across many men who for one reason or another are not commemorated as official casualties of war by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Some detective work is then required to see if sufficient evidence is available in order to present their case to the CWGC for commemoration. This section of the website holds the results of my work on local uncommemorated casualties.
Local Military Units: The 1/4th Welsh (Territorial), the 15th Welsh (Carmarthen Pals), the 24th Welsh (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry), Pembrokeshire Royal Garrison Artillery, and local R.A.F. bases. These pages contain brief histories of the Battalions, and their Casualty Rolls, and are continually evolving as time allows. This section also includes information about the role of local men who served with the Colonial Forces who fought alongside the British Armies on the Western Front. These include the Australian Imperial Force, the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and the South African Expeditionary Force. Men of West Wales who died in their service are listed on here, as well as on their respective war memorials.
Gallantry Awards: This is self explanatory. Here I will be remembering the men and women of West Wales who performed great deeds of heroism, for which they were decorated. A lot of work has been carried out on the World War One section, but research is still on-going for the World War Two awards.
Useful Information: This section includes links to other websites of a similar nature which are hopefully of use to anyone wishing to carry out their own research, as well as some advice about touring the World War One battlefields and some links to news articles relating to this website.
The website is entirely self funded, and has been written and researched by myself alone. The costs of running the website are quite substantial, but despite my efforts, I have failed to get any form of funding through either local council grants, or from the National Lottery, as they will only sponsor organisations. As a result, any donations towards the cost of the website are most welcome, and will help to continue work on research and keeping the material online for public use. As another form of funding, as well as my two published books, I have also self published several local war memorial books, and have donation links to Paypal scattered throughout the site, all proceeds of which get ploughed back into the work. Please see below.
My book on the 'Carmarthen Pals', a history of the 15th (Service) Battalion, Welsh Regiment has been published by Pen and Sword Books, and is available at all good bookshops.
For basic information on the Battalion, please see the relevant page on this site. I am still looking for anything related to the Battalion, to continue my research into it, so would gratefully welcome copies of paperwork, photographs, memoirs etc.
To purchase a copy, please click on the link on the Amazon bookstore below, as this allows a percentage to return to this website. If the link does not work (on some internet browsers), please click the link in the header button above.
My latest book, ‘Carmarthen in the Great War’, has just been published (June 2014), and is available from all good bookshops, especially Waterstones in Carmarthen.
The book tells of the contribution that the county made to the war effort; of some of the casualties suffered by the county; and of some stories on the home front during the four years of the war.
Any copies purchased from Amazon via the link to the Amazon page below will allow a percentage to return to help fund this website. If the link does not work (on some internet browsers), please click the link in the header button above, which links directly to Pen & Sword.
As well as the two published books above, I have used material from the website to write several books on local war memorials, which are handier to use, and useful for people who do not have internet access to use the website. Books completed and available so far include: Laugharne, Llanddowror, St. Clears, Kidwelly and Whitland. They are printed to order, and are available by clicking on the link in the button above.
None of this work would be possible without a lot of very valuable help, and my gratitude is given to those who have, and still are, supporting the project.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides an invaluable service to the casualties of both world wars, and to their families, by providing a very high quality service with regards to the maintenance and upkeep of the thousands of war graves and cemeteries scattered throughout the world, and by providing information and help to researchers. The basis for all war memorial research starts from using their comprehensive database to find basic details from a name on a memorial, and their importance to this website cannot be put into words.
Chris Baker's excellent website, The Long, Long Trail, proved useful for biographical information on the various Army Divisions, and, along with the associated Great War Forum, is an excellent tool for someone wishing to trace their military ancestors (although postings on the forum sometimes get a bit heated!).
My greatest thanks go to the people who have voluntarily submitted photographs for use on the website. I would like to thanks all of these individuals for their help and input. There really are too many to list, but you know who you are, and thanks!
Most of the material used in this website has been photographed and compiled from various sources by the Author, Steven John, except where otherwise noted, and is protected by copyright. Due to the immense amount of hard work, time and money that has gone into the website, please be aware that if any material is copied for anything other than personal research, that permission is granted, and that acknowledgement is given to this website and the author. See the Copyright page for further details.
A New Post WW2 Memorial in Carmarthen
With the drawdown to Afghanistan approaching, a group of present and former servicemen from Carmarthen are planning to commission a new memorial in the town to commemorate the townspeople who have fallen in the wars following World War Two. Currently the plan is in its early stages, and the group are in the process of attempting to research the names to go on the memorial, and have also begun petitioning Carmarthen Town Council to this effect.
If anyone knows of any serviceman from the town who fell in any of these more modern wars, please contact me with the details, and I can pass them onto the group. The petition can be accessed here.
Due to a recent spate of material being copied from this website without any permission or acknowledgement, anyone wishing to use material from the website are reminded that all text and photographs are copyrighted by the author.
15 August 2014. The good news has been received today that another local man, James William Manning of Haverfordwest, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. Please see the Uncommemorated Men page for details.
10 August 2014. The new war memorial at Eglwyswrw has today been unveiled by the Bishop of St. Davids.
7 August 2014. Some more good news today. William John Jones, a Driver with the Royal Field Artillery from Borth, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. See the Uncommemorated Men page for details.
25 July 2014. Some more good news today. John Tyson Lloyd, a Trooper with the Welsh Horse Yeomanry, from Henllan Amgoed, near Whitland has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. See the Uncommemorated Men page for details.
22 July 2014. A mixture of good and bad news today. I have just been advised that two cases that I had put forward to the CWGC for commemoration have been rejected, William Ronald Hastings and Albert Wilfred Mason. However, the good news is that Benjamin Oscar Davies, of Camrose, has been accepted for commemoration as a war casualty. Please see the Uncommemorated Local Men page of the website for further details.
5 July 2014. The war memorial of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Carmarthen has been added to the website.
3 June 2014. With my book, Carmarthen in the Great War now published and available, I have today had the great news from my publishers, Pen & Sword, that they are willing to publish my third book, under the banner:
‘WELSH YEOMANRY AT WAR.’
A History of the 24th (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion The Welsh Regiment.
The book covers the raising of the Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry regiments for war, training in Norfolk, and the move to Egypt, where they merged to form the 24th (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment in 1917. As soon as I receive more news, I will update the website, but the contracts have just been signed.
3 June 2014. A new section has been created, entitled Pre WW1 Memorials, which will incorporate all of the war memorials prior to 1914. At the moment only four memorials have been added. The Carmarthen Crimea Monument, the Carmarthen County Boer War Memorial, the Llanelli Boer War Memorial, and the Pembroke County Boer War Memorial. More individual memorials will be added as time permits.
29 April 2014. Some great news today. On Saturday 26 April the CWGC accepted four more men from West Wales who I had put forward for commemoration. These men are: William Harold George Henshaw, of Llanelli; Benjamin Reynolds, of Solva; Charles Archibald Walters, of Goodwick; and Ernest Evan Williams, of Pembroke Dock. Please see the Uncommemorated Local Men page of the website for further details.
9 April 2014. After having been forgotten for 97 years, Llanelli man, Ernest William Sherwood, has just been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. Please see the Uncommemorated Men page of the website for further details.
5 April 2014. After two years and three months of being sat on a desk in the MOD, I have received the welcome news today that another local man, Edward Idris Evans, of Kidwelly, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. Please see the Uncommemorated Men page of the website for further details.
7 February 2014. After a long battle, Gunner Robert Corfield, of Aberystwyth, has finally been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. Please see the Uncommemorated Local Men page of the website for further details.