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 (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.
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.
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 will in time contain details on all of the war memorials and also all of the local military units from the three counties which made up the former County of Dyfed in west Wales: Carmarthenshire; Ceredigion; and Pembrokeshire. 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. The Forgotten Men section of the website holds the results of my work on local uncommemorated casualties. One tab opens a page holding details of some of the locally formed units: The 1/4th Welsh (Territorial), the 15th Welsh (Carmarthen Pals), the 24th Welsh (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry), Pembrokeshire Royal Garrison Artillery, and also local R.A.F. bases. These pages contain brief histories of the Battalions, and their Casualty Rolls, and are continually evolving as time allows. Details of local gallantry award winners are also contained on the website, although work is still ongoing, and there are also separate sections for any Pre World War One and Post World War Two Memorials.
HOW TO SEARCH THE SITE
You can either search by town or village by clicking on the links on the relevant county page, or if you wish to search for a person, click on one of the two links below. These links open up PDF files with lists of the men and women, along with their service numbers, rank and regiment or unit served in. On the right hand column is the name of the war memorial that the person is commemorated on. There are many people on the lists who are not commemorated on any war memorial known to me, and they are marked as such. Also anyone known to be from a particular town or village who is not on their local memorial are shown, as I have included most of these onto the respective memorial write up. Just click on the link to open the PDF sheet, then press 'CTRL and F' together to open up a search box. You can then search by name, number, unit or memorial.
FUNDING THE 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 first published book, 'Carmarthen Pals', tells the history of the 15th (Service) Battalion, Welsh Regiment, and was published by Pen and Sword Books. It is available through themselves, Amazon or at all good bookshops. For basic information on the Battalion, please see the relevant link on the Local Units page. 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 of 'Carmarthen Pals' please click on the link to the Amazon store at the bottom of this page as this allows a percentage to return to this website.
CARMARTHEN IN THE GREAT WAR
My latest book, ‘Carmarthen in the Great War’, was published in June 2014 by Pen & Sword Books. It is available for purchase through them directly, from Amazon, or from all good bookshops. 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. To purchase a copy, please click on the link to the Amazon store at the bottom of this page as this allows a percentage to return to this website.
WELSH YEOMANRY AT WAR
My upcoming book, 'Welsh Yeomanry at War', tells the story of the 24th (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion, Welsh Regiment during the Great War. It is due for publication by Pen & Sword in August 2015, and covers the interesting history of this battalion during its campaign in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, and also its move to France in 1918 to take part in the great offensive.
LOCAL WAR MEMORIAL BOOKS
As well as the three published books above, I have used material from the website to write several books on local war memorials, which are handier to use than the website, and useful for people who do not have internet access. 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 to the Amazon Store at the bottom of this page. More will follow as time allows.
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, helping with this project. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides a valuable, and much forgotten 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. My greatest thanks go to the small army of people who continue to voluntarily submit photographs and information to the project, and such information is always welcome. I would like to thanks all of these individuals for their help and input.
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.
20 December 2016. Some good news today that another uncommemorated soldier, Private Thomas Owen Davies, of Machynlleth, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
23 November 2016. Some good news today with the acceptance of another Welsh soldier, Percy Griffin Williams, of the Welsh Horse Yeomanry, for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.
15 November 2016. I would like to thank the people of Laugharne, especially the members of the Laugharne and District Historical Society, for their welcome during their recent History Event on Saturday when I visited to make a talk about how researching the Laugharne War Memorial inspired me to create this website and to begin my writing career. It was a very interesting day and was well attended by the locals.
26 Sep 2016. After a lot of hard work I have finally managed to identify a soldier from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Morgan Price James, who since the early 1920’s has been commemorated by the CWGC under the wrong name, James Morgan. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.