West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Bronwydd War Memorial

Bronwydd is a small village situated about three miles north of Carmarthen in the Gwili Valley, on the A484 road to Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan. The men of the village who fell during the Second World War, and one man who fell in Afghanistan, are commemorated on a new marble memorial plaque, which is located on the front wall of Bronwydd Memorial Hall. There was no World War One memorial in the village prior to this page being written up, but one has since been installed on top of the new WW2 memorial. I have taken the liberty of adding several other local men who were killed in WW1 to the page below.

The Great War, 1914-1918

Marteine Kemes Arundel Lloyd, Captain, Grenadier Guards. Marteine was born in 1890, the son of Sir Marteine Owen Mowbray Lloyd, 2nd Baronet, and Lady Katharine Helena of Bronwydd. He was educated at Lyndhurst and Eton, and was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards. The battalion had been in France since the outbreak of war, taking part in the retreat from Mons to the Marne. It took part in the First and Second Battles of Ypres, before being attached to the 4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Guards Division. The Guards Division had fought at the Battle of Loos, and had moved south to the Somme in 1916, where they fought at Ginchy. Marteine was Killed in Action on 15 September 1916, aged 26, and is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France. He is not named on the new memorial.

Joseph Henry Webster, Private, 27548, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Joseph was the son of Joseph Henry and Christina Webster, of Liverpool. By 1911 Joseph was working as a ploughman for John and Letitia Tobias, at Llanarthney. He married Rachel Evans, of Curn Dancerrig, Bronwydd Arms in 1916, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Regiment. Joseph was then posted to the 6th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, which was attached to 60 Brigade, 20th (Light) Division. The Division had seen its first action in September 1915 at Fromelles. It then saw further fighting on the Somme in 1916, and at Ypres in 1917, before taking part in the Battle of Cambrai at the end of the year. They remained in the area between Cambrai and St. Quentin over the winter of 1917/18 and were attacked there by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March, 1918. They then fought in the retreat at the Battle of the Somme Crossings and the Battle of Rosieres. The Division was withdrawn after the heavy fighting of the Somme battles, moving on 20 April 1918 to an area south west of Amiens. Joseph was wounded here while the battalion was rebuilding, and was evacuated to the Base Hospital at Wimille. He died of wounds there on 10 September 1918, aged 27, and is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France.

World War Two, 1939-1945

 

Glyndwr Davies, Gunner, 1691913, Royal Artillery. Glyndwr was born at Newchurch at the end of 1912. He served with 521 Battery, 85 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery. The battery was formed to help protect airfields in the south west of England. Glyndwr was 28 years old when he died on active service near Oxford on 17 August 1941, and is buried at Carmarthen Cemetery.

 

David Elwyn Griffiths, Signalman, 2353492, Royal Corps of Signals. David was the son of David and Naomi Griffiths, of 7 Frederick Street, Ferndale. His father was from Llanpumsaint, and David and his brothers and sisters were regular visitors to family back in the village. David enlisted into the Royal Corps of Signals, and was posted to North Africa with the Mobile Corps Signals. He was killed in action during the 8th Army’s assault on the Gazala Line on 14 December 1941. David was 30 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt. His brother John also fell.     

 

John Howard Griffiths, Sergeant, 1337841, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was the son of David and Naomi Griffiths, of 7 Frederick Street, Ferndale. His father was from Llanpumsaint, and John and his brothers and sisters were regular visitors to family back in the village. He served as a Navigator with 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a bomber squadron, equipped with the Vickers Wellington, based at RAF Kirmington. John was killed on the morning of 24 May 1943, when his Wellington was shot down over Holland. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Netherlands. His brother David also fell.

 

Evan Lloyd Thomas, Gunner, 964697, Royal Artillery. Evan was the son of Evan and Hannah Thomas, of Blaencors, Llanpumsaint. He was a mechanic in Nelson Garage in Carmarthen prior to enlisting into the army, and was posted to 240 Battery, 77 H.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. Evan was sent with his battery to Java, after being diverted from their original destination of Singapore, but the men were captured in Java by the Japanese. Evan was sent to Thailand with H Force in May 1943, and put to work on the excavation of Hellfire Pass, during the construction of the Thai Burma railway. Evan died at Hintok River Camp of beri-beri on 20 August 1943, aged 26, and was buried in Hintok River cemetery. His grave was exhumed after the war, and moved to Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand. The photograph below is courtesy of Rod Beattie.

James Elwyn Thomas, Driver, T/177397, Royal Army Service Corps. James was the son of John and Edith Thomas, of Bronwydd Arms. He served with the 15th Division Composite Company, Royal Army Service Corps. James died on active service in Northumberland on 7 June 1942, aged 26, and was brought home for burial in Llanpumsaint Churchyard.

Percy Thomas, Sergeant, 967631, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Percy was the son of Rees and Lizzie Thomas of Gwarcwm, Llanpumsaint. He served as a Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner with 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was based at Wick, and equipped with the Handley Page Hampden. On the night of 1 March 1941, Percy was one of the crew members aboard Hampden X3147, which took off from RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire as part of a force of over 130 aircraft bound for Cologne. The raid was a success, but when the aircraft returned to England, the ground was found to be covered in a thick fog. Percy’s Hampden ran out of fuel while desperately searching for a place to land, and crashed at Syderstone, Norfolk early in the morning of 2 March 1941. The doomed Hampden burst into flames, killing all of the crew. Percy was 21 years old and is buried in Llanpumsaint (Bethel) Calvinistic Methodist Chapelyard.

Afghan War

 

Samuel Robinson, Bombardier, Royal Artillery. Sam was born in Carmarthen, and joined the Army on 23 November 1999 when he was 20. He transferred from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in 2006 as a parachute trained corporal, and joined 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery. In March 2008, after successfully passing the Patrol Course he was selected as a Royal Artillery Special Observer. Sam was deployed on his fourth operational tour in Afghanistan in May 2010, and was second in command of a Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol from 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery. Sam was on a local area patrol in Sangin, with members of A Company, 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, when he was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device on 8 July 2010. He was 31 years old.

Website News

8 March 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated Welsh sailor, Samuel Arthur Griffiths, of Tredegar, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

8 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Llewelyn Owen Roberts, of Penmaenmawr, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

7 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Isaac Owen, of Seven Sisters, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

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.

30 November 2016. At long last my latest book has been published: Welsh Yeomanry at War. Please see the Steve’s Books page of the website for 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.

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