West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Carmarthen (St. Peter's) Memorial

St. Peter's Church is the Civic Church of Carmarthen, and is situated in a prominent position in the arc formed by Church Street and St. Peter's Street. There are several war memorials inside the Church. Inside the entrance is a wooden memorial with the names of all the parishioners who served during World War One, with the fallen being identified by red crosses besides their names. Inside the Church are memorials to those who fell during both world wars; another to the airmen of Carmarthen who fell during the Second World War; a book of remembrance for those of the parish who fell during the Second World War; and also several memorials to individual men, including to one man who fell during the Boer War. The Carmarthen Grammar School memorials are contained within a small chapel within the church. There are also several flags on display, including the colours of the 15th Welsh, 24th Welsh and Welsh Guards, while one of the stained glass windows in the Church was erected to commemorate the life of Paul Chancourt Girardot who fell in 1914.

 

The Great War, 1914-1918

Thomas Bona, Private, 38147, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was the son of Ann Bona, of Danybank, Carmarthen, and worked as a Striker for the GWR prior to the war. He enlisted in the town into the Welsh Regiment, joining the 9th Battalion, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division assembled around Bulford during September 1914, and trained near Tidworth, from March 1915, before moving to France during July 1915, taking up positions near Loos.  The Division fought during the opening attack of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915 and it was on this first charge that Thomas was killed. He was 23 years old and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

George Harold Chadwick, Private, 38660, Royal West Kent Regiment. George was the son of Thomas James and Hannah Chadwick of Manchester. He had moved to Carmarthen prior to the war, and had married Mary Elizabeth Jones, of 24, Woods Row, setting up home at 6, Parade Road, Carmarthen, where the Mary gave birth to the couple’s two children. George found work as a chauffeur with Mr. Bradbury Jones of the West Wales Garage, and worked in that capacity for three years before joining the Army Service Corps in 1917, serving as a Driver. In March 1918 the Germans launched a massive offensive on the Somme, and George was transferred to the infantry, who had suffered terrible losses in the opening weeks of the German attack. George joined the 8th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, attached to 72 Brigade, 24th Division. The Division was north of St. Quentin over the winter of 1917/18, and were here when the Germans launched their Offensive on 21 March 1918, fighting a famous defence of the village of Le Verguier. They then fought a brave rearguard action at the Somme Crossings, and then at the Battle of Rosieres and the Battle of the Avre, before being moved to Flanders. Here the Division saw heavy fighting at the First Battle of Kemmel, before moving south again, where they fought at the Battle of Cambrai, part of the Battle of the Hindenburg Line. After the German defences had been breached, the Division pushed on, taking part in the Pursuit to the Selle, which is where George was killed on 26 September 1918. He was 30 years old, and is buried in Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, France. George had a brother, Thomas Louis Chadwick, who was killed in France on 18 April 1918.

Thomas George Daniel, Leading Seaman, R/3441, Hawke Battalion, Royal Naval Division. Thomas was born on 17 November 1889, the son of Henry and Sarah Daniel, of Gwynondale, Barn Road, Carmarthen. He originally enlisted into the Pembroke Yeomanry, but subsequently transferred into the Hawke Battalion of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division on 23 October 1917. Thomas probably joined the Division at Ypres, where they took part in the Second Battle of Passchendaele. Their next major action was at Cambrai, during the Action of Welch Ridge. Thomas was wounded and invalided home on 22 December 1917.He rejoined the RND on 7 April 1918, but was gassed during the Battle of Albert on 22 August 1918, and again invalided home. Thomas was sent back out to France, and rejoined the RND on 1 October 1918, while the Division was taking part in the Battle of Cambrai, 1918. This is where Thomas was killed in action, on 8 October 1918. He was 28 years old, and is buried in Anneux British Cemetery, France.

David Davies, Private, 22652, Wiltshire Regiment. David was the son of Ann Davies, of 40, Francis Terrace, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Swindon into the 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, which was attached to 7 Brigade, 25th Division. The Division landed in France on 26 September 1915, and were posted to the Vimy area, where they defended Vimy Ridge against a German attack in May 1916. They then moved to the Warloy area and attacked on 3 July near Thiepval. They remained in the line over the coming days, and David was wounded in the head while in the line on 8 July. He was evacuated to the Base Hospital at Boulogne, where he died of his wounds on 11 July 1916, aged just 20. David is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.

John Elwyn Davies, Private, 4299, Welsh Regiment. John was the eldest son of Evan George and Elizabeth Davies, of 8, Union Street, Carmarthen. He worked as a Solicitor’s Clerk before enlisting at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. In July 1915 the Division embarked at Avonmouth for the Mediterranean, and landed on the Gallipoli beaches on 8 August 1915. Here, the 4th Welsh were thrown into desperate fighting over the coming days. John was wounded soon after landing, and died aboard a Hospital Ship on 13 August 1915, aged 19. He was buried in sea, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.

 

John Henry Davies, Acting Corporal, 16493, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. John was the son of John and Ann Davies, of Quay Street, Carmarthen. He must have been working in Yorkshire prior to the war, as he enlisted at Doncaster into the 9th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which formed part of 64 Brigade, 21st Division. The Division crossed to France in September 1915, and was immediately thrown into action at Loos on 26 September 1915, whereupon it suffered over 3,800 casualties for very little gain. They remained in the Loos sector over the coming winter, and were still there in the spring of 1916 when John was wounded. He died as a result of his wounds on 30 April 1916, aged 32, and is buried in Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery, France.

Thomas Ernald Davies, Corporal, 203565, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was born at Carmarthen on 31 May 1897. He was adopted by Thomas Vicary Rees and Annie Mary Davies, of Llanllwch. Thomas resided at Penygroes prior to the war, returning to Carmarthen to join the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion formed part of 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division, and had fought during the opening attack of the Battle of Loos, and then moved to the Somme, where they took part in the second wave of the attack on Ovillers-La Boiselle on 1 July 1916, capturing the village at heavy cost, and fought through the Somme Battles of Pozieres and the Ancre in 1916. They then moved North, taking part in the Third Battle of Ypres. In 1918 they were caught up in the German Spring Offensive near St. Quentin, where they suffered terrible casualties, and fought at the Battle of Bapaume. They moved to Ypres, but were caught up in the German attack at Messines, and fought a stubborn rearguard action over the coming days. After suffering terribly again, they moved South to the quieter French sector to rebuild, but were caught up in the German offensive on the Aisne, where Thomas was killed on 2 June 1918, aged 21. He has no known grave, and so is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial, France.

Thomas Evan Davies, Private, 200636, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was the son of Benjamin and Sarah Davies, of Carmarthen, and the husband of Margaret Davies of 98, Lammas Street, Carmarthen. He had originally served with the 4th Welsh in Gallipoli and also during their campaign in Palestine in 1917/1918 when they fought successfully as part of the 53rd (Welsh) Division. At the end of the war he remained in the Middle East, transferring to the 802nd Area Employment Company, Labour Corps. From there, Thomas attended the Navy and Army Canteen Board, which was the entertainment branch of the army, and died in Egypt of sickness on 11 August 1919. Thomas was 39 years old, and is buried in Haifa War Cemetery, Egypt.

William Howard Davies, Private, 116422, Machine Gun Corps. William was born in Llanelli, and resided in Carmarthen prior to the war. He originally served with the 5th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, but transferred into the Machine Gun Corps, serving with their 21st Company, attached to the 30th Division. The Division moved to France in November 1915, and took part in its first major action during the Somme Offensive, at the Battle of Albert, where they captured Montauban. They then fought during the latter stages of the offensive, during the Battle of Le Transloy, before wintering on the Somme. In March 1917 the Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and in April took part in the First Battle of the Scarpe, and then at the later Second Battle of the Scarpe. Later that year they were moved north to Ypres, and fought at the Battle of Pilckem. At the beginning of 1918 the Division were stationed near St. Quentin, and when the Germans launched their Offensive here on 21 March, the Division took part in the Battle of St Quentin, but were pushed back, fighting at the Actions at the Somme Crossings, and the Battle of Rosieres. They were then pulled from the line to rest and rebuild, and moved to Flanders, but were caught up in the action again here when the Germans launched a fresh offensive along the Lys, fighting at the First and Second Battles of Kemmel. William must have been taken prisoner by the Germans during this time, and he died as a Prisoner of War in Germany on 15 October, 1918. He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery.

William Joseph Davies, Gunner, 150471, Royal Garrison Artillery. William was the son of William and Elizabeth Davies, of 3, Castle Mount, Carmarthen. He originally enlisted at Carmarthen into the 4th Welsh in 1910, and served at Gallipoli in 1915 before being wounded and returning home. William was discharged from the 4th Welsh on 25 January 1916, then worked on munitions for a year before re-enlisting into the Royal Garrison Artillery. He embarked for France in June 1917, and was posted to the 294th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. The Battery was in positions at Ypres during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 when William was killed by German counter battery shellfire on 7 October 1917 while in his battery dugout. He was 27 years old, and is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Ernest Malcolm Duckfield, Company Quarter Master Sergeant, 21, Royal Engineers. Ernest was the son of Alfred and Martha Duckfield, of 31, Spilman Street, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen with his brother Alfred into the 1/1st Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers, attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The 53rd Division moved to the Mediterranean, sailing from Devonport in July 1915 arriving at Mudros by 5 August 1915. From here they moved to Gallipoli, landing on 9 August. Here the Division was flung into a suicidal attack on strongly defended Turkish positions, and spent the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. Ernest was killed during the chaotic fighting that reigned during those terrible days, on 20 August 1915. He was 30 years old, and is buried in Hill 10 Cemetery, Gallipoli.

David Henry Elias, Private, 54127, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of John and Sarah Elias, of 1, Towy Side, Carmarthen. He was employed at the Remount Depot at Carmarthen, before enlisting into the Welsh Regiment, and was posted to their 18th Battalion (2nd Glamorgan), attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. This Division moved to France between in June 1916, and moved to the front near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, and remained in the area over the winter. In March 1917 the Germans withdrew to their shortened line, called the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division was one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. David was killed in action during the German retreat on 21 April 1917. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial as his grave could not be located after the war.

Frederick Elias, Lance Corporal, 201346, Welsh Regiment. Fred was the son of David and Mary Elias, of 2, Station Road, Carmarthen. Fred worked as a fisherman with his father prior to the war, before getting married to Sophia Narbett, and moving with his wife to Bridge Street, St. Clears, where the young couple had their only child. At the outbreak of war Fred enlisted into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 9 August 1915, and was immediately thrown into action, spending the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. The Division remained here throughout the coming months, and suffered severe losses in manpower strength during the great November 1915 blizzard on Gallipoli, when its total strength was reduced to less than that of a full-strength Brigade. On 11 December 1915 the Division was evacuated to Mudros, and by 23 December 1915 were moved to Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, where it took part in operations against the Sultan of Darfur. Fred was wounded soon after returning to Egypt, and died of his wounds on 9 March 1916, aged 25. He is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.

William James Cadwallader Evans, MID, Sergeant, 448309, Royal Engineers. William was the son of Thomas and Mary Jane Evans, of 18, Mansel Street, Carmarthen. He served with the 1/1st Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. William fought at Gallipoli, Egypt in Palestine during the war, and had been Mentioned in Dispatches. He died in Egypt on 15 November 1918, aged 31, and is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. William is also remembered on the Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers Memorial in Carmarthen.

Thomas William Foxwell, Trooper, 2238, Pembroke Yeomanry. Thomas was the son of Thomas and Emily Foxwell, of 7, Tanerdy, Carmarthen. He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/1st Battalion, Pembroke Yeomanry, which was attached to the 1st Mounted Division, Western Frontier Force. The Force had originally moved to the Mediterranean to join the Gallipoli force, but the evacuation of Gallipoli had been decided by the time they arrived, and so they remained in Egypt over the coming months. Thomas died of sickness in Cairo on 26 December 1916, aged 27, and is buried there, at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Paul Chancourt Girardot, Second Lieutenant, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Paul was born at Southampton on 17 November 1895, the son of Lieutenant Colonel John Francis Girardot (43rd Ox and Bucks Light Inf.) and Mary Jane Girardot (nee Evans). After his fathers death in 1902, Mary moved her family back to her family home at Trevaughan, Carmarthen. Paul was educated at Cheltenham College and Sandhurst, and was gazetted from there into the 2nd Battalion, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry on 25 February 1914. Paul moved to France with the battalion at the outbreak of war, attached to 5 Brigade, 2nd Division, and fought in the retreat from Mons to the Marne. He was one of ten men killed when a German shell burst amongst them near the entrance to a cave on 17 September 1914. Paul was 18 years old, and is buried in Soupir Churchyard, France. Paul is commemorated on a stained glass window in St. Peter's Church. There is an oil painting of him in Carmarthen Museum which was only identified a couple of years ago. His photograph has been on this website for thirteen years and no-one had ever spotted it!

Gilbert James St. Clair Harries, Second Lieutenant, Durham Light Infantry. Gilbert was the younger son of Albert and Ellen Harries of 42, King Street, Carmarthen, and gained a commission into the Durham Light Infantry. He was posted to the 10th Battalion, attached to 43 Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. The Division was to see its first action during the Action of Hooge, where the Division were the first to be attacked by the German use of flamethrowers. They then fought at the Second attack on Bellewaarde. In July 1916 they moved to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of Delville Wood, and then the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and in March 1917 followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. May saw them at Arras, where they took part in the First Battle of the Scarpe, and later at the Third Battle of the Scarpe, and then they were sent to Ypres, where they fought at the Battle of Langemarck, successfully capturing the village before handing it on to the 38th (Welsh) Division. They then took part in the Second Attack on Bellewaarde, which is where Gilbert was killed in action on 24 August 1917, aged 24. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Robert Hugh Harris, Second Lieutenant, West Riding Regiment. Robert was the son of Edward Charles and Emily Charlotte Harris, of Bryn Towy, and the husband of Annette Brown-Clayton. He was living in Canada at the outbreak of war, and returned home to join the Public Schools Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Made up of well educated men, this battalion proved to be a perfect breeding ground for officers, and so Robert was commissioned into the West Riding Regiment in May 1915, and was posted to the 8th Battalion, which was attached to 34 Brigade, 11th (Northern) Division. On 1 July 1915 the Division sailed from Liverpool, landing at Alexandria, before moving on to Mudros, and landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 7 August 1915, remaining there until the evacuation to Egypt on 21 December 1915. During July 1916 the Division landed at Marseilles, and then spent remainder of the war on the Western Front. They fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette during the Somme Offensive, and it was around this time that Robert was killed, on 28 September 1916. He was 39 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas Hinton, Sapper, 448314, Royal Engineers. Thomas was the son of Tom and Harriet Mary Hinton, of Ewelme, Oxon. He married Mary Elizabeth Morgan, of 34, St. David's Street, Carmarthen in 1916.  He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Field Company, and had served with them at Gallipoli before transferring into the 46th H.A.G. Brigade, Signal Sub-Section of the Royal Engineers, and moved to the Western Front. Thomas was wounded during the Kaiserschlacht, The Battle of Hazebrouck. He died on 16 April 1918, aged 28, and is buried in Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, France.

Lewis Hughes, Private, 808644, Canadian Infantry. Lewis was born on 29 October 1885, the son of Dr. William Lewis Hughes and Clementine Letitia Hughes, of 10, Spilman Street, Carmarthen. After his father died, the family moved to Enmore, Cirencester, Gloucester, where Lewis worked at the Capital and Counties Bank. He emigrated to Canada to work as a farmer in 1911, but felt the draw to enlist in the army too strong, so on 18 February 1916 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Calgary. Lewis was posted to the 31st Battalion (Alberta) upon his arrival in France on 21 January 1917, which was part of the 6th Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. Lewis fought at the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, and was wounded during the attack. He spent several months in hospital before rejoining his battalion at Ypres, where they took part in the Second Battle of Passchendaele, successfully capturing the village. He was killed at Passchendaele on 6 November 1917, aged 32, and is buried in Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Belgium.

David George Jones, Private, 970, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of George and Sophia Jones, of 4, Shaws Lane, Carmarthen. He served prior to the war, having enlisted at Carmarthen into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion moved to France at the outbreak of war, attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division, and had fought at the Battle of Mons, and the retreat to the Marne, where the Germans were stopped. They then fought at the Aisne, and at Chivy. David was killed in action at Chivy, during the same action that saw William Fuller of the 2nd Welsh win the first Welsh V.C. of the war, on 26 September 1914. His remains were never found, so David is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Joarre Memorial, France. His brother John Daniel Jones also fell.

Edward Owen Jones, Lance Corporal, 2471, Royal Gloucester Hussars. Edward was the son of Robert Owen Jones and Elizabeth Jones, of Oak House, Carmarthen. He had studied at Carmarthen Grammar School and at the School of Art, gaining a post later as Art Master at Sir Thomas Richards School in Gloucester. In September 1914 Edward volunteered into the Royal Gloucester Hussars, which moved to Gallipoli in mid July 1915 attached to the Imperial Mounted Division. After two months at Suvla, they were evacuated to Egypt, and took part in operations against the Sultan of Darfur, which saw Edward being killed during a battle against Turkish troops on 23 April 1916. Edward was 29 years old, and like so many men who died during the fighting in the Middle East during the Great War, his grave could not be located, and so he is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel. His brother Frederick Walwyn Jones also fell.

 

Frederick Walwyn Jones, Gunner, 696305, Royal Field Artillery. Frederick was born in Carmarthen on 24 July 1890, the son of Robert Owen Jones, later of the Bath Hotel, Folkestone. He was educated at Carmarthen grammar School, and had married Sybil Byers at Southgate Church, London, on 6 April 1915. Frederick enlisted at Finchley in Middlesex into the Royal Field Artillery in November 1916. He was posted to ‘A’ Battery, 298th Brigade, who were attached to the 58th (2/1st London) Division. The Division moved to France by February 1917, and followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March. They then took part in the Flanking Operations Round Bullecourt. Later that year they moved north to Ypres, and took part in the Battle of the Menin Road, the Battle of Polygon Wood and the Second Battle of Passchendaele. Frederick was killed in action at this time, on 29 November 1917. He is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium. His brother, Edward Owen Jones, also fell.

John Daniel Jones, Private, 1210, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of George and Sophia Jones, of 4, Shaws Lane, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment, who were stationed in India at the outbreak of war. They were rushed back to the UK, where they joined 84 Brigade, 28th Division and landed at Havre on 18 January 1915. They moved into positions near Ypres, where they took part in the Second Battle of Ypres, and remained here during the following months, defending the Salient against further German attacks. John was killed in action at Ypres on 5 September 1915. He was only 18 years old, and is buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. His brother David George Jones also fell.

John Ernest Jones, Lance Corporal, 39780, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of George Jones, of 19, Parade Road, Carmarthen. He enlisted there into the Welsh Regiment, being posted to their 8th Battalion (Pioneers), attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. On 13 June 1915 the first transports carrying the Division left port, and moved to Alexandria, and landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, between 6 and 16 July 1915, relieving the 29th Division. They were were evacuated to Egypt on 8 January 1916, and concentrated at Port Said, where they held forward posts in the Suez Canal defences. On 12 February 1916 the Division began to move to Mesopotamia, to strengthen the force being assembled for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara, coming under orders of the Tigris Corps, and took part in the attempts to relieve Kut. However these efforts failed, and Kut fell, so the British force in the theatre was built up and reorganised. John was one of the many men of the Division who fell ill during the epic advance through the desert, and he died of fever as a result on 3 July 1916. He was 24 years old, and is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

 

Brighty Thomas Lewis, Private, 201128, Welsh Regiment. Brighty was the son of David and Jane Lewis, of Carmarthen. In 1912 he married Florence Evans, of 47, Mill Street, Carmarthen.  He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 9 August 1915, and was immediately thrown into action, spending the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. The Division remained here throughout the coming months, and suffered severe losses in manpower strength during the great November 1915 blizzard on Gallipoli, when its total strength was reduced to less than that of a full-strength Brigade. On 11 December 1915 the Division was evacuated to Mudros, and by 23 December 1915 were moved to Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, where it took part in operations against the Sultan of Darfur, and in March 1917 took part in the advance into Palestine. Brighty served throughout the war, and returned home safely, but like many other men of the Division was sadly to suffer from illness as a result of his time abroad. He died in Carmarthen on 22 February 1919, aged 28. Brighty is buried in Carmarthen (St. David) Churchyard.

William John Lewis, Private, 200629, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of James and Jennet Lewis, of 78, Priory Street, Carmarthen. He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 9 August 1915, and was immediately thrown into action, spending the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. The Division remained here throughout the coming months, and suffered severe losses in manpower strength during the great November 1915 blizzard on Gallipoli, when its total strength was reduced to less than that of a full-strength Brigade. On 11 December 1915 the Division was evacuated to Mudros, and by 23 December 1915 were moved to Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, where it took part in operations against the Sultan of Darfur, and in March 1917 took part in the advance into Palestine. William was last seen alive during the First Battle of Gaza, on 29 March 1917. He had been shot in the leg, and was carried to the Dressing Station by CSM Daniel Peters of Carmarthen. No more was heard of him, and he was posted as missing, believed killed on that date. William was 30 years old, and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

Ralph Maynard, Private, 202630, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Ralph was the son of Frederick and Fanny Maynard, of 6, Old Priory, Carmarthen, and he enlisted there into the 4th Welsh. He later transferred into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was posted to their 2nd Battalion who had been in France since the outbreak of war. In March 1918, the 2nd RWF became attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and took part in the great offensive, which was launched from the Welshmen’s positions near Martinsart on the Somme on 22 August 1918. Ralph was killed in the fighting which followed the Divisions move back across the old Somme battlefield, during the advance near Bazentin-le-Petit on 25 August 1918, aged 20. He is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France.

Joseph Morris, Sergeant, 9132, South Wales Borderers. Joseph was the son of John and Charlotte Ann Morris, of Corner House, Little Water Street, Carmarthen. He was a pre-war regular soldier, who had enlisted at London into the South Wales Borderers, joining the 1st Battalion, attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division had been one of the first to arrive in France, fighting at the Battle of Mons, and taking part in the retreat to the Marne, where the Germans were stopped. They then fought at the Aisne, and at Chivy, before being moved north to Ypres. Here they fought at the First Battle of Ypres, where they again stopped the German Offensive, before taking part in the Battle of Nonne Boschen, where Joseph was wounded by shrapnel. He died of his wounds at the Hospital at Boulogne on 18 November 1914, aged 32, and is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.

Edgar George Rees, Second Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Edgar was born in 1891, the son of Thomas Vicary Rees and Annie Mary Rees, of The School House, Llangunnock. He enlisted into the 13th Royal Welsh Fusiliers in October 1914, and served with them in France from December 1915, where they were attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. After returning home on leave, when he married Gwenllian Lewis, of 44, Mount Libanus, Treherbert, he was commissioned in 1916, and posted to the 19th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. The Division had moved to France in June 1916, and moved to the front near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, and remained in the area over the winter. In March, 1917 the Germans withdrew to their shortened line, called the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division were one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. Later in the year they took part in the Battle of Cambrai, playing an important role in the attack on Bourlon Wood. Edgar was killed in action at Cambrai on 23 November 1917, aged 26. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France. His three other brothers also served.

Harry Charles Reeves, Second Lieutenant, Welsh Regiment. Harry was born in Carmarthen on 1 August 1894, the son of Harry and Edith Anne Mary Reeves, of 54a King Street, Carmarthen. The family later moved to 100, Plasturton Avenue, Cardiff. Harry originally enlisted into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving as Z/1700 Ordinary Seaman RNVR, but was commissioned into the newly formed 15th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, known as the Carmarthen Pals Battalion. The battalion was part of 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and moved to the Western Front in December 1915, taking up the line near Fleurbaix in Northern France. Sometime after this Harry was transferred into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. He was with the Division by the time of the Battle of the Somme, and was killed in action with them during the Battle of Guillemont, on 24 August 1916, aged 22. Harry was buried on the battlefield, but his grave was lost, and he is now commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas Humphrey Rogers, Private, 43205, Leicestershire Regiment. Thomas was the son of Herbert and Margaret Anne Rogers, of 2, Reservoir Road, Tanerdy, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Mountain Ash into the Welsh Regiment, but was posted to the 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, which had been in France since September 1914 attached to 71 Brigade, 6th Division. The Division had fought at Hooge in June 1915, and on the Somme throughout 1916. The following year saw them at Arras, where they fought at the Battle of Hill 70, and then during the Battle of Cambrai later in the year. The Division was one of those hit by the German Offensive on the Somme, which had been launched on 21 March 1918, and took part in the Battle of St Quentin. They were moved from the line, and went to Flanders to rest, but the following month the Germans launched another offensive on the Lys, and the Division again saw heavy fighting. During August 1918 the Allies had recovered sufficiently to be able to launch their own attacks on the Germans, and after a brilliant victory at Villers Brettoneux on 8 August, attacks were launched at Albert. The 6th Division took part in the Advance in Flanders, before moving south, where they took part in the advance on the Hindenburg Line. Thomas was killed in action at the Battle of Epéhy on 19 September 1918. He was just 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France.

William Arthur Singer, Lance Corporal, 11123, Royal Fusiliers. William was born at Holloway in London, the son of William Arthur and Jessie Eliza Singer. He worked at the New Cross Hands Colliery, and married Elizabeth Jessica Rowlands, at Llandilofawr in 1910. The couple moved to 15, Cambrian Place, Carmarthen. William was a reservist, and returned to London to enlist at Woolwich into the Royal Garrison Artillery. He moved to France at the outbreak of war, but was wounded on the retreat to the Marne. Upon recovering, William was posted to the 32nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, who were attached to 124 Brigade, 41st Division. This Division was formed in September 1915, and moved to France by 6 May 1916, concentrating near Steenwerck, where they began familiarisation with trench warfare in the areas of Ploegsteert and the Douve valley, south of Ypres. They remained here until August 1916, when they moved to the Somme, and took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. William was killed during the following Battle of Le Transloy on 15 September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Frederick George Tansill, Private, 42156, East Yorkshire Regiment. Frederick was the son of George and Catherine Tansill, of 1, Towy Villa, Station Road, Carmarthen. He worked at the GWR Depot at Carmarthen prior to enlisting at Carmarthen into the army. He was posted to the 1/4th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, which was attached to 150 Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division. The Division had been in France since April 1915, and had fought at Ypres and on the Somme. During 1917 they fought at the Battle of Arras, then at Third Ypres. During March 1918 they were stationed near St. Quentin, and were hit here by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918, taking part in a gallant rearguard action during the Actions at the Somme Crossings, and then at the Battle of Rosieres. After suffering terrible casualties, the Division moved north to Flanders to rest and rebuild, but in April the Germans launched an attack in Flanders, around the Lys, and the Division saw much fighting again. The battered Division was moved to a quiet sector on the Aisne to rebuild, but unfortunately the Division was hit hard by a surprise enemy attack, suffered heavy casualties. Frederick was killed on the Aisne on 8 September 1918. He was 19 years old, and is buried in St. Erme Communal Cemetery Extension, France. His elder brother William also fell. Frederick is not commemorated on the memorial, although his brother William is.

William James Tansill, Sapper, 448488, Royal Engineers. William was the son of George and Catherine Tansill, of Towy Villa, Old Station Road, Carmarthen. He worked as an Engine Cleaner at the GWR Depot at Carmarthen prior to the war, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers. The Company served at Gallipoli with the 53rd (Welsh) Division, before being evacuated to Egypt in January 1916, where it was renamed the 437th Field Company. It remained on the Suez Canal defences for a year, then in March 1917 took part in the advance into Palestine. William became ill and died of dysentery on 29 July 1917, aged just 22. He is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. His brother Frederick also fell.

 

Hugh Spencer Thomas, Second Lieutenant, Royal Air Force. Hugh was the son of John Henry and Elizabeth Anne Thomas, of 7, Spilman Street, Carmarthen. He gained a commission into the Royal Flying Corps in November 1917, where he trained as a pilot. After his training, Hugh was posted to 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was based in France flying the DH4. On 29 September 1918, Hugh was piloting DHP, Serial D3172 on a bombing run over Busigny, when his aircraft came under attack from a German fighter from Jasta 5, piloted by Unterofficer K. Treiber. At 08.45, Hugh’s aircraft was shot down and crashed, killing Hugh, and his Observer, Thomas Brown. Hugh was 19 years old, and is buried in Esquelbecq Military Cemetery, France. His Observer, Second Lieutenant Thomas Brown, is buried in Escaufourt Communal Cemetery, France.

Rhys Ivor Thomas, MC, Lieutenant, Connaught Rangers. Rhys was born on 2 November 1890, the son of Lt. Col. George Tucker Thomas and Sarah Mary Thomas. He was Gazetted into the Connaught Rangers on 20 April 1910, and promoted Lieutenant on 23 October 1912. At the outbreak of war, Rhys was serving with the 1st Battalion, Connaught Rangers, which was at Ferozepore, India, as part of 7th (Ferozepore) Brigade, 3rd (Lahore) Division. The division sailed from Karachi on 28 August 1914 as part of the Indian Corps and moved to France, landing at Marseilles on 26 September 1914, moving to support the BEF on the Aisne. Rhys was awarded the Military Cross in the London Gazette of 29 September 1914. He was one of the first men to have ever gained this new award. Sadly he was killed during the Battle of the Aisne on 14 September 1914, and is buried in Vailly British Cemetery, France. He was 24 years old. Rhys is commemorated on an individual plaque within St. Peter’s Church.

Henry Thompson White, Lieutenant, Welsh Regiment. Henry was the son of John Davies White and Lucy Thompson White, Chemists, of Guildhall Square, Carmarthen, and was the brother-in-law of the Vicar of Llangunnor. He worked for the London and County Bank in London as a Bank Clerk prior to the war, and married Kathleen Marion Vereker in London on 16 August 1911. Henry enlisted into the 19th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. On 6 April 1915 Henry was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, and was then posted to the 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 84 Brigade, 28th Division. On 28 September the 1st Welsh launched an attack at Loos against the Hohenzollern Redoubt. Henry was wounded during the fighting, and after a brief spell in hospital was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The division was by then on the Somme, and was caught up in heavy fighting around High Wood and Munster Alley. On 8 September 1916 the 2nd Welsh moved through Munster Alley towards High Wood, where 3 Brigade had been tasked with the capture of the wood. The Welsh lost heavily in the attack, with seven officers and 66 other ranks killed or missing. Henry was among the officers posted as missing during the assault on High Wood that day, and was 37 years old. For some strange reason, he is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel! As of today (28 August 2013) the CWGC have accepted my evidence that Henry was wrongly commemorated, and his name has been added to the new France 1914-1918 Memorial.

William James Minister Williams, Second Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. William was the son of William James Williams and Gertrude Elizabeth Williams, of Cambray House, Carmarthen. In 1915 both William and his elder brother Harold were commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and William joined the 2nd Battalion, which had been in France since the outbreak of war. Over the winter of 1915/1916 the Battalion was attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division, and had taken part in the Battle of Loos, being based just north of the town, near Cambrin. William was killed in action during a routine spell in the trenches here on 7 February 1916. He was just 21 years old, and is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France.

William Wilson, Private, 45603, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of George and Margaret Wilson, of 3, Towy-Side, Carmarthen. He lived with his wife, Jane Wilson, at 32, Glangwm Terrace, Abercynon prior to the war, and served with the 12th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The Battalion formed part of 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division, and moved to France during June 1916, taking up the line near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, remaining in the area over the winter. In March 1917 the Germans withdrew to their shortened line, called the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division were one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. Later in the year they took part in the Battle of Cambrai, playing an important role in the attack on Bourlon Wood. William was killed in action here on 25 November 1917, aged 23. His body was never found, and so he is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.

World War Two, 1939-1945

John Edward Wilberforce Arthur, Wing Commander, 87084, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was the son of Arthur and Hannah Jane Arthur, of Penrhos, Carway View, Carmarthen. He served in the Royal Air Force in the Middle East, after being commissioned from Leading Aircraftman on 3 July 1940. John died in North Africa on 29 September 1943. He was 37 years old, and is buried in Medjez-El-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia.

 

Joseph Anthony Barnett, Corporal, 3971518, Devonshire Regiment. Joseph was the son of Thomas and Catherine Barnett, and the husband of Elizabeth A. Barnett, of Carmarthen. He served with the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, which was based in India and Burma. Joseph died in India on 3 August 1944, aged 31. He is buried in Imphal War Cemetery, India. He is also commemorated on a memorial at Carmarthen Cemetery.

Edgar Roy Carruthers, Flight Lieutenant (Pilot), 155753, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Edgar was the son of Christopher and Hannah Carruthers, of Carmarthen. He served as a Pilot with 609 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the Hawker Typhoon IB. The Squadron had played an important part in the war since the Normandy landings, taking part in air strikes on vital targets in occupied Europe. After the end of the war, the Squadron remained in Germany, based at RAF Wunstorf. Edgar died in Germany on 8 August 1945, and is buried in Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.

 

Frederick Thomas Chamberlain, Captain, 75818, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Frederick was the son of Harry and Frances Mary Chamberlain, and the husband of Florence Elizabeth Chamberlain, of Carmarthen. He served throughout the war with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Frederick died in hospital in York on 7 December 1946, aged 43. He was brought home for burial at Carmarthen Cemetery.

Ernest Francis Lewis Collins, Flight Sergeant, 967795, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Ernest was born in Swansea in 1918, the son of Ernest and Frances Collins. The family moved to Carmarthen soon afterwards. Ernest served with 106 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a Bomber Command unit, based at Metheringham, Lincolnshire. On the night of 29/30 August 1944 Ernest took off from Metheringham aboard Lancaster JB593 ZN-T. The Lancaster was intercepted and shot down in the Konigsberg area of Germany during the early hours of 30 August 1944, killing all the crew. Ernest was 26 years old and is commemorated alongside his fellow crewmen on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. A memorial has recently been unveiled at Metheringham to commemorate the crew of Lancaster JB593 ZN-T: Group Captain William McKechnie, Sergeant Robert Barclay Clarke, Flight Sergeant Henry William Tilson Carter, Sergeant Charles Colin Jeffrey, Sergeant Douglas Forster and Flight Sergeant Ernest Lewis Collins. (Many thanks to Marita Aitken for initially identifying Ernest).

 

John William Congreve, Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. John was born on 12 August 1912, the son of Major Claude Vyvian Congreve, of the Indian Army, and Mary Hudson Congreve (nee Titley), of Island House, Laugharne. The family had originally born the surname Schneider, until the advent of WW1, when Claude changed it to Congreve. John enrolled into the RNVR (London Division) on 22 January 1937. He was promoted to T/S/ Lieutenant on 28 September 1939 and posted to HMS Rhodora, an armed yacht. On 15 August 1940 John was made a full Lieutenant and posted to the destroyer HMS Tynedale, a newly built 'Hunt' class destroyer. Tynedale took part in 'Operation Chariot' on the on the night of 28 March 1942. Operation Chariot was an ambitious plan hatched by the British Combined Operations to disable the Normandie dry dock at St. Nazaire on the French coast. HMS Tynedale was part of the escort to the old American destroyer HMS Campbelltown, which was used to smash into the gates of the massive dry docks, and was exploded there-putting the dock out of action for the rest of the war-and thus prevented the Germans from bringing their massive Battleship, the Tirpitz into the port. She was escorting a convoy off the coast of Algeria on 12 December 1943 when she was spotted and torpedoed by the German submarine U-593. John died that day, as a result of the torpedo explosion, at the age of 31. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.

 

Thomas William Reynold Daniel, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 1315951, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Thomas was the son of William Henry and Margaret Emily Daniel, of Carmarthen. He served as an Air Gunner with 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the Avro Halifax, based at RAF Breighton. Thomas was among the seven crew members of a Halifax who died on 12 June 1943 when they were shot down and crashed near Eindhoven. Thomas was 21 years old, and is buried in Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Netherlands.

 

Alan Scourfield Davies, Stoker, D/KX 118076, Royal Navy. Alan was born on 5 July 1921, the son of David John and Catherine Jane Davies, of Carmarthen. He served as a stoker aboard the Leander-class light cruiser HMS Neptune. She took part in the hunt for the battleship Graf Spee during the early months of the war and was en-route to Uruguay when the Germans scuttled Graf Spee off Montevideo on 17 December 1939. She was then despatched to the Mediterranean and took part in the action against the Italian Fleet in the battle of Calabria, on 9 July 1940, where she was hit by a 6 inch shell. During 1941 she led Force K, a raiding squadron of cruisers tasked with destroying German and Italian convoys en route to Libya. On 18 December 1941 Force K was sent out to intercept a convoy bound for Tripoli. On the night of 19 – 20 December, Neptune struck two mines. While reversing out of the minefield she struck another mine which blew off her propellers. Two other cruisers also struck mines and were unable to help, so two destroyers were sent in to tow Neptune out. The leading destroyer also struck a mine, so the captain of Neptune signalled the second to stay clear. Soon after Neptune drifted into a fourth mine which caused her to capsize and sink, going down with the loss of 737 men. Thirty men survived but only one was rescued alive. Alan was among the dead. He was 20 years old and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

 

Arthur James Davies, Private, 3963477, Welch Regiment. Arthur was born in Carmarthen on 16 August 1920, the son of Watkyn and Margaret Davies. He married Margaret Avril Morris, of Porthcawl, on 25 May 1942, probably whilst serving there with the 15th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He subsequently transferred to the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was the Carmarthenshire Territorial battalion, attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The division landed in Normandy during the end of June 1944 and took over the line at Grainville-sur-Odon. During the coming weeks the division took part in heavy fighting during the break-out from Normandy and the subsequent drive north through France and Belgium into Holland, taking part in Operation Market Garden. Arthur was killed towards the end of the taking of the Dutch town of S’Hertogenbosch on 24 October 1944. He was 24 years old and is buried in Uden War Cemetery, Netherlands.

James William Elias Davies, DFC, Flight Sergeant, 37796, Royal Air Force. James, known as Jimmy, was born in America, the son of David Ashley Davies and Catherine J. Davies, who later moved their family to Carmarthen. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1936, and by the outbreak of war was a fighter pilot with 79 Squadron, which was equipped with the Hawker Hurricane I, based at RAF Biggin Hill in Kent. The squadron was soon in action and by the end of June 1940 Davies had already claimed six German aircraft, with two shared claims. On 27 June 1940 he was due to be presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross from the King when he was sent as an escort to protect six aircraft on a reconnaissance mission to the French port of St Valery. Jimmy was piloting one of three Hurricanes on the flight, when they were attacked by three Messerschmitt Bf109s over the English Channel. One of the Hurricanes escaped, but Jimmy and one other were shot down into the sea, the other one pilot bailing out safely. Jimmy became the first American born pilot to be shot down and killed in World War Two. He was 26 years old. His Distinguished Flying Cross, which he didn’t live to receive, was awarded for: ‘This officer has shown ability as a leader of his squadron on many offensive patrols. On one occasion while attacking a Messerschmitt 109, he was himself attacked by six Heinkel 113's. He at once turned on the Heinkels destroying one and badly damaging a second before being compelled to break off the engagement owing to shortage of ammunition. The following day he sighted and attacked a large formation of Heinkel 111's and shot one down in flames.’ He had also been mentioned in despatches during the war for his gallant conduct.

 

Frank Gerald Edwards, Corporal, 321290, Royal Armoured Corps. Frank was the son of Rhys Caradoc Edwards, and of Gertrude Edwards, of Carmarthen. He served with the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps. The unit was the divisional reconnaissance regiment of the 11th Armoured Division, and landed in Normandy at sometime after June 1944. Frank was killed in Normandy on 19 August 1944, aged 28. He is buried in Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery, France.

John Evans, B.A., B.M., B.Ch., (Oxon), Lieutenant, 328024, Royal Army Medical Corps. John was the son of Herbert John and Eveline Maye Evans, of Carmarthen. He was educated at Oxford before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was posted to India. John became ill in India, and died at Poona Military Hospital on 20 July 1945, aged 24. He is buried in Kirkee War Cemetery, India.

 

Walter Picton Evans, Corporal, 7382463, Royal Army Medical Corps. Walter was the son of Evan Walter and Elizabeth Evans, of Carmarthen. He was educated at Carmarthen Grammar School and Llandovery prior to the war, and later served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Walter was quite possibly wounded during the North African Campaign. He died at Cirencester on 14 March 1943, aged 29, and is buried in Carmarthen Cemetery.

Bryn Myrddin Jones, Lance Corporal, 2738087, Welsh Guards. Bryn was born in Pontypridd in 1922, the son of Edward and Hannah Jones. He married Lilian Adelene Lewis in Carmarthen in 1942. Bryn served with the 2nd Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Welsh Guards. The battalion had been decimated at Boulogne in 1940 and had been rebuilt back in Britain before being converted into an armoured unit. The 1st and 2nd Battalions, Welsh Guards landed in Arromanches between 18-29 June 1944 and took part in the break-out from the Normandy beach-head and the terrible fighting in the Bocage. During the end of August and early September the Welsh Guards took part in the drive through northern France, reaching the World War One battlefields of Arras before heading north into Belgium. On 3 September the Welsh Guards liberated Brussels before advancing through Wavre, Helchteren, Hechtel and Leopoldsburg. Bryn became one of many casualties suffered by the Welsh Guards when he was killed near Leopoldsburg on 12 September 1944. He was 22 years old and is buried in Leopoldsburg War Cemetery, Belgium. The sad epitaph placed on his headstone by his wife reads:

We Planned a Lovely Future

Only to end in a Dream

I Think of you Always Dear

And of What Might Have Been

David Henry Brynmor Norman, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 1422929, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. David was the son of Charles Thomas Norman and May Norman, of Carmarthen. He served with 178 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the B-24 Liberator VI, based at RAF Amendola after the invasion of Italy. David was killed when his Liberator was shot down over Serbia on 8 January 1945. He was 21 years old, and is buried in Belgrade War Cemetery, Serbia & Montenegro. His brother William Christopher Norman was killed in 1944.

 

William Christopher Norman, Lance Corporal, 2047691, Royal Engineers. William was the son of Charles Thomas Norman and May Norman, of Carmarthen. He married Blanche White at Carmarthen in 1941. William served with the Royal Engineers and moved to Normandy at some time following D-Day, on 6 June 1944. He was killed in Normandy on 17 August 1944, aged 23, and is buried in Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery. His brother David Henry Brynmor Norman was killed the following year.

Gilbert Humphreys Rogers, Sergeant, 1382746, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Gilbert was the son of Herbert and Margaret Rogers. He was a Postman at Carmarthen before the war, then served with 75 (NZ) Squadron, Royal Air Force. The squadron was a heavy bomber unit, crewed mainly by New Zealanders, and was equipped with the Short Stirling, based at RAF Newmarket Heath. Gilbert was killed when his Stirling, Serial EF340, Identifier AA-Q, was lost mine whilst on mine laying duties in the Nectarine region off the Friesian Islands on 5 May 1943. He was 27 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

 

Douglas James Saunders, Gunner, 3962008, Royal Artillery. Douglas was the son of James Oswald Saunders and Minna Saunders, of Carmarthen. He served with the 31st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, in the Western Desert campaign. Douglas was among a number of men of his battery killed on 15 December 1941, during heavy fighting at Point 204, near Alem Hamza, Cyrenaica. He was 22 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

 

Bruce Leighton Squires, Trooper, 7945575, Royal Armoured Corps. Bruce was the son of Charles Percy and Edith Maud Squires, of Carmarthen. He served with "C" Squadron, North Irish Horse, which was attached to the Royal Armoured Corps. On 2 February 1943 the North Irish Horse landed in Algiers, as part of Operation Torch, equipped with the Churchill tank. After a trying campaign in Tunisia it re-equipped with the Sherman Tank before moving to take part in the Italian campaign. Bruce was killed on 23 May 1944 during a bloody assault on the Adolf Hitler Line, which saw the North Irish Horse suffer terrible casualties. He was 23 years old, and is buried in Cassino War Cemetery, Italy.

 

Albert John Thomas, Private, 3963308, East Yorkshire Regiment. Albert was the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. G. Thomas, of Carmarthen. He served with the 5th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. The battalion had landed at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and took part in the break-out from the Normandy Beach-Head and the subsequent drive through France into Belgium and Holland. Albert was killed in Holland on 27 September 1944, aged 24, and is buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands.

Daniel David Thomas, Sergeant, 2031229, Royal Engineers. Daniel was the son of John Rees Thomas and Elizabeth Thomas, and the husband of Elizabeth Doreen Thomas, of Carmarthen. He served with 580 Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers. Daniel was the second Carmarthenshire man to have been killed with 580 Company in Greece, being killed on 25 April 1941 during the retreat to the coast. He was 29 years old, and is commemorated on Face 4 of the Athens Memorial, Greece.

 

Herbert William Thomas, Gunner, 1485314, Royal Artillery. Herbert was born in Swansea, the son of George Luther Thomas. The family moved to Carmarthen, where his father worked as a solicitor. Herbert served with the 64th Battery, 34th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, which was attached to Western Command at Swansea. Herbert appears to have been killed during a terrible air raid on Plymouth on 21 April 1941. He is buried in Plymouth (Weston Mill) Cemetery.

 

Vincent George Thomas, Private, 3963260, Welch Regiment. Vincent was the son of Sidney George and Agnes May Thomas, of Carmarthen. He served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was the local Territorial unit, attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The division landed at Normandy at the end of June 1944, and took part in the break-out from the Beach-Head, and the subsequent drive through France and Belgium into Holland. Vincent was killed in Holland on 9 October 1944, aged 26, and is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial, Gelderland, Netherlands.

William Thomas, Private, 3960949, South Wales Borderers. William was born in Carmarthen and had originally enlisted into the Welch Regiment. He later transferred to the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers which sailed for Bombay in October 1942. The battalion had trained to serve as an armoured unit but was disappointed to find that upon arrival in India it was to revert to infantry. It then trained as an amphibious assault unit and moved to Calcutta to attack Akyab. The attack was soon cancelled and the battalion was sent to Burma to fight in the Arakan. It made its name during heavy fighting which resulted in the capture of the Mayu Tunnels. The battalion was then sent to join the joint American-Chinese force under General Stilwell and took part in an epic nine month march through the Burmese jungle which saw them take place in several bloody engagements against the Japanese. William died in Burma on 13 January 1945, aged 26. He is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery.

ROLL OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO SERVED OVERSEAS IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918

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Website News

4 May 2017. Welcome news this morning that a new CWGC headstone has been erected in Laugharne for Domingo Mobile, a sailor who I found to be buried there a couple of years ago. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

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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