West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Llanelli (Christ Church) War Memorial

Christ Church was erected in New Street in the Morfa area of Llanelli during 1886-87 and became a Parish Church in 1912. Although restored in later years, to enable it to be used as a hall, the Church is now closed and is up for sale. Inside the Church are two memorial plaques, which commemorate its parishioners who fell during both World Wars. I have recently been supplied with a photograph of the Great War memorial by Meg Ryder, of Swansea University, but do not currently have one of the World War Two memorial.

The Great War, 1914-1918

 

Richard Henry Bellows, Private, 38513, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Richard was the son of James and Alice Bellows, of Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the army, and was posted to the 7th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The battalion initially moved to France on 28 September 1915 attached to 76 Brigade, 25th Division. It then transferred to 8 Brigade, 3rd Division, so that it could gain experience from the regular units within the division. The 7th KSLI saw action at the Somme the following year, then at Ypres and Cambrai in 1917. The Division was hit by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918, and suffered heavy losses before being moved to Flanders to rebuild. However the Germans switched the focus of their offensive to Flanders, and the Division were caught up in the worst of the fighting there, at the Battle of Estaires, and then at the Battles of Hazebrouck and Bethune. By now the German offensive had stalled, and the Division were moved south to the Somme. Richard was killed on the Somme on 2 August 1918. He was 19 years old, and was buried at Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouqueureil, France.

William Henry Carter, DSM, Petty Officer Stoker, K/1831, Royal Navy. William was born at Llanelli on 13 November 1890, the son of Elizabeth Carter. He was raised along with his elder sister Elizabeth by their single mother at 15, Dolau Fawr. William worked as an engine cleaner for the GWR at Swansea prior to enlisting into the Royal Navy on 31 March 1910. He married Rose Charlotte Townley at Devonport in 1912 and the couple raised three children in the coming years. William served on several ships during his service and by 19 December 1915 had been posted from HMS Camellia to HMS Colleen. He was based in Edinburgh when he took ill and died of pneumonia on 26 March 1918, aged 26, and is buried in Edinburgh (Seafield) Cemetery.

Fred Cooper, Private, 13380, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Fred was the son of Moses and Myra Edith Cooper, of 41, New Dock Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Birmingham into the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which moved to France on 6 October 1914 attached to 22 Brigade, 7th Division. They fought during the First Battle of Ypres, and in March 1915 fought at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. During May they fought at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, and at Festubert, before taking part in the Battle of Loos in September. In the summer of 1916, the Division were on the Somme, and took part in the Battle of Albert, where they captured Mametz, one of the few successes of 1 July 1916. They then fought at the Battle of Bazentin, and the Attacks on High Wood. Fred was killed during the Battle of Delville Wood, on 3 September 1916. He was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

William John Delaney, Private, 22899, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of Mathew and Edna Delaney, of 6, Campbell Street, New Dock, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos, where it took part in the opening attack of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. William was killed in action during the charge of the 9th Welsh near Givenchy that day. He was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

Evan John Evans, Stoker, 2901T, Royal Navy. Evan was born on 24 January 1885, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Evans, of New Dock, Llanelli, and the husband of Catherine Ann Evans, of 7, Tin Works Row, New Dock, Llanelli. He served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Vala, which was one of the famous ‘Q Ships’, based at Milford Haven. Evan was killed when Vala was sunk by the German submarine U-54 off Ireland on 21 August 1917. He was 33 years old, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.

Theophilus James Evans, Private, 31588, South Wales Borderers. Theophilus was the son of David John Evans and Elizabeth Ann Evans, of 7, Sea View Terrace, Bwlch-y-Gwynt, Llanelli. He served with the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. The Division took part in its first major action in France during the 1916 Somme Offensive, and fought at the Battles of Albert and Le Transloy, suffering heavy casualties. In the spring of 1917 they fought at the Battle of the Scarpe, which was part of the Arras Offensive, and then moved further north, taking part in the Third Battle of Ypres, before moving to Cambrai. Here they fought at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 before moving back to Flanders early in 1918. The German Spring Offensive hit the British on the Somme on 21 March 1918, and hit in Flanders just weeks later. Theophilus was killed during the resulting Battle of Estaires, on 11 April 1918. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.

David John Griffiths, Private, 13134, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of William and Bridget Griffiths, of 7, Cornish Place, New Dock. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. David landed in France with the battalion on 1 June 1915. He fought at the Battle of Loos in September that year, and over the winter took ill, and returned home. David died on 7 May 1916, aged 31. He is buried at Llanelli (Old Road) Church Cemetery.

Albert James, Lieutenant, Machine Gun Corps. Albert was the son of James and Harriet James, of 57, Ropewalk Road, Llanelli. He was studying for the Ministry at Lampeter College at the outbreak of war and enlisted into the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He was commissioned from there into the 14th Welsh on 12 July 1915. Albert landed in France on 6 September 1917, and was promptly posted to the 10th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps. Albert was wounded by a gunshot in the abdomen during the German Spring Offensive, and died on 28 March 1918. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Gezaincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France. His widow was then living at the Mostyn Hotel, at Rhyl.

Joseph John Jenkins, Private, 201648, South Wales Borderers. Joseph was the son of William and Mary Ann Jenkins, of 22, New Dock Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Brecon into the 7th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 67 Brigade, 22nd Division. The Division crossed to France in early September 1915, and on 27 October 1915 began to embark for Salonika. It remained in the theatre for the rest of the war. Joseph was killed in action during the Second Battle of Doiran, on 18 September 1918. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece.

Harold Vivian Jones, Private, 54300, Welsh Regiment. Harold was the son of John Lewis Jones and Mary Harriet Jones, of Bridgend Inn, New Dock, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 4th Welsh, and was posted to France, probably during August 1916, where he joined the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was known as the Carmarthen Pals battalion, attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The battalion had recently moved via Hebuterne to Boesinghe, on the Yser Canal, where it remained until launching its attack on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. The 15th Welsh remained in the line, and also took part in the Battle of Langemarck, before the entire Division was moved to positions near Armentieres over the winter. After the Germans launched their offensive on the Somme on 21 March 1918, the Division was moved back to the Somme, and took up positions north of Albert, around Aveluy Wood. From 21 August 1918 the 15th Welsh drove bridgeheads across the River Ancre, and in the following days the Division captured Thiepval Ridge and Pozieres, before driving towards Longueval. Harold was wounded during the drive over the old Somme battlefields. He died on wounds on 1 September 1918, aged 20, and is buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, France.

David James Kendrick, Officer's Cook 2nd Class, L/9688, Royal Navy. David was born on 31 March 1884, the son of James and Margaret Kendrick, of Llanelli. He married Eliza Beynon at Narberth in June 1911, and the couple lived at 33, Rope Walk Road, Llanelli. David served aboard HMS Vala, which was a Q Ship, based at Milford Haven. The Q-Ships were trawlers, which had hidden guns, and were used to lure German submarines to their doom. Vala had an eventful was, but was sunk by the German submarine U-54 off Ireland on 21 August 1918, with the loss of all hands. David was 33 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated alongside his shipmates on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.

Robert John Lewis, Corporal, 30209, Gloucestershire Regiment. Robert was the son of Robert and Margaret Lewis, of 4, New Street, New Dock, Llanelli. He married Henrietta Powell in September 1914, before joining the Royal Artillery at Llanelli, with the service number 1853. Robert was later transferred to the Gloucestershire Regiment, and was posted to France on 9 November 1916, where he joined the 8th (Service) Battalion, Gloucester Regiment, which was attached to 57 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division was on the Somme, where it had seen severe fighting over the preceding months. In 1917 the Division moved North to Ypres, taking part in the Battle of Messines, and fought on the Menin Road and at Polygon Wood, before moving up to Broodseinde, Poelcappelle and Passchendaele Village itself. On 21 March 1918 they were caught up in the German Spring Offensive between Cambrai and St. Quentin, where they suffered terrible casualties during their retreat over the coming days. Robert was killed in action on 28 March 1918. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.

Sydney Boaz May, Private, 200996, Welsh Regiment. Sydney was born at Weymouth, the son of Joseph and Lillie May. The family had moved to the GWR Dock at Llanelli prior to 1911, where Joseph became the Harbour Master. Sydney enlisted there 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. 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. Sydney was wounded during the First Battle of Gaza, and died on 27 March 1917, aged 21. He is buried at Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Egypt.

Levi Meyler, Private, 20144, Welsh Regiment. Levi was the son of William and Elizabeth Meyler, of 56, Ropewalk Road, Llanelli. He enlisted there in February 1915 into the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was known as the Carmarthen Pals battalion, attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. On 2 December 1915 the battalion moved to France, and the entire Division moved to the Fleurbaix sector, where it was initiated into trench warfare. During June 1916 the Division marched south to the Somme, and on 7 July 1916 attacked Mametz Wood. The initial attack failed, and it was three days later, on 10 July, that a fresh attack was mounted. After two days of heavy hand to hand fighting within the wood, the Germans withdrew, and the battered Welshmen moved via Hebuterne to Boesinghe, on the Yser Canal, where it remained until launching its attack on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. The 15th Welsh remained in the line, and also took part in the Battle of Langemarck, before the entire Division was moved to positions near Armentieres over the winter. After the Germans launched their offensive on the Somme on 21 March 1918, the Division was moved back to the Somme, and took up positions north of Albert, around Aveluy Wood. Levi was wounded at Aveluy Wood, and died on 27 May 1918, aged 30. He is buried at Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy, France.

John James Pontin, Sapper, 386, Wiltshire Regiment. John was the son of Simeon and Jane Pontin, of Cherhill, Calne, Wilts. He had worked at Llanelli prior to the war, before going to France with the 6th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, which was attached to 42 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 Passchendaele. In the Spring of 1918 the Division were near St. Quentin, and were hit there by the German Spring Offensive, launched on 21 March. After rebuilding, the Division moved back to France and joined the Second Army during July 1918. John died on 22 September 1918, during the great advance. He was 20 years old, and is buried at Grand-Seraucourt British Cemetery, France.

John Richards, Private, 54388, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of Edward and Mary Ann Richards, of 69, Ropewalk Road, New Dock, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the army, and was posted to France early in 1917, joining the 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. John joined the battalion at Boesinghe, north of Ypres. He fought in the Battle of Pilckem on 31 July 1917, where the Division successfully captured Pilckem Ridge. The 15th and 16th Welsh remained in the line over the coming weeks, and on 27 August 1917, the 16th Welsh made a badly planned assault on Eagle Trench, near Langemarck. John was killed that day. He was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Noel Gordon Stallard, Lance Corporal, 3886, Welsh Regiment. Noel was the son of Alfred and Eliza Sarah Stallard, of 12, Westbury Street, New Dock, Llanelli. He enlisted with his brother Harry at Llanelli 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. Noel was killed here on 10 August 1915, and Harry was wounded the same day. Noel was 18 years old, and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Gallipoli.

Rupert Washer, Acting Corporal, 201158, Welsh Regiment. Rupert was born at St Clears in 1884, the son of Henry Washer and Anna Washer (nee John) The family moved to 9, Biddulph Street, New Dock, Llanelli by 1891, and Rupert married Mary Hannah Rogers in 1910. He enlisted at Llanelli 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. 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. Rupert was killed during the First Battle of Gaza, on 26 March 1917, aged 32, and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

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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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