West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Llangunnor War Memorial

Llangunnor is a Parish situated on the southern outskirts of the main county town of Carmarthen, which is separated from the larger town by the River Towy. The men from the Parish of Llangunnor who fell during World War Two are commemorated on two separate memorials which are located inside Llangunnor, St. Ceinwr Church. There is no Great War Memorial at Llangunnor, instead the parish placed the names of its fallen on the 1922 published Carmarthen County War Memorial roll, and so I have used that as the basis for this page. There is however an individual memorial to Lieutenant R H Harris. The photograph of this memorial to Lieutenant Harris and the WW2 memorials are courtesy of Wyn Davies.

The Great War, 1914-1918

Sydney Ernest Branfield, Private, 320111, Welsh Regiment. Sydney was the son of Edward and Emily Branfield of Llangunnor. The family were living at Bryngorise Issa, Nantycaws, Llandefeilog prior to 1901. Sydney enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry, which moved to Egypt in March 1916 as part of the 1st Mounted Division. In March 1917 the battalion merged with the Glamorgan Yeomanry to form the 24th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 231 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. The Division then took part in the advance into Palestine, and it was during this advance, at the Third Battle of Gaza, that Sydney was killed on 30 October 1917. He was 32 years old, and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

David Davies, Private, 200279, Welsh Regiment. David was born at Newchurch in 1896, the son of William and Elizabeth Davies. He had been raised at St. Clears before the family moved to 79, Priory Street, Carmarthen. He had worked as a miner at Senghenydd prior to the war, and returned to Carmarthen to enlist 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. David was wounded during the First Battle of Gaza, and died on 29 March 1917. He was 20 years old, and is buried at Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Egypt. David is not listed on the Carmarthen County War Memorial roll, but his parents are buried at Llangunnor Churchyard.

Evan Thomas Davies, Private, 54551, Welsh Regiment. Evan was the son of David and Lydia Davies, of Penybryn, Philadelphia, Llangunnor, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry, but was sent to France, probably in August 1916, to join the 15th Battalion, Welsh regiment, known as the Carmarthen Pals, who were attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The division had just moved to Boesinghe after its successful capture of Mametz Wood, and remained at Boesinghe until taking part in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. The 15th Welsh also fought at Langemarck alongside the 20th (Light) Division, before the entire 38th Division moved to the Armentieres sector in September 1917. In April 1918 the Division moved to positions north of Albert, to reinforce the decimated British forces which had fought there during the German Spring offensive of 21 March 1918 onwards. On 10 May 1918 the 15th Welsh were tasked with the capture of the German lines within Aveluy Wood, but the range of their artillery support had been miscalculated, and fell short onto the Welshmen, causing heavy casualties. Evan was killed in Aveluy Wood that day. He was 31 years old, and is buried at Martinsart British Cemetery, France. Evan is listed among the Llangunnor men on the County War Memorial roll.

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 at Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery, France. John is commemorated at St. Peter's Church, Carmarthen, but his parents are buried at Llangunnor Churchyard.

John Elias, Gunner, 43998, Royal Garrison Artillery. John was the son of Hannah Elias, of Glantowy Cottage, Llangunnor. He had served with the 3rd Carmarthen Volunteers prior to the war, and married Nellie Price, of 1, Osborne Terrace, Penrhiwceiber, on 12 October 1913. John enlisted at Mountain Ash on 1 September 1914, and was posted to the 51st Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, moving to France on 17 March 1917. The battery moved to Ypres, where it was in support of the British offensive, called the Third Battle of Ypres, which began after a successful attack at Messines Ridge. John was killed during the Battle of the Menin Road on 24 September 1917. He was 35 years old, and is buried at The Huts Cemetery, Belgium. John is not named on the County War Memorial roll.

Arthur Fallon, Private, 13103, Welsh Regiment. Arthur was born at Worcester and was the brother of Frances Fallon. Records show that he resided at Abergwili prior to the War. He was known at Llangunnor, possibly through work, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the 8th Battalion, the Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th Division. During January, 1915 the Battalion were made the Pioneer Battalion to the Division, and on 15 June, 1915 sailed with the Division to Mudros. On 5 August, 1915 the Division landed at Anzac, Gallipoli, where they were to see some of the worst fighting on the Peninsula. During December, the Division were evacuated, arriving in Egypt in January, 1916. They were sent to Mesopotamia to attempt to relieve the besieged town of Kut, which is where Arthur sadly Died of Sickness on 29 June 1916. He is buried at Amara War Cemetery. Arthur is not commemorated locally.

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.

David Jones, Private, SE/14561, Royal Army Veterinary Corps. David was the son of David and Margaret Jones, of Caeau Gwynion, Llangunnor. Very little is known of him, but he enlisted at Woolwich into the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. David died on home service on 7 March 1916. He was 33 years old, and is buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard. David is not named on the County War Memorial roll.

William Llewelyn Morgan, Private, 29469, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of John and Rachel Morgan, of Penybank, Pensarn, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the army, and was posted to France, where he joined the 11th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had been in France since landing in December 1915 as part of 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and had fought at Mametz Wood from 7 July 1916. From August onwards the Division was at Boesinghe, situated on the Yser Canal, and here launched its attack on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. William was wounded in the head and neck at Langemarck, during an assault on White House, and was admitted to Hospital on 30 August 1917. He was brought to the 7th Canadian General Hospital at Étaples for further treatment, and seemed to be recovering, but had a relapse and died on 2 October 1917. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery, France.

Morgan Morris, Private, 54268, Welsh Regiment. Morgan was the son of William and Anne Morris, of Brynhyfryd, Llangunnor, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the army, and was posted to France in May 1916 joining the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. Morgan would have taken part in the attack at La Boiselle on 1 July 1916, and saw much fighting during his time at war, as the battalion took an active role in the Somme offensive. On 31 January 1917 the Welshmen’s positions were hit by a bombardment of German gas shells, and Morgan suffered severe gas wounds. He died the following day, on 1 January 1917, aged 27, and is buried at Sailly-Au-Bois Military Cemetery, France. Morgan is listed among the Llangunnor men on the County War Memorial roll.

Thomas Owens, Private, 54149, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was the son of John and Elizabeth Owens, of Mount Hill Farm, Llangunnor, Carmarthen. He was residing with his brother-in-law, PC Davies, of Robinson Street, Llanelli when he enlisted at Swansea into the army. Thomas was posted out to France to join the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which had recently been moved from the Somme area, after the fighting at Mametz Wood, as part of 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. Thomas joined the battalion while it was holding the line near Boesinghe. Thomas was wounded while the 13th Welsh were in the line at the Canal Bank. He died of his wounds on 28 February 1917, aged 36, and is buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.

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 at St. Erme Communal Cemetery Extension, France. His elder brother William also fell.

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 at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. His brother Frederick also fell.

David Lewis Thomas, Private, 320496, Welsh Regiment. David was the Son of John and Mary Thomas, of Tyrdu, Llangunnor. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry, which moved to Norfolk attached to the 1st Mounted Division. In March 1916 the Division moved to Egypt, and took over the Suez Canal Defences. In March 1917 the Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry merged to form the 24th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, and became part of 231 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. The Division fought through the Palestinian Campaign, at the Battles of Gaza and the Battle and capture of Jerusalem. David was killed during the attack on the Sheria heights on 6 November 1917. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel.

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 will be added to the new France 1914-1918 Memorial when it is built.

World War Two, 1939-1945

Betty Maud Burgess, Nurse. Betty is not commemorated by the CWGC, so pending further research, nothing more is currently known of her.

 

Douglas Henry Evans, Private, Home Guard. Douglas was the son of David and Annie Amelia Evans, of Tudorville, Llangunnor. He served with the 44th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion, Home Guard. Douglas died in Birmingham on 14 August 1943, aged 17. He was buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard.

Mair Eluned Evans, Sister, 234957, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Mair was the Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. Evans, of Nantycaws. She served as a Sister with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. On 23 November 1942 Mair sailed from Liverpool aboard the S.S. Ceramic, a requisitioned former White Star Liner, which was bound for Australia. On the night of 6 December 1942 she was west of the Azores when she was hit by three torpedoes which had been fired from the German submarine U-515. Lifeboats were launched, but U-515 torpedoed her again, sinking Ceramic. The sea conditions were stormy, and the lifeboats capsized. Only one man survived the sinking, as he was taken by the Germans for interrogation. Mair was 27 years old when she died on 7 December 1942, and she is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, Surrey.

David William Phillip Jenkins, Private, 3970038, Welch Regiment. David was the husband of Minnie Jenkins, of 20, Davies Town, Pensarn. He initially served with the Welch Regiment, but volunteered to serve with the Army Commandos. David was posted to the Commando Training Centre at Achnacarry, Scotland, where he joined No. 12 Commando. David was killed during exercises at Achnacarry on 8 August 1941, aged 26, and was buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard.

David Daniel Lewis, Private, 3955577, South Wales Borderers. David was the son of William and Mary Lewis, of 2, Little Bridge Street, Carmarthen. He married Alice Eileen Hurley in 1930, and the couple resided at Llangunnor. David served with the South Wales Borderers at the start of the war. He died on active service on 13 December 1941, aged 31, and is buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard.

Norman George Miller, Private, 4202053, Leicestershire Regiment. Norman was the husband of Elizabeth Ann Miller (nee Lewis), of Brynmeurig, Pensarn. He served with the 2/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. The Battalion was mobilised in 1939 and went to France in 1940 as part of the 46th Division. It remained in England after the evacuation from Dunkirk, before taking part in Operation Torch in January 1943, seeing heavy fighting at the Kassarine Pass. The Battalion then took part in the landings at Salerno, and crossed the Volturna and Teano Rivers. Norman was badly wounded in Italy, and died on 20 November 1943, aged 29. He is buried at Bone War Cemetery, Annaba, Italy. Elizabeth passed away in 1976, and is buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard. Photograph courtesy of Bev Lewis.

Brinley Morgan, Private, 2140911, Pioneer Corps. Brinley was born at Llangunnor in 1908, the son of William and Annie Morgan. He was brought up at 7, Little Water Street, Carmarthen, and at the outbreak of war enlisted into the Royal Engineers. Brinley was posted to the Middle East with the 59th Field Company, Royal Engineers, and had fought in North Africa, before the invasions of Sicily and then Italy. Brinley was killed in Italy on 18 October 1943, aged 35. He is buried at Naples War Cemetery, Italy.

 

Daniel George Morgan, Cook, Merchant Navy. Daniel was born at Llangunnor in the first quarter of 1920. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the S.S. Empire Amethyst, a Middlesbrough registered tanker. On 13 April 1942, Empire Amethyst was on route from New Orleans for Freetown, and was about 40 miles south of Haiti, carrying a cargo of 12,000 tons of clean oil, when she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-154 and sunk with the loss of all her crew of 47. Daniel was 22 years old, and is commemorated among his fellow crewmen on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

 

Dewi Rees, First Radio Officer, Merchant Navy. Dewi was born at Llangunnor, the son of Mrs. P. E. Rees, later of Ewell, Epsom, Surrey, and the husband of Elizabeth Rees, of Haverfordwest. He served with the Merchant Navy, aboard the MV Fort Richepanse, a Belfast registered requisitioned French ship. Dewi was killed when Fort Richepanse was bombed by German aircraft, then torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-567 on 3 September 1941. He was 29 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

 

Melville Elvet Thomas, Aircraftman 1st Class, 1312270, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Melville was the son of David and Annie Thomas, of Llangunnor. Melville served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He died at Staines, Middlesex on 23 February 1944, aged 23, and is buried at Llangunnor (St. Cynwr) Churchyard.

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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