West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Llanddewi Brefi War Memorial

Llanddewi Brefi lies astride the B4343, about 2.5 miles from Tregaron. It is one of the largest parishes in Wales, with its parish church dating from the 12th century. The church is dedicated to Saint David, and was built on a small hill which was supposed to have been raised by the Patron Saint in the sixth century. The Parish War Memorial is situated in the Churchyard, and commemorates the men from the area who fell during both world wars, and was manufactured by E.J. Williams, of Llanybydder.

The Great War, 1914-1918

 

Evan Davies, Private, 202823, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Evan was the son of David and Mary Davies, of Rhoslwyn, Bridge Street, Llanddewi Brefi. He resided at Llanelli prior to the war, and enlisted there into the Welsh Regiment. He was later posted to France, where he joined the 2/4th Battalion, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, which was attached to 184 Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. The Division moved to the Western Front in May 1916, and took part in the disastrous assault on Fromelles on 19 July 1916. In March 1917 the Division followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg , and later that year fought at the Battle of Langemarck. The Division then moved south, and took part in the Battle of Cambrai. During March 1918 the Division was in the front line near Ham when it was hit by the German offensive of 21 March 1918. Evan was killed a day later, on 22 March 1918. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Ham British Cemetery, Muille-Villette, France.

John Morgan Davies, Corporal, 108046, Royal Engineers. John was born at Llanddewi Brefi, the son of Morgan and Elizabeth Davies. The family later resided at 21, Illtyd Street, Treorchy (Rhondda), Glam. He originally enlisted on 14 October 1914 into the Rhondda Battalion, Welsh Regiment at Pentre. The battalion was split soon after, creating the 10th and 13th Battalions, Welsh Regiment, both of which were attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and landed in France on 3 December 1915. By then John had been transferred into the 124th Field Company, Royal Engineers, which was in the same 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division moved to the Fleurbaix Sector for trench initiation, before marching to the Somme in June 1916. On 7 July 1916, the Division launched its first assault on Mametz Wood, but was repulsed with terrible casualties. After a change in Command, the Division was thrown in to attack the wood again on 10 July, and the entire Division got sucked into terrible hand to hand fighting within the wood. John was killed in action in the wood on 11 July 1916. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas John Davies, Corporal, 21074, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was born in 1891, the son of Evan and Rachel Davies, of Tymawr, Llanddewi Brefi. He resided at Llanelli prior to the war, and enlisted there 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, leaving Mametz Wood in British hands. Thomas was killed in the wood on 11 July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Daniel Evan Evans, Private, 50000, North Staffordshire Regiment. Daniel was the Son of Richard and Anne Evans, of Maesfelin, Llanddewi Brefi. He worked as a Carpenter prior to the war, and married Mary Edwards at Llanddewi Brefi in April 1914. Daniel enlisted into the Royal Engineers at Chatham in December 1916, and landed in France on 8 August 1917. On 8 September 1917, Daniel was transferred to the 9th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment, which was attached to the 37th Division, as the Divisional Pioneers. Daniel saw his first major action with the Division during the Battle of Passchendaele. During March 1918 the Division was at the Somme, and fought during the German Offensive, at the Battle of Albert. Their next major action was at the Battle of Havrincourt, during the great offensive. Daniel was wounded on 15 September 1918, during the great advance. He was evacuated to hospital at Wimille, where he died of his wounds on 12 October 1918. Daniel was 29 years old, and is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France.

John Daniel Griffiths, Private, 498114, Labour Corps. John was the son of John and Elizabeth Griffiths, of Pentrebwlen, Llanddewi, Brefi. He had served throughout the war with the 564th Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. John married Agnes Jones, of Godre Glyn, Cwmann, Lampeter in the summer of 1918. He died on 21 October 1918, aged 24, and is buried in Llanddewi Brefi Cemetery. Little else is known of John, and he is not commemorated locally.

David Jones, Captain, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of Thomas and Margaret Jane Jones, of Wern Isaf, Llanddewi Brefi. He was a member of the OTC at Aberystwyth, and joined the army straight from University, being commissioned into the 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion, which was known as the 1st Rhondda Battalion, was 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. David was killed on 12 July 1916, during the withdrawal from the wood. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

David B. Jones, Private, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David is shown on the memorial as being from Graigddu, that he was serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and that he fell in the Dardanelles in April 1915, aged 25. He cannot presently be identified for a number of reasons; the 2nd RWF only served on the Western Front, and no RWF battalions served at Gallipoli during April 1915, in fact none landed there until August 1915. If anyone has any more information about this man, it would be appreciated.

David Lloyd, Private, 52058, Cheshire Regiment. David was born at Lampeter, the son of Lewis and Sarah Jane Lloyd. The family later resided at Esgergan, Llandewi-Brefi, whilst David made his way to London, residing at Pimlico prior to the war. He enlisted at Holborn into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but subsequently transferred into the 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. The battalion had been raised in Birkenhead as a Bantam Battalion, joining 105 Brigade, 35th Division, and landed at Le Havre in January 1916. It saw its first major action during the Battle of the Somme, at the Battle of Albert in July 1916. The Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917. David was killed just prior to the Division's move to Ypres, on 20 August 1917. He was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Evan Lloyd, Private, 2316, Welsh Regiment. Evan was born in Llanddewi Brefi in 1874. He served with the Welsh Regiment, based at its Cardiff Depot. Evan died in Cardiff on 19 December 1914, aged 40. He is buried in Cardiff (Cathays) Cemetery. Little else is known of him, and he is not commemorated locally.

John Lloyd, Private, 4183, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. John was the son of Thomas and Ellen Lloyd, of Llanddewi Brefi. He originally enlisted into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but was subsequently transferred into the King's Liverpool Regiment, then into the 5th Company, Labour Corps, with the service number 41642. John served on the Western Front from 1917 onwards, and survived the war, but died after the armistice on 26 November 1918, aged 37. John is buried at Llanddewi Brefi Cemetery.

John Pates, Corporal, 15364, South Lancashire Regiment. John was the son of John and Rachel Pates of Llanddewi Brefi. He enlisted at Abercynon into the Cheshire Regiment at the outbreak of war, before transferring into the 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment. The battalion formed at Warrington in September 1914, joining 75 Brigade, 25th Division, and landed in France in September 1915. The Division moved to the Vimy area, where they defended Vimy Ridge against a German attack in May 1916. They then moved to the Warloy area on the Somme and attacked on 3 July near Thiepval. John was killed on the Somme on 15 July 1916. He was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Morgan Price, Lance Corporal, 16349, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Morgan was the son of Rees and Elizabeth Price of Llanddewi Brefi. He had worked at HM Dockyard, Pembroke before getting married, and lived with his wife Sarah Mary Price, at 40, Elm Street, Ferndale, Glamorgan. Morgan returned to Pembroke to enlist into the Army, and joined the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which formed part of 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division assembled around Bulford during September 1914. Divisional training was completed near Tidworth, from March 1915, and the Butterfly Division crossed to France between 11 and 21 July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos. The Division fought during the opening attack of the Battle of Loos, and it was during this initial attack on 25 September 1915 that Morgan was killed. He was 39 years old, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

William Daniel Williams, Private, 14520, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of Mrs. Jane Williams (nee Mann), of Tygwyn, Llanddewi Brefi. He enlisted at Tonypandy into the 5th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. William landed in France with the battalion on 7 July 1915, and the entire Division moved to positions near Loos, where it took part in the opening attack of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. The following year the Division moved to the Somme, where it took part in the second wave of the attack on Ovillers-La Boiselle on 1 July, capturing the village at heavy cost. It then fought at the Battle of Pozieres. William was killed during the battle, on 25 July 1916. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France.

Zaccheus Williams, Private, 354778, London Regiment. Zacheus was born in 1886, the son of Zacheus and Elizabeth Williams, of Brynambor, Llanddewi Brefi. Prior to the war he resided with his wife, Laura Williams, at 73, Mount Pleasant, Holborn, and enlisted there into the 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment. He was posted to the 7th Battalion, London Regiment, which was attached to 180 Brigade, 60th (2nd/2nd London) Division. Zaccheus moved to Salonika with the Division prior to Christmas 1916, and took part in the Battle of Doiran. In June 1917 the Division moved to Egypt, to join the EEF for the campaign in Palestine, and fought in the Third Battle of Gaza, the Capture of Beersheba; the Capture of the Sheria Position, and the Capture of Jerusalem. During the following year the Division then took part in the Capture of Jericho, and the subsequent advance through Palestine. The Division part in the Battle of Sharon from 19-21 September 1918. Zaccheus took ill during this time, and died at 76 Central Casualty Clearing Station, Ludd on 12 October 1918. He was 32 years old, and is buried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.

World War Two, 1939-1945

 

David Thomas Jones, Gunner, 1596619, Royal Artillery. David was the son of Evan and Mary Jones, of Waunclawdd, Llanddewi Brefi. He served with 234 Battery, 89 H.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. The battery was sent to Crete in 1941, where it provided air defence cover for the airfield at Heraklion. On 20 May 1941, German paratroopers landed on the island, and a bitter battle ensued, with the poorly armed Royal Artillery men fighting a desperate battle over the coming days. David was killed in action on Crete on 27 May 1941. He was 25 years old, and is commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Greece.

 

John William Jones, Lance Corporal, 6098452, Queen's Royal Regt (West Surrey). John was the son of Morgan and Margaret Jones, of Rock House, Cribyn. He served with the 1/5th Battalion, Queen's Royal Regiment. The battalion was ordered overseas and fought in the Eighth Army in the Western Desert, being attached to 131 Brigade, it became the Lorried Infantry brigade of 7 Armoured Division after the Battle of El Alamein. John must have been taken prisoner by the Italians in North Africa, as he died in Italy on 24 November 1942. He was 28 years old, and is buried at Caserta War Cemetery, Italy.

 

George Randolph Jones, Marine, CH/X 100630, Royal Marines. Randolph was from Hillside, Llanddewi Brefi, and at the outbreak of war resided with his wife, Ethel Jones, at Peel, Isle of Man. He served with the 11th Battalion, Royal Marines. To help relieve the pressure on the Eighth Army around El Alamein, a combined operations raid (Operation Agreement) was planned on Tobruk to destroy installations and shipping. The plan was for the 11th Battalion, Royal Marines were to attack from the sea from two destroyers, and the Long Range Desert Group would attack simultaneously from the land. The attack was launched on 14 September 1942, but Tobruk was heavily defended, and the Naval forces suffered heavy casualties. Randolph was one of over sixty men of the battalion killed that day. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.

 

Thomas Jones, Lance Serjeant, 6144164, East Surrey Regiment. Thomas was the son of John Owen Jones and Eleanor Jones, of Wern, Llanddewi Brefi. The family had moved to Llwynyhendy, Carmarthenshire prior to the war. Thomas served with the 1/6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. The battalion was deployed to France at the beginning of the war and fought alongside in Belgium and the retreat to Dunkirk. The battalion was then sent overseas, and fought in North Africa from March 1943, in the Tunisian Campaign. Thomas was killed in Tunisia on 13 April 1943. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Beja War Cemetery, Tunisia.

 

Albert Ernest William Taplin, Signalman, D/JX 144779, Royal Navy. Albert was born at Llanddewi Brefi in 1919, the son of Ernest William and Maria Taplin. He enlisted into the Royal Navy, and was posted aboard HMS Glenearn. In September 1939 she was used to carry troops and supplies to France and in October of that year was acquired by the Admiralty for conversion into a fast Fleet Supply Ship. During 1940 she was recalled and converted into an Infantry Assault Ship her lifeboats being replaced with 12 small Landing Craft, and two further 50ft Landing Craft which were launched by the derricks. Albert must have taken ill while Glenearn was being refitted, and died in hospital at Liverpool on 25 December 1940. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Liverpool (Anfield) Cemetery.

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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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