Llangynfelyn is situated on the River Dyfi, nine miles north of Aberystwyth on the A487 road to Machynlleth. The Parish was a rich mining area, with several lead and copper mines in the vicinity, the spoils of which were exported from the Dyfi Estuary. The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Cynvelyn, was originally erected in the sixth century, and within the Church was the Parish War Memorial, to the men of Llangynfelyn who served (and fell) during the Great War. This memorial has just been moved to Llanfach, the village hall in Taliesin, and a service of re-dedication was held on 9 November 2014. The photograph of the memorial has been kindly supplied by Nigel Callaghan. The same names are contained on the Great War memorial inside Llangynfelyn School, photographs of which have been kindly supplied by Hefin Jones. This memorial also commemorates those who served and survived.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Peter Beechey, Private, 29568, South Wales Borderers. Peter was born at Llangynfelyn in 1896, probably the son of Lewis and Hannah Beechey. He enlisted at Brecon into the 10th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. Peter joined the battalion in 1916, probably as one of a number of reinforcements to the battalion after it had taken part in the capture of Mametz Wood, and moved to Ypres, where the Division took up the front line along the canal bank at Boesinghe. Here they fought at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, and the Battle of Langemarck. They then moved to Armentieres, where they remained from September 1917 until March, 1918 when the German Spring Offensive was launched. The British had been over-run on the Somme, and so in April the Division was moved South, taking up positions North of Albert, from where they weathered the storm of the coming months, until the war turned during the Battle of Amiens, on 8 August, 1918. The Germans had now lost the upper hand, and the British regained the lost ground on the Somme after an attack which began on 21 August, with the 38th Welsh in the midst of the attack during the Battle of Albert, and then moving east, where they fought at the Battle of Bapaume. Peter was wounded during the advance across the old Somme battlefields. He died of his wounds on 28 August 1918, aged 22, and is buried at Fienvillers British Cemetery, France.
Richard Ellis, Private, 36427, King's Liverpool Regiment. Richard was born at Birmingham in 1886, the son of William and Jane Ellis. The family had resided at Birmingham for several years prior to Tom's birth, but by 1914 were back at their native Taliesin. Richard resided with his wife, Margaret Ellis, at 23, Lothair Road, Anfield, Liverpool prior to the war. He enlisted at Liverpool into the 21st Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment, and was posted to France with the 12th Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment, which was attached to 61 Brigade, 20th (Light) Division. The Division had been in France since July 1915, and had fought a diversionary attack at Fromelles in September 1915. Later that year they moved north, and fought at the Battle of Mount Sorrel alongside the Canadian Corps. Richard joined the battalion early in 1916, and caught up with it in time to fight at the Somme Offensive. The 20th Division saw much action on the Somme, taking part in the Battles of Delville Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy. Richard was killed at Le Transloy on 7 October 1916. He was 30 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. His brother Tom also fell.
Tom Ellis, Lance Corporal, 27970, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Tom was born at Birmingham in 1896, the son of William and Jane Ellis. The family had resided at Birmingham for several years prior to Tom's birth, but by 1914 were back at their native Taliesin, residing at Birmingham House. Tom resided at 12, Porchester Road, Bayswater prior to the war, and enlisted at Holborn, London into the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 115 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. Tom was killed at Mametz Wood on 11 July 1916, aged 19. He is buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.
James Evans, Private, South Wales Borderers. James cannot presently be identified.
Richard Jenkin Isaac, Private, G/68553, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. Richard was the son of David Evans Isaac and Mary Isaac, of Penygraig, Taliesin. He resided at Balham, Surrey prior to enlisting at Putney into the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. Richard was posted to France at some time after 1916, attached to the 7th Battalion, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. The battalion was attached to 55 Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. In March 1917 the Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and in May took part in the Battle of Arras. July 1917 saw the Division at Ypres, where they fought throughout the Third Battle of Ypres. In 1918 the Division was stationed south of the Somme, and was hit by the German Spring Offensive, which was launched on 21 March 1918. They fought at the Battle of St Quentin, and suffered terrible casualties, and then took part in the Battle of the Avre and the Actions of Villers-Brettoneux. On 8 August 1918 they formed part of the force which attacked the German positions around Villers Brettoneux, south of the Somme Valley, during the Battle of Amiens, and then took part in the great push by the Allies towards the Hindenburg Line. Richard was killed at the Battle of Épehy on 18 September 1918. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.
William James, Pioneer, 159319, Royal Engineers. William was the son of David and Mary James, of 17, Pencae, Taliesin. He originally enlisted at Aberystwyth into the South Wales Borderers, but was transferred to the 5th Battalion Special Brigade, Royal Engineers, which was a Special (Gas) Company. The Battalion was a Stokes mortar unit, attached to the Fourth Army. The Battalion was on the Somme in the summer of 1916, where it was to provide support for the forthcoming Battle of the Somme. William was killed during the build up to the battle, probably whilst moving equipment into place. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Hebuterne Military Cemetery, France.
W. Jenkins, Private, South Wales Borderers. This man cannot presently be identified.
Frederick William James Jones, (Heber), Private, L/9791, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Frederick was the son of Reverend David Thomas Jones, Wesleyan Minister, of Llangynfelyn. He enlisted at Canterbury into the 7th Battalion, East Kent Regiment, which was attached to 55 Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. On 25 May 1915 the Division landed at Boulogne, and didn’t see its first major action until July, 1916 when it took part in the Battle of Albert. They then fought at the Battle of Bazentin, where they captured Trones Wood, and moved on to the Battle of Delville Wood. In October they took part in the Battle of the Ancre Heights, and captured Schwaben Redoubt, and helped capture Regina Trench. They then fought at the Battle of the Ancre, before spending the winter on the Somme. In March 1917 the Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and in May took part in the Third Battle of the Scarpe. July, 1917 saw the Division at Ypres, where they took part in the Battle of Pilckem, and then they fought at the Battle of Langemarck, and at the First Battle of Passchendaele. Frederick was killed at Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. He was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Frederick is not named on the memorial, but is commemorated on his father's grave at Llangyfelyn.
William Basil Loxdale Jones, MID, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Naval Air Service. William was born at Holy Trinity, Brompton, London on 16 February 1890, the son of the Bishop of St. Davids, William Basil Jones, and of his wife Anne Jones, nee Loxdale. The family had lived at Taliesin for several years, prior to moving to the Bishops Palace at Abergwili, Carmarthen. William served as an Observer in the Royal Naval Air Service, attached to 6 Wing, which was based in the Mediterranean. William was killed whilst flying as an Observer on patrol in the Adriatic on 7 January 1918, when his aircraft was lost at sea. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.
Humphrey Taylor Lewis, Sergeant, 18540, Royal Garrison Artillery. Humphrey was born at Corris in 1875, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Lewis. He had served during the Boer war, and in India prior to the outbreak of the Great War, when he was posted to the 172nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, which moved to France on 12 September 1916. Humphrey was wounded at the Third Battle of Ypres, and died, aged 44, on 15 September 1917. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.
J. Lloyd, Private, South Wales Borderers. This man cannot presently be identified.
Thomas Lloyd, Guardsman, 1623, Welsh Guards. Thomas was born at Ystrad Rhondda in 1896, the son of Isaac and Margaret Lloyd. His parents were from Llangynfelyn, and prior to 1911 had returned home, living at Cefn Villa, Talybont. Thomas enlisted at Aberystwyth into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, joining the battalion in France on 1 November 1915 at Loos, where it was attached to the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. In July 1916 the Division moved to the Somme, where they fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and then at the Battle of Morval, capturing Lesboeufs Village. They remained here for the winter, and in March 1917 took part in the advance caused by the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Later that year they moved north to Ypres, where they fought at the Battle of Pilckem, and then at the Battle of the Menin Road, Battle of Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. November saw them move south again, where they took part in the Battle of Cambrai. They remained in the area over the final winter of the war, and were still in positions around Gouzeaucourt when Thomas was wounded. He died of his wounds on 11 March 1918, aged 22, and is buried at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France.
Morgan Morgans, Sailor, Mercantile Marine. Morgan was born in 1889, the Son of David and Mary Morgans, of Gogerddan House, Ynyslas, Borth. He served with the Mercantile Marine aboard the SS Penvearn. On 1 March 1918, Penvearn was 15 miles from South Stack, Anglesey when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-48. Morgan was 29 years old when he died that day, and he is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
William Henry O'Halloran, Sergeant, 24/236, Northumberland Fusiliers. William was born at Aldershot Military Camp in 1888, the son of Staff Sergeant William B. O'Halloran (R.A.S.C.) and Jane O'Halloran. Jane was from Taliesin, and prior to the war the family were residing at 39, Wesley Terrace, Taliesin. William enlisted into the 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. The battalion was attached to 103 Brigade, 34th Division, and moved to France during January 1916. The Division saw its first major action on the Somme, during the Battle of Albert, where it suffered very severe casualties during the attack on La Boisselle. William was killed at La Boisselle on 1 July 1916. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
David Lewis Richards, Private, 46064, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was born at Llangynfelyn in 1887, the son of Jane Richards. David later resided with his mother at Grove House, North Road, Aberystwyth. He enlisted at Aberystwyth into the army on 10 December 1916, and was posted to France on 7 October 1916, joining the 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. David joined the battalion at Boesinghe, and was posted to D Company. He had only been in Belgium a matter of weeks, when he was shot in the head whilst in the front line. David died at Proven on 27 October 1916 aged 19, and is buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Evan Richard Roberts, Air Mechanic 2nd Class, F/14506, Royal Naval Air Service. Evan was born on 12 September 1886, the son of David and Elizabeth Roberts, of Taliesin. He lived in London prior to the war, and married May Monks on 21 December 1912. The couple set up home at 84, Springfield Avenue, Easington, Banbury, Oxon. Evan enlisted into the Royal Naval Air Service, becoming an Air Mechanic. He was based at H.M.S. President II in London, when he died on 7 July 1917. Evan was 31 years old, and is buried at Abney Park Cemetery.
Heber Thomas, Second Lieutenant, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Heber was born at Ystumtuen on 20 May 1891, the son of Reverend David Thomas, and of Jane Thomas (nee Davies). By 1901 the family was residing at Brynffynon, Dolgellau. Heber worked as a Clerk with the National and Provincial Bank prior to the war, and enlisted into the 2/5th Battalion, East Kent Regiment on 8 May 1916. In May 1917 Heber was commissioned, and posted to the 7th Battalion, East Kent Regiment, which was attached to 55 Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. The division was at Arras, and moved to Ypres in July, taking part in the Battle of Pilckem, where they helped capture Westhoek. Heber was killed later into the Third Battle of Ypres, whilst fighting near Poelcapelle on 12 October 1917. He was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Heber is not commemorated on the Llangynfelyn memorial, but is commemorated on his father's grave at Llangynfelyn.
George James Vearey, Private, 29610, South Wales Borderers. George was born in 1884, the son of James and Mary Vearey, of 17, Northgate Street, Aberystwyth. He married Margaret Ann Rees, of Half-Way Inn, Trerddol, Glandyfi at Aberystwyth in the summer of 1917, just before embarking for France, joining the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion was on the Flanders Coast attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division, and was preparing for an assault along the coast. After the Third Battle of Ypres had ground to a halt in the mud, the coastal operation was called off, and the 1st Division moved to Ypres. George was killed in action here during the Second Battle of Passchendaele, on 10 November 1917. He was 33 years old, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Alec Davies, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy. Alec was born at Llangynfelyn in 1918. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the MV Aldington Court, a London registered Motor Vessel. On 31 October 1942, she was on route from Philadelphia for Alexandria, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-172 and sunk, with the loss of 34 lives. Alec was 24 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Alun Jones, Private, 5961701, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. Alun was the son of John Morgan Jones and Margaret Jones, of Talybont. He served with the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. The Battalion served with the British Expeditionary Force in France, and was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940, later sailing for the Mediterranean, and taking part in the Western Desert Campaign, and the Tunisia Campaign. The battalion then took part in the invasion of Italy. Alun was killed at Monte Cassino on 16 May 1944. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Cassino War Cemetery, Italy.
John Isaac Jones, Sapper, 14786726, Royal Engineers. John was the son of Isaac and Sarah Jones, of Machynlleth, and the husband of Anne Elizabeth Jones, of Machynlleth. John served with 170 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, a unit that had seen considerable service during the Great War, before being reformed in 1939. John probably served with the unit in France in 1940, before the unit was evacuated to Dunkirk, and moved to Gibraltar. He survived the war but died on 23 August 1946, aged 37. John is buried at Llangynfelyn (St. Cynfelyn) Church Cemetery, but is not commemorated on the Llangynfelyn memorial.
David Ivor Williams, Lance Corporal, 7683759, Corps of Military Police. David was the husband of Violet Prudence Williams. He served with the 18th Divisional Provost Company, Military Police, which was attached to Malaya Command at Singapore. After the Japanese invasion of Singapore on 8 February 1942, the British surrendered a week later, on 15 February 1942, and 80,000 troops became prisoners of war. David was amongst the men captured there. He was probably one of the men taken to act as forced labour on the Thai Burma railway, and died in Burma on 29 July 1943, aged 34. David is buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar.
Llangynfelyn School Memorial
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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.
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.