West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Trefilan War Memorial

Trefilan is a Parish and village which sits astride the B4337 road, about seven miles north-north-west of Lampeter, in the Aeron Valley. The Parish Church is dedicated to St Hilary, and within its Churchyard stands the Parish War Memorial, to the fallen of World War Two. The only Great War Memorial is a brass plaque, situated inside the Church, which commemorates Captain P. V. Lewes. Many thanks to Mike Berrell for the photograph of the WW2 Memorial.

The Great War, 1914-1918

Price Vaughan Lewes, Captain, Royal Navy. Price was born on 27 February 1865 at Llanfear, Felinfach, the second son of Colonel John and Mary Jane Lewes. At the age of 13, Price joined the Royal Navy, serving aboard the training ship HMS Britannia, under Captain E. Kelly. On 23 July 1880, Price was posted to HMS Achilles, and just two months later, at the age of 15, he was promoted to Midshipman. During August 1893, Price had been promoted to Lieutenant, and was the third most senior officer aboard HMS Blanche, which was stationed at Zanzibar. He gained the award of the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry here. On his return home, Price married his fiancée, Anne Josephine Tulloch at Chester, on 30 April 1894, and a year later, Anne gave birth to their son Martyn Tulloch Vaughan Lewes. By 1897, Price had gained command of the newly launched gunboat HMS Hazard, and took part in a Victoria Cross action at Crete. For his fine leadership in this affair on Crete, Price was promoted to Commander, by order of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. On 30 June 1905, Price was promoted to Captain in the Royal Navy, and afterwards took command of the Battleship HMS Superb, which was launched in 1909. The Superb was a Bellerophon Class Dreadnought Battleship, with a main armament of ten 12" guns. During 1913 Price received the CB as part of the King's Birthday Honours, to go with his Distinguished Service Order, and his Africa General Service Medal with Juba River Clasp. At the outbreak of the Great War, HMS Superb was part of the British Home Fleet. Due to the outbreak of hostilities, the Royal Navy reorganised its fleets, and the Superb became part of the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, which was commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe aboard HMS Iron Duke. Price was on sick leave in Laugharne, but promptly resumed command of his ship HMS Superb. At the beginning of November 1914, Price was invalided to Devonport Naval Hospital, where he sadly died at the age of 49, on 10 November 1914. He was buried with full military honours in Plymouth (Western Mill) Cemetery, Devon. His son, Martyn, was killed in an aircraft crash in France, and is commemorated on the Felinfach Memorial.

Joseph Emlyn Morgan, Second Engineer, Mercantile Marine. Joseph was born at Trefilan in 1883, the son of John and Mary Morgan. In 1906 he married Rachel Anne Richards, and settled at 8, Penlan Road, Loughor. Joseph served with the Mercantile Marine aboard the S.S. Bamse, a London registered cargo steamer. On 18 April 1918, Bamse was en route from Rouen to Swansea when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-80, with the loss of four lives. Joseph was 34 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Joseph does not appear to be commemorated locally.

World War Two, 1939-1945

 

Christmas Saunders Davies, Aircraftman 1st Class, 1257049, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Chris was the son of David Lewis Davies and Mary Davies, of Hawthorn Cottage, Trefilan, and the husband of Hannah Frances Clarissa Davies, of Aberaeron. He served with the Desert Air Force in North Africa, attached to 113 Maintenance Unit. Chris died on active service in North Africa on 8 February 1942. He was 27 years old, and is buried in Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt.       

 

Thomas Vincent Jones, Sailor, Merchant Navy. Thomas was the son of William and Margaret Jones, of Lluest, Trefilan. He served with the Merchant Navy, aboard the SS Stornest, a Newcastle-on-Tyne registered cargo steamer. Early in the morning of 14 October 1942, Stornest was a straggler from Convoy ONS-136, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-706, and sunk with the loss of 48 lives. Thomas was 20 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

John Francis Williams, Sailor, Merchant Navy. John was the son of David and Elizabeth Williams, of Pantyronen, Llanwnen. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Parracombe, a London registered cargo steamer. On 2 May 1941, Parracombe was on passage from Leith for Malta with a cargo of government store, when she struck a mine, about nine miles off Cape Bon, and sank. Around 25 of her crew survived, but John was among the men killed in the mine explosion. He was 25 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

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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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