West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Llanelli (Pentip School) Memorial

Pentip Church in Wales Primary School was built on land donated by David Mansel Lewis, and the work was paid for by Colonel Stepney. The school opened to pupils in 1868, and was in use until 1983, when the school was demolished and moved to the old School of Art at Llanelli. Over 300 former pupils of the school served during the Great War, 46 of which gave their lives. These men are commemorated on a framed bronze plaque, which is displayed over a stairway at the Pentip School. The photograph of the memorial has been kindly sent in by Lisa Voyle.

TO THE GLORY OF GOD

AND IN HONOUR OF

300 FORMER SCHOLARS OF THIS SCHOOL

WHO VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE IN THE GREAT WAR

AND

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

THE FOLLOWING WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES

FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY.

 

The Great War, 1914-1918

 

Gwilym Bennett, Private, 46765, South Wales Borderers. Gwilym was the son of David John Bennett and Cecilia Bennett, of 6, Sandy Gate Terrace, Llanelli. He was educated at Pentip School prior to enlisting into the South Wales Borderers on 28 December 1916. He was posted to the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. Gwilym was invalided home and discharged from the army on 18 February 1919. He died at Llanelli on 8 May 1919. Gwilym is buried in Box Cemetery, Llanelli, together with his parents and several of his siblings. He is not commemorated by the CWGC. His father David had been one of the original members of the 15th Welsh (Carmarthen Pals).

William Henry Bodman, Private, 8510, Royal Irish Regiment. William was the son of William and Sarah Ann Bodman, of 134, Old Castle Road, Llanelli. He was a Tinplater prior to the war, and enlisted at Llanelli into the Hussars on 30 August 1914. He embarked for France on 22 June 1915 to join the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, which was attached to 22 Brigade, 7th Division. William then fought at the Battle of Loos in September, and moved with his Battalion to the Somme in July 1916. He was killed there at the Battle of Delville Wood on 3 September 1916, aged 24. William is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.

Robert Bowser, Lance Corporal, 202636, Welsh Regiment. Robert was the son of Alfred and Hannah Bowser, of 13, Hall Street, Llanelli. He joined the 18th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. The Division moved to France during June 1916, and moved to the front near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, and remained in the area over the winter. In March 1917 the Germans withdrew to their shortened line, called the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division were one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. Later in the year they took part in the Battle of Cambrai, playing an important role in the attack on Bourlon Wood. They remained in the area over the coming months, but were caught here by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918, and suffered heavy casualties in the coming days. Robert was probably wounded here, and sent back to Britain for treatment. He died of his wounds at the King George Hospital, London on 29 April 1918, aged 32, and is buried at Llanelli (Old Road) Church Cemetery.

Hubert Brabyn Chapman, Private, 43584, Worcestershire Regiment. Hubert was the son of James and Annie Chapman, of 38, Pembrey Road, Llanelli. He enlisted there into the Cheshire Regiment, and was later posted to the 2/8th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, which was attached to 182 Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. The Division moved to the Western Front in May 1916, moving to positions at Fromelles, and took part in the disastrous attack there on 19 July 1916. The Division suffered very heavy casualties, and didn’t see action again until March 1917, when it followed the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. Later that year it fought at the Battle of Langemarck. The Division then moved south, where it took part in the Battle of Cambrai. During March 1918 the Division was holding the forward defences in the sector northwest of Saint Quentin, near Ham, and lost many men during the coming days. After suffering heavy casualties, the depleted Division was moved to Flanders to rest, but the Germans launched the second phase of their offensive here just weeks later, seeing the Division in the thick of the action again. Hubert was wounded on 9 April 1918, and died two days later, on 11 April 1918, aged 18. He is buried at Lillers Communal Cemetery, France.

William Coleman, MM, Sergeant, 4947, Machine Gun Corps. William was the adopted son of William and Hester Carpenter, Fruiterers, of Church Street, Llanelli. He lived with his wife Sarah Jane Coleman, and two children, at 8, Ford Road, Velindre, Port Talbot. William enlisted into the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the Carmarthen Pals battalion, but later transferred into the 62nd Company, Machine Gun Corps, which was attached to the 21st Division. The Division crossed to France during September 1915, and saw its first action at the Battle of Loos. They moved to the Somme in 1916, and fought at the Battle of Albert. William was killed on the Somme on 13 July 1916, aged 28. He had no known grave, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. William had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery prior to his death.

Ernest Wilberforce Davies, Private, 49278, Royal Army Medical Corps. Ernest was the son of Thomas Rhys Davies and Margaret Davies, of Compton House, Vaughan Street, Llanelli. Educated at Llandovery from 1909 to 1912, Ernest entered St. David's College, Lampeter, where he was studying at the time when he volunteered for military service, enlisting into the Royal Army Medical Corps at Llanelli. Ernest sailed for the Mediterranean on 13 June 1915, and landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, in early August, in preparation for the attack on Sari Bair. His Unit, the 39th Field Ambulance, established a Dressing Station at the crossroads near Aghyl Dere in preparation for the attack. Ernest was shot in the abdomen and died of wounds on 13 August 1915, aged 23. He is commemorated on a Special Memorial at the 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli.

John Rees Davies, Private, 10111, South Wales Borderers. John was the son of William and Janet Davies, of 28, Mill Lane, Llanelli. He had enlisted around 1908 into the South Wales Borderers, and was with the 2nd Battalion at the outbreak of war. The battalion fought an action against the German garrison at Tientsin, China, before returning to England, where it joined 87 Brigade, 29th Division. The Division moved to Gallipoli via Egypt, landing on 25 April 1915 at Suvla Bay. John was killed during the Second Battle of Krithia on 8 May 1915. He was 24 years old, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. His brother William also fell.

 

William Davies, Private, 16412, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of William and Janet Davies, of 28, Mill Lane, Llanelli, and the brother-in-law of David Fisher, of 28, Mill Lane, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was the Pioneer Battalion to the 25th Division. The Division landed in France on 26 September 1915, and was posted to the Vimy area. They then moved to the Somme, and attacked on 3 July near Thiepval. They fought throughout the Battle of the Somme, and then moved to Ploegsteert, where they held the line for the months leading up the Battle of Messines in June 1917. After fighting at Messines, the Division moved north, and fought at Pilckem, before moving south again, where they took up positions around Bullecourt in reserve. William was wounded here, and died on 25 January 1918, aged 24. He is buried at Grevillers British Cemetery, Bapaume, France. His brother John Rees Davies also fell.

Alfred Evans, Private, 12878, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Alfred was the son of William and Rachel Evans, of 10, Sandy Gate Terrace, Llanelli. He enlisted there into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division moved 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. Alfred was killed during the attack near Givenchy that day. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

Sidney Picton Evans, Lance Corporal, 488, Royal Engineers. Sidney was the son of David and Amelia Evans of Glanmor Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Neyland into the 1/1st Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. He landed in Gallipoli on 2 August 1915 and was sadly killed in action soon after, on 21 August 1915, aged 28, during the Defence of Helles. Sidney is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Gallipoli. His brothers George and Harry also served with the Welsh Field Company, but survived the war.

Henry William Glover, Private, 12906, Welsh Regiment. Henry was the son of Richard Montague and Martha Glover, of 6, Greenfield Villas, Llanelli. At the outbreak of war he joined the 3rd Welsh, and was posted to France in March 1915, where he joined the 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 84 Brigade, 28th Division. Henry was killed a month later, during the Second Battle of Ypres, on 18 April 1915. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium.

Evan Frederick Griffiths, Private, 356401, King's Liverpool Regiment. Evan was the son of Rhys Gwilym Griffiths, M.E., and Leah Griffiths, of Arfryn, Pontyberem. Evan had been educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and had graduated with a B.A. He enlisted at Southport, Cheshire into the 13th Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment, which had crossed to France in September 1915 attached to 76 Brigade, 25th Division. Here the Brigade was attached to the 3rd Division, before the Battalion transferred to 8 Brigade, 3rd Division, at Ypres. They took part in actions at Bellewaarde and St. Eloi before moving to 9 Brigade, still with the 3rd Division, and moving to the Somme. Evan was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme, on 16 August 1916. He was 27 years old, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas Harries, Private, 13164, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Thomas was the son of William and Catherine Harries, of Coed-y-Cefn, Sandy Road, Llanelli. He worked for the Great Western Railway at Pembrey prior to the war, and married Elizabeth Evans in 1912. She later moved to 110, Conran Street, Harpurhey, Manchester. Thomas enlisted at Llanelli into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France between 11 and 21 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. 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. Thomas was killed here by shrapnel on 3 July 1916, and was buried on the battlefield by his friend, Sid Phillips of Llanelli. He was 26 years old, and is today commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, as his grave was lost during further fighting over the area.

William George Harris, Private, 4081, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of Elias Charles and Margaret Harris, of 12, Raby Street, Llanelli. 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. William was killed during the latter stages of the campaign, on 16 November 1915. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Lala Baba Cemetery, Gallipoli.

Benjamin Charles Esmond Herbert, Corporal, S4/161738, Royal Army Service Corps. Benjamin was the son of Benjamin and Ellen Herbert, of Harwood, New Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Cardiff into the Army Service Corps, and was posted to the Middle East attached to the 1st Echelon, G.H.Q. Benjamin drowned in Egypt on 3 August 1918. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Brynmor James, Driver, 943, Royal Engineers. Brynmor was the son of David and Mary Ann James, of 19, Greenway Street, Llanelli. He was a tinplater prior to enlisting in September 1914 into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, with the service number 13135, but was discharged at Wrexham as unfit after six weeks. He then enlisted as a Driver in the 3rd/1st Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers in early 1915. Brynmor spent months training in various parts of England and Wales, Bedford, Salisbury and Caernarfon before he was posted to the Middle East. The climate in Egypt was harsh, and Brynmor became ill, boarding the hospital ship HMHS Egypt in June 1916 and returned home. Brynmor was discharged from the army for the second time on 12 August 1916, and died at home at 19, Greenway Street, Llanelli on 16 March 1917 from tuberculosis, aged 22. He was buried with full military honours at Llanelli (Old Road) Church Cemetery. Within months his brother Idwal was killed.

David Idwal James, Private, 29194, South Wales Borderers. Idwal was the son of David and Mary Ann James, of 19, Greenway Street, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the South Wales Borderers in January 1916, and was posted to France on 19 May 1917, where he joined the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. The Division was at Arras, and was just about to move to Ypres to relieve the 38th (Welsh) Division at Boesinghe. David was killed at Ypres on 4 July 1917 when a German shell hit a machine-gun pit that he was sharing with Privates Pitt and Morgan. He was 20 years old, and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium. His brother Brynmor had died just four months earlier.

William Alfred James, Private, 969, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of John and Ann James, of Seaside, Llanelli. He married Margaret Ann Jones in December 1912, and they lived at 11, Railway Place, Seaside, Llanelli. William 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. William was killed towards the end of the Gallipoli campaign, on 10 December 1915. He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.

 

Sam Jenkins. This man cannot be positively identified, as two men of that name from Llanelli died in the war.

 

William Owen John, Private, 11816, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of Joshua and Mary John, of 8, Park View Terrace, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, and served at Gallipoli before being wounded and returning home, where he was attached to the 3rd Welsh. He died on 11 June 1918, aged 29, and is buried at Box Cemetery, Llanelli.

 

David Jones. This man cannot be positively identified, but he appears to have died before 1916.

 

David Richard Jones, Gunner, 123893, Royal Garrison Artillery. David was the son of David and Elizabeth Jones, of 34, Lakefield Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Port Talbot into the Royal Garrison, Artillery, and was posted to France where he joined 284th Siege Battery, RGA. David was wounded during the Second Battle of Bapaume. He died of wounds on 3 September 1918, aged 31, and is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

David Wynne Jones, Private, 5161, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of Daniel and Jane Jones, of 8, West End, Llanelli. 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. David was killed here on 10 August 1915. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Gallipoli.

John Knill, Private, 118303, Machine Gun Corps. John was the son of Thomas John and Bessie Knill, of 9, Sandy gate Terrace, Llanelli. He married May Ryan in 1911, and the couple set up home at Erw Fach, Pwll, where they raised three children. John enlisted at Pembrey into the Welsh Regiment, but was posted to the North Lancashire Regiment. John was then transferred to the 59th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, which was attached to the 59th (2nd North Midland) Division. John was killed during the German Spring Offensive, at the Battle of St. Quentin, on 21 March 1918, aged 28. He is buried at Ontario Cemetery, Sains-Le-Marquion, France.

John William Albert Kydd, Second Lieutenant, Lancashire Fusiliers. John was born on 17 September 1898, the son of David and Mary Helen Fraser Kydd, of Tyrfran, Llanelli. He was commissioned into the Lancashire Fusiliers on 31 July 1917, and posted to France where he joined the 19th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. The battalion was the Pioneer battalion to the 49th (West Riding) Division. John joined the Division at Ypres, and took part in the Battle of Poelcapelle that year. The Division remained in Flanders over the final winter of the war, working on trench construction in the Zonnebeke sector during March 1918. On 26 March 1918 John was with B Company of the battalion at work on the construction of Patoka Trench when they came under artillery fire, killing John and wounding two other ranks, forcing them to withdraw. John was 19 years old, and is buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Cyril William Victor Lewis, Lieutenant, Middlesex Regiment. Cyril was born on 20 June 1893, the son of William Henry and Rachel Lewis, of York House, Llanelli. Cyril started his schooling at Llanelli, before receiving his education at Llandovery from 1906 until 1912. While at Llandovery he won a Scholarship to St. John's College, Oxford, and it was there, while a student, that he volunteered for the Army in 1914. He was commissioned into the Middlesex Regiment, and served in France with the 1st Battalion, which was attached to 98 Brigade, 33rd Division. After 18 in France Cyril was wounded, and returned home for treatment. In September 1917 he took a draft of men to Ireland, and on his return visited Llanelli before setting off for Chatham. On 3 October 1917 Cyril was killed during a firing practice when a faulty cartridge back-fired, breaking the bolt of his rifle and piercing his neck. He was 24 years old, and was buried with full military honours at Llanelli Church Cemetery on 8 October 1917. Cyril had two brothers, namely Cecil and Lewis Lewis, both of whom served with the Welsh Regiment in France.

 

David James Lewis, Sergeant, 5732, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was the son of James and Mary Lewis, of 39, Prospect Place, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli on 27 August 1914 into the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The battalion had landed at Boulogne on 27 September 1915 with 76 Brigade, and joined the 3rd Division the following month. The Division moved south to the Somme, where they took part in the Battle of the Somme, where they captured Longueval. David was killed here on 20 July 1916, during the attempt to capture Delville Wood, in the same action that two men of his battalion won the Victoria Cross. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas James Lewis, Private, 3045, Welsh Guards. Thomas was the son of Henry and Mary Ann Lewis, of 10, West End, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the Welsh Guards, which had been formed on 26 February 1915. Thomas was posted to France, where he joined the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which was attached to the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The Division had its first major action at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, and in 1916 fought at the Battle of the Somme. 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 the Pilckem, and then at the Battle of the Menin Road, Battle of Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. Thomas was killed at Passchendaele on 12 October 1917 whilst bringing rations up to his comrades in the front line. He was 24 years old. Thomas was originally buried by his comrades, but his grave was lost during further fighting over the area so he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. The memorial states “Thos Jno Lewis” but I cannot trace a Llanelli man with that name who fell.

William Lance Royston Lewis, Private, 201747, Welsh Regiment. Lance was the son of Arthur and Margaret Jane Lewis, of 1, Mansel Street, Llanelli. He enlisted at Cardiff 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. Lance was killed during the First Battle of Gaza, on 26 March 1917, aged 20. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

Thomas George Parry, Private, PLY/15060, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Thomas was born on 12 November 1891, the son of Arthur Rees Parry and Margaret Parry, of Thomas Street, Llanelli. He had enlisted into the Royal Marines during 1909, and had seen service around the world prior to the outbreak of war. Thomas then joined the crew of HMS Goliath, which was a Reserve battleship, attached to the 3rd Fleet (Pembroke Reserve), at Pembroke Dock. Goliath was sent to the Mediterranean, where her guns covered the landings on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. She saw considerable action at Gallipoli, but on 13 May 1915 was struck by torpedoes from the Turkish MTB Muavenet, and sank with heavy loss of life. Thomas was 23 years old when he went down with Goliath that day, and he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.

William Henry Poyntz, Private, 3649, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of Police Sergeant William Henry Poyntz and Miriam Poyntz, of Llanelli. He married Sophia J Thomas, of 10, Cornish Place, Llanelli in 1913. William worked for the GWR prior to the war and 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. William was wounded at Gallipoli, and died at sea on 31 August 1915, aged 22. He was buried at sea, so is commemorate on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.

 

Richard Wells Rees, Private, 200879, Welsh Regiment. Richard was the son of William George and Sarah Rees, of New Houses, Upper William Street, Llanelli. 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, 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. Richard was transferred into the 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment in Palestine, and took ill and died in hospital at Cairo on 12 June 1918. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

George Lewis Rogers, Private, 20463, Border Regiment. George was the son of John and Ann Rogers, of Caerelms, Llanelli. He enlisted at Carlisle into the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, which was attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. The Division moved to Gallipoli via Egypt, landing on 25 April 1915. They remained here until evacuation to Egypt on 11 January 1916 and then moved to the Western Front on 15 March 1915. 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. George was wounded here, and died on 28 October 1916. He was 34 years old, and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, France.

Arthur Samuel, Private, 75208, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Arthur was the son of David and Mary Ann Samuel, of 9, Spring Gardens, Llanelli. He enlisted there into the 4th Welsh, and was posted to France in 1918, joining the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which had joined 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division in February 1918, before moving to positions north of Albert on the Somme. On 21 August 1918 the Division began to cross the River Ancre, capturing Thiepval Ridge and Pozières before pushing towards Longueval and Sailly-Saillisel. Arthur was killed during the advance, on 1 September 1918, aged 19. He is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France. His brother Sydney also fell.

James Roscoe Samuel, Second Lieutenant, North Staffordshire Regiment. James was the son of James and Elizabeth Samuel, of 57, Coldstream Street, Llanelli. The family later moved to St. Edward's Vicarage, Barnsley, Yorks. He served with the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry before being commissioned into the North Staffordshire Regiment, and was posted to Mesopotamia on 4 July 1916, where he joined the 7th Battalion, North Staffs, which was attached to 39 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. James was killed in action here on 25 January 1917, aged 34. He is buried at Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

 

Sydney Samuel, Private, 200928, Welsh Regiment. Sydney was the son of David and Mary Ann Samuel, of 9, Spring Gardens, Llanelli. He served with 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 survived the war, and was still in Egypt with the 4/5th Welsh when he took ill and died on 24 May 1919, aged 26. He is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. His brother Arthur also fell.

 

William John Saunders, Private, 1669, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of David Saunders and Ann Saunders (nee Lewis), of Caerelms, Llanelli. He married Elizabeth Ann Thomas in 1905, and the couple lived at Wern Road, Llanelli, and had worked as a Coal Hewer and as a Tinman prior to the war. He enlisted at Llanelli at the outbreak of war into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was in France attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division and joined the battalion in France on 23 November 1914. The Division had been one of the first to arrive in France, fighting at the Battle of Mons, and taking part in the retreat to the Marne, where the Germans were stopped. They then fought at the Aisne, and at Chivy, before being moved north to Ypres. Here they fought at the First Battle of Ypres, where they again stopped the German Offensive, before wintering in Flanders. William was killed near Givenchy on 28 December 1914, aged 31. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg L'Avoue, France.

W. Thomas. This man cannot be identified.

 

William John Thomas, Private, 200433, Welsh Regiment. William was probably the son of John Henry and Sarah Ann Thomas, of 6, Swanfield Place, Llanelli. He had enlisted there into the Welsh Regiment, and served in France with the 6th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the Pioneer battalion to the 1st Division. William took ill in France, and came home for treatment, but died on 3 February 1918, aged 19. He is buried at Old Road Church Cemetery, Llanelli.

William Llewellyn Thomas, Private, 34133, South Lancashire Regiment. William was the son of William Llewellyn Thomas and Martha Thomas, of Wenvoe House, Pentrepoeth, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but later transferred into the 1/5th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, which was part of 166 Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division. The Division moved to France during January 1916, moving to Arras. They moved to the Somme in July 1916, and fought here until relieving the 29th Division at Ypres in October 1916, being stationed near Railway wood. The Division fought at the Third Battle of Ypres from July 1917, and in September and moved to positions near Lempire, and fought at the Battle of Cambrai. The Division relieved 42nd (East Lancashire) Division in the front line at Givenchy and Festubert on 15 February 1918, and faced numerous strong enemy raids in March. April was at first much quieter, but it was a lull before the storm, as the Germans launched another offensive here, with the Division taking part in the Battle of Estaires. William was wounded here, and sadly died of wounds on 23 April 1918, aged 41. He is buried at Pernes British Cemetery, France. There is an inscription to his memory on his parents’ grave at Felinfoel Churchyard. Many thanks to Emma Lister for the photograph of William.

James Walters, Gunner, 188021, Royal Field Artillery. James was the son of Evan and Mary Walters, of 25, Raby Street, Llanelli. He enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Field Artillery, and was posted to France, where he joined ‘Y’, 17th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 17th (Northern) Division. James was killed during the opening day of the German Spring Offensive, at the Battle of St. Quentin on 21 March 1918, aged 25. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.

Thomas Wilkins, Private, 13136, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Thomas was the son of Walter and Jane Wilkins, of Cwm, Furnace, and worked as a Gardener to Major Bythway prior to the war. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division moved 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. Thomas was killed during the charge across No Man's Land that day. He was 18 years old, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

John Henry Williams. John cannot presently be identified, but he died after 1916.

John Basil Percy Williams, Private, 19981, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. John was born at Param, West Indies, the son of Reverend William Rhys Williams and Sara Jane Williams. The family returned to Wales when John was young, and he was educated at Ystrad Meurig Grammar School before entering St. David's College, Lampeter on 16 October 1908. He enlisted at Llandudno late in 1914 into the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to the Welsh Division (later 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division). The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The attack on the wood began on 7 July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until 14 July to totally clear the wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties at Mametz, and were taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild. John was among a batch of men attached to the 254th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers at Ypres, and was killed there on 25 June 1917. He was 28 years old, and is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Sydney Williams, Corporal, 13163, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Sydney was the son of David and Jane Williams, of 5, Park View Terrace, Llanelli. He enlisted there into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was part of 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos, form where they fought during the opening attack of the Battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915. Sydney was wounded at Loos, and brought back to the UK for treatment, but sadly died of wounds in Suffolk on 20 October 1915, aged 24. He was buried at Felinfoel (Adulam) Baptist Burial Ground. Many thanks to Sarah Bassett for the photo of his grave.

Robert Haydn Wise, Private, 1965, Royal Army Medical Corps. Robert was the son of William and Ellen Wise, of Baglan House, Pembrey Road, Llanelli. He enlisted at Swansea into the Royal Army Medical Corps in October 1914, and was posted to the 1/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance, attached to the 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. Robert was wounded in Palestine, and died on 11 April 1918. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.

GWELL ANGAU NA CHYWILYDD

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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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