Llangyndeyrn is a small village that sits in its own parish about seven miles south-east of Carmarthen, and ten miles north-west of Llanelli. I have no photographs of any of the war memorials that may exist in the village, and so the details below are taken from the list of names of local men which were published in the 1922 published Carmarthen County War Memorial roll. As a result of this, I have not shown any local WW2 casualties below, and so any photographs of memorials here would be most welcome.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Richard John Anderson, Private, 20534, Welsh Regiment. Richard was the son of George Richard Anderson and Elizabeth Anderson. He had lived at Glyn Abbey, Llangyndeyrn with his brother William Anderson prior to the war, and enlisted at Kidwelly 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. On 1 March 1916 the battalion marched south to take up new positions on the La Bassée canal, a notorious sector known and feared for underground mining by the Germans. On 9 March 1916 the 15th Welsh were in the front line when the Germans blew an underground mine at I Sap, and followed the explosion up with an artillery barrage. Richard was one of seven men killed that day. He was 24 years old, and is commemorated on the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France. Richard does not seem to be commemorated locally.
Frank Collier, Private, 955, Welsh Regiment. Frank was the son of Amos and Sarah Collier, of Burton on Trent, and the brother of Mrs. M. I. Hall, of 26, Percival Street, Oldham. Prior to the outbreak of war he had resided in Abergwili, then at Llangyndeyrn, where he worked as a servant at the Vicarage. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 4th (Territorial) Battalion, Welsh Regiment. When War was declared in August, 1914, the Territorials were called up, and Frank joined his Battalion at Carmarthen, with the Battalion forming part of the South Wales Brigade. On 17 April 1915 the Battalion were attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, and in July that year sailed with the Division to Alexandria, en route to Gallipoli. On 9 August 1915 the Division landed on Gallipoli, at saw action almost straight away. Frank was killed in action the following day, on 10 August 1915. He is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
David Davies, Private, 12577, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of Daniel and Margaretta Davies, of Peny Bank, Crwbin, Llangyndeyrn. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, part of 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. Towards the end of February the entire Division concentrated at Blackdown in Hampshire. On the 7th June, 1915 orders were received to prepare to move to the Mediterranean. On the 13th June, 1915 the first transports carrying the Division left port, and moved to Alexandria. By the 4th July, all units had moved to Mudros, preparatory for landing on Gallipoli. Between the 6th and 16th July, 1915 the Divisional infantry landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division. They left and returned to Mudros at the end of the month, and the entire Division landed at ANZAC Cove between the 3rd and 5th August, 1915, taking part in the Battles of Sari Bair, Russell's Top, and Hill 60, ANZAC. David was killed at Sari Bair on 8 August, 1915. He was 21 years old and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
John Davies, Private, 27239, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of John and Ann Davies, of The Bird-in-Hand, Cerney, Broughton, Denbighshire. He became a stone mason at Pontantwn, and lived with his wife Charlotte Davies, at Gwendraeth Villa, Pontantwn. John enlisted at Carmarthen into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, who were attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. The Division was formed of volunteers, under the care of the War Office, and the infantry brigades began to assemble on Salisbury Plain. On 13 June 1915 the Division left for Alexandria, and arrived at Mudros on 4 August 1915, preparatory for landing on Gallipoli. Between 6 and 16 July 1915, the Division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division. They left and returned to Mudros at the end of the month, and the entire Division landed at ANZAC Cove between 3 and 5 August 1915, taking part in the Battles of Sari Bair. This is where John was killed in action on 8 August 1915, aged 43. He has no known grave and so is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. John is not commemorated locally.
John Jones, Private, 260106, Cheshire Regiment. John was the son of David and Elizabeth Jones, of Tyrsteps, Crwbin, Llangyndeyrn. He was a carpenter at Pontyates and Pontyberem prior to the war. John enlisted at Carmarthen into the Monmouth Regiment. He later transferred into the 13th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, attached to 74 Brigade, 25th Division. The Division landed in France on 26 September 1915, and were posted to the Vimy area, where they defended Vimy Ridge against a German attack in May 1916. They then moved to the Warloy area and attacked on the 3rd 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, which is where John was killed on 5 August 1917, aged 20. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Henry Lewis, Private, 12578, Welsh Regiment. Henry was the son of Richard and Margaret Lewis, of Tanybont, Crwbin, Kidwelly. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. Towards the end of February 1915 the division concentrated at Blackdown, Hampshire and on 13 June 1915 sailed for Alexandria. During July 1915 the division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division, and the following month moved to ANZAC Cove, taking part in the Battle of Sari Bair. Henry was killed in action here on 8 August 1915, aged 29. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
Reverend Ivor Morgan Lewis, Chaplain, Royal Navy. Ivor was born at Broughton, near Wrexham, on 20 September 1889, the eldest son of Reverend David Lewis and Caroline Lewis, of The Grange, Broughton. His grandparents lived at Pontantown Farm, Llangyndeyrn, and Ivor and his siblings spent much of their holiday time at the farm. Ivor was educated at St John's Foundation School, Leatherhead, Surrey, before graduating from Jesus College, Oxford in 1908 with a BA in Theology, becoming a Curate at Uttoxeter in 1912. By now his family was residing at Llysfaen Rectory in Colwyn Bay. Ivor had served in the University OTC during his time there, and a month after the outbreak of war enlisted into the Royal Navy, and was posted aboard the battleship HMS Goliath as the ships Chaplain. Goliath had been stationed in Pembroke Dock at the outbreak of war and was mobilised into the 8th Battle Squadron, serving as a guard ship in Loch Ewe. She then escorted ships carrying the BEF to France before being despatched to German East Africa. From March 1915 she joined the Naval force which had been sent to the Dardanelles and remained in support of the landings at Gallipoli in April. On 13 May 1915 Goliath was situated off Cape Helles when she was struck by two torpedo’s which had been fired by the Turkish ship Muâvenet-i Millîye, and sunk with the loss of 570 of her crew of 750. Ivor, who was 26 years old, was among the dead. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. He does not appear to be commemorated locally. His brother, John Gordon Lewis, also fell.
John Lewis, Stoker 2nd Class, K/50891, Royal Navy. John was born at Llandyssul on 1 October 1887, the son of Thomas and Martha Lewis. The family moved to Tynewydd, Llangyndeyrn prior to the war, and John found work as a coal miner. John enlisted into the Royal Navy on 3 May 1918, and was posted to HMS Vivid, the Shore Establishment in Plymouth. He suddenly became ill though, and died of meningitis in Plymouth on 21 May 1918, aged just 21. John is buried at Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth. Many thanks to the Cemetery Authorities for supplying the photograph below. John is not commemorated on the County War Memorial roll.
John Gordon Lewis, Private, 323332, London Regiment. John was born on 31 January 1891, the son of Reverend David Lewis and Caroline Lewis, of The Grange, Broughton. His grandparents lived at Pontantown Farm, Llangyndeyrn, and John and his siblings spent much of their holiday time at the farm. In October 1908 John begun working for the National Provincial Bank of England as an apprentice at its Stoke-on-Trent branch. He transferred to Rugeley as a clerk in January 1912; Worcester in January 1913; and Oxford in February 1915. John enlisted at Oxford into The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), and was posted to the 6th Battalion (City of London Rifles), London Regiment in France. He was killed in action at the Battle of Messines, on 7 June 1917, aged 26. John has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. He does not appear to be commemorated locally. His brother Ivor also fell.
Charles Bernard Morland, Lieutenant-Colonel, Welsh Regiment. Charles was born at Montreal on 12 November 1866, the son of Thomas Morland. He had moved to England before 1871, and brought up by his grandparents. Charles married Elma Alice Maud Abadam, of Court Henry, in 1894, a descendant of the Duke of Burgundy, and the couple had residences at Cilcennin and Llangyndeyrn. He was a long serving soldier, and had originally been commissioned into the Welsh Regiment in 1887. He had served with them throughout the Boer War, and at the outbreak of the Great War was given command of the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, part of 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division had fought at Mons, and in the retreat to the Marne, before pushing back the Germans to the Aisne, where they were stopped. It then moved north, taking up positions east of Ypres, on the Menin Road. The Germans had began to push towards the Channel Coast, to force France to capitulate, but between them and their goals lay the ancient City of Ypres, thinly held by the British Expeditionary Force. The gateway to Ypres was via the Menin Road, held by the 2nd Welsh, and a few other battalions, and on 31 October 1914, after a bloody days fighting, the First Battle of Ypres was won here by the British, saving France from disaster. Charles Morland was killed that day when the battalion was fighting a desperate action at Gheluveldt, while around the same time a shell crashed into Hooge Chateau, where the Staff of the 1st and 2nd Divisions were stationed, killing the two Generals in Command. Charles’ body was taken for burial in Ypres, where he rests today in Ypres Town Cemetery. He was 47 years old.
David John Pugh, Private, 11805, Welsh Regiment. David was born at Bolton, but resided at Llangyndeyrn prior to the war. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. Towards the end of February 1915 the division concentrated at Blackdown, Hampshire and on 13 June 1915 sailed for Alexandria. During July 1915 the division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division, and the following month moved to ANZAC Cove, taking part in the Battle of Sari Bair. David was killed in action here on 8 August 1915, aged 34. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
William Rees, Private, 12076, Gloucestershire Regiment. William was the son of Thomas and Anne Rees, of Ystrad Fawr, Llandefeilog. He enlisted at Pentre into the 7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, which was part of 39 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. William fought on Gallipoli with the Division, but was one of many men evacuated from the Peninsula suffering from dysentery. He was brought by Hospital Ship to the Hospital at Malta, where he died on 23 November, 1915. William was just 19 years old and is buried at Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta.
John Skelton, Private, 11471, Welsh Regiment. John was born at St. Jude's, Bristol, the son of William and Emily Skelton. He worked as a Farm Hand at Llangyndeyrn prior to the war, and enlisted into the 4th Welsh at Carmarthen on 10 August 1914, aged 18. John was posted to France on 1 June 1915, to join the 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 84 Brigade, 28th Division, and in November 1915 the Division moved to Salonika. John became ill with enteric fever in Salonika, and was shipped to Hospital in Egypt. He was discharged from the army as medically unfit on 15 August 1916. John went back to Bristol to live, and resided at 25, Little James Street. He must have died after discharge [or may even have not died, and been incorrectly listed on the memorial]. He is not commemorated on either the Commonwealth War Graves Register or on Soldiers Died in the Great War, and so further research is on-going.
D. Thomas, Private, Welsh Regiment. This man cannot presently be identified.
John Walters, Private, 201326, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of Thomas and Margaret Walters, of Lan Farm, Llangyndeyrn, and he enlisted at Carmarthen into the local Territorial Battalion, the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion was part of 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, moved to the Mediterranean, sailing from Devonport in July 1915, and landing on 8 August 1915. Here the division was thrown into battle in unfamiliar country, and suffered heavy losses 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 then Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, and in early 1917 moved into Palestine, where they remained for the duration of the war, fighting at the First Battle of Gaza, which is when John was killed, on 26 March 1917. He was 22 years old and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Arthur James Davies, Private, 3963477, Welch Regiment. Arthur was the son of Watkyn and Margaret Davies, of Llangyndeyrne and the husband of Margaret Avril Davies, of Porthcawl, Glamorgan. He served with the local Territorial battalion, the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The division had spent much of the war on home service, first in Northern Ireland and then in the south of England and at the end of July 1944 sailed for Normandy to take part in the break out from the beach-head. Following hard fighting in Normandy the division advanced northwards through France into Belgium and then took part in Operation Market Garden, Montgomery’s audacious drive towards the Rhine crossing at Arnhem through Holland. The operation was ultimately a failure, so the 53rd (Welsh) Division began to take part in operations to clear the Germans from northern Holland. Arthur was killed during the divisions assault on the strongly defended towns of Nuland and S’Hertogenbosch on 24 October 1944. He was 24 years old and is buried in Uden War Cemetery.
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5 Feb 2018. The first volume of my latest book 'The Welsh at War' has been published today and is available from all good bookshops. Please see the Steve's Books page for details.
27 Jan 2018. Some good news again, that Thomas Arthur Edward Pugsley, of Ynysboeth, has recently been accepted by the CWGC for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
22 Jan 2018. I have received news that a sailor from Swansea, James Carne, who I had researched, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
1 December 2017. A new section has been added to the website, which will cover some war memorials in Glamorgan, more especially the memorials nearest to the county border with Carmarthenshire. More will be added as time allows.
4 November 2017. Some good news this week following the discovery, after much searching, of the grave of Private Thomas Davies, of Laugharne. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers page of the website for details.
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.
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.