West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Eglwysfach War Memorial

Eglwysfach lies in the most northerly parish of Ceredigion, along the A487 road from Aberystwyth to Machynlleth, south of the River Dovey, some twelve miles north of Aberystwyth. It's church is dedicated to St Michael, and outside the church, above the lychgate, is a war memorial to the fallen of the parish from both world wars, which sadly contains no names. This war memorial was unveiled by Lady Webley Parry Pryse on Friday afternoon, 23 April 1920, taking the form of a Celtic cross with crusaders sword, in Cornish granite.  The service was conducted by Rev Lewis Richards vicar of the parish at the time. Inscribed on the cross, which was crafted by Mr T Hughes, of Machynlleth, were the words (In Welsh) “To the glory of God. A Thank offering for the return of those who fought in the Great War 1914-1918 and in grateful remembrance of those who gave their lives for their king and country. Their name liveth for evermore”. The memorial was amended to include the men of WW2, but again no names were added. However, two local men are buried in the churchyard, and another was killed in France, so details of these men are shown below. If anyone has evidence of any other men who should be on this page, please contact me.

The Great War, 1914-1918

Owen Humphreys, Private, 10019, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Owen was born at Towyn, the son of David and Mary Ann Humphreys. After his father's death in 1905, the Owen moved to Furnace Cottage, Eglwysfach to live with his Aunt, Annie Hughes. He worked as a collier at Treharris prior to enlisting into the 1st Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry, and landed with the battalion in France on 10 September 1914, where it was attached to 16 Brigade, 6th Division. Owen was wounded at some time, and after recovering was posted to the 2nd Battalion, KSLI, sending home a series of vivid letters, detailing his experiences at war. By the beginning of 1918 he had been wounded four times, and returned home on leave to recuperate. On 15 June 1918 Owen was joined by a friend from the 2nd KSLI who was also on leave, and the pair borrowed two bicycles to ride into Aberystwyth. Owen crashed his cycle on a bend at Llanbadarn, and sustained injuries which caused him to die in hospital later that day. He was 22 years old, and was buried with full military honours in Eglwysfach (St. Michael) Churchyard.

William Jones, Lance Corporal, 463103, Canadian Infantry. William was born on 18 February 1883, the son of Thomas and Margaret Jones, of Plasmawr, Eglwysfach. After the death of his father prior to 1893, his mother married James Andrew. William emigrated to Canada prior to the war, where he found work as a miner. William had served with the Militia before enlisting under a false age at Vernon, British Columbia on 23 July 1915 into the Canadian Infantry. He was posted to France, joining the 123rd Pioneer Battalion (Royal Grenadiers), Canadian Infantry. On 6 November 1917 William was with a working party which had been detailed to carry out work on the Gravenstafel Road in support of the Canadian assault on Passchendaele. He was found to be missing after the men returned to their billets, and was posted as missing presumed killed in action. William was 34 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Thomas Mathews, Driver, 42228, Royal Field Artillery. Thomas was probably the son of David and Margaret Mathews, of Furnace, Glandyfi. He was a collier prior to enlisting into the Royal Artillery on 28 February 1906, and had served in India prior to returning to England. He was posted to the Middle East with the 63rd Battery, Royal Field Artillery late in 1914. He served with the battery during its move from Egypt into Mesopotamia, as part of the relief force which was attempting to relieve the besieged garrison of Kut-al-Amara. Thomas was taken prisoner by the Turks, and died on the march from Baghdad on 31 August 1916, aged 26. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.

World War Two, 1939-1945

 

James Henry Griffiths, Lance Corporal, 3965599, Welch Regiment. James was the son of Thomas Edward and Mary Elizabeth Griffiths, of Tregynon. He served with the 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The division spent the early years of the war on home service, especially in Northern Ireland, before landing in Normandy at the end of June 1944. James didn't see active service though, as he died at Sittingbourne on 7 June 1943, aged 23, and was brought home to be buried in Eglwysfach (St. Michael) Churchyard.

DONATIONS. This website is an ongoing project which incurs monthly costs, but the greatest expenditure is the work on attempting to gain commemoration for Welsh servicemen who have been 'forgotten' by the CWGC.

 

Donations can be made using the Paypal link below, or by contacting the author via the Contact page.

Website News

14 May 2019. More great news today, having heard that another two Welsh servicemen have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Evan Davies, of Cray, Breconshire; and Ivor John Hiley, of Barry, Glam. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

12 April 2019. Great news again today, having received confirmation that another two Welsh servicemen have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Thomas Leslie Foster Brough, of Panteg; and Jerome O'Leary, of Cwmbran. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

7 March 2019. Great news today, I have received confirmation from the MoD that a previously unknown Welsh Regiment officers grave, which I identified as 2nd Lieutenant Sam Hughes, 10th Welsh, has been verified by them and they will be erecting a new headstone in June 2019. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

22 Feb 2019. More good news today that another Welsh soldier, Edward Coughlin, of Newport, 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.

 

16 Feb 2019. Some more good news today, having received conformation that a former Swansea policeman, Guardsman Patrick Shea, 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.

 

30 Jan 2019. Some more good news, having had confirmation that another Welsh sailor, John William Sommers, of Blackpill, 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.

 

3 Jan 2019. Some more great news to start the New Year, having had confirmation that another two Welsh sailors have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Sidney Joseph Murphy and Edgar Prothero, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

6 Dec 2018. Another piece of good news today, another Welsh soldier has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: George Henry Downer, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

5 Dec 2018. Some more great news today, another four Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Richard Cook, of Newport; Daniel Oscar Evans, of Ystrad; Evan Ivor Isaac Jenkins, of Llanelli; and William John Jones, of Abercarn. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

16 Nov 2018. Again I'm pleased to say that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration today: William Arthur Hopkins, of Talywain; and William Henry Hopkins, of Cymmer. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

15 Nov 2018. Some more great news today that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Sam Cooper, of Trevethin; and Thomas William George, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

14 Nov 2018. Great news today that another four Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Godfrey Dorey, of Neath; John Garvin, of Pontypool; Stanley Griffiths, of Swansea; and William Price, of Abergavenny. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

13 Nov 2018. More great news, the CWGC have accepted another Welsh soldier for commemoration today as a result of my work: Thomas John Hale, of Newport, Mon. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

10 Nov 2018. Great news today that another three Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Richard Charles, of Neath; David Evan Gough, of Merthyr; and William Jones, of Rhyl. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

19 Oct 2018. Some more great news today, after having received confirmation that another three Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Archibald Casswell; Sidney Coker; and Thomas John Joseph, all Swansea men. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

17 Oct 2018. Some great news again today after having received confirmation that another four Welsh servicemen have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Samuel Brooks, of Swansea; David Humphreys, of Pontypool; David Jenkin Jones, of Llwydcoed; and Tudor Emlyn Jones, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

16 Oct 2018. Have today received confirmation that another Welsh serviceman has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: William Henry Lippitt, of Llanhilleth. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

12 Oct 2018. Some great news today that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research:  David Morgan Jenkins, of Swansea; and Jenkin Robert Lewis, of Llanelli. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

6 Mar 2018. Some more good news today that yet another Welsh soldier, Thomas David Rees, of Whitchurch, Cardiff, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

3 Mar 2018. Good news today that another Welsh soldier, Reginald Wilfred Collard, of Whitchurch, Cardiff, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

26 Feb 2018. The second 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.

 

23 Feb 2018. Some good news today that another local man, Gwilym Bennett, of Llanelli, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

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.

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