West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

15th (Carmarthen) Battalion, Welsh Regiment

Raised as part of the Welsh Army Corps, the Carmarthenshire Battalion had a glorious career during the war. The Battalion was first raised in Swansea during October and November 1914, by the Carmarthenshire County Committee, attached to 129 Brigade, 43rd Division, and was composed at first of men recruited from Lancashire. Recruiting in Lancashire was stopped at the end of 1914, and all subsequent recruiting was carried out in Carmarthenshire and South Wales. The preliminary training of the battalion was carried out at Rhyl.

 

From 28 April 1915 the Battalion became attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, part of K4. In the summer of 1915 the Battalion moved with the remainder of the Welsh Division to Morn Hill Camp, Winchester, where it completed its training and equipping, and embarked for France from Folkestone on 5 December 1915, disembarking at Boulogne the same day.

 

During the winter and spring of 1916 the Battalion held nearly every section of the British line from Givenchy on the La Bassee Canal to Laventie, about six miles South of Armentieres. At the end of May, 1916, the Battalion moved South with the remainder of the 38th (Welsh) Division to the Somme area, in readiness for the First Battle of The Somme, which commenced on 1 July 1916. After the attack on Mametz Wood on 11 and 12 July the Battalion moved north to Hebuterne, where it remained for about a month.

 

In August 1916 the Battalion moved North again to the Ypres Salient, where it remained for twelve months, during which period it held different sections in the northern-most part of the Salient, from Ypres to Boesinghe. It took part in the attack on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917, with the remainder of the 38th Division. On 16 August 1917 the Battalion was temporarily attached to the 20th (Light) Division for the attack on Langemarck. For its work on the latter occasion it received a special letter of thanks from the G.O.C., 20th Division.

 

In September 1917, the Battalion moved South again to the Armentieres district, where it was employed in holding the line until the end of March 1918, when it was moved south again to the Albert Sector in support of the hard-pressed troops, who had been driven back by the German Offensive of 21 March. From April 1918 to August 1918, the Battalion was in the line from Albert to Aveluy Wood and Mesnil. On 24 August  1918, A and B Companies of the Battalion, under the Command of Captain G. W. Lancaster, MC., who afterwards died of wounds, crossed the Ancre at St. Pierre Divion, worked down the opposite bank, driving out the Germans as they advanced, and then opened up the remaining crossings over the river for the remainder of the Division, who crossed on the following day.

 

From 25 August 1918 until the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Helme, D.S.O., took part in every engagement in which the 38th (Welsh) Division was involved, the most important of these being the capture of the Ancre, the capture of Morval, crossing of the Canal Du Nord, Gouzeaucourt, Villers Outreaux, Selle River crossing, and Mormal Forest. During this period its casualties amounted to 40 Officers and 900 Other Ranks killed and wounded. The casualties of the Battalion since landing in France were approximately as follows:

 

                          Killed                    Wounded             Missing

Officers              26                          48                            -

Other Ranks       393                        1073                       43

 

The Carmarthenshire Battalion won a full share of military distinctions, among which were: Lieutenant Colonel E. Helme won the D.S.O. and Bar; Lieutenant Colonel T. W. Parkinson the D.S.O.; Acting Major J. A. Daniel the D.S.O. and M.C.; Captains J. Williams, T. Landman and F. H. Jordan, the M.C. and Bar; and the following officers won the M.C.: Captains J. C. MacDonald, J. D. Sampson, G. W. Lancaster (died of wounds), P. R. Ayres (Adjutant), F. C. Palmer, C. Bevington, W. N. Soden R.A.M.C., D. R. Thomas, J. R. G. Morgan (Quartermaster), Lieutenants G. E. Berry, G. H. Minshall (killed), M. G. Bostock, B. G. Fox, R. A. Griffiths, G. E. Lowe (killed), F. Roberts, J. Glyn Williams, L. J. Thomas, J. Evans, W. P. B. Ashton, Lieutenants J. P. Morgan, E. J. Patterson, A. G. Demay (C.S. M.O.R.C.P. attached).

 

Twenty-two men were awarded the D.C.M., three the M.M.  and Bar, sixty four the M.M., one M.S.M., four foreign decorations and sixteen were mentioned in despatches.

 

The Cadre of the Battalion, consisting of three Officers and twelve other ranks, disembarked at Southampton on 23 May 1919, after three years and six months of service in France. Of those who went out with the Battalion in 1915, the following returned with the Cadre: Lieutenant Colonel T. W. Parkinson, D.S.O., Captain and Quartermaster J. R. G. Morgan, M.C., R.Q.M.S. S. T. Evans, M.S.S., C.Q.M.S. Roberts, Sergeant Millichap, Corporal Paget, Corporal T. C. Johns, Lance Corporal J. O'Leary.

 

Battle Honours earned by the Battalion during the Great War were:

 

The Battle of Albert,

The Battle of the Pilckem

The Battle of Langemarck

The Battle of Albert

The Battle of Bapaume

The Battle of Havrincourt

The Battle of Epehy

The Battle of Beaurevoir

The Battle of Cambrai, 1918

The Battle of the Selle

The Battle of the Sambre

Casualties of the 15th Welsh

 

After some years of research into the 15th Welsh, I have compiled what I believe to be the definitive list of men who were either serving with the battalion, or had served with the battalion and transferred to other units who died during the war. A large number of these men are commemorated on war memorials in west Wales and can be found scattered throughout this website. The number of these men amounts to 682 casualties, much higher than official figures, and includes forty nine officers. Work is still underway to produce a nominal roll of all who served with the battalion, but once this is complete it will be added to the website as well. It will be noted that Captain Anthony Charles Frank Appleton, below, died during World War Two!

 

Rank

Name

Number

Date Died

Major

Anthony, Percy

 

10/07/1916

Major

Phillips, Christian Gibson

 

10/07/1916

Captain

Appleton, Anthony Charles Frank

 

18/09/1941

Captain

Chamberlain, John MC.

 

14/05/1917

Captain

David, Thomas William

 

27/07/1917

Captain

Davies, Percy Hier

 

16/08/1917

Captain

Humphreys, Percy Lloyd

 

31/07/1917

Captain

Lancaster, Gerald William, MC.

 

14/09/1918

Captain

Lloyd, Thomas Glyn

 

10/05/1918

Captain

Lord, Arthur

 

12/02/1917

Lieutenant

Bainbrigge, Philip Gillespie

 

18/09/1918

Lieutenant

Burgess, Reginald

 

07/07/1916

Lieutenant

Firbank, Godfrey Benjamin Joseph

 

11/09/1916

Lieutenant

Griffiths, Gwyn Arthur

 

02/06/1917

Lieutenant

Newman, Leslie Cambridge

 

27/12/1917

Lieutenant

Protheroe, William Bertram

 

12/06/1917

Lieutenant

Reese, William

 

02/02/1917

Lieutenant

Richards, William John

 

12/10/1918

Lieutenant

Roberts, Arthur Horbury Starkey

 

04/11/1918

Lieutenant

Sampson, Richard Harry

 

29/10/1918

Lieutenant

Hughes, David John

 

08/03/1921

Second Lieutenant

Bladon, Henry James

 

01/09/1918

Second Lieutenant

Bowen, William

 

30/08/1918

Second Lieutenant

David, Frederick John Louis

 

18/09/1918

Second Lieutenant

Evans, Frederick William

 

28/10/1916

Second Lieutenant

Evans, Robert Charles

 

24/08/1918

Second Lieutenant

George, Elmor Wright

 

10/05/1918

Second Lieutenant

Hall, John Reginald

 

10/07/1916

Second Lieutenant

Hughes, Thomas

 

08/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

James, Charles Llewellyn

 

10/05/1918

Second Lieutenant

James, Evan

 

27/07/1917

Second Lieutenant

Jones, Cecil Norman

 

09/11/1917

Second Lieutenant

Jones, Henry Myrddin, MID.

 

13/11/1916

Second Lieutenant

Jones, John Humphrey

 

08/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Jones, John Owen

 

06/06/1917

Second Lieutenant

Jones, Tom Watson

 

08/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Kelk, Arthur Frederick Hastings, MC

 

09/03/1917

Second Lieutenant

Lowe, George Ernest, MC.

 

28/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Lucas, Clifton Mallet

 

10/07/1916

Second Lieutenant

Minshull, George Henry, MC.

 

20/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Morgan, George Elton

 

19/08/1917

Second Lieutenant

Owen, William David

 

11/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Pilling, William, M.C.

 

22/10/1918

Second Lieutenant

Postlethwaite, William

 

14/03/1918

Second Lieutenant

Radmilovic, John

 

03/11/1918

Second Lieutenant

Rees, Ivor Guest

 

05/08/1916

Second Lieutenant

Reeves, Harry Charles

 

24/08/1916

Second Lieutenant

Roberts, Victor George

 

27/07/1917

Second Lieutenant

Watts, Albert Edward

 

22/04/1918

Private

Absalom, Herbert

59245

20/08/1917

Private

Acock, Frank

202111

11/03/1918

Private

Aldridge, George

21011

07/07/1916

Private

Allen, Arthur Laugharne

291399

23/03/1918

Private

Allen, Harry Montague

20965

11/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Allen, Wilfred

12538

21/09/1918

Private

Allen, William Henry

20100

11/07/1916

Private

Anderson, Richard John

20534

09/03/1916

Private

Andrews, Edward James

54810

27/07/1917

Private

Andrews, John Edward

285360

07/09/1917

Lance Corporal

Antell, Arthur

47485

24/02/1917

Private

Appleyard, Ernest

72805

01/09/1918

Private

Arthur, William Thomas

54130

01/09/1918

Private

Arthurs, Albert

20001

 

Private

Ashman, George

33276

01/08/1917

Private

Ashton, George William

47659

28/07/1917

Private

Axford, Stanley

72983

27/08/1918

Private

Badnell, Arthur John

285395

11/03/1918

Serjeant

Bagnall, Joseph John

67421

04/09/1919

Private

Baker, James

291733

19/09/1918

Private

Balderson, Robert

20292

19/03/1916

Private

Ball, Edward

54605

26/08/1918

Private

Ball, James Ellis

20074

10/07/1916

Private

Banwell, Francis George

20815

05/11/1919

Private

Barnett, George Leonard

20346

18/09/1918

Private

Barnett, William John

35104

24/08/1918

Lance Corporal

Barrow, Arthur

23852

09/10/1918

Private

Barrow, George

37384

11/03/1918

Private

Bartlett, Robert James

59780

22/08/1917

Private

Bassett, Robert William

20796

27/03/1918

Private

Beal, Cecil Charles Branston

44209

10/05/1918

Private

Beasant, Walter Henry

64527

08/10/1918

Sergeant

Bennett, Harry

23914

10/05/1918

Private

Bennett, William Edward

203580

24/08/1918

Private

Betton, Alfred John

41434

10/11/1917

Private

Bickerstaff, Thomas Charles

19861

14/07/1916

Sergeant

Bickerstaffe, William

20201

08/06/1918

Private

Billington, Arthur George

37983

18/06/1917

Private

Bird, Harry

35087

11/07/1916

Private

Bird, William James

40956

28/04/1917

Sergeant

Bithell, Herbert Lewis

21028

18/03/1918

Private

Boardman, William

20345

28/07/1917

Private

Bond, Eric Henry

72820

08/10/1918

Private

Booth, Leonard

20289

11/07/1916

Private

Bowen, Ernest

200043

18/09/1918

Private

Bowen, George Winfred

201578

20/08/1917

Private

Bowen, Thomas John

35120

11/07/1916

Private

Bowen, William John

73978

19/09/1918

Private

Bradbury, Thomas John

285447

08/10/1918

Private

Brain, George Heal

20503

17/03/1916

Private

Breach, William Herbert

72817

27/08/1918

Corporal

Brightwell, Thomas

26521

18/09/1918

Lance Corporal

Brindle, James

20381

18/06/1918

Sergeant

Bromfield, Alfred Joseph

3592

16/05/1917

Private

Brown, James John

20552

11/07/1916

Private

Brown, Pryce

19900

20/07/1916

Private

Brown, Samuel Edward Victor

72821

01/09/1918

C.Q.M.S.

Burke, Frederick Hugh Hillier

20608

22/05/1920

Corporal

Burley, William Henry

32696

29/08/1918

Private

Burton, William

37313

08/10/1918

Sergeant

Bush, Ernest Frederick

19993

25/01/1916

Private

Byrne, James

53948

28/07/1917

Lance Corporal

Cadle, Herbert

20828

27/04/1918

Private

Capper, Leonard

290691

18/09/1918

Private

Carey, Patrick Michael

54604

07/05/1917

Private

Cavanagh, Michael

5717

09/06/1917

Private

Cay, William

59374

04/08/1917

Private

Chadwick, Albert

21067

10/07/1916

Private

Chadwick, James

20807

20/10/1916

Private

Chadwick, Thomas Benjamin

20832

31/07/1917

Private

Chapman, James Ernest

20054

11/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Chapman, William Arthur

285401

23/08/1918

Lance Corporal

Church, Edward Charles

477530

20/08/1917

Private

Clarke, Ernest

55744

12/05/1918

Private

Clarke, Walter

72830

28/08/1918

Private

Clee, Thomas

285363

16/08/1917

Private

Clewes, William

38835

16/08/1916

Private

Close, William John

20500

01/08/1917

Lance Corporal

Coffey, James

72827

18/02/1919

Private

Cokley, Daniel

21086

11/07/1916

Private

Cole, James

73016

04/11/1918

Private

Coleman, James

20890

17/08/1917

Private

Coleman, Joseph

21058

11/07/1916

Sergeant

Coleman, William, MM.

4947

13/07/1916

Private

Collins, John Bryant

35213

11/07/1916

Private

Combs, Phillip Alfred

54988

10/08/1918

Serjeant

Congdon, James

20496

10/07/1916

Private

Connoly, John

24827

28/08/1918

Private

Coulton, Arthur

73007

08/10/1918

Private

Cresswell, George

315425

18/09/1918

Private

Cridland, William

202999

12/03/1918

Private

Crook, William

73002

13/01/1919

Private

Crossley, Jesse

73009

26/08/1918

Private

Cunningham, Joseph

20692

28/02/1916

Private

Dash, Horace

20480

05/04/1917

Private

Davies, Albert

44630

10/05/1918

Private

Davies, Arthur Raymond

53954

27/07/1917

Private

Davies, Caradog Godfrey

56676

02/05/1918

Private

Davies, Daniel

15212

25/08/1916

Private

Davies, David John

29730

05/07/1916

Private

Davies, David Thomas

21064

24/08/1916

Private

Davies, Ebenezer

45200

20/02/1917

Private

Davies, Edward

29725

06/02/1917

Private

Davies, Evan John

20739

10/07/1916

Private

Davies, Evan Thomas

54551

10/05/1918

Private

Davies, Francis Joe

285450

08/09/1917

Private

Davies, Frank Victor

47247

19/09/1916

Private

Davies, Frederick

53950

02/08/1917

Private

Davies, John

20630

01/05/1917

Private

Davies, John Glanford

73738

08/10/1918

Private

Davies, Joseph Henry

285402

03/05/1918

Private

Davies, Llewellyn

30422

08/10/1918

C.Q.M.S.

Davies, Mansel

20091

10/02/1916

Private

Davies, Martin

28541

01/10/1918

Private

Davies, Nathaniel

20927

09/03/1916

Private

Davies, Reginald

25193

17/03/1916

Private

Davies, Richard

22714

07/07/1916

Private

Davies, Robert Henry

62306

08/10/1918

Private

Davies, Samuel John

20061

21/07/1916

Private

Davies, Thomas

65552

18/09/1918

Private

Davies, Thomas Haydn, MM.

20732

30/01/1917

Corporal

Davies, Thomas John

21074

11/07/1916

Private

Davies, Tommy

266456

10/09/1917

Private

Davies, Trevor

266065

10/05/1918

Private

Davies, William

14490

04/09/1918

Private

Davies, William Henry Thomas

54489

04/09/1918

Private

Davies, William John

20575

06/08/1917

Private

Dawes, Ronald Guy

290694

23/08/1918

Private

Day, William

65543

04/09/1918

Private

Dayton, Stanley

25831

19/09/1918

Lance Corporal

Demaine, John

20626

15/02/1917

Private

Denton, Frank Charles

54969

22/08/1917

Private

Derrick, Herbert

21786

19/05/1916

Lance Corporal

Deyes, William Percival

290309

03/09/1918

Private

Dodd, John Henry

19909

09/03/1916

Private

Driver, Wilfred

54047

26/08/1918

Private

Dryland, John

53953

30/06/1917

Private

Duncan, Robert

59370

28/07/1917

Private

Dunford, George

54782

08/10/1918

Private

Dunn, James

20509

15/02/1917

Private

Dunsford, Henry John

55782

11/10/1918

Private

Dutfield, William Henry

75504

31/10/1918

Corporal

Dutton, Herbert Henry

201910

08/10/1918

Private

Eade, John William

53919

28/07/1917

Private

Earles, William Henry

54990

22/04/1918

Private

Eastwood, Harry

19911

16/07/1916

Private

Edmunds, Samuel

22403

27/07/1917

Private

Edwards, Christopher

53894

04/11/1918

Lance Corporal

Edwards, David John

20213

30/04/1917

Private

Edwards, Evan

43033

10/05/1918

Private

Edwards, William

266612

14/05/1918

Sergeant

Elias, Glaslyn

58249

26/08/1918

Sergeant

Evans, Benjamin

20115

11/07/1916

Private

Evans, David

17551

11/03/1918

Private

Evans, David Charles

54294

30/04/1917

Private

Evans, David Ellis

23312

19/06/1918

Private

Evans, David John

75286

23/10/1918

Private

Evans, Evan

58520

06/11/1917

Private

Evans, George

20125

18/03/1916

Lance Sergeant

Evans, Griffith Albert

26738

08/06/1917

Private

Evans, Herbert

44198

11/07/1916

Private

Evans, John Emlyn

26736

11/01/1916

Private

Evans, Morgan Rees

53914

18/09/1918

Private

Evans, Phillip Charles

53957

30/07/1917

Private

Evans, Richard Henry Evan

20043

08/10/1918

Private

Evans, Samuel Henry

25083

21/07/1918

Private

Evans, William Bailey

39705

04/08/1917

Private

Evans, William Edward James

23786

21/04/1918

Lance Corporal

Evens, Tola

242141

18/09/1918

Private

Eynon, Thomas

19992

13/03/1916

Private

Farnworth, Richard

20752

24/09/1918

Private

Farrow, George

20665

08/02/1917

Private

Farrow, Herbert

20858

08/02/1917

Private

Farrow, Joseph Albert (See Hanlon)

20348

28/07/1917

Sergeant

Fielding, James

19891

11/07/1916

Private

Fielding, Jonathan

16937

13/09/1915

Private

Fielding, Joshua, M.M.

72851

08/10/1918

Private

Finnerty, James

20679

28/11/1915

Private

Fisher, John

18810

05/08/1917

Private

Fletcher, Hugh

73025

28/08/1918

Private

Fogg, Alfred

43348

10/04/1918

Private

Foley, Patrick

59376

08/10/1918

Lance Sergeant

Foley, William

31800

10/12/1917

Private

Foley, William Hambling

34994

20/03/1916

Private

Foots, James Todd

59375

31/07/1917

C.S.M.

Ford, Richard

21021

31/10/1918

Private

Foreman, Joseph

14362

09/05/1918

Lance Corporal

Forrest, Henry

21030

11/07/1916

Private

Foster, Sidney Gordon

54826

31/07/1917

Private

Fox, Anthony

19914

23/12/1917

Private

Francis, Albert

20211

14/06/1915

Corporal

Francis, Gwilym

20449

11/07/1916

Private

Froy, Jesse

47782

11/04/1917

Private

Fry, William Henry

25378

05/09/1918

Private

Fryer, John

20281

03/08/1917

Corporal

Garforth, George

19916

04/08/1917

Private

Garley, Arthur

47745

27/07/1917

Private

Garside, John

50522

22/04/1918

Private

Garside, William John

65186

13/04/1918

Sergeant

German, Archie Ernest

53962

26/08/1918

Private

Gerrard, William

20993

11/07/1916

Private

Gibbon, Charles

65572

30/08/1918

Private

Gibbs, Harry

53961

04/08/1917

Private

Gibbs, William

38467

10/05/1918

Private

Gibson, William

21669

30/08/1918

Private

Gidman, Hugh

20634

18/02/1916

Private

Gilbert, Frederick

60038

30/08/1918

Lance Sergeant

Gilchrist, Lindsay

59488

27/07/1917

Sergeant-Instructor

Goble, Alfred

16487

31/05/1917

Private

Grant, John

31193

10/07/1916

Private

Grassick, William Duthie

59380

22/08/1917

Private

Gray, Uriah

32640

09/10/1918

Private

Green, Ernest May

48169

23/03/1918

Private

Greenland, Thomas Henry

73162

04/09/1918

Private

Grey, William Ivor

32837

12/04/1918

Private

Griffiths, David

20584

22/06/1915

Private

Griffiths, David Daniel

19886

05/12/1917

Private

Griffiths, Edwin

59498

27/07/1917

Private

Griffiths, Ivor Samuel

20499

11/07/1916

Private

Griffiths, Robert

73685

20/10/1918

Private

Griffiths, Robert William

60723

05/09/1917

Private

Griffiths, Thomas

22729

04/11/1918

Private

Griffiths, Thomas John

20454

04/02/1917

Private

Griffiths, William Alexander

202750

04/10/1918

Private

Griffiths, William Henry

54577

28/07/1917

Private

Griffiths, Willie

53625

11/03/1918

Private

Hall, Joseph Gilbert

53966

28/07/1917

Private

Hall, Joshua

20431

10/07/1916

Private

Hallett, James Edwin

54957

31/07/1917

Private

Hamer, Jack

72856

01/09/1918

Private

Hancock, John

207951

20/09/1918

Private

Hanlon, Joseph Albert (Alias Farrow)

20348

28/07/1917

Private

Harcombe, Bethuel

21769

10/07/1916

Sergeant

Harding, Charles William

26713

08/06/1917

Lance Corporal

Hardwidge, Henry

20649

11/07/1916

Corporal

Hardwidge, Thomas

26634

11/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Harries, William Esaiah

44228

22/08/1917

Private

Harris, Alfred

18213

12/12/1917

Private

Harris, Alfred Henry

47784

01/05/1920

Lance Sergeant

Harris, John Hopkin

18506

11/07/1916

Sergeant

Harris, Thomas

18500

01/06/1916

Private

Harrop, Robert

285413

22/08/1917

Private

Hartnett, John Henry

25239

04/11/1918

Private

Haslam, Adam

20314

09/09/1916

Private

Haslam, Alfred

21044

23/08/1917

Private

Hatherell, Herbert

59440

10/05/1918

Private

Hawkins, Henry Thomas

35044

11/07/1916

Private

Hay, Percy

54497

10/05/1918

Private

Head, Charles Manning

47756

27/07/1917

Lance Corporal

Hearn, Arthur

20418

11/07/1916

Private

Hebbs, Albert

59387

08/10/1918

Private

Heseltine, Henry

54224

23/08/1918

Private

Hewett, William Frederick

59385

28/07/1917

Corporal

Hey, Ernest

20044

11/07/1916

Private

Heywood, Harry

20821

26/08/1918

Private

Higgins, Albert Edward

56983

04/09/1918

Private

Hill, David John

62338

23/08/1918

Private

Hill, Herbert

291799

28/08/1918

Lance Corporal

Hill, John Thomas

20801

03/12/1916

Lance Corporal

Hillier, George

26714

17/03/1916

Private

Hilton, Edward

61205

08/10/1918

Private

Hirst, John

20791

11/07/1916

Private

Hiscocks, Henry John

45519

12/09/1918

Private

Hitchen, Robert

73044

21/09/1918

Private

Holder, Frederick John

16945

07/08/1918

Private

Holland, Albert

53801

08/10/1918

Private

Holmes, Herbert

59382

27/12/1918

Private

Holmes, James

73033

22/08/1918

Private

Holwill, Edgar John

76109

07/08/1917

Private

Hooper, Ernest

18491

04/05/1917

Private

Hopkins, Daniel

21629

28/07/1917

Private

Hopkins, David William

75181

08/10/1918

Corporal

Hopkins, William Owen

54286

09/11/1918

Private

Horne, Alfred

201621

28/07/1917

Private

Horseman, Ernest

26636

01/08/1917

Private

Horsey, Alfred John

56807

18/09/1918

Corporal

Howarth, Thomas

19920

01/08/1917

Private

Howells, David

20188

09/03/1916

Corporal

Howells, Evan

22362

11/10/1918

C.S.M.

Howells, Harry

54246

05/06/1917

Private

Howells, William

20096

21/03/1916

Private

Howells, William

20526

28/09/1918

Private

Huddleston, John Marchbank

60499

11/05/1918

Private

Hughes, David Thomas

20609

07/07/1916

Private

Hughes, Elias

20130

10/07/1916

Private

Hughes, John Henry Lees

65700

30/08/1918

Private

Hughes, Richard

20111

04/08/1917

Private

Hughes, Thomas Ellis

73034

26/08/1918

Private

Hughes, William

20750

07/09/1917

Private

Hughes, William

25008

28/04/1918

Private

Hughes, William

54595

30/04/1917

Private

Hughes, William Selby

29189

16/08/1917

Private

Hughes, William Trevor

53967

04/05/1918

Private

Hull, George

51550

08/09/1917

Private

Hulm, John

72866

18/09/1918

Private

Humphreys, Richard Rowland

35141

11/07/1916

Private

Hunt, Edward Albert

290900

15/03/1918

Private

Hunt, James Henry Porter

21049

11/07/1916

Private

Huntingdon, Henry

285455

09/11/1918

Sergeant

Hurst, Albert

19923

28/07/1917

Private

Hutchinson, Frederick Stanley

73183

27/07/1918

Private

Hyde, James

75445

05/11/1918

Private

Iddenden, Frederick

59240

26/04/1918

Private

Ingham, Thomas

73187

23/08/1918

Private

Isaac, Sidney

19871

10/07/1916

Private

Isherwood, Herbert

20857

06/05/1918

Private

Jacob, Charles Henry

73339

29/09/1918

Private

James, Bert

75294

31/10/1918

Private

James, Daniel

152662

23/10/1918

Private

James, David

35048

05/09/1918

Private

James, Edmund

20963

24/03/1918

Lance Corporal

James, James

22127

11/07/1916

Private

James, John Hopkin

54289

01/08/1917

Private

James, Thomas

26816

26/09/1918

Private

James, Thomas John

73578

05/11/1918

Private

James, William

20755

11/01/1917

Lance Corporal

James, William John

20466

07/07/1916

Private

Jenkins, Arthur Gower

20770

23/11/1917

Private

Jenkins, Bertie

35328

11/07/1916

Private

Jenkins, Ivor

76648

08/10/1918

Private

Jenkins, Ivor

77431

08/10/1918

Private

John, John James

60742

31/08/1917

Private

John, Stephen James

54267

01/08/1917

Private

John, Thomas Henry

38127

11/07/1916

Private

John, William David

20006

14/03/1917

Sergeant

John, William Thomas, DCM.

20155

02/11/1918

Private

Johnson, John

20901

11/07/1916

Private

Jones, Bernus

44923

30/08/1918

Private

Jones, David

20536

11/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Jones, David John

25650

22/08/1918

Sergeant 

Jones, David Lewis

20124

14/03/1917

Private

Jones, Edgar

26909

31/07/1917

Private

Jones, Ernest Wynn Leonard

201840

04/09/1918

Private

Jones, Harold Vivian

54300

01/09/1918

Private

Jones, Harry

19927

09/02/1916

Private

Jones, Henry James

73050

30/08/1918

Private

Jones, Hopkin

24864

19/08/1917

Private

Jones, Howell

75237

08/10/1918

Private

Jones, Humphrey

32798

11/04/1918

Private

Jones, James

20026

10/07/1916

Corporal

Jones, John

20027

10/07/1916

Private

Jones, John

20819

09/03/1916

Private

Jones, John

44060

11/07/1916

Private

Jones, John Evan

40670

29/08/1918

Sergeant

Jones, John Henry

20092

04/09/1917

Lance Corporal

Jones, Milwyn

54041

28/07/1917

Private

Jones, Rees

75289

16/11/1918

Private

Jones, Thomas

20784

11/07/1916

Private

Jones, Thomas

33495

14/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Jones, Thomas Cosslett

35168

28/07/1916

Private

Jones, Thomas Lewis

75123

20/10/1918

Corporal

Jones, Thomas Owen

20970

20/09/1917

Private

Jones, William

63092

01/09/1918

Sapper

Jones, William

108050

09/07/1916

Lance Corporal

Jones, William Enson

20108

21/07/1916

Private

Kelsall, Harry

53979

30/08/1918

Private

Kenny, William Joseph

73056

26/08/1918

Lance Corporal

Killeen, David

20772

15/02/1917

Private

Killelay, Harry

73059

27/08/1918

Private

King, Edmund Charles

23648

27/10/1918

Private

Kirby, John

72878

08/10/1918

Private

Kite, Charles Frank

59410

31/07/1917

Private

Knight, James William

54964

08/10/1918

Private

Langford, Benjamin

76659

08/10/1918

Private

Langford, William

285356

22/08/1917

Private

Leahy, James

40069

11/07/1916

Private

Ledwards, Charles

21026

07/07/1919

Private

Leman, Montague William

201914

08/10/1918

Private

Leonard, William Thomas

59444

27/07/1917

Private

Leseelleur, Godfrey

54891

19/09/1918

Private

Lewis, Arnold Cecil Ewart

35027

09/03/1916

Private

Lewis, Arthur Leonard

16787

12/03/1918

Private

Lewis, Benjamin Thomas

20145

11/07/1916

Private

Lewis, David

54277

30/04/1917

Private

Lewis, David Rees

53981

10/05/1918

Private

Lewis, Henry

76673

08/10/1918

Private

Lewis, Ivor Idris

20853

01/08/1917

Sergeant

Lewis, Richard Ernest

18145

01/08/1917

Private

Lewis, William

34127

29/08/1916

Private

Little, William James

46337

24/08/1918

Private

Llewellyn, George David

38605

04/03/1917

Private

Lock, Ernest Reginald

62774

21/09/1918

Private

Lydeard, Maurice William

46053

22/08/1917

Private

Mackenzie, Walter Edward

50524

22/08/1917

Private

Magnall, Richard

291939

18/09/1918

Private

Male, David John

73749

18/10/1918

Private

Manhan, Clement (Albert James Williams)

203429

04/09/1918

Private

Maple, Cecil Owen

20660

10/07/1916

Private

Marshall, David John

74177

01/11/1918

Private

Martin, George

25941

01/08/1917

Private

Martin, William, MM.

20462

30/08/1918

Private

Mather, William

20699

11/07/1916

Driver

Mathias, Charles

T4/069665

15/06/1915

Sapper

Mathias, James

151206

31/05/1918

Lance Corporal

Mathias, William Henry George Day

18115

17/05/1917

Private

Matthews, John

35126

11/07/1916

Corporal

Matthews, Robert

25026

15/09/1918

Private

Maylam, Frederick Ernest

54984

16/05/1918

Private

McCracken, Thomas

73204

26/08/1918

Lance Corporal

McDonald, Donald

47785

14/05/1918

Private

McDonald, Frederick

285466

26/08/1918

Lance Corporal

McFarlane, John

21107

02/10/1917

Private

McHugh, Martin

291223

19/09/1918

Private

McWilliams, William

73203

05/09/1918

Private

Mercer, Jacob

72891

08/10/1918

Private

Meyler, Levi

20144

27/05/1918

Private

Milsom, Fred

3685

09/11/1916

Private

Morgan, David

54295

17/03/1918

Lance Corporal

Morgan, David John

20793

27/07/1916

Private

Morgan, David Reginald

20581

09/05/1916

Private

Morgan, Gilbert Bowen

20621

04/09/1918

Private

Morgan, Thomas John

20975

14/07/1916

Private

Morris, David

21008

23/04/1917

Corporal

Morris, William

20749

27/02/1917

Corporal

Mort, Richard

20258

11/07/1916

Private

Moses, Lewis John

20918

04/08/1916

Private

Moses, William John

35084

25/05/1918

Private

Mugglestone, Walter

20374

09/03/1916

Private

Mulville, William

60768

20/10/1918

Sergeant

Mumford, Eli

22487

20/03/1916

Private

Murphy, Ernest George

43220

16/08/1916

Private

Naylor, Frank

291347

26/08/1918

Lance Corporal

Newell, James

20714

29/05/1919

Private

Nicholas, Samuel

39913

31/05/1918

Private

Norris, Charles

54961

08/09/1917

Private

Noyes, John Robert

35079

11/07/1916

Private

O' Connor, Thomas

32520

07/07/1916

Private

O' Connor, Thomas

241768

06/09/1918

Private

O' Shea, Daniel

285475

11/03/1918

Private

Ormond, James John

18490

07/07/1916

Private

Osborne, George

20511

08/01/1916

Private

Outtridge, Edward Henry

51054

27/07/1917

Private

Owen, Albert Ernest

53918

30/04/1917

Private

Owen, David

 

05/04/1920

Private

Owen, Griffith

20086

31/07/1917

Private

Owen, Herbert Samuel James

19883

07/06/1917

Private

Owen, Robert Richard

285370

29/10/1917

Private

Owen, Thomas George

44035

05/08/1917

Private

Parker, James Arthur

32825

29/04/1918

Private

Parker, Wiliam

285580

21/11/1918

Lance Corporal

Parry, John Frederick

32518

10/05/1918

Sergeant

Parry, Reginald Ernest

35055

28/08/1918

Private

Parsons, Charles

54972

01/08/1917

Private

Parsons, Robert William John

266556

08/10/1918

Private

Paul, Richard

48193

10/05/1918

Private

Payne, Albert John

54812

08/09/1917

Private

Pearce, George Frederick

285428

26/06/1918

Private

Pearce, Joseph

21791

12/01/1916

Private

Pearce, Samuel Edward

51297

28/07/1917

Private

Pearce, William

18175

20/04/1918

Private

Pearson, William Ellis

34123

06/10/1918

Private

Pegram, Arthur

54956

26/05/1917

Lance Corporal

Pendry, Samuel

26646

08/10/1918

Corporal

Pennington, Arthur, MM.

20358

26/08/1918

Private

Perry, Alfred Brice

73213

30/08/1918

Private

Peters, Albert

32589

08/10/1918

Private

Phillips, Frederick Lloyd

45045

05/09/1918

Corporal

Pidgeon, Arthur

47482

18/09/1918

Private

Pike, William Edward

24432

11/03/1918

Corporal

Place, Robert

285393

14/06/1918

Private

Pollard, Edward

20301

17/04/1918

Corporal

Potts, Archie

18734

31/07/1917

Private

Powell, David

76653

08/10/1918

Private

Prance, Albert William

54587

07/09/1918

Corporal

Pratt, William George

290620

22/08/1917

Private

Price, David

76650

13/10/1918

Private

Price, David John

60779

27/10/1918

Private

Price, James Thomas

34123

01/10/1916

Corporal

Price, John

16456

01/09/1918

Private

Price, John

21042

11/07/1916

Private

Price, Rees

73655

20/10/1918

Corporal

Pridmore, Lawrence

21093

10/07/1916

Private

Pritchard, Frederick

291652

11/09/1918

Private

Pritchard, Henry

75136

20/10/1918

Private

Pritchard, Philip (Alias Richards)

19976

28/07/1917

Private

Procter, James

56318

08/10/1918

Private

Proctor, Ernest

202306

26/08/1918

Private

Prytherch, James

54383

09/09/1918

Private

Puddephat, Leonard John

47739

01/09/1918

Corporal

Punter, Hubert Miles

18872

22/10/1918

Sergeant

Pye, John

27657

25/11/1917

Private

Ramsden, Joseph

20686

03/05/1916

Private

Rawcliffe, Thomas

59462

08/10/1918

Lance Corporal

Read, Frederick Charles

47734

30/04/1917

Corporal

Reed, Thomas Walter

38239

26/08/1918

Serjeant

Rees, George

56701

27/08/1918

Private

Rees, Idris Tudor

75290

09/10/1918

Private

Regan, Edward

266902

22/08/1917

Private

Rement, Martin

24367

28/10/1918

Private

Rex, Charles

56386

08/10/1918

Private

Reynolds, Harry

49347

04/08/1917

Private

Reynolds, John Edward

G/19196

04/11/1918

Private

Reynolds, Robert

20088

12/09/1916

Corporal

Richards, Ernest Harry, MM.

54983

01/08/1917

Corporal

Richards, George Henry

58493

29/10/1918

Private

Richards, Henry Morgan

31742

30/01/1917

Private

Richards, Zephaniah

21398

22/10/1918

Lance Corporal

Richardson, Alexander Spawforth

53927

15/10/1918

Private

Roach, George

25084

11/03/1918

Sergeant

Roberts, Griffith John

38251

08/10/1918

Private

Roberts, Griffith Richard

56706

31/10/1916

Private

Roberts, Robert Ellis

202754

21/04/1918

Private

Roberts, Sam

21053

10/07/1916

Private

Roberts, William

202701

26/08/1918

Private

Robinson, James

65253

19/09/1918

Corporal

Roblings, George

26790

15/02/1917

Private

Rogers, Thomas

20640

30/04/1917

Private

Ross, Joseph

59461

10/05/1918

Private

Rossiter, Robert

23628

08/09/1917

Private

Rowlands, Henry John

301963

25/04/1918

Private

Salisbury, Percy

285433

22/08/1917

Sergeant

Sandiford, Samuel

19942

11/07/1916

Private

Saunders, Francis John

47763

01/04/1917

Sergeant

Sawyer, Richard John, MM

22747

13/03/1918

Private

Scott, John

20102

03/09/1915

Private

Seamons, William

54212

13/03/1918

Private

Seed, Alexander

20293

30/10/1918

Private

Seed, James

20443

01/03/1918

Private

Sellings, Horace Jasper

43285

16/08/1916

Lance Corporal

Senior, George

15468

17/03/1918

Private

Sexton, William Dennis

202758

27/10/1918

Private

Simkins, Charles Robert

290354

16/05/1918

Private

Sinclair, John

20719

07/09/1917

Private

Sladen, Harry

33943

24/07/1916

Private

Smith, George Davidson

47736

28/05/1917

Private

Smith, James

14297

04/08/1917

Private

Smith, John

53327

14/05/1918

Corporal

Smith, Peter Crosdale

20261

01/04/1918

Private

Smith, Stanley

20491

11/07/1916

Private

Smith, William Henry

23605

05/11/1918

Sergeant

Spencer, Edward Thomas

27682

22/08/1918

Private

Stagg, John Henry

35186

01/08/1917

Private

Stansfield, John

60542

31/10/1918

Private

Stephenson, Charles Frederick

20429

04/11/1915

Private

Stevens, Albert

23651

18/09/1918

Private

Stevens, Arthur

20276

11/07/1916

Private

Stockley, Thomas

20683

09/04/1918

Private

Sullivan, Daniel

19987

11/07/1916

Private

Thatcher, Harold Sidney Holman

44179

28/07/1917

Private

Thickins, Charles

21906

06/05/1916

Private

Thomas, David (Johnny)

44204

11/07/1916

Private

Thomas, David George

60794

06/09/1917

Private

Thomas, Dyfed Watcyn

53897

01/05/1917

Corporal

Thomas, Eleazer

25027

31/07/1917

Lance Corporal

Thomas, Gordon Richard Cynlais

57799

15/03/1919

Sergeant

Thomas, Howard

26779

26/08/1918

Private

Thomas, James Joseph Abraham

22775

11/07/1916

Private

Thomas, John

21637

 

Private

Thomas, John

40003

28/07/1917

Private

Thomas, Joseph Lewis

20659

01/08/1917

Private

Thomas, Ralph

266332

27/07/1917

Lance Corporal

Thomas, Thomas

21568

01/06/1916

Private

Thomas, Thomas Gwynfor

54597

21/08/1918

Private

Thomas, Thomas Henry

22073

31/07/1917

Private

Thomas, Walter

46898

08/10/1918

Private

Thomas, William

32800

24/03/1918

Private

Thomas, William Hugh

54986

28/07/1917

Private

Thomas, William Rhys

267172

23/04/1918

Private

Thorne, Alfred

35369

28/07/1917

Private

Thorne, William

34995

06/08/1917

Private

Thorne, William Frederick

75170

08/10/1918

Private

Thornley, James

20507

11/07/1916

Private

Tierney, John

20294

14/07/1916

Corporal

Tiffin, William Stordy

61096

18/09/1918

Private

Timothy, John Graham

60796

21/03/1921

Private

Toft, Albert

285435

08/10/1918

Private

Tomkins, George

54284

30/04/1917

Private

Travers, Robert

20423

27/08/1919

Private

Trimby, Charles

31177

05/03/1918

Private

Tucker, George

35176

11/07/1916

Private

Turner, Stanley Rudolph

285437

22/08/1917

Private

Vaissiere, George Charles Herbert

60403

01/08/1917

Private

Voyle, William John

19065

13/05/1918

Private

Waite, Walter

28991

19/09/1918

Private

Waite, William John

26803

14/12/1915

Private

Walker, Joseph

18791

08/10/1917

Sergeant

Wall, Frederick

52612

14/10/1918

Private

Waller, Alfred

32004

11/07/1916

Private

Walmsley, Herbert

20834

11/07/1916

Private

Walsh, James

20960

11/07/1916

Corporal

Wannell, Walter William

34901

16/06/1918

Private

Warburton, Richard

24077

14/03/1916

Private

Ward, Andrew

20872

25/05/1916

Private

Ward, Frederick

16995

14/12/1915

Private

Ward, Joseph

285166

11/03/1918

Private

Waters, James

50950

27/10/1918

Private

Watkins, Lloyd

73714

04/11/1918

Private

Watson, Alfred Valiant

47766

30/04/1917

Private

Watson, Peter Henry

20886

03/01/1916

Private

Watson, Samuel

39200

23/08/1918

Private

Watts, Edward James

29769

20/06/1916

Private

Webster, Charles

73236

20/05/1918

Private

West, Donald

87630

01/08/1917

Private

Whalley, Alfred

20368

11/07/1916

Private

White, Gwilym

74010

19/09/1918

Private

White, Jack Clayton

20764

01/09/1917

Private

White, Thomas Christmas

37746

05/12/1917

Private

Whitlock, Horace

13925

18/09/1918

Private

Whittaker, Nimrod

40179

24/11/1917

Private

Whittle, Thomas

20961

17/08/1917

Private

Wilde, Herbert

20331

11/07/1916

Private

Wilkinson, Harry

20938

16/02/1916

Private

Wilkinson, William

59369

10/05/1918

Private

Williams, Albert

285750

01/09/1918

Private

Williams, Albert James

203429

04/09/1918

Private

Williams, Benjamin

200492

26/07/1917

Private

Williams, Charles Edward Howard

43257

05/09/1918

Private

Williams, David

45771

18/09/1918

Private

Williams, David Henry

28643

31/08/1918

Private

Williams, Edward Llewellyn

20729

11/07/1916

Private

Williams, Harry

20321

10/07/1916

Private

Williams, Ivor Carlyle

66193

29/04/1918

Sergeant

Williams, Job

38020

05/11/1918

Private

Williams, John

75209

08/10/1918

Private

Williams, John

75265

08/10/1918

Private

Williams, John Charles

201121

04/09/1918

Private

Williams, John Henry

34690

10/05/1918

Private

Williams, Rees Meredith

43792

26/07/1917

Private

Williams, Thomas Sidney

203543

10/05/1918

Signaller

Williams, William

54589

20/10/1918

Private

Williams, William David

72952

04/11/1918

Private

Williams, William John

21072

09/02/1916

Private

Wills, Albert George

21066

20/07/1917

Sergeant

Winstone, William Henry

20248

31/07/1917

Private

Withers, William Arthur

44163

20/09/1918

Private

Wood, Edgar

62682

08/10/1918

Private

Wood, George Wesley

53368

10/04/1918

Lance Corporal

Woodcock, Charles

44935

10/05/1918

Private

Wooton, Thomas

77561

08/10/1918

Private

Wright, William

285372

27/10/1918

Private

Wrigley, Edward

20072

24/11/1917

Private

Wyatt, Thomas William

40140

26/08/1918

Private

Young, Thomas

23165

15/03/1918

To read a more in depth history of the battalion, please purchase a copy of my book: 'Carmarthen Pals' by clicking on this link: CARMARTHEN PALS

 

I was lucky enough to have found a publisher for my book on the History of the 15th Welsh during the Great War, Pen and Sword Books, who published it as part of their excellent 'Pals' series.

 

As ever, further information is always being searched for, and any photographs, notes, extracts of diaries, in fact anything related to the 15th Welsh, is always welcome, so I can continue my research into the Battalion. Please read the book reviews below which 'Carmarthen Pals' has received:

 

Reviews of 'Carmarthen Pals'

 

History of War Website

 

Carmarthen Pals: A History of the 15th (Service) Battalion The Welsh Regiment, 1914-1919, Steven John.

 

The 15th (Service Battalion), the Welsh Regiment, or the Carmarthen Pals, was one of the New Army battalions raised in Britain once it became clear that the First World War was going to last for longer and require a much bigger army than almost anyone had expected in the summer of 1914. This book looks at the history of that battalion from its original formation late in 1914, through some of the most famous battles of the war (including the Somme, Passchendaele and the hundred days offensive 1918) and ending when the battalion was dissolved in 1919.

 

Perhaps this books defining feature is that the author has taken the time to research the stories of a large number of the dead, so rather instead of the anonymous totals presented in many books here we often have a potted biography of at least some of each day's dead.

 

This book makes one realise just how costly the final victorious campaigns of 1918 were. A single action on 8 October 1918 cost the battalion 53 dead, nearly 10% of the 570 dead suffered by the 15th Welsh during the entire war, and twice as many men died during 1918 as during 1916, when the battalion was involved in the battle of the Somme!

 

The appendices nicely round off the book, including complete lists of the battalion's dead, medal winners (with citations where possible), and officers (with brief biographies).

 

This is an impressive sobering read, which stands as a memorial to the men of the 15th Welsh and the sacrifices they made during the Great War.

 

Chapters; Raising the Battalion, Western Front: The Nursery Sector, Somme: Mametz Wood, Withdrawal from Mametz Wood and the move North, First Large Scale Trench Raid, Passchendaele: The Build up, Passchendaele: The Pilckem Ridge, Passchendaele: Langemarck, Return to French Flanders, Return to the Somme, The Great Advance: The Battle of Albert, The Great Advance: The Battle of Bapaume, Advance to Victory, Appendices, Casualties of the 15th Welsh, Roll of Honour, Awards to the Battalion, Nominal Roll of Officers, Battle Honours, Order of Battle, 38th (Welsh) Division, Summary.

 

1914-1918.net - The Long, Long Trail

 

Steven John's book joins the long line of fine works examining the war of those locally-raised units of Kitchener's Army known as "pals", that helped build the volunteer army of 1914 and its esprit de corps. We have here another dedicated if not fanatic researcher-author, who has tracked down the fine details of the raising, training, fighting and fate of a pals infantry battalion, in this case the 15th Welsh. The "Carmarthen Pals" certainly came in part from the town, but also from across the smaller towns, villages and farms of that rural county in West Wales. Strangely, as the author explains, it also went on a recruiting jaunt to industrial Bolton in Lancashire.

 

We have grown used to the high standard of research behind these books, and "Carmarthen Pals" is no exception. The book mentions many individuals by name and is full of photographs, having pulled on official and regimental sources as well as the local press and the memoirs of individuals. A selection of maps helps the reader understand the battalion's role and location when it went into action, and the book concludes with a useful roll of honour, short bibliographies of battalion officers, and list of awards and decorations. The only black mark is the absence of an index.

 

A good read and valuable work of reference, that might be seen as a companion volume to Bernard Lewis' earlier "Swansea Pals" as the two units were under command of the same infantry brigade.

 

The Great War Journal, March 2010

 

Book Reviews

 

CARMARTHEN PALS

 

A History of the 15th (service) Battalion The Welsh Regiment 1914-1919 Steven John

ISBN: 9781848840775 -£25.00 (hb) Pen & Sword-272 pages

 

Pen & Sword are to be applauded once again for adding to their ever growing collection of 'Pals' histories. This fine book details the war of the Carmarthen Pals from their formation in 1914. The then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd George, had a vision of a Welsh Army Group and huge efforts were made to recruit and form Welsh fighting units. After its training the Battalion crossed to serve in France in 1915 and from early 1916 fought with distinction. After its initiation at Givenchy, the Battalion moved to the Somme in May 1916, attacking Mametz Wood in the early days of the infamous July offensive. It then moved to the Ypres Salient and in July 1917 attacked Pilckem Ridge. In the closing months of the war the Battalion suffered over 900 fatalities as they pushed the enemy back. This is a first-class history and has over 200 photos, maps and diagrams, as well as a host of personal accounts and letters.

 

A first-class history. 10/10. MM

 

Book Reviews (Matthew Bennett)

 

Carmarthen Pals: a history of the 15th Service Battalion, The Welsh Regiment 1914-19 by Steven John (Pen & Sword) 272pp, hardback £25.00

 

No one with an interest in World War One can be unaware of the tragedy of the Pals battalions. Theirs was a road to Hell paved with good intentions. Largely recruited from the close-knit communities of the industrial towns and so imbued with a self-belief and unity of purpose, they seemed tailor-made for military use. Sadly, their deployment from 1916 onwards frequently led to their destruction, delivering a hammer blow of grief and loss to their families living side- by-side in city streets.

 

The Carmarthen Pals were unusual in that they were recruited from a much wider area, due to the rural background of many of their soldiers, although they were also drawn from local towns such as Llanelli and even farther afield from Bolton, with its community of Welsh weavers. Steven John's book provides a clear account of the 15th Battalion's experience throughout the war. It is a lavishly illustrated volume filled with pertinent illustrations, photographs and cartoons, maps of operations and scenes from the battlefields today to help those wish to tour the sites of blood and bravery of almost a century ago. One does not need to be Welsh to appreciate the achievements of these soldiers. In a sense, all history is local history, and specific experiences add much to creating a wider understanding. The appendices form a roll of honour to the men of Carmarthen but speak for a whole nation's sacrifice.

 

Shropshire Star, Saturday October 24, 2009.

 

Book news and reviews

 

War tale interwoven with family intrigue. Steven John's book tells the story of Welsh comrades-in-arms.

 

Having a bit of time to spare after his move up to Shropshire, Steven John started to delve into his family tree, and quickly made surprising discoveries, including a hefty skeleton in the cupboard.

 

As he uncovered more fascinating family material from around the time of World War One, his researches broadened and deepened, and spurred him to write a book.

 

That book by Mr John, who hails from Laugharne in West Wales, has now been published and tells the story of the Carmarthen Pals — the 15th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, comprising Welsh comrades- in-arms who fought and died in the battlefields of the Western Front.

 

Mr John, who is an engineer at Muller at Market Drayton, said: 'I got offered a job just over six years ago and moved the family up here, to Shrewsbury. It's a nice town and we spent quite a few holidays up here.

 

"I started to research my family tree after I moved up here. I work shifts, so I get plenty of time off, and it's a question of finding something to occupy my spare days. I started to look into the family tree and discovered a couple of members of my family nobody knew about who were killed in the war.

 

'It's turned into a bit of an obsession, to be honest. My grandfather's father was killed in France. He was brought up by another man. We always thought this other man was his father, but I discovered his father was actually killed when he was three, and his mother was remarried, and they never told him about his real father. That started it off. Once I discovered that, I started digging into other bits and pieces of the family.'

 

'I found out that my mother's uncle was killed with the 15th Welsh, which is why I wrote the book. He died at the Battle of Mametz Wood, on the Somme. There was a Welsh division formed in the First World War and their first major battle was at Mametz Wood, so it's like a place of pilgrimage for a lot of Welsh people who are interested in the First World War.'

 

'When I found out that my great uncle was killed there I went out there for a holiday and had a good walk around the place. You tend to get caught up in the atmosphere, and that kick-started going in depth with the research.'

 

'When I got a lot of material together I thought that I might as well use it and put it into a book. I have written a couple of books on local war memorials at home.' With his Carmarthen Pals book, Mr John has linked up with Pen & Sword Books, a well-known publisher of titles with military interest.

 

A lot of it is based on the war diaries of the 15th Welsh, which are from the public records office in London. And then I was lucky enough to find the memoirs of one of the men who served in the battalion. He was William Shanahan from Llanelli. When he was in hospital in the last months of his life he dictated a lot of notes to his grandson, who wrote them into a little booklet of his memoirs, and placed them into the Imperial War Museum.

 

Mr John's interest sees him visit the battlefields three or four times a year. "All the family come. My wife has started to rebel against it a bit though- She would like a nice normal family holiday instead of traipsing around a battlefield."

 

"Carmarthen Pals" has been published by Pen & Sword. It is hardback and costs £25.

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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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