West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Pontfaen War Memorial

Pontfaen is a small village situated about five miles south-east of Fishguard. The village Church, which is dedicated to St. Brynach, contains a wooden memorial to the two men of the village who fell during the Great War. Also situated within the locality, at Cwm Gwaun, is Jabez Chapel. One man is commemorated on his parents’ headstone within its cemetery. Also located nearby at Llanychaer is Glandwr Chapel, which has a marble memorial to two men from the area who fell during World War Two. These men are commemorated below, along with another local man who has not been found on any local memorials.

The Great War, 1914-1918

 

Thomas Evan James, DCM, Private, 27478, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was the son of David and Mary Ann James, of Penlanwynt, Pontfaen. He enlisted at Tonypandy into the army, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which had been in France since the outbreak of war, attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division fought in the rearguard actions from Mons, the Marne and the Aisne through to the First Battle of Ypres, where they stopped the German's at Gheluvelt. They then fought at Aubers Ridge and Loos, and at several smaller battles throughout the Winter of 1915/16, where Thomas was to gain his Distinguished Conduct Medal 'For conspicuous gallantry in volunteering to cut through the enemy's wire within a few yards of his parapet, and carrying out his objective in spite of his patrol being seen and fired on. (London Gazette 15.3.16)' The Division moved south to the Somme, where they fought in several of the minor Battles during the great offensive in 1916. Thomas was killed in action during the Battle of Bazentin, on 15 July 1916, aged 22, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. Thomas is commemorated on a memorial inside Jabes Chapel.

James Jones, Private, 204719, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. James was the son of Thomas and Mary Jones, of Penverdir Isaf, Pontfaen. He was a Postman prior to the war, and enlisted into the Welsh Regiment at Carmarthen on 8 April 1916. James landed in France on 20 August 1917, and was posted to the 17th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The battalion had been moved to positions near Armentieres when James joined them, after having taken part in heavy fighting at Ypres. James was struck by shell fragments in his thigh while in the trenches on 3 March 1918. He died of his wounds at 34th Casualty Clearing Station later that day, and is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Walter Jones, Private, 33961, Welsh Regiment. Walter was born at Nevern, but had moved to Pontfaen before the war, and enlisted at Fishguard into the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and had been in France since December 1915, and had fought in Flanders, at Mametz Wood on the Somme, and at Pilckem Ridge during the Battle of Passchendaele. In April 1915 the division had been moved to positions north of Albert on the Somme, and remained there until the launching of the great offensive of August 1918. Walter was wounded at Aveluy Wood just before the opening of the Battle of Albert. He died of wounds on 23 August 1918 and is buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, France.

Edward Thomas Llewellyn, Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Edward was the son of Thomas and Ruth Llewellyn, of Taibach, Cwm Gwaun. For several years prior to the war he had lived in 18, Porchester Gardens, Bayswater, Paddington, where he worked as a Draper. He enlisted in London into the 15th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to the 38th (Welsh) Division and was promoted to Sergeant before gaining a commission into the 4th (Garrison) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 16 April 1915. He was subsequently attached to the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The division took part in several major actions during the war, notably at the Somme in July 1916, Messines Ridge in June 1917 and at Passchendaele later that year. On 21 March 1918 was positioned near Bapaume when the Germans launched Operation Michael and over the coming days suffered terrible casualties. The battered division was transferred back to positions near Messines to recuperate but was hit again by a fresh offensive in April 1918 and after being virtually annihilated was transferred to a more peaceful sector on the Aisne, where it was unfortunately caught up in the Germans last offensive of the war. Edward had survived some terrible fighting but had been badly wounded at some time during the Battle of the Lys. He was evacuated to the base hospital at Étaples where he died of his wounds, on 18 May 1918, aged 32. He is buried in Étaples Military Cemetery, France. Edward is commemorated at Jabez Chapel, Cwm Gwaun and also on his parents’ headstone at Jabes Chapel.

World War Two, 1939-1945

Alwyn Durrant Cornock, Guardsman, 2738554, Welsh Guards. Alwyn was the son of James and Eva Cornock, of the Bridgend Inn, Llanychaer. He served with the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which was part of the 32nd Guards Brigade, Guards Armoured Division. After landing in Normandy in June 1944, the Welsh Guards fought during the break out from the beach-head, and in the drive through France and Belgium. By September the Welsh guards were fighting around Brussels. Alwyn was killed just after the liberation of the City, on 9 September 1944. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium.

Edward Derek Horton, Sergeant (Flight Engineer), 1851892, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Edward was the son of Edward and Edith Horton, of Iscoed, Llanychaer. He enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and after training as a Flight Engineer was posted to 432 (RCAF) Squadron, RAF. The squadron was attached to 6 Group, Bomber Command, and was equipped with the Vickers Wellington and then the Lancaster II, before converting to the Halifax III and then Halifax VII in 1944 and was based at RAF East Moor. At just after midnight on 23 May 1944 Edward took off from East Moor aboard Halifax III, Serial MZ506, as part of a large force ordered to bomb the strategically important target of the railway terminals at Le Mans. The Wellington was hit by flak whilst approaching its target and crashed near Moncé-en-Belin, killing all eight of its crew. Edward and his fellow crewmen are buried in Le Mans West Cemetery, France.

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Website News

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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