West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Amroth War Memorial

Amroth is situated just seven miles from Tenby and four miles from Saundersfoot. It is a small coastal village set within along a beautiful stretch of coastline, with some breathtaking countryside surrounding to the north. The memory of the fallen of Amroth and nearby Stepaside is kept by a beautifully embroidered memorial situated inside the Parish Church of St. Illtyd. The photograph of the War Memorial was sent in by Ruth Roberts.

 

The Great War, 1914-1918

 

Terence Kennet James Baldwin, Lieutenant, King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). Terence was born in Aldbourne, Wiltshire in 1894, the son of Francis John Augustus Baldwin, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., L.S.A., and Emily Lydia, his wife. He had married Addie Stansfield prior to the war. Terence was commissioned into the Royal Lancaster Regiment, and was posted to their 5th Battalion, part of 164 Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division. By 20 January 1918, Terence had been made full Lieutenant. The Division had been battered at the Battle of Cambrai over the winter of 1917/1918, and relieved 42nd (East Lancashire) Division in the front line at Givenchy and Festubert on 15 February 1918. It faced numerous strong German raids in March, diversions to the main attack on the Somme at the time. Terence was killed during one of these minor actions on 20 March 1918. He was 25 years old and is buried at Croix-du-Bac British Cemetery, Steenwerck.

Joseph Bowen, Rifleman, R/5283, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Joseph was the son of William and Elizabeth Bowen, of Amroth. He resided at Pontycymmer with his wife Elizabeth Ann and their children prior to the war, and enlisted at Bridgend into the Army, where he served as a regular soldier. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, which was part of 2 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division had been one of the first to arrive in France, fighting at the Battle of Mons, and taking part in the retreat to the Marne, where the Germans were stopped. They then fought at the Aisne, and at Chivy, before being moved north to Ypres. Here they fought at the First Battle of Ypres, where they again stopped the German Offensive, before wintering in Flanders. The following year saw them in action again at the Battle of Aubers, before moving South to Loos, where they fought during the Battle of Loos, and the action at the Hohenzollern redoubt. Again they were required for a major offensive, moving south to the Somme, where they fought during the opening of the Somme Offensive at the Battle of Albert. John was wounded during the initial weeks of the battle, and evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station at Warloy-Baillon, where he died of his wounds on 25 July 1916, aged 39. Joseph is buried there, at Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Lawrence Robert Vaughan Colby, Major, Grenadier Guards. Lawrence was born on 3 April 1880, the only son of John Vaughan Colby, of Ffynone, Pembrokeshire, and Anne Harriet Colby. Lawrence was a pre-war regular in the Army, and at the outbreak of war served as a Major with the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, attached to 20 Brigade, 7th Division. The Division was formed during September, 1914 and landed at Zeebrugge on 6 October, 1914. The City was already falling however, and so the Division was moved to Ypres, where they became the first British Division to hold the city. They fought during the First Battle of Ypres, and helped stop the German advance through Belgium. Lawrence was sadly killed in action at Ypres on 24 October, 1914. He was 34 years old, and has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

John Richard Cousins, Private, 62467, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Cousins, of Stepaside. He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The 53rd (Welsh) Division moved to the Mediterranean, sailing from Devonport in July, 1915 arriving at Mudros by 5 August, 1915. From here they moved to Gallipoli, landing on 9 August. Here they immediately faced the chaotic leadership that was to lead to the ultimate failure of the campaign, and spent the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. The Division remained here throughout the coming months, and suffered severe losses in manpower strength during the great November 1915 blizzard on Gallipoli, when its total strength was reduced to less than that of a full-strength Brigade. On 11 December 1915 the Division was evacuated to Mudros, and by 23 December 1915 were moved to Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, and in early 1917 moved into Palestine, where they remained for the duration of the war, fighting at the Battles of Gaza, and successfully capturing Jerusalem. At some time around the capture of Jerusalem, John was taken ill. He was brought back to Britain for treatment, but sadly died of sickness on 16 March 1918. He is buried at Amroth (St. Elidir) Churchyard.

Edward John Cutcliffe, Private, 57136, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Edward was born at Amroth, the son of William Henry and Martha Jane Cutcliffe. The family later moved to Wynlerg, Church Park, Tenby. He originally enlisted into the Welsh Regiment, but later transferred into the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which had been in France since the outbreak of war, attached to 19 Brigade. The Brigade was used to plug gaps in badly depleted divisions. Towards the end of the war, Edward was attached to 121 Brigade Headquarters, and he died of illness on 5 October 1918 in Flanders. He was 31 years old, and is buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, France.

Thomas Henry John, Private, 38127, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was born at Amroth, the son of Thomas and Priscilla John. Thomas was a miner, and resided with his wife Mary and their family at Trebanog prior to the war, enlisting at nearby Tonypandy into the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion was known as the Carmarthen Pals battalion, and was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. 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 the line in the Armentières sector, and at the end of May, 1916 moved South with the remainder of the 38th (Welsh) Division to the Somme area, in readiness for the First Battle of The Somme. The 38th Division was tasked with the taking of the infamous Mametz Wood, with the first attack going in on 7 July, when the division lost heavily in 'Death Valley' during the advance on the 'Hammer Head'. The next attack went in on 10 July and by 12 July the wood was cleared - but at the cost of over 5,000 casualties in the 38th (Welsh) Division. Thomas was killed in action during the attack on 11 July 1916, aged 35. His body was lost during the coming fighting over the area, and so he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. Thomas is not commemorated at Amroth.

William David John, Private, 20006, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of William and Elizabeth John, of Stagger's Hill, Stepaside. He had lived at Amroth prior to the outbreak of war, and enlisted at Pembroke into the Army, opting to join the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment- the ‘Carmarthen Pals’. The battalion had formed in Rhyl in October 1914 as part of the 43rd (Welsh) Division. In mid 1915 the formation became the 38th (Welsh) Division, and the 15th Welsh joined 114 Brigade. William landed in France with the battalion on 4 December 1915, and saw action with them in Flanders before their move to the Somme in June 1916. He survived the terrible fighting at Mametz Wood from 7 July to 11 July 1916, and moved with them to positions north of Ypres, on the Canal Bank at Boesinghe the following month. William was killed in action at Boesinghe on 14 March 1917 by a barrage of German Trench Mortar fire. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium.

Walter Thomas Parry, Rifleman, 374671, London Regiment. Walter was born in Amroth, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Parry. He was a postman prior to the war, and lived with his wife Grace Hannah Parry at 114, Heath Terrace, Bradford. He enlisted there into the Army and joined the 8th Battalion, London Regiment, the ‘Post Office Rifles’. The battalion was attached to 140 Brigade, 47th (2nd London) Division, which had been in France since March 1915. The Division fought at the Battle of Aubers, and the Battle of Festubert during May, 1915 and in September fought at the Battle of Loos, and subsequent Action of Hohenzollern Redoubt. They were north of Arras when the Germans attacked Vimy Ridge, and then moved south to the Somme, where they fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and then at the Battle of Le Transloy, where the Division captured Eaucourt l'Abbe, and took part in Attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt. Early in 1917 the Division moved north to Belgium, and took part in the Battle of Messines. Walter was killed in the later Battle of Passchendaele, on 30 October 1917, aged 42. His body was not recovered from the battlefield, and so he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Peter Thomas Phelps, Private, 4782, Pembroke Yeomanry. Peter was the son of Thomas and Bridget Phelps, of Trelissy, Amroth. He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1st Battalion, Pembroke Yeomanry at the outbreak of war, and sailed with the battalion in March 1916 to Egypt. Peter sadly took ill and died at Wadi-Natrun, Egypt on 22 June 1916. He was 27 years old, and was buried by his comrades at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

David Wilkins, Corporal, 8204, Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment. David was born at Amroth in 1891, the son of Esther Wilkins, of Skerry Back. He enlisted at Salisbury into the Army as a regular soldier, joining the 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment. At the outbreak of war, the battalion was in Gibraltar, but was rushed back to Britain where it joined 21 Brigade, 7th Division. The division was to be one of the finest British Divisions of the war. It landed at Zeebrugge on 6 October, 1914 to garrison the city, however the City was already falling, and so the Division was moved to Ypres, where they became the first British Division to hold the city. They fought during the First Battle of Ypres, and helped stop the German advance through Belgium, but at a heavy cost. David was killed in action at Ypres on 24 October 1914, aged 23. His grave was lost in the coming four years of fighting in the area, and so he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

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Website News

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.

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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