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

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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