West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Walton West War Memorial

The Parish of Walton West sits on a beautiful position on the coast of Pembrokeshire, astride the B4341 from Haverfordwest. Little is known of its history, but it probably grew as a fishing community, and is now best known for its tourism. The War Memorial takes the form of a wooden panel, which is located within All Saint’s Church. Many thanks to Mike Berrell for the photograph of the Memorial.

 

The Great War, 1914-1918

Benjamin Davies, Private, 213014, Welsh Regiment. Benjamin was the son of David Howell Davies and Amy Davies, of Nolton. He married Florence Ellen Bennett in 1912, and the couple lived at Keystone, Camrose. Benjamin enlisted at Haverfordwest into the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties at Mametz, and were taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild. Here they fought at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, and the Battle of Langemarck. They then moved to Armentieres, where they remained from September 1917 until March 1918 when the German Spring Offensive was launched. The British had been over-run on the Somme, and so in April the Division was moved south, taking up positions North of Albert, from where they weathered the storm of the coming months, until the war turned during the Battle of Amiens, on 8 August 1918. Benjamin though was killed before the Germans launched their attack. He was wounded whilst in the front line near Armentieres during early March, 1918 and evacuated to the Hospital at St. Omer, where he died of wounds on 19 March 1918. Benjamin is buried there, at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. His brother, Thomas, also fell.

George Stanley Davies, Driver, T4/144611, Royal Army Service Corps. George, known locally as Stanley, was born at Llandeloy in 1896, the son of John Howell and Mary Davies. John later moved the family to Howelston Farm, Little Haven, and Stanley worked on the farm.  Stanley enlisted at Haverfordwest into the Army Service Corps, and was posted to France on 21 November 1915, where he joined the 1st Division Indian Cavalry. Stanley took ill during his first winter in France, and was hospitalised at Le Treport. He died there of pneumonia on 18 April 1916. Stanley was 20 years old, and is buried at Le Treport Military Cemetery, France.

Thomas Davies, Private, 71974, Kings Liverpool Regiment. Thomas was born in 1880, the son of David and Amy Davies, of Nolton. He married prior to the war, and lived with his wife Hilda at 7, Union Street, Gelli, Ystrad, Glamorgan. Thomas enlisted at Cardiff into the Kings Liverpool Regiment, and was posted to their 16th Labour Company. The Company was sent to the Western Front. Thomas was then transferred to the 81st Company, Labour Corps, and his Regimental Number changed to 48129. He was working with the Company at Ypres when he was killed in action on 5 July 1917, during the build up to the Passchendaele Offensive. Thomas was 36 years old, and is buried at Lone Tree Cemetery, Belgium. His brother Benjamin also fell.

Alfred Thomas Evans, Lance Corporal, S/11676, Rifle Brigade. Alfred was born in Little Haven in 1894, the son of Thomas and Margaret Evans. He married Gertrude Annie Richards in 1914, and they set up home at 81, Albert Town, Portfield, Haverfordwest. Alfred enlisted at Haverfordwest into the 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade, which was attached to 11 Brigade, 4th Division. One of the first Divisions to move to France, arriving just in time to join the hard-pressed Divisions of II Corps at The Battle of Le Cateau. They then took part in the epic retreat to the Marne, where the German Offensive was halted, and in the advance to the Aisne. The Division was then moved north to Flanders, and took part in the Battle of Messines, where Units of 4th Division took part in the famous Christmas Truce while they were still in this area, in trenches near Ploegsteert Wood. In 1915 the Division fought at the Second Battle of Ypres. Alfred joined the battalion here as a reinforcement on 13 July 1915. In the summer of 1916, the Division was on the Somme, where they were one of the first Divisions into battle, going over the top on 1 July 1916. Alfred was one of 20,000 men who were killed in the first few hours of the Battle of the Somme that day. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Serre Road Cemetery, No. 2, France.

Walter James Griffiths, Private, 73207, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Walter was born in 1898, the son of Joseph and Frances Griffiths, of Haroldstone Hill, Broad Haven. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the army, and was posted to France in the spring of 1917, where he joined the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division. Walter probably joined the battalion in Flanders in the summer of 1917, prior to its move to Ypres, where the Battle of Passchendaele had stalled in the mire. He was killed at Ypres on 26 November 1917, aged just 19, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Edwin James, Private, 241468, Welsh Regiment. Edwin was the son of James Watkin James and Florence Matilda James, of 98, Prendergast, Haverfordwest. He resided at St Bride's prior to the war, where he worked as an errand boy. Edwin enlisted at Mountain Ash into the army, and was posted to the 1/5th Battalion (Pontypridd), Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. Edwin probably joined the battalion in Egypt in 1916, where it was preparing for the campaign into Palestine. He was wounded early in the campaign, during the First Battle of Gaza, and died of his wounds on 26 March 1917, aged 21. His grave, like so many others who fell during the campaign in the desert, was lost, and Edwin is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.

David James Jenkins, Private, 200919, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of Thomas and M. A. Jenkins, of Broad Haven. He must have worked as a miner prior to the war, as he enlisted at Tumble into the Army, and joined the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion formed at Carmarthen during August 1914 and moved to Barracks at Pembroke Dock, where it became attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The 53rd Division moved to the Mediterranean, sailing from Devonport in July 1915 arriving at Mudros by the 5th August. 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. David was killed during the First Battle of Gaza, on 27 March 1917. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel. He was 26 years old.

Benjamin Lawless, Gunner, 64681, Royal Garrison Artillery. Benjamin was the son of John and Martha Lawless, of Bay View, Broad Haven. He travelled to nearby Haverfordwest with his friend Henry Jones, and they enlisted together into the Royal Garrison Artillery. After their basic training, the friends were split up, and Benjamin joined the 64th Siege Battery, R.G.A. The Battery was equipped with two rail mounted 12” Howitzers, and attached to the Fifth Army. The Fifth Army was in the line in front of Cambrai in the Spring of 1918 when it was caught by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918. The Fifth Army crumbled in the face of the ferocious onslaught that was brought upon them, and over the coming days retreated in turmoil. Benjamin was wounded during the ensuing fighting, and sadly died of a result on 9 April 1918. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Jesse Max, Corporal, S4/145085, Royal Army Service Corps. Jesse was the son of Thomas and Ann Max, of Blockett Farm, Little Haven. Prior to the war he lived with his wife, Maude E. Max, at Burton House, Little Haven. Jesse had enlisted at Haverfordwest into the Army, and was posted to the 58th Field Butchery, Army Service Corps. Jesse was sent out to Egypt with his unit, and followed the British advance into Mesopotamia throughout 1917. The campaign in Mesopotamia was to be plagued by illness, and Jesse was one of the men to succumb to this, when he died of sickness on 10 September 1918. Jesse was 37 years old, and is buried at Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia.

 

William Max, Guardsman, 20020, Grenadier Guards. William was the son of Thomas and Ann Max, of Blockett Farm, Little Haven. He had served with the Grenadier Guards during the Boer War before leaving the army and married Mary Ann Manning, of Walton West, in 1904. By 1911 the couple were living at 27, School Road, Dyffryn, Neath. He re-enlisted into the Grenadier Guards at the outbreak of war and was posted to their 4th Battalion. He was on duty in London on 5 February 1915 when he was found to be drunk and became aggressive and violent when approached. William was taken to the Queen Alexandria Hospital in London where he became very anxious, stating that he was going to be shot. His mental health had broken down and he was discharged to Carmarthen Asylum on 19 February where he was treated for alcoholism and wild delusions which made him aggressive and threatening to the staff. William struggled with his health until dying on 12 November 1919 aged 39. He is buried in Bridgend Cemetery. William does not appear to be commemorated locally, although his brother Jesse is.

Joseph Mills, Private, 5892, Welsh Regiment. The memorial shows this man as William Mills, but no-one of that name from this area fell during the war, so it may be incorrect. Joseph was the son of John and Jane Mills, of Woodland, Little Haven. He had served with the 4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment during the war, but due to suffering from wounds at some time had been medically downgraded, and transferred to the Labour Corps, with the new service number 483046. Joseph sadly died as a result of his wounds, just days after the end of the war, on 15 November 1918. He was 31 years old, and is buried at Milford Haven Cemetery. His cousin Albert Mills, of Milford Haven sadly drowned whilst bathing in the River Lys in Flanders on 25 September 1917, and is commemorated at Milford.

William Ormond, Private, 11705, Welsh Regiment. William was born at Tenby. He must have resided at Walton West prior to the war, and then moved to Mardy, Glamorgan. He enlisted at Tonypandy into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was formed at Cardiff during August 1914 as part of K.1. They were then attached to 40 Brigade, 13th Western Division. The Brigade assembled at Salisbury Plain, and then moved to Chiseldon and Cirencester in September 1914. Toward the end of February 1915, the entire Division concentrated at Blackdown in Hampshire, and in June 1915 sailed for the Mediterranean. On 4 July 1915 the Division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division. From there, the Division took part in several actions, most notably The Battle of Sari Bair between 6-10 August 1915 and the Battle of Russell's Top on 7 August 1915. William was wounded during the August battles, and evacuated to Egypt, where he sadly Died of Wounds on 25 August 1915. He is buried at Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

Daniel Phillips. This man cannot presently be identified.

 

Isaac John Rhead, Private, 14055, Welsh Regiment. Isaac was the son of Isaac James and Margaret Ann Rhead (nee Llewellyn), of Bushford, Little Haven, Haverfordwest. He enlisted at Haverfordwest at the outbreak of war, into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion landed in France during July 1915 attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division, and took up positions in the Nursery Sector near Festubert. After taking heavy casualties during a diversionary attack during the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, the Division was moved to the Somme the following year, where it took part in the opening assault on La Boiselle on 1 July 1916. The Division saw heavy fighting on the Somme during the first weeks of the offensive before moving to positions near Bazentin-le-Petit towards the end of the month. Isaac was killed when the 9th Welsh came under artillery fire which had been opened up by the Germans in retaliation for a British barrage on 30 July 1916. He was 19 years old and was originally buried at the edge of nearby Mametz Wood, but his grave was later lost and he is now commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

William Alban Rogers, Rifleman, 653437, London Regiment. William was the son of Richard and Mary Anne Rogers, of Broad Haven. He had married prior to the outbreak of war, and lived with his wife, Nellie Rogers, at 9, Cintra Park, Upper Norwood, London. William enlisted there into the Army, and joined the 21st Battalion (1st Surrey Rifles), London Regiment, which was attached to 142 Brigade, 47th (2nd London) Division. The Division moved to France from 9 March 1915, and saw its first major actions at the Battle of Aubers, and the Battle of Festubert during May 1915. In September the division 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, which is where William was killed in action on 7 June 1917, aged 35. William has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

John Thomas, Private, 16284, Welsh Regiment. John was born at Dale in 1896, the son of Mark and Mary Thomas, of Wathwick. He worked as a Cowman for the Gibby family at Talbenny prior to the war, and enlisted at Haverfordwest into the 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion was raised at Porthcawl before moving to Rhyl, and in the summer of 1915 moved to Winchester as part of 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The division suffered terrible casualties during its first unsuccessful attack on 7 July 1916, and its second attack between 10 to 12 July, which cleared the Germans from the wood. The battered Division was taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild, taking up positions along the Boesinghe Canal. On 1 May 1917 the 10th Welsh moved into the line to relieve the 10th SWB. After ten days in the line, on 11 May 1917, the battalion was moving out of the line to rest, when John was killed in action by shellfire. He was 20 years old, and is buried at Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, Belgium.

World War Two, 1939-1945

 

Thomas George Sinnett, Sergeant, 1135365, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Thomas was the son of Frederick and Anne Jane Sinnett, of Milford Haven. He enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and was posted to No 19 O.T.U. at RAF Kinloss. Thomas was killed on 16 October 1942 while training aboard an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, Serial BD212, which crashed during an exercise with the loss of all five of its crew. Thomas was 21 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, alongside his crew-mates: Flight Sergeant M H Hargreaves RCAF, Sergeant J R MacKinnon RCAF, Pilot Officer J L G Campbell, Sergeant D A A Saunders, and Sergeant T G Sinnett.

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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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