Men and women from west Wales served in every operational theatre of war during the Second World War, as well as serving in every branch of the armed forces. This page commemorates those from Pembrokeshire who gained gallantry awards during the conflict. It is very much a work in progress and more details will be added as they become available.
Llewellyn Arthur Augustus Alston, CBE, DSO, MC, Colonel, 1739, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Wolfscastle). Llewellyn had commanded the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, before being attaché to the US Army in France. As well as being awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross, he was created C.B.E. on 18 September 1945. On 30 December 1947 the London Gazette also acknowledged his award of the USA Legion of Merit, the citation reading: ‘The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit, in the Degree of Officer to Colonel Llewellyn Arthur Augustus Alston, British Army, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from September 1944 to May 1945. General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 27.’
Thomas Ivor Cavell Anthony, MID, Stoker, LT/KX, 103338, Royal Navy. (Haverfordwest). Thomas was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 2 June 1944.
Hugh Baker, MC, Captain, 187147, Gordon Highlanders. (Pembroke Dock). Hugh was attached to the Royal Armoured Corps, and served in Burma. He had been educated at Pembroke Council School. His award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 15 January 1946.
Karel Becvar, DFC, Flight Lieutenant (W/Op), 82587, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Talbenny). Karel was a Czech airman who had escaped to Britain and joined 311 (Czech) Squadron, RAF, based at RAF Talbenny. He was recommended for the Distinguished Service Order after carrying out 35 sorties, mostly over Berlin, and was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was approved on 12 March 1942. He was killed on a raid on 18 August 1942.
William James Boast, DSM, MID, Chief Engineer, Fishing Fleet. (Milford). William was born on 5 June 1881, the son of William and Mary Ann Boast, of Yarmouth. He married Sarah Susannah Willgrass at Yarmouth in 1903, and by 1910 the couple had moved to 45, Great North Road, Milford Haven. He had served with the Royal Naval Reserve during WW1, and was mentioned in despatches on 27 June 1917 as well as being awarded the Distinguished Service Medal on 31 December 1917. He lived at Neyland after the war, and his wife Sarah died there in 1933. During WW2 William served as Chief Engineer of the Fishing Vessel Charmouth. On 14 November 1946 William was one of nine men killed when a mine blew up in the ships nets after being snagged. William was 65 years old and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. William's body was later reported to have been brought to Milford Haven for burial.
Thomas Bowen, MBE, Major, Home Guard. (Pembroke). Thomas was awarded the MBE for services to the 3rd Battalion, Pembroke Home Guard on 15 December 1944.
Michael Bryant, BEM, Corporal, 1913949, Royal Engineers. (Haverfordwest). Michael enlisted on 19 January 1940, and served in France with 684 GC Company, Royal Engineers, before being evacuated from Dunkirk with the BEF. After returning from Dunkirk, Michael was awarded the British Empire Medal for his gallantry after rescuing a man from the wreckage of a bombed house in Scotland. He was then posted to 934 Port Construction and Repair Company, Royal Engineers, and landed back in France on 11 July 1944, his unit being involved in the construction and repair of pontoon bridges. Michael was killed during a road accident in Germany on 18 April 1945. He was 30 years old, and is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Arthur George Frederick Campodonic, MBE, MID, Pilot Officer, 51613, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Arthur was a former pupil of Pembroke Council School. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the MBE for his services in the Middle East.
Evelyn Henry Chavasse, DSO, DSC, Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Navy. (Cilgerran). Evelyn was born in Ireland on 10 October 1906, the son of Henry and Judith Chavasse, and was a cousin to the famous double VC winner Noel Chavasse. His father had been brought up in Cilgerran and had served for many years in the army before moving back to his native Ireland after retiring. Evelyn, who had by the time of the war moved to Lampeter, had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy, being Commander of the Escort and U-boat Hunting Groups in the Battle of the Atlantic between 1942 and 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in the King’s Birthday Honours List of 2 June 1943, and soon afterwards was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. The award was published in the London Gazette of 3 September 1943 and was for ‘gallantry, skill and devotion to duty in actions' against enemy submarines while serving in H.M. Ships Broadway, Hesperus, Swale and Hurricane in the escort of convoys.’ Upon leaving the Royal Navy he became Aide-de-Camp and Private Secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey between 1950 and 1952. He was ordained in 1954, and took up several curacies before retiring to 3 Aphrodite Street, Kyrenia, Cyprus, and died on 9 August 1991. (The photograph is courtesy of the IWM).
Kendal George Fleming Chavasse, DSO, Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Irish Fusiliers. (Cilgerran). Kendal was born in Ireland on 28 September 1904, the son of Henry and Judith Chavasse, and was a cousin to the famous double VC winner Noel Chavasse. His father had been brought up in Cilgerran and had served for many years in the army before moving back to his native Ireland after retiring. Kendal was educated at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, and the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, but failed to get a commission into the Royal Navy, and instead became commissioned into the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1924, serving in India, Egypt, Sudan, Malta and Cyprus prior to the war. He was Brigade Major to the 150th Infantry Brigade of the BEF in 1940 and took part in the evacuation from Dunkirk, being mentioned in despatches for his work in France. Early in 1942 he took over command of the 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, which he led in North Africa and Italy and gained the award of the DSO for his services in Tunisia (LG 11 February 1943): ‘Between 25 Nov and 10 Dec. Lt-Col Chavasse was in command of his regiment covering the right flank 78 Division east of Oued Med Jerga. During this period he successfully prevented German Armoured columns and Tank patrols from interfering with our operations. Largely by his personal example, dash and daring, his unit of two weak squadrons, in spite of being outgunned, out armoured and frequently dive-bombed, dominated the area, and throughout the period he obtained valuable information of enemy movement. This officer showed outstanding qualities of leadership.’. He was awarded a Bar to his DSO for his services in Italy (LG 10 February 1944), when his unit was attacked by the 16th Panzer Division: ‘his personal example was the mainspring of a gallant and effective defence which did much to ensure the successful outcome of the operations’. Kendal, along with two of his brothers, Paul and Evelyn, were decorated by King George VI at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in July 1945, when the brothers received between themselves a total of five DSOs and one DSC. After the war Kendal was awarded the American Legion of Merit, and served in various posts until retiring in 1947 after which he became a farmer, and died in Waterford in April 2001.
Paul Morrison Bushe Chavasse, CBE, DSC, Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy. (Cilgerran). Paul was born on 4 January 1908, the son of Henry and Judith Chavasse, and was a cousin to the famous double VC winner Noel Chavasse. His father had been brought up in Cilgerran and had served for many years in the army before moving back to his native Ireland after retiring. Paul joined the Royal Navy in 1926 and was educated at Dartmouth and Greenwich before being commissioned an acting sub-lieutenant on 1 May 1928. By the outbreak of war he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross whilst serving aboard HMS Princess Victoria (LG 11 July 1940); and was mentioned in despatches for service in the Mediterranean aboard HMS Bulolu (LG 13 October 1942), and was then awarded a second DSC whilst serving aboard HMS Anson, for his role in the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst (LG 7 March 1944). He was promoted to commander on 31 December 1944 and served in the Operations Division (Mining) on HMS President. In 1953, he was appointed the third commander of the Royal Ceylon Navy with the temporary rank of commodore. Serving until 1955, he was appointed a CBE in 1960 and retired as a captain later that year. He died in Waterford on 23 August 1994.
David Frank Crow, MID, Petty Officer, P/J 109258, Royal Navy. (Pembroke Dock). David was the son of Walter and Annie Maria Crow, and the husband of Rosalie Alice Crow, of Bournemouth, Hampshire. He was serving aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Puckeridge when she was attacked by German aircraft off the Welsh coast on 13 December 1941, and was one of 18 men killed aboard her that day. David was 36 years old, and is buried at Pembroke Dock (Llanion) Cemetery. He was posthumously mentioned in despatches for his gallant work following the attack, the citation being published in the London Gazette of 17 February 1942: ‘Petty Officer-David Frank Crow, P/5.109258. Who, though badly shaken by blast from a bomb, took charge of a party when a fire broke out in his ship, and by his dauntless courage, leadership and humour inspired all who worked with him, until the fire was put out. He then took charge of the forecastle, when the ship was taken in tow, and in harbour saw to the landing of the wounded. Only then did he himself report sick. Soon afterwards he died of his injuries.’
Howard Earl Dabbs, DFC, Pilot Officer (Pilot), J/15608, Royal Canadian Air Force. Howard was the son of William L. Dabbs and Florence D. Dabbs, of Daysland, Alberta, Canada. Howard enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was posted to 101 (Royal Air Force) Squadron, based at Holme Upon Spalding Moor. He was an experienced pilot, having flown in eight raids in Wellington’s and a further four in Lancaster’s, and had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross just four days before his final mission. The citation, published in the London Gazette of 15 December 1942, read; ‘One night in December, 1942, this officer was pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Frankfurt. When nearing the target area, his aircraft, whilst held in a cone of searchlights was hit by anti-aircraft fire and one of its engines was put out of action. Despite this, Pilot Officer Dabbs flew on to his target but, as the bomb release mechanism was unserviceable, he was unable to drop his bombs. Displaying skilful airmanship he flew his aircraft back to this country without the assistance of wireless aids. With a full bomb load he made a masterly landing in poor visibility. This officer's skill and determination in the face of adverse circumstances set an example worthy of the highest praise. He has flown on several sorties with distinction.’ On the night of 6 December 1942, Howard took off in his Lancaster, Serial ED322, bound for Mannheim. On the return leg the following morning, the Lancaster became lost over the Pembrokeshire coast, and crashed into the sea off Tenby, killing the crew. Over the next ten days, four bodies washed ashore on various beaches in the area. Howard's body was one of these, and he is buried in Carew (St. Mary) New Churchyard. He was just 20 years old. The three other crewmen were not recovered and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, England.
Harold Davey, MBE, Captain, 68698, Royal Engineers. (Pembroke Dock). Harold’s award of the MBE was published in the London Gazette of 16 February 1943.
David John Davies, OBE, Chief Officer, Merchant Navy. (Milford). David was awarded the Lloyd’s Medal for Lifesaving at Sea and the OBE, following the sinking of his ship, the SS Athelknight, in May 1942. The award was published in the London Gazette of 26 May 1942. He, along with the Captain and a number of survivors, managed to survive an epic rescue of fifty crew members in two lifeboats. David’s boat reached the Leeward Isles after 27 days at sea.
Edward Vaughan Davies, CMG, DSO, OBE, Master, Merchant Navy. (Llanrhian). Edward served as Master of the SS Apapa when she was bombed by a German Kondor aircraft and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean on 15 November 1940. There were two hundred and twenty-nine survivors including the master, Capt. Davies, but five passengers and eighteen crew members perished. His award of the OBE was published in the London Gazette of 1 January 1942. He was also awarded the Czechoslovak Military Cross, 1939. The award was published in the London Gazette of 15 September 1942 and read: ‘The KING has been graciously pleased to grant unrestricted permission for the wearing of the Czechoslovak Military Cross, 1939, which has been conferred by the President of the Czechoslovak Republic upon the undermentioned Officers and Men of the Merchant Navy in recognition of their gallant conduct during the withdrawal of Czechoslovak troops from France in June, 1940.’
Jack Davies, MID, Captain. (Neyland). Jack was a former pupil of Pembroke Council School and was reported to have been Mentioned in Despatches just prior to being demobilised. Nothing more is presently known of him.
Vaughan Ninian Startin Davies, DSC, Lieutenant (Pilot), Royal Naval Reserve. (Llanrhian). Vaughan’s award of the Distinguished Service Cross was published in the London Gazette of 24 April 1942. The citation read: ‘For sustained courage, skill and enterprise in many air operations by night and day, against the Enemy in the Mediterranean.’
F. A. Denney, CdeG, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Denney was reputedly mentioned in despatches during the war. The report stated: ‘Flt/ Lt. F. A. Denney has been awarded the Croix de Guerre with gold star. He joined the R.A.F. at the beginning of the war and became an expert parachutist, taking an important part in the training of French personnel attached to Special Service units. It was for this work and for the part he played in subsequent operational sorties that the honour was conferred on him. He was very closely associated with the training of men of the French Resistance movement, and accompanied them as a dispatcher on their operational missions over Occupied Europe. The citation states that he was at all times an inspiration to the men under his command.’
John Dick, DSM, Leading Stoker, P/KX 92859, Royal Navy. (Freshwater West). John was the son of Andrew and Isabella Dick, of Inverkeithing, Fife. He was 23 years old when he drowned following the HMLCG(L) 16 disaster in Freshwater Bay on 26 April 1943, and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. John had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his gallantry earlier in the war.
Cecil Percival Dorsett, MID, Lance Corporal, 6098255, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. (Haverfordwest). Cecil was the son of Percival and Gladys Clara Dorsett, of Wolverhampton. He married Evelyn Pearl Phillips, of Haverfordwest in 1941. Cecil served with 6th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. The battalion had taken part in the retreat to Dunkirk, before embarking for North Africa. Cecil was killed during Operation Vulcan, the final offensive against the Afrika Korps. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Oued Zarga War Cemetery, Tunisia. He had been mentioned in despatches at some time during the war.
Hugo Dostal, DFM, Sergeant (Pilot), 787536, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Talbenny). Hugo was a Czech Pilot who had fled to England following the German invasion of his country and joined 311 (Czech) Squadron, RAF at RAF Talbenny. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal at some time prior to being killed during a mission on 15 July 1942.
Vivian Dykes, CBE, DSM, Brigadier, P15128, Royal Engineers. (Talbenny). Vivian was the son of Alfred Herbert Dykes, J.P., and of Annie Louise Dykes (nee Jassmann) and the husband of Ada Winifred Dykes, of Camberley. He had a long and distinguished military career, after being commissioned into the Royal Engineers during WW1 and was already CBE when he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (USA) by the American government on 23 February 1943. He served at RAF Talbenny and died there on 29 January 1943 aged 44. He is buried in Yorktown (St. Michael) Churchyard, Surrey.
Arthur Benjamin Dyson, MID, D/J 88384, Leading Seaman. (Saundersfoot). Arthur was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 2 June 1944.
Gordon James Edwards, DFC, Pilot Officer, 177700, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Milford). Gordon was the son of Bertram and Mary Jane Edwards, of Milford Haven. He served as Pilot with 405 Squadron, RAFVR. The Squadron was designated a Canadian Squadron, and was equipped with the Lancaster heavy bomber from mid 1943 onwards, when it was also selected to be a Pathfinder Squadron, one of the elite Squadrons of the RAF. Gordon had earned himself the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was listed in the London Gazette of 28 July 1944, although there is no citation to say why he was awarded it. He was killed when his Lancaster, serial PB527, crashed in the North Sea on 16 September 1944 during a bombing raid to Kiel. All of the crew perished. Gordon was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Out of the crew, one man is buried in Sønderho, one in Esbjerg and five have no known grave.
John Edwards, BEM, Sergeant, Home Guard. (Pembroke). John served with the 1st Battalion, Pembroke Home Guard. His award of the BEM was published in the London Gazette of 12 December 1944 and was in recognition of Meritorious Service in the Home Guard.
Charles Henry Evans, MBE, Warrant Ordnance Officer, Royal Navy. (Haverfordwest). Charles was the son of Joseph George Evans and Lily Evans, of Haverfordwest. He served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Tyne, a Destroyer Depot Ship. Charles died on 29 October 1944, aged 44, and is buried at Haverfordwest (St. Thomas A Becket) Churchyard. Charles is not commemorated at Haverfordwest.
James Morgan Evans, MC, Lieutenant, 4th Gurkha Rifles. (Tenby). James’ award of the Military Cross was awarded in 1944 for his gallantry in Burma.
Dennis Joseph Fitzpatrick, MM, Serjeant, 401023, Royal Armoured Corps. (Milford). Dennis was born on 4 March 1906 at Weymouth, and enlisted into the Cavalry of the Line on 31 January 1927. After postings with the King's Dragoon Guards, 5th Irish Dragoon Guards, and the 15/19th Hussars, he was finally posted to the 11th Hussars in March 1938. He served with the regiment in Palestine from July to September 1938, for which service his General Service Medal was sent to his mother in October 1945. He continued his service with the 11th Hussars at the outbreak of war. Dennis fought through the North African, Italian and Western Europe Campaigns, and gained the Military Medal for gallantry in North Africa. The citation for his award read; ‘On April 7th, Sgt. Fitzpatrick was in charge of a mortar section mounted in a White Scout Car under command of an Armoured Car Troop Leader. Near Djedida he heard German voices and realised that the troop had been ambushed by a strong force hidden in the olive groves. He quickly warned the Troop Leader and almost at once the troop came under heavy fire from two 88mm guns only 400 yards away and many machine guns. The Troop Leader's car was knocked out and Sgt. Fitzpatrick, finding it impossible to turn round, ordered his men to dismount just before his own car was knocked out. For the next hour he led his men, encouraging them and crawling through the cornfields under intense fire and later pursued by infantry. Eventually he got them into safety and under cover of darkness the whole section returned to our lines. By his quick action and fine leadership he saved the lives of his men. Sgt. Fitzpatrick has served in the Western Desert since the outbreak of hostilities and at all times he has shown complete disregard for his personal safety. I recommend that he be awarded the Military Medal.’ Dennis then landed with the Regiment in Normandy on D-Day, and fought up though Northern France. through Belgium and into Holland. Dennis was taken captive on September 8, 1944, along with three other 2 troop members between St Nicholas and Kemseke, Holland, during a meeting with a German Mk IV Special Tank, but escaped from his captors, and returned to Britain. He returned to Germany in August 1945, but sadly on 8 September 1945, Dennis was fatally injured in a traffic accident only weeks after returning back to the regiment after escaping captivity. He was 39 years old, and is buried at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany. His medals and battledress tunic were sold at auction in 2003.
Edgar Ivor Flavell, MM, Corporal, 319705, Royal Armoured Corps. (Pembroke Dock). Edgar served with the 12th Royal Lancers. His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 23 March 1944.
Geoffrey Theodore Garratt, MBE, Major, 135713, Pioneer Corps. (Pembroke Dock). Geoffrey was the son of the Reverend Charles Foster Garratt and Agnes Mary Garratt (nee Percival), and the Husband of Annie Beryl Garratt (Nee Benthall), of Bishopsteignton, Devon. Geoffrey was a well known man, having studied for his M.A. at Oxford, he was a Justice of the Peace, and the author of several political books, and had been awarded the MBE by King George VI. Geoffrey was the most senior man killed during the explosion at the defensible barracks on 28 April 1942. He was 53 years old, and is buried in Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery.
Archibald John Gutch, MC, Captain (T/Major), 64608, Worcestershire Regiment. (Angle). Archibald’s award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 17 October 1944.
William G. Gwilliam, CGM, Able Seaman, HMS Exeter. (Milford Haven). William was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal while serving aboard HMS Exeter, during the Battle of the River Plate, when Exeter suffered severe damage in action against the German Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee. His citation, published in the London Gazette of 23 February 1940, read; ‘William G. Gwilliam, Able Seaman, H.M.S. Exeter; who helped Midshipman Cameron to smother the flames of a burning ammunition locker, and to throw hot shells, with their brass cases either missing or split open, over the side. He showed no regard for his own safety in putting out fires on the Upper Deck near the aircraft from which petrol was leaking.’
Albert Joseph Harries, MM, Private, 4032405, The King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Albert was the son of David John and Elizabeth Harries, of Haverfordwest, and served with the 2nd Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The battalion had served at the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940, then in North Africa, and during the invasion of Italy, before returning home, where it took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Albert was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery during the Normandy campaign, and then fought with the battalion during the drive through Holland. He was killed in Holland on 17 October 1944, and is buried at Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Francis Ernest Hawkins, BEM, Fisherman, Fishing Fleet (Milford). Francis was the son of Francis Moxey Hawkings and Lilian Grace Hawkings, of Milford Haven, and lived at 87, Shakespeare Avenue, Milford Haven. He had been awarded the British Empire Medal early in the war, for his courage in action against enemy aircraft while aboard Trawler P & Y in 1941. He was drowned while serving aboard the Trawler M85 Ely, which sunk after colliding with HM Canadian Corvette Trillium on 14 January 1945. Francis was 35 years old. He is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission because the loss of M85 Ely was not seen as being war related. His brother Ernest also fell during WW2.
Joseph Robert Horwood, MM, Corporal, 6149840, Royal Sussex Regiment. (Pembroke). Joseph’s award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 8 March 1945.
James John Hughes, MID, Pilot Officer, 131806, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Haverfordwest). James was the son of Abel and Florence Hughes, of Haverfordwest, and served with 405 Squadron, Royal Air Force. The squadron was a heavy bomber unit, equipped with the Avro Lancaster, based at RAF Topcliffe in 1942. James died when his Lancaster was lost during a raid on 28 June 1942. He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
John Anthony Hughes-Rees, DFM, Flying Officer (Pilot), 113942, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Newport). John was the son of Anthony Hughes-Rees, and of Anne Hughes-Rees, of Newport. He joined 609 Squadron, RAFVR on 18 September 1940 at Middle Wallop as a Sergeant pilot. On 25th September his engine failed and he crash landed at Glastonbury in Supermarine Spitfire L1008. On 8 July 1941 he was shot down in combat with several Messerschmitt Bf109's and baled out of his Supermarine Spitfire. John was rescued by Air Sea Rescue off the Goodwin Sands at 06:30hrs. John was then awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his gallant flying, gazetted on 8 August 1941. His citation read 'This airman has completed a large number of operational sorties against the enemy and has destroyed at least four of their aircraft. In. every engagement he has shown courage and enterprise.' John returned to his Squadron in November 1941, and was commissioned in December. In March 1942 he was posted to 73 OTU at Abu Sueir in Egypt as a Flying Instructor, and was promoted to Flying Officer in October 1942. Sadly John Hughes-Rees contracted Poliomyelitis and died on 30 April 1943, aged 22, and was buried at Moascar War Cemetery. John is recorded as a Fighter Ace, having 4 and 1 shared destroyed, 1 probably destroyed and 1 damaged.
Donald Sidney A Hutley, GM, Lieutenant, Royal Corps of Signals. (Monkton). Donald was awarded the coveted George Medal for ‘Carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.’ The award was Gazetted on 6 November 1944.
Owen James, MM, Sergeant, 825827, Royal Artillery. (Pembroke Dock). Owen’s award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 19 June 1945.
Robert Voase Jeff, DFC and Bar, Flight Lieutenant, 39285, Royal Air Force. (Tenby). Robert was the son of Ernest and Madge Jeff, of Tenby, and served with 87 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was a fighter squadron, equipped at the beginning of the war with the Hawker Hurricane, which it flew during the Battle of France in 1940. Robert gained the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal twice, and the French Croix-de-Guerre, during his prematurely short career with the RAF, in which he shot down several German aircraft. He was killed when his Hurricane was lost in combat over Portland Bill on 11 August 1940. Robert is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. His brother John also fell. Robert’s Bar to his DFC was awarded after his death; ‘This officer was a first class leader who inspired his flight with the offensive spirit and himself shot down five enemy aircraft.’
Charles Frederick Jelley, DFC, Flying Officer (Observer), 161812, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Pembroke). Charles was the son of Christopher James Jelley and Dorothy Ellis Jelley, of Pembroke. He was educated at Pembroke Dock County School, before joining the Royal Air Force, where he became an Observer with 635 Squadron, RAF, which was an elite Pathfinder unit. Charles was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in the London Gazette of 15 November 1943. On 6 January 1945, Charles was serving as a mid-upper turret gunner aboard Lancaster PB-228, during a raid on Hanau, when it collided with another Lancaster above Grobaheim, Germany, and crashed with the loss of seven men. Charles was 21 years old, and is buried at Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.
William Mauvan Jenkins, MM, Corporal, 6030531, Wiltshire Regiment. (Pembroke Dock). William’s award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 24 May 1945.
Henry Brynmor John, MBE, Paymaster Commander (S), Royal Navy. (Narberth). Henry was the son of Jonah and Mary John and was born in 1897 in High Street, Narberth. Henry married Elizabeth Dorothy Williams, of Laugharne. Harry was educated at Narberth School, and during 1914, at the age of 17, he entered into St. George's College in London to pursue a Naval Career. At the age of 18, Harry was serving in the Royal Navy-probably aboard H.M.S. Juno, where he assisted with the rescue of survivors from the torpedoed passenger ship 'Lusitania', which had been sunk by a German submarine off the Irish coast with great loss of life. By 1920, Harry had been awarded the Order of the Nile, whilst serving at the Royal Naval base at Port Said. And had reached the rank of Paymaster-Lieutenant. Later that year Harry was awarded the MBE and was invested by King George V at Buckingham Palace. By the age of 38, Harry had risen to the rank of Paymaster Commander. Harry's first posting after the Great War was aboard the cruiser HMS Frobisher. On 14 November 1930, he was posted to Bermuda (HMS Flora). Harry spent a year aboard the battleship HMS Rodney, until July 1935, and then transferred to the cruiser HMS Exeter where he saw active service during the famous 'Sinking of the Graf Spee' off the River Plate in South America. He served aboard the HMS Exeter until August 1939 and from 15 November 1941, Harry served aboard the Battleship HMS Resolution, as Squadron Accountant, 3rd Battle Squadron. On 29 December 1943, Harry was transferred to the navigation school at Portsmouth (HMS Dryad). He was promoted to Commander in the Royal Navy, and served on the Combined Operations staff under Lord Mountbatten, which planned the D-Day landings. Harry's last posting was at HMS President-a Royal Naval Gunnery School in London. It was whilst serving there that Harry and his wife decided to visit Plymouth en-route to a trip home to visit family in Narberth and Laugharne. Whilst in Plymouth, Harry took ill and was taken into St. George's Hospital in London. He died three weeks later of heart failure, aged 49, on 26 August 1946 and was cremated in the Golders Green Crematorium, Middlesex.
Ronald David Johnstone, MC, Captain, 219944, Royal Armoured Corps. (Neyland). Ronald was the son of Thomas White Johnstone and Annie Johnstone of Neyland. He married Norma Cornelius, of Sketty, Swansea in 1942. He had gained his B.A. with Honours (Cantab.) prior to the war, and was commissioned on 25 August 1941 into the 2nd Lothians and Border Horse, Royal Armoured Corps, which moved to North Africa in 1942. Ronald was awarded the Military Cross, for gallant service in North Africa, which was published in the London Gazette of 23 September 1943. By then the Allies had invaded Italy, and were driving towards Rome. Ronald was killed in action in Italy, during a tank battle against the Hermann Goering Panzer Division on 8 June 1944. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Bolsena War Cemetery, Italy.
David Rhys Geraint Jones, MID, Lieutenant, 247467, The Monmouthshire Regiment. (Haverfordwest). David was the son of William Emlyn David and Mary Ceinwen Jones, of Haverfordwest. He was educated at Haverfordwest Grammar School, Cheltenham College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1942 he passed through Sandhurst and received a commission to the Royal Armoured Corps, before being posted to the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment. The battalion landed in Normandy as part of 11th Armoured Division in June 1944, and took part in the break out from the beach head. David was killed when his Company were attacked by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, during Operation Epsom on 28 June 1944. He was 22 years old, and is buried at St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Cheux, France. He had been Mentioned in Despatches during his brief time in France, and was a well known Poet.
Jack Garner Jones, MID, Lieutenant, Royal Marines. (Tenby). Jack was born in 1922. He married Lelgarde De Clare John, the daughter of Police Sergeant J. H. John, of Tenby in 1944, prior to embarking for the Far East with No. 42 Royal Marine Commando. Jack was killed in Burma on 31 January 1945, aged 22, and was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches. He is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar. Jack is not commemorated at Tenby.
Morgan Harries Lanham, MID, Leading Seaman, D/SSX 16051, Royal Navy. (Goodwick). Morgan was the son of William Hadley Lanham and Martha Lanham, of Goodwick, and served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Onslow. Onslow was an O-class destroyer of the Royal Navy which entered service in 1941. Onslow saw considerable action during the war, and survived the hostilities, being transferred to the Pakistan Navy in 1949. Morgan died aboard Onslow on 31 December 1942 during the Battle of the Barents Sea while Onslow was serving as part of the destroyer escort for Arctic Convoy JW 51B. During the battle Onslow received three direct hits from the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper which severely damaged the bridge and engine room. This caused many casualties among Onslow's crew killing 17, including Morgan, and severely injuring the escort commander Capt Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke. Morgan was buried in sea. He was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. He had been Mentioned in Despatches for ‘bravery in northern waters’ during his time at war, which was published in the London Gazette of 27 April 1943. (The photograph of Morgan is courtesy of Chris John).
Frank Stewart Lamb, BEM, Engineer, Fishing Fleet. (Llanhowell). Frank was awarded the British Empire Medal for his bravery when a German aircraft attacked his trawler on 9 July 1941. The citation was published in the London Gazette of 20 January 1942 and read; 'The trawlers were fishing in pairs, when an aircraft was sighted from ahead. It flew towards one of the trawlers and dropped a bomb, which fell clear. Lamb, who was at the gun, at once fired at the aircraft, which sheered off towards the second ship, attacked her with cannon and machine guns, and flew back to bomb the first vessel. It then dropped two bombs astern of the second ship and returned to the first, whose skipper told his gunner to hold his fire as long as he dared. Lamb opened fire, and, after 30 or 40 rounds, the aircraft shot up into the air, dropped another bomb, and made off. It was then seen to wobble badly, drop several bombs and fall into the sea. The first trawler, which had been badly damaged by a bomb, was taken in tow by the other vessel and brought safely into port.'
Vernon Charles Lewis, DFM, Flight Sergeant (Flight Engineer), 570550, Royal Air Force. (Milford). Vernon was the son of Hubert William ‘Stokey’ Lewis, VC, and Edith Evelyn Lewis (nee Etherington), of Milford Haven. He was a brave man like his father and had served as a pre-war regular with the Royal Air Force. He had gained the Distinguished Flying Medal on 23 August 1943 while serving with 83 Squadron, RAF. Sadly though, Vernon was killed the following day. The Squadron was equipped with the Lancaster Bomber, and Vernon was killed when his Lancaster, Serial ED984, was shot down during a raid over Germany on 24 August 1943 killing six of its crew. Vernon was 22 years old, and is buried at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.
John Henry Lloyd, MBE, Warrant Officer I, 281200, Royal Air Force. (Warren). John was born in Pembrokeshire in 1897, probably the son of John and Anna Lloyd. He served during World War Two with the Royal Air Force, being awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours list of 1 January 1943. John survived the war, but died in Pembrokeshire on 27 April 1947. He was 50 years old, and is buried at Warren (St. Mary) Churchyard.
John Timothy Alban Lloyd, MC, Captain, 211566, Royal Army Medical Corps. (Llanwnda). John’s award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 19 December 1944.
John Edward Mathias, DFC, Flying Officer (Pilot), 162961, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Narberth). John was the son of William Griffiths Mathias and Daisy Victoria Mathias, of Narberth. He trained as a Pilot, and served with 305 (Polish) Squadron, an elite unit, which was armed with the twin-engined De Havilland Mosquito. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in September 1943, but was sadly killed on 27 April 1944 during a training exercise. John was 23 years old, and is buried at Narberth Church Cemetery, N.W. Section, Row 3, Grave 29. His mother Daisy had lost her first husband during the Great War.
Gerald Bassadona May, MID, Captain (Quartermaster), 274998, Royal Army Service Corps. (Pembroke). Gerald was reported to have been mentioned in despatches during the war. The report stated: ‘Capt. G. B. May, who has been serving in British East Africa for over three years was "honourably mentioned in despatches for distinguished service in the present campaign.’ The award was published in the London Gazette of 8 July 1943 and was for service in east Africa and Madagasgar.
Albert John Monk, BEM, Flight Sergeant, 560846, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Albert was reported to have been awarded the British Empire Medal. The report stated: ‘Flt/Sgt. A. J . Monk, who joined the R.A.F. from School seventeen years ago as an apprentice, has been awarded the B.E.M. In January, 1944, he was Mentioned in Despatches. During the war he served in France, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Malta, India and Burma.’ His award of the BEM was published in the London Gazette of 1 January 1946.
Alfred William Morgan, MM, Warrant Officer, Essex Regiment, 4030860. (Tenby). Alfred’s award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 27 February 1945.
Derek Morgan, MID, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Derek was reported to have been mentioned in despatches during the war. He cannot presently be identified.
David John Morris, DSC, Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve. (Fishguard). David was the son of Thomas and Ann Morris, and the Husband of Nancy Olwen Morris, Of Fishguard. He served in the RNR, at H.M.S. Baldur, which was the Royal Naval Base at Iceland. On 1 October 1943 David was gazetted with the Distinguished Service Cross, for: 'Courage and skill in many successful minesweeping operations in Mediterranean-waters, while serving in H.M. Ships Negro, Elbury, Achroite and Triton, and H.M. Motor-Minesweepers 47, 68, 80 and 171'. David was then posted to Baldur in Iceland, but sadly died there on 10 November 1944, aged 38. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, and on the headstone of his wife's parents at Hermon Baptist Chapelyard.
Hamish Muir-Mackenzie, DSC, Lieut-Commander, Royal Navy. (Dale). Hamish was the son of Kenneth James Muir Mackenzie and Phyllis Mary Muir Mackenzie. He died in an ambulance after crashing his Mosquito on 18 June 1947, aged 29 and is buried in Dale. He had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his work during the Malta Convoys.
John Paul Vipond Nicholls, MID, Squadron Leader (Pilot), 40560, Royal Air Force. (Tenby). John was the son of John Richard Lee Nicholls and Gladys Nicholls, of Yorkshire. He married Grace White, of Tenby, in 1941. John had been in the Royal Air Force for several years prior to the war, and served as a Pilot with 150 Squadron, Royal Air Force. The squadron was equipped with Vickers Wellingtons, operating from RAF Newton. On 9 March 1942 John was flying his Wellington on a raid over Germany when it was brought down, killing all of its crew. John was 30 years old, and is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. John is not commemorated at Tenby.
Paul Parbury, MC and Bar, Major, 56597, Royal Artillery. (Tenby). Paul was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Parbury and Doris Brooke Parbury, of Tenby. He was admitted to Sandhurst in 1932, and left in 1933 to become a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery. By 1941 he was posted to North Africa with 124 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Paul won two Military Crosses for his bravery during the fighting in North Africa: his first award was gazetted on 24 September 1942 and his second in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East was gazetted on 1 June 1943. The story behind Paul's first award of the Military Cross is interesting. His unit was taking part in the fighting to break out of the Gazala Box, and Paul was in a bren gun carrier when a soldier of the East Yorkshire Regiment flagged him down and ordered him to silence a machine gun post holding up the platoon's advance. 'Major Parbury, without hesitation, charged with the carrier and silenced the post. When he returned the subaltern told him to silence another post and the major promptly charged again and silenced the second gun.' Paul was killed in the ensuing invasion of Italy on 14 July 1943. He was 29 years old, and is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.
Ivor Lloyd Phillips, MC, BSc, Reverend, 95730, Army Chaplain’s Department. (Kilgetty). Ivor’s award of the Military Cross was for service in Italy and was published in the London Gazette of 28 June 1945.
Andrew Alex Kyrle Pope, MID, Major, 77672, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. (Milford). Andrew was the son of Commander Rowland Kyrle Pope and of Agnes Jessie Pope, of Milford. The family later resided at Much Marcle, Hereford. He had served with the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry before volunteering to join the Parachute Regiment and was attached to the H.Q. 5th Airborne Division. Andrew was mentioned in despatches for Operation Overlord and was killedsoon after parachuting into Normandy during the landings, on 6 June 1944, aged 25. He is buried in St. Vaast-En-Auge Churchyard, France.
Gwilym Henry Storkes Prance, DSC, Master, Merchant Navy. (Solva). Gwilym was the son of George Storkes Prance and Sarah Ann Prance, of Solva. He married Marion Alyce Hardy, at Newport, Gwent in 1935. Gwilym was a long serving Merchant Seaman, and during the last years of WW2 was Master of the S.S. Ocean Gypsy, a Manchester registered steamer. She was in the Indian Ocean after the end of the war when Gwilym took ill. He died on 11 February 1946, aged 50, and is buried in Calcutta (Bhowanipore) Cemetery, Kolkata, India.
Richard Leslie Read, MM, Sergeant, 3957339, Welch Regiment. (Narberth). Richard’s award of the Military Medal was for bravery whilst serving with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment in Northwest Europe and was published in the London Gazette of 24 May 1945.
Cornelius Octavius Regnart, MID, Commander, Royal Navy. (Milford). Cornelius was the son of Mr. And Mrs. Clare Regnart, and the Husband of Frances Regnart, of Warminster, Wiltshire. Cornelius had been Mentioned in Despatches during the Great War, while serving aboard a Submarine. In World War Two he served aboard HMS Skirmisher. Cornelius died on 27 June 1941, aged 54, and is buried at Milford Haven Cemetery.
John David Richards, MID, Chief Petty Officer, Royal Navy. (Tenby). John was the son of John Edward and Sophia Richards, of 4, The Green, Tenby. He was a long serving Royal Navy rating and towards the end of the war served at HMS Drake. She was an old monitor, which had proved to be of no use, and so was used for training of stokers. John was mentioned in despatches during the war, and died at Plymouth on 24 November 1944, aged 44. He is buried at Tenby (St. Mary) Church Cemetery.
William Arthur Rickards, DFC, Flying Officer, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). William was reported to have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving with the RAF Coastal Command during the war. The report stated; ‘Further news has now come to hand about W. A. Rickard's D.F.C. We learn that he was actually the first pilot to arrive over France in the early hours of D-Day, and although his aircraft was badly shot up he completed his task, that of dropping paratroops, and brought all his crew back safely to base. The citation for his award reads:-"Flying-Officer W. A. Rickard has completed much operational flying and has displayed exceptional ability, commendable courage, and devotion to duty. On the night of the 5th June, 1944, he piloted an aircraft detailed to drop paratroops in Northern France. So skilfully did he accomplish his task that the paratroopers were dropped in the precise area within seconds of the allotted time. His fine work contributed materially to the success of the airborne operation as a whole," He has been flying with the Tactical Air Force for nearly two years and on December 20th completes his second successive tour of operational flying. One of his duties recently was the carrying of paratroops to Arnhem.’
Ivor Rogers, MM, Bombardier (Acting), 894114, Royal Artillery. (Kilgetty). Ivor was born at Pembroke Dock on 29 November 1915, the son of John Rogers and Annie Jane Rogers (nee Gibby). He was a pre-war Territorial, mobilising with his unit, the 102nd Medium Regt RA (The Pembroke Yeomanry) in September 1939, embarking with them from Liverpool on 5 February 1943, bound for Algiers. The Pembroke Yeomanry saw heavy fighting in North Africa before landing in in Italy on 16 December 1943. Ivor was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery during the assault on Faenza, for his part in maintaining an Observation Post. The citation for his award read: ‘For conspicuous courage and devotion to duty as NCO i/c Line Maintenance Party over a considerable period. He has at all times performed his duties with zeal and efficiency and showed high courage in maintaining his line along routes that were regularly harassed by enemy guns. In particular in maintaining line communication with the O.P. in MONTECCHIO  on Dec 5th and subsequent days over a track that was continually harassed by enemy guns and mortars and was at first under direct observation. In spite of this L/Bdr Rogers and his party maintained line communications continuously and his example was an inspiration to his team, while the success of his work enabled many targets to be engaged and must have materially assisted the success of operations locally.’ He survived the war and remained with the TA for many years, gaining the additional award of the MBE (Military) in 1960. He died on 26 July 1985.
David George Russell, BEM, Sergeant (Acting), 1949852, Intelligence Corps. (Pembroke). David’s story is an interesting one. He initially enlisted into the Royal Engineers before transferring to the Intelligence Corps. He was sent to Burma, attached to the Intelligence Corps (India) and assigned to 565 Field Security Section supporting the 5th Indian Division, with the rank of acting sergeant, operating alone and in close proximity to the front line. In the first few months of 1945, while conducting counter-intelligence operations he captured two Japanese soldiers and then fought and killed an enemy military policeman in one-on-one hand-to-hand combat. From mid-May, David was detached from his unit and sent to operate alone near the front line. For nearly four-months he conducted counter-intelligence and intelligence collection patrols, often penetrating ‘unsafe’ areas to search villages for enemy agents. On one occasion, he led a patrol of civilian police and apprehended an armed gang of bandits, with no loss of life. For his actions, the Officer Commanding 565 F.S.S., Captain R. J. Isaac, recommended David for the British Empire Medal, with the recommendation being supported by Major-General E.C. Mansergh, G.O.C. 5th Indian Division. The awarding of the B.E.M. was published in the London Gazette on 4 June 1946. After the war, David joined the Intelligence Corps Comrades Association and his address was listed as ‘Castle View’, Pembroke. (The details about David's award are courtesy of Mark Willson).
Oliver Tucker Burman Sayers, DSM, Second Hand, LT/X 302SA, Royal Naval Reserve. (Milford). Oliver was born in Milford on 1 February 1911, the son of Thomas Sayers and Alice May Sayers (nee Holder). He served with the Royal Naval Reserve aboard HM Trawler Force, which had been hired for minesweeping duties in February 1940. He had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal on 3 September 1940, for skill and enterprise in Minesweeping operations off the Coasts of Holland, Belgium and France, but was killed when Trawler Force was sunk by an air attack off the Norfolk Coast on 27 June 1941. He was 30 years old and is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial.
William Peter Shand, DFC, Wing Commander (Pilot), 33285, Royal Air Force. (Caldy Island). William was the son of William and Josephine Shand, of Caldy Island. On 1 August 1936 Peter passed out from Cranwell, and was granted a commission as Pilot Officer. When war broke out Peter was posted to 139 (Jamaica) Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was an elite unit, equipped with the De Havilland Mosquito.On 20 April 1943 Peter took off from RAF Marham, in Norfolk, for a raid on the Dutch coast. His Mosquito, Serial DZ386, crashed at Ijsselmeer, killing Peter and his navigator, Christopher Handley. William was 27 years old, and is buried alongside Christopher at Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard, Netherlands.
Wilfred Smith, DFC, Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Wilfred was reported to have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during the war.
Graham Arthur Steadman, AFC, Flight Lieutenant (Pilot), 169596, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Narberth). Graham was the son of Arthur Edward and Dorothy Daisy Steadman, and the husband of Sheila Margaret Steadman, of Finchley, London. He was a pilot with the Royal Air Force, and had been awarded the Air Force Cross on 6 June 1943. He was then based at Aden, and it was there that he died on 30 June 1945. Graham was 24 years old, and is buried at Maala Cemetery, Yemen, in Grave Ref. H. 120.
Clifford Lewis Swan, MID, Second Hand, LT/X 3035A, Royal Naval Reserve. (Milford). Clifford was the son of Leonard Victor and Ethel Medora Swan and the husband of Kathleen Swan of Fleetwood Lancs. He had sailed for many years with the fishing fleet at Milford and during the war joined the Royal Naval Patrol Service, serving aboard HMT River Clyde. He was mentioned in despatches following the salvage of a bombed ship by his crew in July 1940 and was killed while on minesweeping duties on 5 August 1940. He is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial.
Colin Thomas, MID, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Colin was reported to have been mentioned in despatches twice during the war. He had served in Malta for three years.
J. O. Thomas, DSC, MID, Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. (Pembroke). Lieutenant Thomas was reported to have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The report stated: ‘Lieut. J. O. Thomas , R.N.V.R., was awarded the D.S.C. at the end of last year for gallantry and enterprise in spirited encounters with superior enemy forces while serving in light coastal craft... We were glad to hear, at the end of December, that Lieut. J. O. Thomas, D.S.C., had been mentioned in dispatches for his work during the invasion of Normandy. He was afterwards appointed Senior Officer of a flotilla of eight M.L.s. His ship was the first to enter Le Havre and to sail up the Seine to Rouen.’
Kenneth Thomas, MBE, MID, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force. (Pembroke). Kenneth was reported to have been awarded the MBE during the war. The report stated: ‘Flt /Lt. Kenneth Thomas was awarded the M.B.E. in the New Year Honours' List. He was twice 'Mentioned in Despatches and served for a considerable period in Egypt.’
Leslie Thomas, MC, Captain, Royal Artillery. (Pembroke). Leslie was reported to have been awarded the Military Cross during the war. The report stated: ‘Two more old boys, Leslie Thomas and Hugh Baker, have been awarded the M.C. Thomas, who, when he called in school some months ago on leave from Germany, was an Acting Captain in the Royal Artillery, received the decoration for gallant and conspicuous conduct in Italy. He had served in North Africa and afterwards in Italy.’
Reginald Heber Thomas, AFC, Squadron Leader, 43825, Royal Air Force, (Pembroke Dock). Reginald was the son of Charlie and Alice Amelia Thomas, of 9, Lewis Street, Pembroke Dock. He was an accomplished athlete, and had ran the 1500 metres in two Olympic Games, at Amsterdam in 1928 and at Los Angeles in 1932. He joined the Royal Air Force before the war, and trained as a Pilot, rising to the rank of Squadron Leader. On 8 June 1944 Reginald was gazetted with the Air Force Cross. He was killed on 14 March 1946 when piloting a Lancaster from RAF Aston Down, which lost power and crashed near Chalford. He was 39 years old and is buried at Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, England.
William Henry Thomas, MID, Seaman, LT/JX 186620, Royal Naval Patrol Service. (Milford). William was the son of Frederick and Lilian Thomas, of Milford Haven. He married Florence May Vaughan of Neyland in 1939. He served with the Royal Naval Patrol Service aboard HM Trawler Argyllshire. She had been hired by the Admiralty in September 1939 and converted for anti-submarine duties, joining the 11th Anti Submarine Striking Group. She took part in the Norwegian campaign in April/May 1940 and then the evacuation of Dunkirk. William died when Argyllshire was sunk by a torpedo from a German E-boat off Dunkirk on 1 June 1940. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Suffolk. William was Mentioned in Despatches for Norway.
John Tipton, DFC, Wing Commander, Royal Air Force. (Narberth). John served with 109 Squadron, RAF and went on to complete 70 operations with the squadron through to 1945. He also completed 34 Operations with 40 Squadron in 1941/1942 operating from RAF Wyton and Malta. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during the war.
Albert Henry Tucker, DSC, Lieutenant Skipper, Royal Naval Reserve. (Milford). Albert was the son of Albert Henry Tucker and Miriam Berry Tucker (nee James). He married Frances Mary Elizabeth Edwards of Milford Haven in 1932. He served aboard HM Motor Minesweeper 168, and was killed when she struck a mine in Genoa Harbour on 25 June 1945. Albert was 38 years old, and is buried at Staglieno Cemetery, Italy. He had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on 29 September 1942 for bravery and skill while minesweeping. His brother Fred also fell.
Michael Robin Rogers Turner, MBE, Captain (T/Major), 74632, East Yorkshire Regiment. (Tenby). Michael’s award of the MBE was published in the London Gazette of 8 February 1945.
George Alfred Whichello, DSC, Lieutenant Skipper, Royal Naval Reserve. (Milford). George served aboard HM Trawler Orfasy. He had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on 11 June 1942 for a rescue mission whilst escorting a convoy, which was attacked by German aircraft. One ship was lost [probably SS Ratula], and a rescue was initiated by Whichello, in launching a small boat to rescue sailors from the burning ship loaded with aviation fuel which was about to explode at any time. George was killed when Orfasy was sunk after being torpedoed on 22 October 1943. He was 36 years old, and is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial.
George Davies Williams, CMG, DSO, Commander, Royal Australian Navy. (St. Dogmaels). George was born at St. Dogmaels on 17 September 1879. He migrated to Australia, where he quickly rose through the ranks of the Royal Australian Navy, and became President of the Maritime Services Board, State of New South Wales. He was awarded the Order of the Garter in the Birthday Honours list of 6 June 1939, and had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order during the Great War.
Richard Claverley Windle, MC, Second Lieutenant, 134987, Royal Armoured Corps. (Haverfordwest). Richard was the son of Norman Whitmore Windle and Marian Julia Windle. He served with the 1st King's Dragoon Guards, in the Royal Armoured Corps. He died at sea off North Africa on 5 December 1941, aged 22 and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial. His award of the Military Cross was gazetted posthumously, on 24 February 1942.
Robert Gordon Yaxley, DSO, MC, DFC, Wing Commander, Royal Air Force. (Ambleston). Robert was awarded the Military Cross while serving with No. 2 Armoured Car Company, RAF in Palestine in 1936. The citation was published in the London Gazette of 6 November 1936 and read: ‘The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the undermentioned rewards for gallant and distinguished services rendered in connection with the emergency operations in Palestine during the period 15th April to 14th September, 1936.’
He had been promoted to Wing Commander early in the war and gained the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross whilst serving with 252 Squadron. The citation was published in the London Gazette of 17 October 1941 and read: ‘This officer commanded a detachment of fighter aircraft which recently carried out a series of sorties with the object of assisting in the safe passage of our convoys in the Mediterranean. Attacks were made on certain aerodromes and seaplane bases which resulted in a loss to the enemy of at least 49 aircraft and a further 42 damaged. The Successes achieved undoubtedly contributed largely to the fact that the convoys were able to proceed without loss; only 1 ship was damaged but it succeeded in reaching port. The courageous leadership and determination of this officer is worthy of the highest praise, and throughout he set an example which proved an inspiration to his fellow pilots.’
Robert then transferred to 272 Squadron and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order soon afterwards. The citation was published in the London Gazette of 9 December 1941 and read: ‘Since the operations in the Western Desert commenced this officer has led his squadron with conspicuous success. Enemy aerodromes, as far west of the battle area as Benghazi, have been attacked daily and other serious damage has been inflicted on the enemy. On the opening day of the operations a number of Junkers 52 aircraft, carrying troops, were encountered and 7 of them were shot down. In addition to a daily toll of enemy aircraft destroyed, heavy casualties have been inflicted on ground crews while lines of communication have been harassed and petrol tankers set on fire. Altogether, within a space of 6 days operations, no less than 46 of the enemy's aircraft were destroyed. Much of the brilliant successes achieved can be attributed to the courageous leadership and determination displayed by Wing Commander Yaxley. Throughout, he has set a magnificent example.’ He was killed on 3 June 1943.
James Edward Youngs, DSM, Acting Chief Stoker, D/KX/88911, Royal Navy. (Fishguard). James’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal was among a number published in the London Gazette of 18 December 1945. The citation read: ‘For courage, efficiency and devotion to duty whilst serving in H.M. Submarines Solent, Selene, Sea Scout, Sleuth, Stygian, Spark and Supreme in aggressive operations against Japanese shipping, often performed in shallow waters and in the face of serious opposition, over a period from July, 1944, to August, 1945.’
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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.
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.
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.