This page is dedicated to those brave men who fought for
King and Country during the 1914/18 Great War.
It is an opportunity for families to have the memory of their relatives
who served in the Great War recorded here
It is aimed generally at soldiers who came from the areas
where my relatives lived, but others are welcome.
These areas can be seen on the links on the left hand side of the website.


The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day,
of the eleventh month,
Armistice Day

The Great War was over
11th November 1918


"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

Lawrence Binyon


THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 18


Christmas at the front.

Introduction by







Links to various Great War websites

Click here to see

The WIPERS TIMES was issued between 1916 and 1918 and was started by the troops in the Ypres Salient
during the Great War.

It gives the reader a vivid and correct impression of the wonderful spirit of cheerfulness which prevailed notwithstanding all the sacrifices, hardships and privatations
the troops were called upon to undergo.

It started as the result of discovering an old printing house,
just off the square at Wipers.
Some of the items appear here. This is how our 'pals' saw it!!

Llyfr Newydd
New Book

'I'r Fyddin Fechgyn Gwalia!'
Clive Hughes

ISBN: 9781845274801
Clive Hughes
Cyhoeddwyd Gorffennaf 2014
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 215x138 mm
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch

Ardal draddodiadol a Chymreig ei diwylliant oedd gogledd-orllewin Cymru yn Awst 1914. Er bod yno ddiwydiannau fel morwriaeth a chwareli, tymhorau'r flwyddyn amaethyddol oedd yn dylanwadu fwyaf ar fywydau pobl. Roedd yn cynnig clamp o her i beiriant propaganda Prydeinig y Swyddfa Ryfel.

English language version should be available early in 2015
The book is about recruiting in North West Wales
ng 1914-16

This page was inspired following an e-mail received from Associate Professor David Weber of America, who wrote;
I came upon your Penmon website thanks to Google

Mametz War Graves

 In May,  I spent a week visiting World War One historical sites (battlefields, cemeteries, memorials, museums, etc.) in north eastern France and Western Belgium.  I noticed that many headstones in the British Army cemeteries there contained brief prayers or commemorative inscriptions (such as "To our beloved son").   On the headstone of a Welsh soldier named Llewelyn Jones of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, the following Welsh  inscription appeared:

"Cwsg nes gweld ein gilydd etto
Cwsg a gwyn dy fyd."
I have attached a photo of the headstone.

My Internet research has enabled me to learn that the Welsh passage on Fusilier Jones's headstone is from a poem by a Welsh poet named Wyn.   That same passage appeared on your website, in a paragraph about a Penmon citizen named John Evans...which is what I think "alerted" Google to your website because my Google query consisted of a few words from that text. Would you mind giving me an English translation of the Wyn passage?  I have not been able to find out its English-language equivalent.

Thanks very much for any assistance you can render. 

Who was John Evans?
In 1901, John Evans, aged 78 lived at Tyddyn Crwn, Penmon, with his daughters Grace 47 as cook, and Sarah 33, as housemaid. They family all spoke Welsh.
His headstone inscription appears here; 

Er serchog gof am
GRACE annwyl ferch
Tyddyn Crwn
a fu farw
Ionawr 19 1927
yn 73 mlwydd oed. 
"A'i hun mor dawel yw".
ei hanwyl chwaer
a fu farw Chwefror 13 1951
yn 84 mlwydd oed.
"Yn hyn a llodd hon, hi ai gwnaeth".
"Cwsg nes gweld ein gilydd eto
Cwsg a gwyn eich byd".

Who was Llewelyn Jones?
Llewelyn Jones was born in Caernarfonshire and lived in Llanberis. He enlisted in Bethel and served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, 1st Battalion, trained at Aldershot. Number 40217
Llewelyn was killed in action in France on the 28th August, 1916

David explains how his interest in The Great War started; 

I was researching some information on the Internet concerning the battlefields where, at the northern terminus of the World War I Western Front, British troops, nicknamed "Tommies", fought the Germans.   I wanted to know how to get to those sites, what lodgings were available nearby, and so forth.  I was going for a couple of weeks on a four-week sojourn Europe, a trip involving some business and professional projects, but also some personal or recreational activities.  

One personal goal on this trip is to visit those battlefields.  As I pointed and clicked from one hypertextual warren to the next, I suddenly I began crying.  I had to leave my office and take some tissues from our department secretary's desk-a corner of my sleeve wasn't sufficient to swab up the tears!  Back in my office, I asked myself what had happened, why I had suddenly begun weeping.

Father John Gill was the chaplain of Harvard School, the private college-prep school in L.A. County that I attended from grades 7 through 12

Father Gill taught a required world history course for 8th graders.  The rest of his courses were electives.  I ended up taking three of them--British History to 1900, Early European History, and Modern European History.  

It is difficult to express just how great a man and teacher Father Gill was, only because it is difficult to capture the scope of his good works. He was strict and structured without being a  martinet.  He taught via the lecture method--lecture only.  No movies, learning games, class discussions or field trips.   He demanded we take thorough formal notes to log the information he shared with us.  He assigned us college-level reading materials--even in the 8th grade!--instead of high school textbooks. 

As I looked at my Internet screen, frozen on a page containing uploaded photos of young "Tommies," I realized why I was crying.  In the late 1960s (I would have been in eleventh or twelfth grade), in Father Gill's Modern European History class, we studied World War I for a week or so.  The topic turned out to fascinate me, probably because of Father Gill's passionate reconstructions, in his lectures, of various battles, or a story he might offer parenthetically to convey to us a particular soldier's emotions under fire.   

Father Gill had a special interest in the British experience of that war.  So on many of his visits to Europe, he would reserve time to tramp through those old battlefields on the northernmost flank of what had, from 1914-1918, been a 400-mile downward-winding trench line.  He took photos that became slides to accompany his World War I lectures.   So Father Gill's remarks about the war had an authenticity acquired from walking on and examining the contested ground, and inspired me to one day visit those battlefields

I was crying, therefore, because, as I planned my visit to that ground, that richly fulfilling emotion associated with a dream coming true caught up with me.

I was also crying in part for sadness at the thought that I couldn't tell Father Gill about my plans, or would not be able to send him a postcard from the place that he had inspired me to one day visit.

Ever since that history class initiated my fascination with the topic of World War I, whenever I read anything about that war (and I've digested several books and articles about it over the years), or watch a movie or documentary about it, my affection and respect for Father Gill, my recollection of how much I liked being his student and learning from him, and ultimately, my happy memories of my six years at Harvard School, come to mind.   So ultimately, I was crying because I was gazing upon the reddish-gold of the passing of time, and remembering Fr. Gill and Harvard and those lovely years were 2/3 of a lifetime ago.  

In the past day or two, I have shared these memories with several people, both face-to-face as well as in e-mail.  When I have come to the part where I tell them about my sadness that Father Gill can't know that he will be with me on my upcoming travels, they have smiled and replied, "He knows."

1st June 2010



Associate Professor David Weber, U.S.A., was in Swansea in June.
I was honoured to meet him at Builth Wells.

David was the inspiration
 behind this page;


We discovered the grave of Jacob Metcalf,
a Sergeant 7312, with the 6th Battalion K.S.L.I..
Jacob was awarded the Croix De Guerre
during the 1914 - 18 Great War.
He died on the 7th December, 1954, aged 74.
We would be honoured to hear more about Jacob's gallantry
during the Great War.
I am very grateful to Phil for supplying the following link to
The London Gazette,  issue 30184, 13th June 1917
giving the following information;

7312 Serjeant Jacob Metcalf Shropshire Light Infantry


Alaven Leather Ltd, Wild Bunch,
Morgan Griffiths & Co
(Deanna Williams, Royal British Legion
Poppy Appeal Organiser)
and Crafts & Co
have  respectful window displays
in thoughtful remembrance of those who fought for
King and Country

Alaven Leather Ltd
Quality Leathergoods and Gifts
Mary Tudor - Richard Liddle

18, High Street, Newtown, Powys, SY16 2NP
Telephone/Fax: 01686 626665
Email :

Window display arranged by
Emma Bolderston


SY16 2PQ
01686 626877



Cross Chambers, High Street
Newtown Powys SY16 2NY
Tel; 01686 626748
Fax; 01686 622911

Web site;

Display arranged by
Deanna Williams
Poppy Appeal Organiser
Newtown & Montgomeryshire



Copyright and courtesy of Sue Lees

Crafts & Co
Parkers Lane
SY16 2LT
(Prop. Sue Lees)

Tel; 01686 627800
Retailers of Rubber Stamps and Craft Accessories


The Newtown War Memorial
lists those who fell in alphabetical order.
Here is the chronological list.
It sadly reflects the lads who died
around the same time as each other, and where they died.

7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
march through Newtown on route to The Great War

23.10.1914 Eric Lawrence TALBOT          Royal Horse Artillery      Ypres
12.11.1914 Thomas Pryce JONES           7th Batt. R.W.F.       Northampton 
15.11.1914 John Richard TUDOR     50th Batt. Royal field Artillery  Ypres
01.01.1915 Frederick Barter MORGAN Royal Navy (Formidable)  Off Portland
22.04.1915 Harold REYNOLDS               7th Batt. R.W.F.         Cambridge
29.04.1915 James ROBERTS      3rd Batt. S. Wales Borderers  Gallipoli
08.05.1915 Edmund Fenning PARK       Canadian Light Infantry   Ypres 
08.05.1915 John Edward PRITCHARD           Welsh Regiment     France   
09.05.1915 Thomas Frederick ASTLEY   S. Wales Borderers   Pas de Calais
16.05.1915 Hugh Thompson DAVIES    1st Batt. France R.W.F.  France
16.05.1915 Thomas Henry HABBERLEY     R.W.F.                   France
22.06.1915 William Ernest REES        South Wales Borderers    France
08.08.1915 Richard Ernest WILLIAMS   7th Batt. R.W.F.          Gallipoli

09.08.1915 Edward Alfred ASTLEY           6th Sth Lancs Reg    Gallipoli
09.08.1915 Frank Macaulay GILLESPIE    S.Wales Borderers   Gallipoli
10.08.1915 Arthur Charles BROCK         7th Batt. R.W.F.       Sulva Bay
10.08.1915 Charles Henry GREEN          7th Batt. R.W.F.        Gallipoli
10.08.1915 Trevor Llewellyn JENKINS     7th Batt R.W.F.        Dardanelles
10.08.1915 Albert Edward JORDAN        7th Batt. R.W.F.       Dardanelles
10.08.1915 David Charles SAPPLE               R.W.F.                 Gallipoli
10.08.1915 Thomas William OWEN              R.W.F.                 Gallipoli
10.08.1915 John Edward WILLIAMS        7th Batt. R.W.F.         Gallipoli
12.08.1915 Edmund M. BUCKLEY 7th Batt. R.W.F.  Alexandria Mil Hosp
12.08.1915 George HALFORD      4th Batt. S. Wales Borderers   Hosp Ship 

13.08.1915 Harold JENKINS   8th Batt Duke of Wellington Regt.  Dardanelles
16.08.1915 William Charles MILLS       7th Batt. R.W.F.    Gallipoli/Hosp Ship
17.08.1915 Thomas Osborne PRICE     7th Batt. R.W.F.    Gallipoli/Hosp Ship      
23.08.1915 Thomas Harold HARPER  2nd Batt. Hampshire Rgt.  Aegean Sea
07.09.1915 William James PRICE        7th Batt. R.W.F.            Gallipoli
08.09.1915 John Edward PRITCHARD     Welsh Regiment          Rouen
25.09.1915 Thomas Griffith EVANS   King's Shrop. Lt Infantry     Ypres 
26.09.1915 Owen CLARK             Argyll & Suth. Highlanders      Loos
02.10.1915 George Sydney HUMPHREYS 6th Batt. West Yorks   Ypres
10.11.1915 George Ernest DAVIES       Royal Engineers           Gallipoli
10.11.1915 John Anthony LIDDLE         Royal Horse Artillery      France
28.11.1915 Sydney OWEN                        R.W.F.                   Gallipoli
01.12.1915 Frank SYKES                          R.W.F.                   Gallipoli
30.12.1915 Walter PUGH                    5th Batt. Rifle Brigade      Sheerness
20.03.1916 John Wallace GRIFFITHS 144th O'seas Canadian Inf. Winnipeg
20.03.1916 George Henry JONES  Queen's Royal W. Sussex      Loos
19.04.1916 John Edward HUGHES  6th Batt. Queen's Royal    Western Front
19.04.1916 Alfred MORRIS                   4th Batt. R.W.F.         Prees Hosp
22.04.1916 Frank Richard GOODWIN  King's Shrop. Lt Infantry   N/K
31.05.1916 John Henry DAVIES             Royal Navy           At sea (Jutland)
03.06.1916 Harold Charles EVANS      1st Canadian Infantry    Ypres
10.06.1916 Norman JONES               Canadian Highlanders     France
07.07.1916 William Albert CLIFF            Royal North Lancs     Somme
05.07.1916 George DAVIES              7th Batt. R.W.F.       Prees Heath Hosp
14.06.1916 Jack Mont. DUNNING 30th Bt. Ryl Sussex Regt.  France
11.07.1916 Henry James CRANK       19th Batt. Welsh Regt.  Somme
11.07.1916 William PRITCHARD          16th Batt. R.W.F.        Somme
13.08.1916 Robert RAWSON          Highland Light Infantry      Somme
01.09.1916 George LEEK                 Shropshire Yeomanry      Somme
03.09.1916 Lawrence Victor MORGAN Machine Gun Corps.     Somme
30.09.1916 Bert Th. REYNOLDS   Qn's OwnRoyal West Kent  Somme
07.10.1916 William Bennett DAVIES   7th Batt. London Regt.  Somme
07.10.1916 Cyril JONES                   Prince of Wales Own      France
07.10.1916 Thomas Ifor REES      Banker's Batt, Ryl Fusiliers  Somme
28.10.1916 John Henry ROBERTS          R.A.M.C.          HMS Galeka at sea
13.11.1916 David Charles BEVAN           R.W.F.                    Somme
18.11.1916 Reginal E. PRYCE-JONES  Alberta Regiment        Somme
09.12.1916 Albert GITTINS                   4th Batt. R.W.F.        France
10.02.1917 John Henry BANFIELD          Welsh Regiment       Somme
01.03.1917 David R.J. WILLIAMS           Canadian Infantry       Somme
26.03.1917 William E. BROWN                7th Batt. R.W.F.      Gaza
26.03.1917 William Henry EVANS                    R.W.F.            Gaza
26.03.1917 Henry Harold GWYNNE         7th Batt. R.W.F.       Gaza 
26.03.1917 Albert Edward JONES            7th Batt. R.W.F.      Gaza
26.03.1917 George Henry MUMFORD      7th Batt. R.W.F.      Gaza
26.03.1917 Joseph Llewellyn POWELL    7th Batt. R.W.F.       Gaza 
31.03.1917 Evan Edward MORGAN   Somerset Light Infantry  Western Front 
11.04.1917 Arthur Richard EVANS  Australian Inperial Forces  France
17.04.1917 Evan EVANS                       25th R.W.F.              Palestine
23.04.1917 George Llewellyn BRAY       Manchester Regt.       Arras
20.05.1917 James Lawton WOOLLEY           R.W.F.              Ypres
07.06.1917 Walter Ernest DOYLE      2nd Batt. Durham Lt Inf. France
23.06.1917 Richard LEWIS                            R.W.F.             Palestine
24.06.1917 Richard Edwin NOCK     Royal Garrison Artillery    Ypres 
12.07.1917 William Henry THOMAS   Royal Garrison Artillery Western Front
14.07.1917 Charles Kenneth OLIVER    7th Batt. R.W.F.       Alexandria
27.07.1917 Humphrey Richard THOMAS 15th Batt. R.W.F.   Western Front
31.07.1917 Thomas WILLIAMS                      R.W.F.             Flanders 
05.08.1917 William Richard JONES                R.W.F.             France 

14.08.1917 Richard George BEDDOES     Yorks Regiment      Ypres
16.08.1917 Edmund Ll. P. PHILLIPS    Gloucestershire Rgt.   Western Front
26.09.1917 William LLOYD                          R.W.F.                Ypres
09.10.1917 Harry Herbert PRICE   Royal Army Ordnance Corp  Calais

18.10.1917 Charles Denley BENNETT      1st E. Lancs Reg     Marne
28.10.1917 Edmund Seymour HUGHES  Corps Ryl Engineers  East Africa
01.11.1917 William Sidney WILLIAMS                R.W.F.          Newtown

06.11.1917 John Ewart BREEZE                7th Batt. R.W.F.     Beersheba
06.11.1917 Thomas G.D. BURDETT M.C.   7th Batt. R.W.F.    Beersheba
06.11.1917 William Edward DAVIES           R.W.F.                 Palestine
06.11.1917 James PIERCE                      7th Batt. R.W.F.       Gaza
06.11.1917 Charles WATKINS                  7th Batt. R.W.F.     Beersheba 
09.11.1917 Edward Leslie MORGAN     Royal Field Artillery      France
03.12.1917 Frank JONES                          R.W.F.                 Cambrai
28.12.1917 Hugh Thomas JONES  7th Batt.Cameron Highlanders France
30.12.1917 Evan Edward LLOYD Army Service Corps Transport Alexandria at sea
08.01.1918 Fredrick Hawthorne MORRIS     Royal Navy              Malta
09.02.1918 Robert John TAYLOR         South Wales Borderers   France 
09.03.1918 Richard Alfred JONES         5th Batt. R.W.F.        Palestine
23.03.1918 William Indoe WORNER           Rifle Brigade            Somme
24.03.1918 Eric Victor O. WILLIAMS          Tank Corps             Cambrai
25.03.1918 Percy HANSON    16th Batt. King's Ryl Rifle Corps   France
31.03.1918 Frederick WILLIAMSON       Canadian Infantry           Arras
09.04.1918 Joseph Gladwyn FORD     6th Bt. Durham Lt. Inf.     Estaires
09.04.1918 Charles Ewart ROBERTS    King Edward's Horse      France 
15.04.1918 Richard PRITCHARD              Welsh Regiment         France
17.04.1918 Matthew Sharratt FORD 1st Batt. Australian M.G.C.  N/K 
22.04.1918 Frederick William DAVIES     14th Batt. R.W.F.    Somme
25.04.1918 John DAVIES                  Worcestershire Regt.      Lille War Hosp
30.05.1918 George Harold P.JONES   King's Shrop. Lt Infantry  Western Front
06.06.1918 Cecil H. B. MORRIS        South Wales Borderers    France  
04.07.1918 Arthur Harold HARRIS                 R.W.F.                France
07.07.1918 Charles Ernest BROWN       Machine Gun Corps  Clipstone Hosp
13.07.1918 Charles Seymour EVANS            R.W.F.              Deccan, India
23.08.1918 William Richard EVANS     13th Batt. R.W.F.        Somme
25.08.1918 John Henry JARMAN DCM  1stBatt Grenadier Gds  St Ledger Fr.  
28.08.1918 Clement FINNEY                        R.W.F.               France
01.09.1918 George DAVIES                     2nd Batt. R.W.F.     Calais
02.09.1918 Ernest HUMPHREYS      Somerset Light Infantry      France
04.09.1918 Francis Harold MOODY 6 Batt King's Shrop. Lt Infantry  France

08.09.1918 Thomas Edward BEADLES         R.W.F.                   France
15.09.1918 Edward BREESE                     S. Wales Borderers France
16.09.1918 Thomas F.C. PHILLIPS       Cheshire Regiment        Taunton
23.09.1918 James Ernest DODD               4th Batt. R.W.F.       France
01.10.1918 Richard Ernest BEADLES       7th Batt R.W.F.       Newtown
08.10.1918 William OWEN              14th Batt. R.W.F.  Aubencheulana-Bois      
10.10.1918 Hilda Jessie DOWNING            Nurse                   Newtown
10.10.1918 Clement Edgar NORTON       Army Service Corp    Palestine
17.10.1918 Archibald Ed. C. HUMPHREYS 4th Res R.W.F.    Herne Bay
17.10.1918 William Herbert PROSSER    7th Batt. R.W.F.       Newtown
22.10.1918 Charles Ernest PHILLIPS M.C.  Royal Irish Rgt.    Western Front
30.10.1918 Thomas Ewart REES            Cheshire Regiment     Newtown
31.10.1918 Walter Harold WATTS           24th Batt. R.W.F.      France
04.11.1918 John Pryce EVANS            Grenadier Guards         France

07.11.1918 David Pryce BOUND          Royal Field Artillery       France
13.11.1918 Evan EDWARDS                Royal Field Artillery     Mesopotamia
15.11.1918 Henry Lewsi POTTS              London Regiment       France
17.11.1918 John WILLIAMS                 7th Batt. R.W.F.           Dolfor 
21.11.1918 John Herbert MORGAN                R.W.F.                France

25.11.1918 Andrew BREESE                Royal Field Artillery     Le Havre
01.12.1918 Leonard GIBSON                   General List             Exeter
03.12.1918 John Morris ROWLANDS  31st Alberta Regiment    London
17.01.1919 William J. GOODMAN  14th Royal Suffolk         Boulogne Hosp.
20.02.1919 Wallace Gilbert HUMPHREYS       R.A.F.            French Hosp
22.02.1919 Walter PARRY                             R.A.F.                France 
12.04.1919 Edward JARMAN     Royal Army Service Corps.   Epsom Hospital  
27.05.1919 Janet Elizabeth EVANS   Q. Mary's Aux. Army Corps   London
27.03.1920 Wilfred Austin ROWE         Army Pay Corps            Whalley

Information unavailable on;

Newtown Local History Gr

57439 Machine Gun Corps
My grandfather.

Like so many thousands of his generation, Owen John Roberts joined up to fight in the French battlefields of The Great War. They all thought it would be over quickly.
Many lied about their age. There is one well known story of a young boy enlisting, giving his age as 16. The recruiting officer told him to come back in an hour, when hopefully, he would be 18!

In which regiment he first enlisted is as yet unknown, nor whether he served overseas with his first regiment.
On the 7th December 1915 he transferred, willingly or otherwise into the Machine Gun Corps and allotted the number 57439

                        57439 P.T.E.  M.G.C. OWEN JOHN ROBERTS

He served in The Great War and
soon joined the Machine Gun Corps

57439 P.T.E. M.G.C. OWEN JOHN ROBERTS is pictured here with pals at Grantham on duckboards, by a corrugated asbestos building.
He is standing in the middle of the back row.
Individuals who enrolled in the Machine Gun Corps at the same time were;

57432 HALL Bernard John
57433 JONES Albert Edward
57434 HERRICK Arthur Cecil Cpl.
57435 MORRELL Alfred
57436 PETT Thomas William Frank
57437 WARD Percy Haddon
57438 BARKER Graham
57439 ROBERTS Owen John
57440 ROBERTS Hugh Henry
57441 WILSON Albert
57442 WOODBRIDGE Leonard
57443 ROBBINS John
57445 GRIFFIN Eric Cpl. M.M.
57446 ALDER Edward Thomas
57447 BARNES Joseph
57448 TURNER Arthur
57449 WOOLLEN George Clarence
57452 MEADOWS Leonard
57454 HEWETT Wallace Horatio A/Sgt

Some may appear in the above photograph.
If that is the case, I would be very interested to hear from any relatives.
Most of the brave soldiers listed above were tragically killed in active service


There is a Boy David
Memorial to the Machine 
Gun Corps in London.
The Vickers Guns on each side of the Boy David 
(which each have a laurel wreath laid over them) are actual Vickers Guns.


All were entitled to the Victory and / or British War Medal.

Owen John and these men were sent overseas, most to France and Flanders.
On arrival at the Machine Gun Base Depot, Camiers, they were sent forward to
units in the field as reinforcements.
Camiers Church pictured above
It is not known in which Machine Gun Company he served, but he saw action at Ypres, Arras and Cambrai.

Visit the link below to read about the M.G.C.

In November 1917, he was hit by shrapnel.
The following telegram was sent home to Cae Merddyn from the French battlefields. It erroneously mentions husband, and not son. 

November 30th, Dear Mrs Roberts
You may have hard by now that your brave husband has been wounded. I just write at his request to say it is not a dangerous wound. It is in the chest.
He was very brave and did grand work. We have God to thank that his life has not been asked for.
Yours sincerely, C.C. Griffiths C H E Chaplain. 
3 Cavalry Brigade B.E.F. 

I have found these details about the Chaplain who sent the telegram.
Canon Cuthbert Cyril Griffiths
Military Cross 1918

Curate of St Weburgh, Bristol 1914-15
Temporary Chaplain to the Forces (TCF) 1915-19
Vicar of St Johns Fishponds Bristol 1919-21
Vicar of St John with St Stephen Reading 1921 - 27
Chaplain to the Forces (Reserve of Officers) from 1927
Asst Sec C.C.C.S. 1927-29
Rector of St Leonards on Sea 1939 -47
Canon of Chichester in Chichester Cathedral from 1941 -
Proctor Conventional of Chichester 1945 - 55
London Gazette 18 July 1918 Supplement

Rev Cuthbert Cyril Griffiths
Army Chapls. dept.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went forward with stretcher bearers to the captured postion and dressed and removed the wounded. Though he was blown up by a bursting shell, he continued at his work throughoout the night, setting a fine example of coolness and devotion to duty.

Hospital Blue
This picture is of my grandfather, front, astride a motorcycle with a pal as his passenger. Both men wear the standard 'hospital blues', pale blue uniforms, with white shirt and scarlet tie.

Servicemen  injured during The Great War were awarded
the Silver War Badge and Certificate

Some of the individuals who were entitled to the War Badge
with their badge numbers;
B15537 BAYMAN William
B15538 WILLIAMS James Henry
B15539 TURNER James Williams
B15541 BENNINGTON Geo Stanley
B15542 KARL George
B15543 MUNCEY Herbert
B15544 ROBERTS Owen John
B15545 CHALLIS George
B15546 SPIERS William
B15547 McWILLIAMS Alexander
B15548 FULCHER Frank

Owen John Roberts was discharged 19th August 1918, aged 23 and 9 months.

was my great uncle
and lived in Arosfa, Penmaenmawr

Willie was a colour sergeant/ quartermaster sergeant during the First World War and served in Egypt.

Below he is pictured with some of his fellow soldiers.

Willie survived the Great War.


Herald Cymraeg
23ain Mai 1916
Estynwn ddeheulaw croeso i'r Sergeant W.R. Jenkins, Taliesin Terrace, sydd adref o'r Aifft. Un o arwyr y Dardanelles yw efe, ac edrycha'n dda.

(my grandfather, O.J. Roberts' cousin)

Thomas Goodman Roberts was born around 1900 and was the son of John and Ann Jane Williams, living at 31 Wexham Street, Beaumaris.

He enlisted with the Liverpool Regiment, 96335, in Beaumaris and trained at Aldershot. He later joined the Prince of Wales's North Staffordshire Regiment, 9th Battalion, 57081 and died of his wounds in France, on the 18th May 1918.

He buried at the Rouen War Cemetery.

I had the honour of meeting Charles' sister Esther in July 1997.

She proudly showed me a photo of Charles' grave in Rouen

Photo copyright and courtesy of
Christopher Pratt.

With thanks to Clive Hughes.

18TH MAY 1918

I am very grateful to Clive Hughes for the following information KD;
I was very interested to know that Thomas Goodman Williams, Beaumaris, was a relative of yours. I was uncertain as to whether he was the T.Williams recorded in the official casualty list as enlisting at Bangor as 96335 in the King's (Liverpool) Regt..

He served overseas with them, later transferring to the 9th North Staffordshire Regiment as no.57081. Died of wounds (gas) 18 May 1918, next of kin was resident in Beaumaris. Incidentally, the War Graves people list the family address as 20 Steeple Street rather than 31 Wexham Street, but the former address was the one current years later, when the War Grave Registers were printed, which might explain why.

Rouen was a base area with major hospital facilities, so having been gassed it wouldn't be unusual for him to have survived long enough to be evacuated that far. 80 per cent of British gas casualties in the latter part of the war were caused by mustard gas. It was designed to debilitate rather than to kill, but a large dose could lead to a painful death, sad to say.

John was a brother to Thomas Goodman Williams, above.
Click here to read about their family from Wexham
St, Beaumaris

I am very grateful to Clive Hughes for supplying me with John G. Williams's very detailed military record during the Great War. KD 

JOHN GOODMAN WILLIAMS was born at Beaumaris in 1886. On the 8 July 1916 he was called up at Menai Bridge where he was medically examined. He was then apparently aged 30 years 3 months, and a coachman by trade.

He was a married man, his wife being Annie Williams (maiden name Parry), the ceremony having taken place on 26 September 1912. There was one child in 1916-19, Kenneth Goodman Williams, born Beaumaris 30 July 1914. Their home address was 39 Wexham Street, Beaumaris.

David Lloyd George

He had previous military service with the 14th (Carnarvonshire and Anglesey) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. This was formed locally in 1914 as part of Lloyd George's "Welsh Army Corps", and went over to France in December 1915. However, it seems certain he didn't go with them, and my guess is that he had been discharged some time previously, probably on health grounds.

His overall health on rejoining in July 1916 was classified as "BII" (B2).The medical grades were altered at several dates during the War, but in general rran from A1, "can undergo severe strain, can serve in any area through A2, B1 -B5, C. D. to E permanently unfit". Category B2 was described as "can see to shoot or drive. Can undergo considerable exertion, not involving severe strain. With defects of locomotion. Base or garrison service home or abroad.

He was 5 feet 7 and a half inches in height, and had an expanded chest measurement of 35 and a half inches (2 inch expansion). Eye and hair colour not stated. Religion - Church of England.

On 10 July 1916 he was formally accepted at Wrexham and posted the following day to "H" Company of the 17th (Reserve) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment as Private 46679. He had asked to be sent to the Royal Garrison Artillery, but perhaps on health grounds or the need being greater elsewhere, this did not happen. The 17th was formed at Bebington in August 1915 to supply reinforcements to other battalions (on 1 September 1916 it moved to Prees Heath Camp, Shropshire and became the 74th Training Battalion, 17th Reserve Brigade). The file includes his "Recruit's Pass" to go by rail from Wrexham to Whitchurch, Salop.on 11 July to join them.

He didn't stay with them long, probably on account of having already been fully trained with the RWF, because on 23 July he was posted to France. He may have gone to the 15th or 16th (1st and 2nd Birkenhead Bantams) Battalions of the Cheshire Regt. at this point as they were the natural destination for men from the 17th Reserve, but the papers are vexingly silent on the point.

On 9 Feb 1917 he was transferred to the "23rd Works Company" of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment. Actually, 23rd (Works) Battalion is more likely, formed in May-June 1916 at Prescot and still there in March 1917. It became the 1st Labour Battalion the following month. So it seems John G. Williams had returned to the UK (some health problem is the most likely reason). On two documents this entry is followed by a very faint note "Attached A.?P. C." (??Army Pay Corps - rather unlikely).

There is surprisingly no note of his regimental number in the Liverpools, and indeed on 26 Sept 1917 he was transferred back to the Cheshire Regiment, so one wonders whether his connection with the Liverpools was more in the nature of a temporary attachment. His return transfer was effected under Army Order 204 of 1916.

He was only back with his old Regiment for a day, because on 27 Sept 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion the West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) again under an Army Order 204 of 1917. This time he was numbered 26129 which seems rather low to me for that stage in the War, and I may have misread it. This is an odd posting for a "B2" man - a frontline Regular Army battalion!

And one in the thick of the Third Battle of Ypres: in action at Polygon Wood 26 Sept-3 Oct; Broodseinde 4 Oct; Poelcappelle 9 Oct; First Battle of Passchendaele 12 Oct. Even more curious, this posting is not mentioned as it should be on his Medal Index Card.

On 5 December 1917 he was wounded, being gassed, and presumably evacuated back to the UK. He recovered sufficiently by 12 March 1918 to be posted to the 3rd Battalion West Ridings at their Depot (probably Halifax). On 1 April 1918 he initiated his first claim to compensation for disability. He was certainly not fit for frontline service now, and on 10 April under Army Council Instructions 611 & 1396 of 1917 he was transferred to the Labour Corps, as Private 551462.

The Labour Corps was a 1917 formation, which regularly employed soldiers who had been sick or wounded as labourers, if they weren't going to be sufficiently fit to return to full active overseas service. In his case, he was posted to the 548th Agricultural Company to begin with, then on 27 April 1918 to 532nd Agric. Coy. with whom he stayed for the rest of his service.

With the war over in November 1918, the Army was demobilised. Still at B2 health, he was demobbed at No.1 Dispersal Unit, Oswestry on 7 February 1919, being given 28 days leave and a final pay advance of #2. Whilst still at home, on 7 March 1919 he was transferred to Army Reserve Class Z (a ghost formation, intended to re-mobilize the Army in the event Germany refused to sign the Peace Treaty). His character was classed as "Good", and indeed his "Crime Sheet" on file is nicely blank!

On 28 March 1919 his papers were forwarded to Chelsea for pension details to be worked out. He had submitted a second claim on that day. On 14 August and 9 September the Ministry of Pensions made awards in respect of his gas injury, classifying him as 30% Disabled and therefore worthy of 12 shillings weekly from 3 September-9 December 1919, with 5/3d allowance for a wife and one child.

Clive continues; and there the file ends - an untidy collection of information, compared to others I have analyzed. There should be a subsequent Pensions file, but I'm still looking for it. The theory was to have annual Medical Boards which could easily reclassify the casualty as they "improved" with time, and the allowances got less in consequence. The lack of the usual dates of service in France & UK, and rather messy record keeping overall made this file a bit frustrating. One last bit of info - he was duly awarded the British War and Victory Medals in about May/July 1922.

Thomas Williams 1890-1918

Thomas was the grandson to Owen Williams, Tan y Graig, Nant y Rhiw, Llanrwst. Thomas's father, William,  was a brother to my great grandfather, Thomas Williams, of Gorsedd Grucyn.

Thomas Williams was the youngest of William's children. He served and died in the 1st World War.

Thomas was a Private in the 6th Battalion of the East Kent Regiment who are nicknamed "The Buffs". He enlisted in the Buffs as an early volunteer during the first week of September 1914. He was posted to the 8th Battalion but for some reason didn't go overseas with them in 1915. At some stage he transferred to the 6th Battalion.

He died on 9th August 1918 at, I think, the Battle of Amiens. Amiens is in Picardy, North West France. The 6th Battalion of the Buffs became part of the 37th Brigade which was itself part of the 12th (Eastern) Division, one of the Kitchener's Army divisions raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener. It fought on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War.


The Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August 1918, was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led to the end of World War I. Allied forces advanced over seven miles on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war. The battle is also notable for its effects on both sides' morale and the large amount of surrendering German forces. This led Erich Ludendorff to famously describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army." Amiens was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front, fighting becoming mobile once again until the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918.

There are two puzzles here:
a - Why did a Welshman choose the East Kent Regiment
b - Why didn't he go overseas until after 1/1/1916

The War Diary records the following for the day that Thomas died:

 "At 17:00 on the 9/8/1918 the 6th Buffs moved off to capture the village of Morlancourt and consolidate on the ridge beyond. The Brigade was preceded by 7 tanks. The enemy were surprised and despite heavy machine gun fire from Villers Chapel, The Buffs reported that they had reached their objectives and that the enemy were in full retreat at 20:00. The Germans counter attacked at 03:30 the following morning but were beaten back. The Buffs casualties were fairly modest given the success of the attack. Three officers were killed and 11 wounded. Other ranks casualties were 168 including 17 killed."


Thomas is buried in France at Franvillers; it is a village and district in the Department of the Somme, and stands on high ground above the River Ancre across the river from the scene of the battle in which Thomas fell. It is on the D929 Amiens (19 kilometres) to Albert (10 kilometres) road. The Communal Cemetery and Extension are south-east of the village on the C201 road. The Commonwealth Graves Commission looks after the cemetery.
The communal cemetery at Franvillers was used at intervals from May 1916 to May 1918. It contains eight Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The adjoining extension was used from April to August 1918 by units and field ambulances engaged in the defence of Amiens. It contains 248 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and five German graves. The extension was designed by W C Von Berg. Thomas is buried in Grave 9 of Row C of Plot II. In the photo this will be the first row in front of the Great Cross

Click here to read more about
Thomas Williams's family


Alf was born about 1896, he was the eldest of Sarah (nee Claridge, formerly Michell) and Isaac Jenkins' sons.   Sarah had previously been married to Sampson Michell, who had died in 1885, aged 29. In 1901, Alf  was living at Ponterwyd

He is pictured here with his brother Sidney 

Alf Jenkins joined the Liverpool Regiment during the Great War.

Alf was then transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps. Here is a photograph which he had sent home, he was in a field hospital where an amputation was going to take place.  

On the back of the photo is written "Operating Theatre.   Amputation below knee.   Staff:  4 Doctors, 2 Sisters, One Orderly.   Richborough Military Hospital, Kent", and the date.   I can't make it out, it's either 1917 or 1919 - more likely to be 1917.

Alf survived The Great War, and died in 1981

(son of William Tills Wilson and Jane Swain)

David Swain Wilson was born on the 12th November 1889 when his parents William Tills Wilson and Jane Wilson nee Swain, were residing at 167 Rommany Road, Norwood and his birth was registered at Lambeth, London.

The 1891 census shows David living at 167, Rommany Road, Lambeth, with his parents. The family moved to Aberhafesp between 1892 and 1896 and lived at Penyglannau in 1901. David's parents William and Jane, were both aged 34. Their family consisted of David 11,  Roderick Edward Wilson 9, and Dorothy Wilson 4.

David Swain Wilson - Montgomeryshire Yeomanry.

David Swain Wilson was first posted to the Montgomery Yeomenry. He enlisted on the 8th September 1914. He served 4 years and 132 days, and was described as 5' 9.5" tall, with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He served in France during the Great War. The Montgomeryshire Yoemenry later became part of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

2/1 S.W.M.B. Sports, Dorchester, 4th September 1915

L.Col. Ralphs, Lewis, J.   Evans,H.   Thomas, J.O.   Wilson, D.S.  
L. Cpl. Evans. (Capt.)   Grosvenor, R.   Jones. R.
S.S.M. Howells (Coach).

He was wounded in the War and later discharged on the 17th January 1919, being no longer fit for War Service.

The wedding of David Swain Wilson and Eliza Davies at Aberhafesp Church on the 8th October 1919. Witnesses to the wedding were David Swain and Esther Catherine Davies.. 

In 1921, the estate of Glanhafren near Newtwon was sold. Two of the lots for sale were Middle Scafell and Upper Scafell or Waenybricks. Middle Scafell, famous for the field of blessing, was where son Stanley William Wilson  was born. David Swain Wilson and Eliza Wilson nee Davies worked there for Eliza's brother, Uncle Pryce Davies

Much of their life stories have been recorded by their son Stan, and were published in The Newtonian, the magazine of Newtown History Group. The articles have been reproduced with their permission, and appear in full in the link, NEWTOWN (YSGAFELL) NOSTALGIA.  

Part is reproduced here;

Upper Scafell or Waenybricks, Lot 8, in the sale of Glanhafren properties,  described as a freehold small farm, was brick built and slated, containing a barn and bay, stable for three horses, cow house for five cattle, wain house, piggery and yearling shed. The sitting tenant, Mr Richard Lloyd was issued with a notice to quit, and my parents moved to their new home in 1923. Mr Lloyd moved to be a tenant at Upper Rhydfelen. 

During these difficult times, mother kept the farm going with her produce, selling eggs, butter and boilers, or old hens which had gone past laying age. They would however make wonderful broth, and were sold for 1/6 each (7.5p). She would take two at a time to town, then come back home to dress another two. When I was old enough, I delivered these boilers to people who had ordered them. Mother's produce would pay for hen food, coal and lamp oil. 

Monies made by father through farming were saved to pay for buildings, repairs, corn and fertiliser. Generally, everything he worked for, in a way, went back into the ground to repay what was taken out of it.  

Our first tractor was a David Brown, purchased from Neal's Garage, Llanidloes Road. We had been on a long waiting list as tractor supplies were limited. New tractor cultivating implements were therefore required to undertake the work. Petrol was difficult to obtain, but farmers were allowed an additional amount due to the nature of their work.

My father died in 1943, leaving my mother and I to farm our 60 acres.

Montgomeryshire Express and Radnorshire Times
18 September 1943

The death took place suddenly on Tuesday of Mr David Swain Wilson, Wainybricks, Llanllwchaiarn age 53. Son of Mr and Mrs Wilson, Wernfach, Aberhafesp, Mr Wilson had lived the whole of his life in the neighbourhood. Farming Penyglannau, Aberhafesp before moving to Wainybricks many years ago. As a member of the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry, which later became part of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Mr Wilson served in France throughout the last war, when he was wounded and subsequently discharged.

He is survived by his widow, one son, on brother, Mr Roderick Wilson and one sister, Mrs Dora Brandrick. The funeral took place yesterday, Friday.

Following my father's death, we requested the services of land girls and Prisoners of War. The land girls worked in groups, although some worked individually and were I believe, based in Welshpool. They were mostly employed by us to plant and later pick potatoes, and were paid directly by us.

There were Italian, German and Polish POWs stationed at Glandulas. Farmers signed an agreement when employing them, not to fraternise with the POWs, nor let them handle guns, nor be allowed out late at night. They lodged on the farms, and were "paid" for their services, although the money went to the Government. They had to be shown how to sow seeds.

Eliza moved to lived at 9 Old Church Street, Newtown in April 1949, and later moved to St Elmo, Newtown.

OBITUARY NOTICE;  County Times  28th October 1967

The funeral of Mrs Eliza Wilson, St Elmo, formerly of Waenybricks took place at Aberhafesp Parish Church on Wednesday week. The Rector of Newtown, Rev Cledwyn Owen officiated, assisted by the curate Rev S.V. Gange, organist was Miss Betty Jones, Bella Vista. Bearers;- David Wilson (grandson), David Brandrick (nephew), Eric Swain and E. Lloyd (cousins).

Chief mourners;- Mr and Mrs S. Wislon, D. Wilson (grandson), Marian Wilson (granddaughter) Mr & Mrs W. Ashton (brother in law and sister), Mr T. Brandrick (brother in law), Mr W. Corfield, Mr & Mrs J. Jerman, Mr D. Brandrick, Mr N. Davies (nephews and niece in law), Mrs E. Pilot, Mrs M. Jerman, Mrs H. Andrew, Mr & Mrs S.C. Howman, Mr D. Jones (nephew in law and niece), Mr E. Swain, Mr & Mrs E. Lloyd (cousins) and other close relatives.

Floral tributes;
With fondest love to mother, Stanley and Cissie; With love to our Gran, David and Marian; To our dear sister, Agnes and Will;  In Loving Memory  Mary and family, Cloddiau; In Loving Memory of Auntie Eliza, Sue and Cyril, Wellington;  With all our love,   Hilda, Eric and Jim; In Loving Memory,  David, Joan and Jane; Treasured Memories of Auntie Eliza, Fred and Anne;  All my love, Shirley;   In kind remembrance,  Mrs Gertie Davies; In Loving Memory,  Ted and Betty, Aston Piggott; From Pryce, Jean and Diedre

County Times, Saturday 21 October 1967.The family of the late Mrs Eliza Wilson, St Elmo, Newtown wish to thank all relatives and friends for the kindness and sympathy shown to them in their bereavement, for attendance at the funeral and for the floral tributes and donations received. Special thanks to the Doctors, Matron and staff of Newtown and Shrewsbury Hospitals, also Sister Lloyd Jones.  

1892  -  1946         
(son of William Tills Wilson and Jane Swain,
brother of David Swain Wilson)

The family moved to Aberhafesp from London between 1892 and 1896 and lived at Penyglannau in 1901. Roderick's parents William and Jane, were both aged 34. Their family consisted of David 11,  Roderick Edward Wilson 9, and Dorothy Wilson 4.

He left Aberhafesp for America in 1912 and served with the Canadian Army in France during the Great War.

He was also a member of the Royal Observer Corps. He was a kindly, knowledgeable man.

 It is thought that when abroad, he married a widow, although his obituary notice in the paper states he was unmarried.

He died at Ty'r Afon on the 26th June 1946, his sister Dora's home. He is buried at Llanllwchaiairn Church. 

Mourners at Roderick Edward Wilson's funeral  were Mr W.T. Wilson, Mr & Mrs T. Brandrick, brother in law and sister, Mrs Wilson and Mr Stan Wilson Waenybricks, aunt and nephew, Mrs Edith Swain, David Swain, Newtown, Richard Swain, Pentre, Rod Swain, cousins, Mrs Swain, Hollybush, aunt.

Bearers were T. Benbow, Fachwen, T. Nutting, Glanrhyd, A. Davies, Thimble Hall, S. Evans, The Lodge.

Wreaths; Dad, Dora, Trev; All at Waenybricks; Ron, Dorothy and David; Edie; All at Hollybush; Dave, Maggie and the boys; Mrs Rees; Morfy and Dorothy; Stan and Sybil; All at Ty'n Celyn, Aberhafesp; Mrs Woosnam, Aberhafesp Hall; Mary, 12 Bridge Street; Royal Observer Corps; Mr and Mrs Owen and family, The Dingle; All at Bwlchyffridd P.O.; J. Mostyn and family; Mr and Mrs Brinley Harris, Hillcrest, Dolfor Road; All at Fairfields; Mr and Mrs Rees and Mrs Humphreys and family, Plantation Farm; Mr and Mrs Astley, Dingle Cottage.   


William was a relative through marriage to Donna Cooper, whose family details can be found on the

William Cooper was born on the 20th June 1888, at Great Harwood, Accrington, Lancashire and was christened on the 25th July 1888 at St. Bartholomew, Great Harwood, Lancashire, the son of James ans Caroline Cooper, 6 Stopes Fold, occupation was a spinner.

William joined the army in 1916. He started off in the 2nd 5th East Lancs. Had 12 weeks training then out to the front where he was wounded, and then sent back with the Suffolks Regiment.

Military Award: Medal Card. William Cooper

East Lancashire Regiment. Rank; Pte. Regiment no' 241548


2nd Suffolk R Regiment no; 235290

William died of throat cancer in 1959, at Queen's Park, Blackburn aged 71, and was buried on the 19th November 1959, at Dill Hall Lane Cemetery, Church, Lancashire 



Sussex Yeomanry
15th Battalion 
Welsh Regiment
Sussex Yeomanry
Private Thomas 2886
15th Battalion Welsh Regiment
Private Thomas 54986
Carol Whitaker has been in touch and tells us that the 28th of July 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the death of her Great Uncle William Hugh Thomas who died at Passchendaele aged just 20 years old. 

Carol's father Ken Thomas has kindly supplied the following information.

William Hugh Thomas was born in May 1897 in Nant Peris, Llanberis. He was the son of William Richard Thomas and Elizabeth Thomas, nee Williams.

 Attestation Papers

He joined the Sussex Yeomanry in 1914, aged 17 years and became Private Thomas 2886. When the Sussex Yeomanry disbanded in 1916, he was transferred to the 15th Battalion Welsh Regiment and became Private Thomas 54986.

For some unknown reason, he was registered as 'Hugh William Thomas'. It could have been that there was another soldier in the unit who shared the the same name, so the Army changed his first two names around. They did this sort of thing to make their life easier and less confusing.

In 1917, after being on leave at his parents' home in Clwt Y Bont, Llanddeiniolen, he was about to leave the little village, heading on foot to the main town of Caernarfon, there to join other soldiers  who had returned from leave, back to rejoin their respective units.

He started to walk from Port Noddfa, his family home, accompanied by his youngest brother, Hughie Gordon Thomas, who was 3 years old at the time and his mother.

Young Hughie remembers arriving and standing near the main road, just outside the village. William Hugh had just crossed the main road and was about to go up a snicket called 'y shimna' (the chimney) as Hughie and his mother started to wave him goodbye.

As William turned to wave his farewells, a dog ran out of a nearby field and rushed up to Hughie Gordon, biting him on the leg. William Hugh turned around and was about to return to his young sibling and shouted out in Welsh to his mother "Ydi o'n iawn?" (Is he alright?) 

She immediately raised her hand, waving him on and replied "Ydi mae yn iawn, dos di yn dy flaen i'r dre" (Yes, he's alright, you just carry on to the town (Caernarfon))

These were the last words they exchanged, and the last time they ever saw him.
Hughie Gordon Thomas with his mother Elizabeth

Hughie Gordon Thomas, William Hugh's brother

 Flanders War Fields
On Saturday July 12th 1917, between 05.00 hours and 05.30 hours, a practice shell barrage towards the German lines brought an immediate retaliation onto the British lines, killing 24, wounding 64 with 13 missing.

William Hugh was in a trench with his brothers David 'Dafydd' W. Thomas and John 'Jack' Thomas. A shell landed and exploded in the trench killing William Hugh Thomas, injuring David W. Thomas and John Thomas who was furthest away from the shell blast. He received no injuries at all.

William Hugh Thomas was only 20 years old. His army records, and Department of Honour Register, show him as H. W. Thomas.

He received the Victory Medal and the British Medal

He is buried in Grave III.G.21 at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge, Ieper, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.

William Hugh Thomas is shown here as
H. W. Thomas
Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge
where William Hugh Thomas is buried.

William Hugh Thomas - personal effects

Y Genedl
4th September 1917
Remembrance Meeting for William Hugh Thomas

Always remembered and never forgotten ... along with all those who lost their lives during that battle and each one before and after.

My thanks to Ken Thomas and his daughter Carol for sharing William Hugh's memory. RIP.
28th January 2017. KD

The following is placed inside Penmon Church

Courtesy of Clive Hughes
In memory
Lieutenant Royal Welch Fusiliers
Served in Gallipoli
Took part in the evacuation of Suvla and Helles
Died in Mesopotamia April 25 1916
from wounds received at Sanna-y-yat April 9th.
Aged 27 years

I was honoured to receive the following correspondence from Anne Pedley, Regimental Archivist, Royal Welch Fusiliers, KD; 

I am the RWF archivist and I am compiling biographies on officers who died in the First World War.

Here is our officer entry for Lt Bertram Lester Holme:
He was born on the 22nd August 1888, at Park Road, West Birkenhead,  the only son of Geoffrey Gosset Holme, latterly of Bryn Afon, Penmon, near Beaumaris and his wife Jessie.  

Educated at Marlborough College & Queen's College, Cambridge, he was later employed as a tutor to the son of a Russian Admiral of the Black Sea Fleet and Governer of Sebastopol. 

At the outbreak of the Great War, he was living in Petrograd, holding a post in a law school there.  He returned home in November 1914 and was commissioned as Temporary Second Lieutenant on the 18th of December, 1914, to the 12th Reserve Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers (RWF). 

He was then attached to the 8th Battalion RWF and joined the battalion at Gallipoli at ANZAC November 1915 where he saw action and was involved in the evacuations of Sulva Bay and Helles.  He embarked with 8th Battalion RWF to Egypt in January 1916 and on to Mesopotamia in February 1916. 

He was then employed as a Temporary Staff Captain and joined the expedition for the relief of Kut-el-Amara.  He was in the fighting at the battle of Sanna-i-Yat where he was wounded on the 10th April 1916 and died of his wounds on 25th April, 1917, aged 27.  He was buried at Aligherbi in the Amara War Cemetery, near the River Tigris, Iraq. 

Anne adds; He sounds as though he had a fascinating life, so sad that it was cut short by the war.

When Bertram was aged 2, he lived with his parents Godfrey 32, a building contractor and Jessie 25, at 188 Parliament Square, Toxteth. Both were Liverpool born. Bertram was born in Claughton, Cheshire. Margaret Williams, 29 of Liverpool was the family's domestic servant.
Jessie was the daughter of the late Rev. Canon Major Lester

At the age of 12, Bertram was a boarder at Lime House, a school in Wetherall. 

His parents were living at Heimath, Prescot Road, Aughton West Lancashire at the time. Godfrey and Jessie, by then, had a daughter, Gladys N., aged 9, born in Liverpool. A certain Mary J. Hough, 18, was their domestic servant, born in Aughton.

Private 3414
1/6th Battalion R.W.F.
(Territorial Force)

A commemorative grave inscription to Owen Lewis of Caim and his family, stands at Penmon Churchyard.

Photo and text courtesy of Clive Hughes

Er cof annwyl
Caim, Penmon
a fu farw yn Alexandria
yn y Rhyfel mawr, Hydref 1915
yn 39 mlwydd oed.
HUGH, eu nai
a fu farw Hydref 29 1935
yn 18 mlwydd oed

Blodau tlysaf gerddi Seion
Gipir adref gan angylion
A theylnau'r nef sy'n canu
A'r holl dyrfa yn molianu
Wrth weld enaid wedi glanio
Cyn i bechod ei ddifwyno.

Hefyd eu merch
a fu farw Mawrth 4 1939 yn 23 mlwydd oed.
Hefyd y dywededig
a fu farw Mehefin 12 1940
yn 62 mlwydd oed.
"Gwynfydedig yw y meirw sydd
yn marw yn ar Arglwydd"

He was Private 3414 in the 1/6th Battalion, RWF (Territorial Force).  The official casualty list states he was born at Penmon and enlisted at Caernarfon.  He arrived in the Gallipoli theatre of war on 8 August 1915 and may well have taken part with his unit in the landings at Suvla Bay that month. 

He was later shipped over to Egypt (possibly sick) and died at Alexandria on 31 October 1915 aged 39.  He is buried at Chatby War Memorial Cemetery in that city.

It was not uncommon for families to name those who had died while away or overseas on a grave stone, a practice which means that some war casualties can be found commemorated on post-war headstones.  Owen Lewis' family are also named on the stone at Penmon, including his wife Kate (died 1940 aged 62), a nephew Hugh died 1935 aged 18, and a daughter Lizzie Catherine died 1939 aged 23.  This puts her date of birth at approx. 1916, so she may have been a daughter he never saw. 

I couldn't get a match for the family in the 1901 Census for Penmon, and someone else was living at Caim at that time.  However, there is a possible match in the following:

1901 Census; Pentraeth Parish, Talgwyn Terrace.
Owen Lewis  age 24, General labourer, born Pentraeth
Kate Lewis, wife age 23, born Llanerchymedd
Mary Lewis, daughter age 2 and William J.Lewis, son age 1, both born Pentraeth.
The occurrence of an Owen and Kate Lewis of the right ages has to be balanced against his apparently being born in Pentraeth, not Penmon.   

Private 15300
10th (Service) Battalion R.W.F.

John Henry PARRY of 3 Coedwig Terrace, was the son of Evan and Mary Parry.  His papers fortunately survive, and state he was born at Llangoed. 

He enlisted at the Menai Bridge recruiting office on 16 September 1914, aged 19 years 289 days.  He was a single man, a quarryman by trade, 5 feet 7 and a half inches in height.  Parry was also a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist and member of Capel Ty Rhys, Llangoed.  He stated his next of kin as his mother Mary.

On 17 September 1914 he was sent to the RWF Depot at Wrexham, receiving the number 15300 and rank of Private. Three days later he was posted to the 10th (Service) Battalion RWF, a "Kitchener" unit.  His physique had only been described as "Fair" at his medical examination, and during training his health gave cause for concern.  On 8 July 1915 he was found to be unfit for overseas service, and so was posted to the 3rd Battalion RWF, a home service unit in the Mersey Garrison, based at Litherland.  On about 10 March 1916 however, he was found to be suffering from tuberculosis.

A medical board was convened on 11 April, and mentioned that Parry's father Evan had died of phthisis (the Greek term for TB) aged 40.  In Parry's case, they concluded that the exposure to cold, wet, and fatigues of ordinary military service were to blame, and recommended sanatorium treatment.  He was classed as incapable of further service for twelve months, and discharged from the Army on medical grounds on 5 May 1916. 

In due course he received the "Silver War Badge" which marked him as being medically discharged, and hopefully stopped overzealous patriots from badgering him about not serving in the Forces! 

Ten days later (aged 21) he was granted a pension of 25 shillings a week.  He seems to have gone to the Udal Torre Sanatorium at Yelverton, South Devon, where the fresh-air regime may have been of sufficient benefit to somewhat improve his condition, but consequently reduce his pension to 18s. 9d. 

By February 1917 he was back home at Coedwig Terrace, totally disabled and incapable of earning a living : his pension went up to 27s 6d.   In November this was extended, but on 11 June 1918 he died aged 23 and was buried at Penmon Churchyard.  Antibiotics and inoculations were to greatly reduce the curse of TB later in the 20th century - an ailment which we forget carried off so many generations of our ancestors and was a major killer for centuries.
His death was officially accepted to be the result of military service, so the grave is registered as a War Grave.  The family, however, declined the offer of a War grave headstone, and indeed made no reference in the inscription to his war service.  This surprises many people, who are used to equating military casualties with the distinctive Portland stone markers, but at least 20 per cent of all First and Second World War graves in the UK have ordinary headstones.

Photo and text courtesy of Clive Hughes

Er serchog goffadwriaeth
3 Coedwig Terrace, Penmon
a fu farw Mehefin 11eg 1918
yn 23 mlwydd oed.

Un ddwyll fel ffrynd ydoedd
A rhayn aur seion oedd.

Hefyd eu chwaer
1897 - 1962

"Gwaith a gorffwys bellach
wedi mynd yn un."

The grave at Penmon states his parents' names, and adds his sister Molly (1897-1962).  In the 1901 Census for Penmon the family can be found at the Barracks.  His father, a joiner, must have died about 1910 leaving young John Henry as his mother's main support.


 Richard Thomas remembers his great grandfathers;
I am happy to report that both survived the "Great War" and returned to these shores to live long and happy lives!


Edward Williams, my great grandfather on my mother's side, is also pictured here in his cobbler's workshop in Rhyd Cottage, Llangoed. I know very little about the detail of his army service.
I believe that this photo was taken in the grounds of "Bryn Mel" - Llandegfan - (date unknown).
Edward Williams is buried in "Capel Ty-Rhys" Llangoed, along with his wife Margaret Ellen


My great-grandfather on my father's side - Joseph Richard Thomas.
He was recruited to the Army in Clive, Shropshire.
He was then garrisoned at "Kingsbridge Camp", Llanfaes before being deployed to the trenches in France during late 1915.

He is pictured here outside Beaumaris Gaol, with other members of his troop circa 1915, front row - right (sitting).
Joseph Richard Thomas is buried in Beaumaris Cemetery.


Anne Pedley, Regimental Archivist for the Royal Welch Fusiliers, has been in contact. She mentions that the Archive hold two boxes of letters and ephemera relating to Lieutenant Geraint Wyn Madoc Jones.

His father was the Headmaster of Beaumaris Grammar School, and he suvived the Great War.  He went out to France with the 16th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers but was sent to hospital and spent the rest of the War recuperating
He was not wounded and no reason is given, though his letters held at our archive are interesting to read.  He returned to Beaumaris, but then we know nothing of him

His sister donated the letters in the 1970s, I believe and she was living in Colwyn Bay.

Anne would appreciate any information  relating to Geraint Wyn Madog Jones, as she is compiling the biographies of officers who served in the Great War.
Anne can be contacted via

c1892 - 1919
Born Blaenau Ffestiniog
United States Army
Vicky House, Historian has been in touch. KD.
I belong to a group of historical societies who are commemorating 
the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the war. 
Since Griffith W. Davies was one of the young men who served, even though he was born in Wales, we would love to honour him for his service.
October 2017.

Griffith was born in Blaenau, Ffestiniog, Wales around 1892, son of Thomas Ellis and Jane C Davies Cambrain Terrace Tanygrisiau. Tanygrisiau is a little village outside Blaenau.
Information from the 1901 census.
Griffith was 8 years old and living in Cambrian Terrace, Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
He was living with his widowed mother, Jane Catherine Davies aged 30, who was keeping a shop as a Draper and Grocer in the village. Her widowed mother Gwen Evans, aged 69 was also living there and a cousin Willie Evans, 6 years old. A lodger working in the slate mines was also there. 
There is no mention of the family in the 1911 census unfortunately.

Griffith came to the United States and was working in a creamery just before the United States entered the war in April 1917. He was living in Brisben, NY, a small town a few miles below where I live.

Griffith W. Davies also lived in Granville, Washington County, NY and his mother, Jane, was listed as head of household. That Griffith was a slatemaker which makes me think of his home town in Wales.

He was much loved by his community and honoured when the war was over.

He was promoted to Sergeant on the 28th September 1918 and went overseas on October 19, 1918.

He sadly contracted pneumonia and died on February 15, 1919  aged 26 and was buried in the American Cemetery Bagorilles. His body was brought home and re-buried here in Wales at Llan Ffestiniog in St. Michael's Churchyard on the 11th February 1922.

 St Michael's Church
Llan Ffestiniog

© Copyright Jeff Buck and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Grave of Griffith William Davies

Vicky concludes:
We have a war memorial in Greene, New York where the town of Brisben is located.  That war memorial consists of paver bricks which have the name of a soldier carved into them. We are planning on getting one for Griffith and I will send you a picture when that is done.
Thank your for your help. Keep up the good work on your website.
It's people like you doing things like this that help those of us who are trying to find valuable information. 


featuring brothers
Ewart and Ernie Beadles

Private George Harold Beadles,
later Lance Corporal

George Harold Beadles was born on 28th September 1897 in Commercial Street, Newtown, Montgomeryshire. He was one of six boys and a girl, born to Thomas and Sarah Ann Beadles (nee Pearce).

Upon the outbreak of WW1 in August 1914. Harry along with two of his elder brothers Ewart and Ernie, enlisted immediately into the first regiment formed in Newtown, the 1st/7th Royal Welch Fusiliers (later part of the 53rd Division). Whilst Ewart and Ernie were of age Harry was only 16 years old, yet must have felt a sense of duty to King and Country, along with a wish to enlist with his brothers. The authorities must also have turned a blind eye!

Harry, Ewart and Ernie Beadles 

Soldiers of the 7th Royal Welch Fusiliers march through Newtown
as they prepare to leave the town

Harry's two eldest brothers Tom and Charlie were both Police Officers at the time and so unable to enlist, their job seen as critical to the Home Front. Tom appeared happy to remain in the Police, however Charlie was frustrated with the bureaucracy which prevented him from joining his brothers. He apparently became an "administrative nuisance", appearing on Police Parade, unshaven with dirty boots, tins of fruit in his uniform pockets etc. The Police apparently eventually dispensed with his services and he finally got his wish to en-list with the County Palatine Regiment, where he served in Cambrai, where he and others were gassed.

Harry was initially enlisted as a Bugle Boy whilst the regiment was under-going training courses in the UK.

However by August 1915 they had been sent to Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay on 9th August 1915.

Harry was now listed as a Rifleman and despite being underage, actively served on the front line.

British soldiers at Suvla Bay, August 1915

It was during this time Harry was awarded the Serbian Gold Medal for "Gallantry". He saved a Serbian Observer Officer who had been hit in no-mans land and unable to return to the line. During the rescue Harry's uniform cap and epilates were shot off, yet he miraculously remained un-injured, despite extreme heavy artillery fire. The officer took his name and number and apparently said "You will hear more about this lad". However as a young boy at the time, he didn't expect to hear anything again, and just continued with the war.

Montgomeryshire Express
March 7th 1916
Newtown streets in the days of yore used to frequently ring with the music of the Newtown Silver Band. The last time it was heard was when the men of the 7th (Royal Welch Fusiliers) went to Conway following a few days stay in the town after mobilisation and alas, a large number of the lads who then gaily marched to the station are no more.

Several Newtown band members were ordered to Gallipoli during the war. They were H. Beadles, D. Clayton, J. E. Harper, G. Hibbott, S. Humphreys, C. Lloyd, J. Leach, H. Morris, F. Morris, D. Morris, W. Pugh, W. Richards, W. Roberts, H. Stephens, J. Turner and B. Nock.


Also during this time his elder brother Ernie was shot in the foot and sent back to the UK. Local press reports show letters from Ewart to his mother stating, "Ernie has been shot in the foot, but nothing serious don't worry. Also Harry is in hospital but will be okay soon". 

Sadly Ernie died of his war wounds in 1918 probably due to blood poisoning. Ernie is buried in Llanllwchaiarn cemetery, in the same grave as his 12 year old brother Albert and their mother. The grave is marked with an official Grey/blue Military Headstone for Ernie, with a ground stone in recognition of Albert. The grave is next to that of Harry's life long friend, Capt George Latham M.C..

The regiment suffered terrible casualties and extreme hot weather conditions, so bad both sides had an armistice for a day just to bury the dead, due to the flies and stench.
By December the weather was so cold, that many, including Harry,were suffering from frost-bite. Upon the eventual evacuation in December 1915, Harry was found floating and unconscious in the water due to frostbite and dehydration. He was fortunately spotted and pulled out of the water, and with a "stiff dose of whiskey", sent on a hospital ship to a Military hospital in Malta. Otherwise Harry could possibly have been the only casualty from the "successful evacuation!".

Upon recovery in Malta, Harry was immediately returned to his unit who were now in Palestine. He was involved in all three battles for Gaza and the push by General Allanby to capture Jerusalem. During the first battle, he along with others were cut-off behind enemy lines in the desert. Desperate for food/water they approached a Bedouin tribe who were fortunately friendly. They were looked after and returned to the nearest British Unit. They happened to be a Ghurkha Unit and lived with them for 2 weeks. Harry had nothing but praise for the way they were treated, plus the professionalism of the Ghurkha's as soldiers.

During the 2nd Battle for Gaza, Harry's brother Ewart was awarded the Military Medal and promoted to Sergeant. However sadly during the same battle, Harry's Uncle Dick (Richard Pearce) was fatally shot in the head whilst next to Harry in action.. Ironically he had just told Harry to "keep your head down lad" and Harry had to continue with the line despite suffering this trauma.

When the war finally ended, Harry's regiment was left in Palestine until mid 1919. The Forces organised Football competitions between the various Battalions, where Harry shone as a player. He soon came under the influence of a fellow Newtonian, Captain George Latham M.C, and the 7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers won the British Forces (Egypt) Football League Cup Final in 1919.

7th Batallion Royal Welch Fusiliers
British Forces Champions 1919 
George Latham is seated front row 3rd left and
Harry 2nd right with dog in Egypt

This experience and friendship with George Latham proved a significant factor to Harry's future football career, plus it was the beginning of a life long friendship


Harry won
2 Welsh International Caps
in 1925.
v Scotland
(lost 1v3 at Edinburgh
14th February 1925) 
v  England
(lost 1v2 at Swansea
28th February 1925).

 Click here to read about Harry's life and remarkable football career


William Harper
James Nelson
William McStay
Davie Meiklejohn
David Morris
Robert Bennie
Alex Johnson
James Dunn
Hughie Gallagher
Thomas Cairns
Alan Morton
Albert Gray
John Jenkins
Moses Russell
Stanley Davies
Fred Keenor
William Williams
William Davies
John Nicholls
Len Davies
Harry Beadles
Fred Cook

WALES        1  2   ENGLAND
Bert Gray
Ernie Morley
Moses Russell
Eddie Jenkins
Fred Keenor
Edgar Thomas
Willie Davies
John Nicholls
Jack Fowler
Harry Beadles
Fred Cook
Dick Pym
Bill Ashurst
Alf G. Bower
Jack Hill
Frank Roberts
Tommy Cook
Arthur Dorrell

1887 - 1917

Diolch i Haf Madoc
am y lluniau


Ellis Humphrey Evans was the oldest of eleven children, born to Evan and Mary Evans. Born on the 13th January 1887, his first home was Pen Lan, Trawsfynydd. A few weeks later the family moved to Yr Ysgwrn.

In 1891 he was still living with his parents at his grandfather's home, Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd.

Lewis Evans was aged 80, widowed and farmed Ysgwrn. His son Evan was 37 and working on the farm with his wife Mary, 26. Ellis Humphrey Evans was aged 4, siblings David 2, and Mary 1. Lewis had another grandson Robert Evans 32, living at his home. All were Trawsfynydd born.
Mary Ellen Welsh 16 of Manchester worked as a domestic servant

Ellis went to the elementary and Sunday Schools and soon showed he was a gifted poet. He left school at 14 to work as a shepherd for his father.

Yr Ysgwrn

Evan Evans 47 was head of the household at Yr Ysgwrn in 1901. His wife Mary was 36, and Ellis was 14, recorded as a famer's son. David was 12, Mary 11, Kate 9, Maggie's age is unclear and Robert Llewelyn Evans was 2.
Evan's brother Robert was 42, working as a farmer on his own account. Kate Kilner was 14 and a domestic servant at the farm

Ellis won his first chair at the Bala Eisteddfod in 1907, other chairs followed in 1913 at Pwllheli and Llanuwchllyn and again in 1915 at Pontardawe and a second time at Llanuwchllyn.

The Great War loomed and he enlisted in 1917, joining the 15th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers as Private 61117 Ellis Humphrey Evans, in June that year, and was sent to Flechin in France. During this time, Ellis had an ambition to win the Chair at the National Eisteddfod, which that year was being held outside the Principality, in Birkenhead. He posted his entry in France on the 15th July, just as he was moved to the front line at Passchendale.

Ellis and his pals came under heavy fire at Iron Cross, and he was hit in the chest by shrapnel. He was taken to a first aid post and died later that day of his injuries on the 31st July 1917.

The chairing ceremony at the Birkenhead Eisteddfod took place on the 6th September 1917. Ellis' poem 'Yr Arwr', under the "ffug enw" of  'Fleur de Lys', was declared the winner. No one stood up to the sound of the 'cutgorn' to acknowledge themselves as the successful bard. The bard had died six weeks earlier. The chair was draped in black.

Diolch i Haf Madoc am y lluniau

Hedd Wyn is buried at the Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boezinge.

 Click here to see the Memorial Certificate in Ellis Humphrey Evans' honour by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ellis Humphrey Evans' grave. 
Photo -Wikipedia - reproduced by common license


Cof Golofn
Y Bala

Photo courtesy of Nicola Harland


Dickins G.
Davies D.M.
Dowle W.R.
Edward E.E..
Edwards E.W.
Ellis J.S.
Ellis W.H
Ellis W.O.
Evans J.H.

Evans O.R.
Humphreys M.
Jones F.
Jones H.E.
Jones D.C.
Jones I.
Jones J.M.
Jones R.A.

Jones R.LL.
Jones T.
Owen J.
Owen-Jones R.D.

Richards O.W.
Richard R.J.
Roberts R.
Rogers A.
Watson H.

Rhodri Dean Owen-Jones
36th Jacobs Horse Regiment

My great uncle from Bala (Rhodri Deane Owen Jones) was killed in the First World War, so he's named on the Bala War Memorial.
Nicola Harland.

Delighted to hear from Nicola who has kindly supplied the following information and photographs, relating to Rhodri Deane Owen-Jones. KD

Rhodri was the only son of Major General Robert Owen-Jones, C.B., R.E., of Bryn Tegid, Bala and his wife Harriette, eldest daughter of the late Right Honourable Sir James Parker Deane.

He was born on the 14th August 1886.

Rhodri with cousin and sisters Nesta Owen-Jones,
Gwendoline Owen-Jones (Y Bragdy, Bala),
Winifred Owen Owen-Jones, Gwladys Owen-Jones, 
and father Robert Owen-Jones standing at the back

1891 Census, Basing House, Banstead
Robert Owen Jones 53, Army Pensioner, Major General, born Llanycil.
Harriette Elizaabeth Isabella Owen-Jones, 48 born Portsea, Hants, married for 32 years with 5 children, Gwladys, 10, Winifred 9, Gwendoline 8, and Nesta 6, all born Brampton and Rhodri 4 born Banstead

Rhodri aged about 8, with his Taid, James Parker Deane
and father Major General Robert Owen Jones

1901 Wellington College, Crowthorn, Berkshire
Rhodri was a student aged 14 at the College, whose Clergyman and a schoolmaster was Edward Davenport aged 57 

'C' Company
Winners of the R.M.C. Cross Country Challenge Cup 1906.

Rhodri is seated in the front row to the right of the soldier in uniform. 

Rhodri's father wrote to Lord Kitchener on the 10th January requesting that Rhodri be appointed to the Native Cavalry.

He was educated at the Royal Military College and passed out for the Indian Army and was gazetted to the 1st Battalion The South Lancashire Regiment in India on the 25th January, 1908.

Reply received to General Robert Owen-Jones's letter of the 10th January.

Rhodri Deane Owen-Jones in his 36th Jacob's Horse uniform

He joined the 36th Jacob's Horse on the 19th March 1909, an appointed Squadron. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 25th April 1910, then to Captain on the 1st September 1915.
Rhodri passed in the Cavalry School at Sangor and Transport course, holding the Equitation certificate.

He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 20th September 1914 and landed in France with 36th Jacobs Horse October 1914. He was wounded on the 10th January 1915 at Festubert while commanding his squadron in the trenches.He was hit in the arm in the morning and was in hospital in London that night  and was invalidid home for three months. 

He was killed in France on the 5th January 1916  when a temporary Captain at the time, and buried in Abbeville.

was promoted to full Captain after his death.



6th January 1916
The General Officer Commanding regrets to have to announce the death on the 5th instant, from an accident with a grenade, of Lieutenant R. D. OWEN JONES, 36th Jacob's Horse.
In him the Brigade has lost an officer of great seal and efficiency.
The sincere sympathy of the Brigade is extended to his family in their loss.


Lieut. Rhodri Deane Owen Jones, 36th Jacob's Horse, only son of Major-general R. Owen-Jones, C.B., R.E. of Bryntegid, Bala, was on the 5th February killed while performing one of his special duties.

In his capacity of grenade specialist he was conducting a grenade-throwing test in one of the squadrons. During the afternoon two grenades of a certain class failed to explode. They had to be destroyed and another kind of grenade was employed with a time fuse, which should have given ample time for Lieut. Jones to get cover. The explosion however, took place instantaneously, and he was hit by the full force of the three grenades.

General Fasken, of the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade, writes that he was greatly impressed with Lieut. Jones's soldierly and devotion to duty. In fact it was devotion in carrying out a dangerous duty which brought him to his end. He was vey popular, not only with his regiment, but in the brigade, and with all who knew him. 

A brother Officer wrote; "You have the sympathy of every single one of us; the regiment can never be the same again, for he was the heart and soul of everything that went on, and you can have no idea how the men loved him."

The sympathy of the whole of Merionethshire goes out to Major-general Owen Jones and all the relatives of the deceased.

Rhodri's Commanding Officer wrote:
"Our loss can be little less than yours, for he was loved by all who knew him well, and his sudden departure has been a terrible blow to us all. Speaking personally, I have lost a very capable officer, and one who has always been a good friend."

The General commanding the Cavalary Brigade said;
"In the comparatively short time I have him I had been greatly impressed by his soldierly ability and devotion to duty which brought him to his end. That he was very popular, not only with his regiment, but in the whole brigade and with all who knew him, I need hardly tell you. We are proud of his example, and share to the full in your sorrow."

Another officer wrote;
"He was the most gallant, warm-hearted, sympathetic friend anyone could wish to have. I have aalways thought him the finest fellow I have ever met." 


Church of St Beuno, Llanycil
Copyright Eirian Evans and licensed for reuse
under this
Creative Commons Licence.

Memorial to Rhodri at Llanycil Church 


Major General
Robert Owen-Jones
1837 - 1926
Father of Rhodri Deane Owen-Jones

Rhodri's father, Robert Owen Jones, was born on the 14th November 1837 at Ivy House, High Street, Bala but his 2 younger siblings were born at the White Lion Hotel, Bala.

His parents were William and Ann Jones (nee Owen). 

1841 Census, White Lion Royal Hotel, Bala
R Ann Jones, 39 Innkeeper, Hugh Jones 7, Robert Jones 3 and William Jones 1

Bryn Tegid, Bala 

Robert was at Cowbridge Grammar School in 1851.
He joined the Royal Engineers,  but he also  lived in London, so the girls were educated by a governess at home in London
and Rhodri went to Rugby School - I think Robert Owen Jones probably rented the London house.

I believe that when Robert Owen Jones was training for the Royal Engineers, about 1863. One of the junior officers was Kitchener

Robert married Emma Marian Dickins on the 13th December 1866.   

1871 Census, Cumberland Place, All Saints, Southampton
Robert Owen Jones 33, General Royal Engineers, born Llanycil, Emma Owen-Jones, 28 born Wodderton, Lancashire

Emma died of TB, childless, and is buried at Llanycil.
Robert inherited his father's house Bryn Tegid, Llanycil, Bala in 1874, where his widowed mother lived.

Robert married his second wife Harriette Elizabeth Isabella Deane on the 20th November 1878.

Harriette Elizabeth Isabella
Owen Jones

Their first daughter was born in 1880, and the family were with his mother in 1881. 

1881 Census, Bryn Tegid, Llanycil
Ann Owen 79, widow, income from land, sons Hugh 46, a land agent for a farmer, and Robert, 43, Major in the Royal Engineers, (all born in Llanycil), Robert's wife Harriette 38 and their daughter Gladys 11 months, born in London  

Robert and  Harriette had 4 daughters, and finally Rhodri Deane Owen Jones in 1886. 

1891 Census, Basing House, Banstead
Robert Owen Jones 53, Army Pensioner, Major General, born Llanycil, Harriette Elizabeth Isabella Owen-Jones, 48 born Portsea, Hants, married for 32 years with 5 children, Gwladys, 10, Winifred 9, Gwendoline 8, and Nesta 6, all born Brampton and Rhodri 4 born Banstead

Three Welsh Ladies in National Costume

Gwladys seated left, Winifred standing
Gwendoline seated right

1901 Census, 1 Knaresborough Place, South Kensington
Robert Owen Jones 63, General, born Llanycil, Harriette Elizabeth Isabella Owen-Jones, 58 born Portsea, Hants, Gwladys, 20, Winifred 19, Gwendoline 17 all single, and Nesta 16.

Harriette with daughters
Gwladys, Winifred, Nesta
and Gwendoline seated 

1911 Census, 1 Knaresborough Place, South Kensington
Robert Owen Jones 73, Army Pensioner, Major General, born Llanycil, Harriette Elizabeth Isabella Owen-Jones, 68 born Portsea, Hants, married for 32 years with 5 children, Gwladys, 30, Winifred 29, Gwendoline 27 all single, and Nesta who was away on the night of the census, all born in Kensington.
Amy Waller 39 was their cook, parlourmaid was Annie Rebecca Ward 33, and housemaids were Ethel Freed, 25,  Flora Ellis 18, and Annie Cornish, 15.

Nesta Owen-Jones
1885 - 1964
daughter of
Robert and Harriette Owen-Jones

Nesta was born on the 2nd March 1885. She married Hugh Walter Hailstone, who was born in Portsea, Hampshire in 1884.

Nesta Owen-Jones

Nesta is a grandmother of Christopher Timothy, the well known actor, who played the role of James Herriot in 'All Creatures Great and Small'.

Nesta died in Shrewsbury on the 18th September, 1964. 

"All 'Relatives' Great and Small"

Christopher Timothy
Wikipedia Entry on Christopher Timothy
(click here)

Details of Christopher Timothy's career
(click here)

BBC North West's interview
with Christopher Timothy
(click here)


Picture from BBC North West
See link below

Christopher Timothy (born 1940) is a Welsh actor, television director and writer. Timothy is possibly best known today for his role as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small; more recently he has starred as Dr. Brendan 'Mac' McGuire in the British television drama Doctors.

He was born in Bala, and lived in the town up to the age of five, when his parents moved to London. He attended the Priory Grammar School in Shrewsbury in the 1950s, appearing in a number of school plays.

On leaving school he worked at Frank Newton's Gentleman's Outfitters in Shrewsbury - now the location of Marks & Spencers in the town.

A lady in the Welsh National Costume
taken from the family collection

57439 Machine Gun Corps

Wallace Horatio Hewett

The following enlisted with the Machine Gun Corps at the same time;
57438 BARKER Graham
57439 ROBERTS Owen John
57440 ROBERTS Hugh Henry
57441 WILSON Albert
57442 WOODBRIDGE Leonard
57443 ROBBINS John
57445 GRIFFIN Eric Cpl. M.M.
57446 ALDER Edward Thomas
57447 BARNES Joseph
57448 TURNER Arthur
57449 WOOLLEN George Clarence
57452 MEADOWS Leonard
57454 HEWETT Wallace Horatio A/S
Bob Lewis has been in touch, KD;
My sister found your site by chance, and we believe that the Wallace Horatio Hewett listed as having enlisted alongside your grandfather (Owen John Roberts) was our grandfather. The name is correct, including the unusual spelling of Hewett (more normally Hewitt), and our mother says he was in the Machine Gun Corps, and talked of serving at Ypres and Passchendaele. Wallace survived the war, and finished with the rank of Sergeant Major. He lived in North London when I remember him, and two of his four children survive (my mother and the youngest brother), the other two having only recently died.

My mother has been collecting information and, with others in the family, putting together a family tree, and although he never spoke of it, we now believe that Maurice - Wallace's eldest son, fought in the Battle of Britain.

Bob can be contacted via if you can help his family, with their research


Photo courtesy of Richard Griffith
Morris Griffith and mates in hospital

Morris was one of four Griffith sons born in Poultney Vermont as first generation Americans, and joined the Army in World War I to fight with his British cousins. Morris was wounded twice.
Once a German felled a tree on him and he was shot through the hand while trapped under the tree. The second time was at the Meuse Argonne offense, October 3rd 1918 when he was machine gunned while trying to go through barbed wire to attack the German line.
He served as a Private in L company of the 307th infantry, and had he not been wounded, probably would have been part of the company to rescue comrades of  K company, known as the 'Lost Patrol'. The Lost Patrol successfully reached their objective which got them cut off from Morris's company, 'L' which took major casualties and stopped short of their objective.
Morris was nursed back to health against all odds by his future wife, British Army nurse Hilda Robinson from Liverpool.
He never received a pension.

Read more about about Morris Griffiths's wartime experiences and family, who originated in North Wales,  by clicking on the following webpage ;
(please note - when there, click on 'HOME' for full website)

Telegraphist. R.N.V.R.
I am very grateful to John Hughes, for supplying this very moving account of his grand uncle. KD.

John writes; Firstly may I congratulate you on a fascinating website. I grew up in Penmon and Beaumaris and I have very much enjoyed browsing the site.
On your photograph of the War Memorial at Beaumaris church you can make out the name John Parry.

John's home was 1, Alma Street, Beaumaris. He was a grand uncle of mine and died on his ship during the Gallipoli campaign.

John Parry was born in Beaumaris in 1893, and was the son of John  and Ann Parry. When he was 7 years old, the family lived at 12 Town's End.

The 1901 census shows that his father, John was 28 and worked on his own account, recorded as a stable car. (carriage?)  proprietor. He and his children were all Beaumaris born, but his wife Ann, 35 was from Llansadwrn. Their family consisted of Annie M. 9, John 7, Catherine 6, Elizabeth 5 and 7 month old William.

A Henry Parry, 30, cab driver, annotated 'groom', was boarding with the family   

By the time the next census of 1911 had taken place, the family were living at Glandon, Beaumaris. John was then 17, and employed as a grocer's assistant.
His father, now 38 was still a car proprietor, and his wife Ann was 46. Daughter Anne had left home, Catherine was 16, Elizabeth 15 and William 10. The census mentions that John and Ann had been married 18 years.

The Great War loomed and John became a Royal Naval Volunteer Reservist.

Details of the Enrolment form for Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Division Mersey; number Z / 541 with additional observations by Clive Hughes.

John Parry, date of birth 29 April 1893  occupation Grocers Traveller

Engaged on 26 July 1915 for a standard "3 years or the Duration of Hostilities, whichever is the longer" engagement.

Description:  Chest 31 inches; Height 5ft. 2ins. ; Hair black;  Eyes brown  (this was originally recorded so as to be able to issue a description of him to the police if he deserted!)

Ships served etc.:
"RND" (Usually the Royal Naval Division - the RNVR supplied as many men for service effectively as soldiers as it did for service at sea.  He may have gone to the RND Depot for basic training and to discover any aptitude for specialist work.  In his case he could be trained to operate morse wireless telegraph equipment which was very useful at sea).
Rating- AB  (Able Seaman) - but the entry has been overwritten with "O.Tel." - Ordinary Telegraphist.  Served under RND until 4 Feb 1916, then posted to:

HMS SABRINA (IMELDA) -  from 5 Feb 1916.  The first ship is the man's administrative or pay ship (pay & post etc. all went through her), the next in brackets is the actual ship to which he was posted.  SABRINA was the name of an old 1876 gunboat which was used as a diving tender from 1916 but renamed SABINE that year; and also a new M-class destroyer launched in 1916.  Whichever he joined, it was just a technicality as his actual posting was to IMELDA but I have yet to discover what sort of vessel she was.  He left her on 29 April 1916, for

HMS PEMBROKE - from 30 April to 5 May 1916.  This was a shore or administrative base.

HMS OSIRIS II - from 6 May 1916.  OSIRIS was another destroyer launched in 1916, but the Roman "II" after the name once again suggests that in his case it was used for administration.  Just under this name is another - Prince Palatine - which is probably the vessel he was sent to.  The crew would be merchant navy men under Admiralty direction, but with the addition of Naval gunners to man the defensive weapons and Naval telegraphists/ wireless operators like John Parry for communications work. He stayed with her until 10 July 1916.

HMS St.GEORGE (ERMINE) - from 11 July 1916.  The St. GEORGE was a cruiser launched 1892, but clearly another administrative ship as far as Parry was concerned.  He was actually sent as telegraphist to the Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary vessel ERMINE. She was a former Glasgow/Dublin ferryboat, earlier being used as a troopship at the Suvla Bay landings, Gallipoli 1915, and likewise for the Salonika campaign in Greece/Macedonia at the time she was sunk.  

While he was with this ship he was promoted on 30 October 1916 to full Telegraphist.  On 31 December 1916 his "Character and Ability" were assessed as usual annually, and his officer rated him as "Very Good" for character, and of "Satisfactory" ability. 

In 1916, he was serving with the Mediterranean Fleet.

I have in my possession a letter that John wrote to his sister Lizzie, on the 11th November, whilst serving in the Eastern Mediterranean. Lizzie is pictured on the right.

The 'Willie' referred to at the end is my grandfather.

With the Mediterranean Fleet
11. 11. 16
My Dearest Sister and All at Home,

Here I am once again glad to have the pleasure to write and tell you that I am in the best of health, and pleased to learn by your last letter that all at home are in the same spirits.

Before I go any further let me give a line or two in thanks for the parcel I received last week, or really  I should say this week. The parcel arrived in good order and yesterday I had some of the cake for tea. This cake was very good, it was really fine, and I enjoyed it imensely. I used to sell them when I used to be at Charles Owen's, and thought they had the icing on, that inside was no good, but it was the best cake I have tasted for a very long while.

Please thank Dad for some same also the Skippers sardines and envelopes. The paper arrived alright and am very pleased to have same, for I like plenty of reading matter. Sue sends me books from time to time, and in her last letter said her Dad arrived home with a book for me, which he bought at some bookstall in Liverpool. I recieved a parcel from Bootle friends last week also, so you see the good folk I had left behind  have not forgotten me. I read in the North Ws. C. of the Baron Hill Garden Party. Sorry that you are having such bad weather, out here it is quite hot in the sun, and the sea is calm. We have been in harbour for 2 weeks now, cleaning etc for our new job, in our next letter all being well I will be able to tell you what our ship is going to do.

I received a letter and two nice postcards from Enoch Evans, the postcards were made in silk by French women. You will receive them from E. Evans a photo taken in France which he is sending home for me to keep till I return. Please let him kmow that it has been received when you get same. We write to each other regularly this last four years or more, and he is a very nice chap, and when I was laid up in London he was very good to me. Well Lizzie I have no further news to send this week so will come to a close. Please remember me to one and all relations, Friends and chaple folk and my best Love to Mam Dad Katie Annie Willie and your dear self and kisses for baby.

Yours Truly Brother

On the 2nd August the ship he was on, the Ermine, hit a mine. John did not survive.
I don't know whether he lived with his parents in Alma Street, but he was only 24 when he died and there is no reference to a wife in the letter to his sister.

The record effectively ends with the note that he was "DD" - "Discharged Dead" - "DD 2 August 1917 when MFA 'Ermine' was sunk".   His family were later paid a War Gratuity, but when and how much is not stated.

John's father wrote to the Admiralty on the 24th August 1917, to try and find out more about his son's death. He received the following reply;

Telegrams - 'Navy Accounts London'
In reply please quote;
No. 9. N.P. 6437/17
and address letter to;
The Accountant General of the Navy
Admiralty, London, S.W. 1 

14th September 1917

In reply to your letter of the 24th. August, relative to the late John Parry, Telegraphist R.N.V.R., Official No. Mersey Z/541, I have to state for your confidential information that he lost his life when H.M. Merchant Fleet Auxilliary "ERMINE" was sunk on the 2nd August in the Mediterranean, as the result of an explosion. It is not definately known whether this was caused by a mine, or by a
torpedo fired by an enemy submarine.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant
Accountant General of the Navy

Mr John Parry,
1, Alma Street,

The official paper seems to be a standard Admiralty casualty letter (with a "confidential" clause just to deter his parents from making it known in the Press); and a Royal condolence slip bearing the cyclostyled signature of Sir Edward Carson, the famous Ulster barrister and politician who was First Lord of the Admiralty from 12 December 1916 to 17 July 1917

The Admiralty's emphasis on "confidential" suggests that elements of the MOD were probably reticent in those days to give information in relation to tragic incidents

I also have in my possession a letter written by a shipmate, David Jamieson to John's parents describing the circumstances of his death


Harries Cott
Halfway Cardonald

Aug 21st 1919

Dear Mr & Mrs Parry,

I have just been informed that you never received any news of the death of your son Jonny. Well, I being one of the crew I will explain to the best of my ability.

The Ermine was a Steamer that sailed between Glasgow and Dublin, and she carried 300 Saloon passengers and 700 cattle. She was a new ship and very up to date. We were trooping in the beginning of the war to France. We carried horse and guns. We even took over the General Staff and their servants.
Then we come home to Glasgow, were Commissioned for an unknown destination, were sent to Mudros, the Naval base for the Dardanelles. We took part in the landing of Sulva Bay and were their, until the Evacuation. Then we carried on back and forward to Salonika and all the Islands in the Grecian Isles. There were an island for every every day of the year. On the ship's log we shifted about two hundred thousand troops and 3,000 horse. We carried fresh men to the firing line and brought down sick and wounded.

In the morning we always went in in the cover of darkness at night. We were very fortunate we never got struck, although the Turks kept an incessant fire from the Forts all night. Coming to the night of the disaster to the Ermine, we had been at Salonika and returned to a place called (Stavros) near the mouth of the Strume. This is where  the British were holding the line against the Bulgars. 

We left Stavros at 12 o'clock at night and was struck at 5minutes to one. On the 2nd August she was struck, in the forward stoke hold and sank in two minutes and a half just an hour under way.

The most of the Officers and crew were in bed, and they had just time to make for the boats. The most of the men ran to the Port boats, that is the 2 boats you see in the Photo. Well they could not get them away from the ships side with the tide and the suction and 60 men went under with the ship.

Your own John was in one of them. I ran past him over starboard side, he was standing in his night dress. We got three boats away, their were 7 in my boat, 3 in the next and 5 in the after after end of the ships boat. John came up all right and was hanging  on to a bit of wreckage and our boat was making for him, but in the delay, with the wreckage there, was so much, he sank before we got to (him). Half a minute more and he would have saved. We had a crew of 56 men and 30 sailors and soldiers travelling.

The Chief Officer lost his life by stepping back into his room for his gold watch. His room was just beside the boat that I got into. The 3rd Engineers refused to go  into a boat and he went down with the ship quite cool. The Carpenter, your son, 8 firemen, 3 sailors, 3 greasers, 2 Stewards, 20 of the Crew all together. A fleet surgeon, a Warrant gunman, a Merchant seaman who was going to Malta to jail and a wireless operator were also drowned.

The Surgeon was going home on leave. He came on board after getting a hearty send off from the Battleship. Being in a jolly mood he went straight to bed and the hours time he went with the ship. The Warrant gunman, he was coming home to get married, very sad.

All hands were in ther water expect 15 and these men pulled 60 out of the water. It took us four hours in the darkness to make our way back to Stavros, and we fired 40 rockets. But the smart Navy people did not know what they were for. We were not Navymen men, but Merchant Seaman, and I have never put my foot on a sailing ship since. 

I work in the Shipyards and don't intend to sail any more. I am enclosing 2 Photos which I got taken in pre war days and happened to have them lying about. Dear Friends if you care to write to me, I will let you know what some of the wives and mothers got for compensation and the struggle we had to get our wages. I think this is all I have to say, but if ever you happen to be in Glasgow, I will be very pleased to see you. I reside with my sister halfway to Paisley,
I remain,
Yours sincerely,
David Jamieson


Thursday, 2 August 1917
Ermine, fleet messenger,
mined and sunk in Aegean Sea

BAYES, Albert G, Trimmer, MMR, 884591
 CARD, Thomas P L, Gunner (Abercrombie, monitor, O/P)
 CROSS, Thomas, Donkeyman, MMR, 67070
 EDGAR, Robert, Greaser, MMR, (no service number listed)
 GOWAN, John, Carpenter, MMR, (no service number listed)
 JOHNSON, William C, Fireman, MMR, 882032
 KERR, John, Trimmer, MMR, 748372
 MACCALLUM, Hector, Seaman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MACDONALD, Norman, Seaman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MCCALLUM, Hugh, Seaman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MCLAUCHLAN, William, Fireman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MCNAB, Frederick, 2nd Steward, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MOORE, David, Fireman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 MUIR, David, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNR
 O'DONNELL, Edward, Greaser, MMR, 741282
 PARRY, John, Telegraphist, RNVR, Mersey Z 541
 ROBSON, John, Fireman, MMR, (no service number listed)
 SHARPE, Charles, Boy 1c, J 54193, (St George, submarine depot ship, O/P)
 TALLANT, Hugh, Stoker, RNR, U 2280
 TAYLOR, Hugh, Greaser, MMR, (no service number listed)
 THOMSON, John, 3rd Engineer, MMR, (no service number listed)
 THURLOW, John, Assistant Cook, MMR, (no service number listed)
 TOULMIN, Stewart N, Ty/Surgeon

The aft end of the Ermine, whilst under construction

John is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

John Parry

John Hughes concludes; I used to briefly live with my maternal Grandmother in Tyn Caeau in Penmon  before moving to Rosemary Lane in Beaumaris where I attended the primary school in New Street and the new school before going to the David Hughes Secondary School. Regrettably both my parents died some time ago, probably just before the point in time when I suddenly realised how little I knew about my antecedents!!


I was delighted to meet John and his wife Ann in mid Wales in June.
Here, John shows me his great uncle John Parry's original letter,
sent to his sister Lizzie in 1916




Lance Corporal
16th Battalion
Royal Welch Fusiliers
(Jack Jones, Holyhead)

I received the following simple request from Ann Hughes:
I have just visited the PENMON The Great War-In Memoriam site and found it very, very interesting and also very moving
I wondered if you would please consider including a feature on my great Uncle Jack who was killed in action in 1916 in France.  He was known locally as Jack Jones, Holyhead.

I am passionate about Jack's story. My dad, Evan Emlyn Hughes, passed away about eight years ago. He started the research from reading the two inscriptions inside Uncle Jack's poetry book, with much encouragement from my mother who is now seventy seven. It leaves us both on an emotional quest to try and find a photograph of John Henry Jones.
Using Ann's dad's research, what Ann herself has since discovered with the support of historian Clive Hughes and RWF Archivist Anne Pedley, we have put this item together in memory of L/Cpl John Henry Jones.

The Family

John Henry Jones is my great uncle, on my dad's side of the family.  My dad Evan Emlyn Hughes was born in February 1926 and raised in 24 Moreton Road, Holyhead.

His father was Robert Hughes who was a steam engine driver and he drove the Irish Mail Train from Holyhead to London.  Robert Hughes married Margaret Jones, my Nain Holyhead.
Nain Holyhead had two brothers, and one sister;
Hugh Humphrey Jones (later the Reverend H. H. Jones) who continued to live at 'Craigle';
John Henry Jones a teacher who was killed in action in 1916. He was known as Jack Jones Holyhead, and my dad always referred to him as Uncle Jack;
Annie Jones, also a teacher who married Ivan Roberts, headmaster at Llanfechell School.
Nain Holyhead's father was Hugh Jones a Police Sergeant in the Anglesey Constabulary who eventually came to live at 'Craigle', Moreton Road, Holyhead. He was married to Mary Jones.

Hugh Jones originated from Bodgedwydd, Aberffraw.  Born in 1851, I have his birth certificate, I think that he was from farming stock but also had woodworking skills - I mention this as my dad told me that when the 'Death Penny' came to the family, Hugh Jones made a special mount for it, and he also made some huge wardrobes that had a very detailed carving.

At the age of 26, Hugh Jones, John Henry's father, joined the then Anglesey Constabulary retiring around 1904 as a Police Sergeant. His police service saw him stationed at Menai Bridge, Beaumaris (there is a photograph of him in the exhibition at Beaumaris Gaol), Bodedern, Valley, Bryn Seincyn, and Holyhead.  I believe that he had a nickname (not sure if he knew about it!) on the lines of 'Jones Y Bol'. He was a large man.

In 1881, Hugh Jones, 30, was stationed at Bodedern, and living with his family at 18 London Road. His wife Mary was 28, and their new baby Margaret was under one month old. Margaret's sister Hannah Jones, 23, was also living with them. She is recorded as a former housemaid and was born in Bethel

Hugh and Mary Jones' eldest son was Hugh Humphrey Jones, born in 1886. He later became Rev H.H. Jones, lived at Craigle, Moreton Road, Holyhead; to his parishioners I believe that he was known as Rev HH and HH.

The family were very prominent in Holyhead.

Great Uncle Jack

About twenty five years ago my dad, came across a poetry book called The Golden Treasury of Poetry by Francis T. Palgrave.  I have the book.

This book belonged to Uncle Jack. On the inside cover are two inscriptions; one written by Uncle Jack himself in beautiful long hand;

and written in equally beautiful long hand by my great Uncle Hugh (the Rev H H Jones, Holyhead).

My mum encouraged my dad to try and find out more, and they visited John Henry's grave some years ago.  Even though my dad has given me a head start, and also in his memory, I am determined to try and locate an obituary but equally as important to me, a photograph of John Henry. 

I remember as a child seeing a photograph of a soldier in a frame on the piano at Nain Holyhead's house.   She had died by that time and dad's brother John Ivor Hughes and his wife Eirwen were living there then.  Aunty Eirwen is in her 90s and living in a residential home in Holyhead.  We visit her a couple of times a year.  We are due for one soon.  As far as I know the photograph no longer exists but I cannot say where it has gone to.

John Henry Jones was born in Valley 1891, (probably the police station which is still standing)  the youngest son of Hugh and Mary Jones (my great grandparents) of Craigle, Moreton Road, Holyhead, Anglesey.  Uncle Jack was known as Jack Jones, Holyhead.

The 1891 census was taken when John Henry was only 5 months old. He was living at the Police Station Valley, where his father, Hugh Humphrey Jones 40, born in Aberffraw, was the Police Constable. Hugh's wife Mary, 37, was born in Llangristiolus.  Daughter Margaret Jane, 10 was born in Bodedern, whilst Anne Mary, 6, Hugh Humphrey 4 and John Henry were born in Valley.
The family had a domestic servant, Jane A. Parry, 14, of Merionethshire living with them.

By 1901, Police Constable Hugh Humphrey Jones 50, and his family had moved to live at 12 Station Road, Holyhead. Wife Mary was 48, Maggie Jane, 20, a dressmaker, worked on her own account at home, Anne Mary 16, was an Elementary school teacher, Hughie H. was 14 and John Henry 10 them. 

He was a pupil of Holyhead County School, student at Normal College, Bangor.

In 1911, John Henry, 20, was a student at W.C. Bangor His father Hugh 60, had retired from the police force and worked as a rent collector. Mary was 58. Their daughters Maggie Jane 30, still dressmaking and Anne Mary 26 still an Elementary school teacher, both lived at home. Similarly, Hughie H 24,  a C. M. Student at Bangor and John Henry were living at home, which was 31 Moreton Road, Holyhead.

John Henry became Assistant Master at Llangefni County School, Anglesey.  He also taught at Bethel/Bodorgan School.

About 28th December 1914 John Henry Jones enlisted at Holyhead with the 16th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers, along with his long time friend, George A. Thomas, also a teacher. Their army numbers were L/cpl 19138 Jones and Pte 19137 Thomas.

Photos courtesy Anne Pedley RWF Archivist
16th Battalion R.W.F. Llandudno 1915
Training before leaving for France.

The 16th RWF while undergoing intensive training at Winchester, went by train for two courses of field-firing at Salisbury Plain.
His Majesty the King inspects the troops
on Salisbury P

Both entered the Theatre of Operations-France-2nd December 1915.

I am very grateful to Anne Pedley, Official Archivist of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. She has very kindly supplied details of the 16th Battalion, R.W.F.'s War Diary for December 1915 and January 1916.

On the 2nd December, 1915, at 6.30 am, an advance party left Winchester for Southampton by road to embark on active service in France

Photo courtesy of Anne Pedley, R.W.F. Archivist
16th Battalion R.W.F., 3rd December 1915
before going over to France

On the 4th December, the Battalion and Headquarters left Winchester for Folkestone, proceeded to France and disembarked at Boulogne, and marched to a rest camp at Osterhove.

On the 5th December, they detrained at Aire, and marched to billets at Mametz.

The 10th December saw the battalion move on to Lavenite. 'A' Company were attached to the 2nd Grenadier Guards, 'B' Company to the 2nd Coldstream Guards, 'C' Company to the 3rd Coldstream Guards and 'D' Company to the 1st Irish Guards. A and C Companies proceeded directly to the front line trenches.
From the 11th December at Lavenite, B and D companies would relieve A and C companies , and vice versa over the next few days.

The Battalion marched out of Lavenite to Mametz on the 18th December 1915.

The Battalion underwent routine in billets up to the 31st December and then training in billets on the 1st and 2nd of January, 1916.
The whole battalion marched out of Mametz to take up billets on Richebourg St Vaast, the reserve area of the 58th Brigade, on the 5th January.
The following day the whole Battalion moved out of billets and relived the 6th Battalion Kings Own on the front line trenches.
On the 7th January, the artillery cut enemy wire in front of our line. Enemy artillery retaliated on our front line. Casualties on that day were 33398 Pte R.F. Day, 31456 Pte A.C. Day, and 18875 Pte J. Wilson. 'B' Company all wounded.
It was very quiet on the 8th January.

9th January. Our artillery shelled enemy wire at 3.16A.5.8. enemy artillery retaliated on our front line and 2 men were killed and wounded. An officer's patrol went out after dark, but could find no gap in the enemy wire. The usual fatigue parties were supplied at night. Casualties - 19138 L. Cpl J.H. Jones. 19137 Pte. G.A. Thomas 'B' Company killed, 18815 Sgt  J.H. Matthews, 19813 Pte L. Hodgkinson, 18885 Pte. R.R. Pritchard, 31719 Pte G. Whittaker, 19196 L/C. W.E. Eldridge, 18838 L/C F. Rowlands, 23225 Pte E.L.F. Baines. 23176 Pte W.T. Edwards "B" Company wounded.

10th January. Very quiet. Casualties. 19872 Pte H. Humphreys, "A" Company, killed by a ricochet bullet at Boars Head. 2nd Lieutenatnt T. Thomas "A" Company killed by a sniper at Farm Corner. The Battalion was relieved by the 15th Battalion R.W.F. and returned to Billets in the Brigade Reserve Area at Richebourge St Vaast.

John Henry Jones and George A. Thomas were both killed in Action at Richebourg, France, on Monday 10th January 1916 by shrapnel from the same shell.

They are buried side by side at La Vaaste Military Post Cemetary, Richbourg L'Avoue, France, following a funeral service that took place at 04.15 hrs (dawn), on Wednesday 12th January 1916, conducted by the Rev W. Llewelyn Lloyd.

John Henry lies in Plot 2, Row L, grave 6. 
G A Thomas is lying by his side.

We are extremely grateful to Clive Hughes for the following information;
John Henry Jones earned the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.  His rank for all three medals is stated to be Private.  This may be a technicality - "Lance-Corporal" is an Appointment, not a Rank, and for the last two medals it was the highest Rank which was marked on the rims.  But for the Star, any Appointment held at the time he landed should have been marked.  The only conclusion I can draw from this is either that he was promoted after 2 Dec 1915, or that there was an admin mistake somewhere!  One curiosity about the card is that there was some activity in 1985-86 which was marked on it.

The entry of death comes under 9th December and they were the only two killed in the bombardment (8 others were wounded, all in "B" Company).  This isn't necessarily a mistake - the official dates used for casualties are those on which a report of the event was made.  So for example, if losses were caused at night then the men were recorded as casualties in the next roll-call the following morning.  This casualty system is separate from that used for the War Diary, which records events under the actual days they occurred.  2nd Lieut. Trevor Thomas (Llanfechell) of "A" Company was killed later on the 10th and is so recorded.  His father Brigadier-General Owen Thomas would have been the former 113th (North Wales) Brigade commander, in which the 16th RWF served.

Just for context, at full strength a Section comprised 12 men and an NCO.  Four sections made up a Platoon, under a junior officer.  Four platoons made up a Company, under a Captain or Major, 214 NCOs and men not counting their officers.  Four companies made up a Battalion such as the 16th RWF, 1,007 NCOs and men (including specialists), and 30 officers.     

John Henry appears on the Holyhead County School war memorial (now in the modern school) in addition to the town's memorial

La  Vaaste
Post Military Cemetery



My research has taken me to uncle Jack's grave three years ago where I paid my respects on Armstice Day which happened to fall on the actual date of 11th November. I must say that it still moves me to think about that experience.

I took great pride in placing the Ddraig Goch on both their graves, and noted the inscription on Uncle Jack's as 'Annwyl Fab, Hugh a Mary Jones, Craigle, Moreton Road, Caergybi' (that's how Creigle is spelt on the Portland Stone gravestone).

His name is listed on the cenotaph in Holyhead.

Holyhead Cenotaph

Copyright Eric Jones 
and licensed for
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

George A Thomas originated from the Rhyl area.

About two years ago, en route to Holyhead to visit aunty Eirwen, I called in at The Normal site on the 'old' Bangor Road to enquire if there might be any archived documents relating to John Henry Jones ( and also Rev H H Jones - also a student there)

Since then I have corresponded with Professor Gareth Roberts at Bangor University who very kindly sent me copies of The Normalite where in 1911 John Henry Jones is referred to as the Sports Editor for the magazine. 

In a later version of the Normalite, in 1916 he is mentioned in the Roll of Honour. Sadly there are no photographs at Bangor University Archives.

Gareth also took the time to take a photograph of the Marble Roll Of Honour Plaque which is fixed to the wall in one of the lecture rooms in the older building, that overlooks the Menai Straits. John Henry and G A Thomas are included in the Roll of Honour along with other young men who gave their life in the Great War, and were students at the College.

In memory of the old Normals
who fell in the Great War

Copyright Professor Gareth Roberts

"We shall remember them"

Hugh and Mary Jones are buried in the graveyard at Bethel Chapel, Bodorgan, where there is also an inscription on their headstone in memory of John Henry Jones. 

Around 1994 my parents had been visiting family in Holyhead when they digressed on their journey and went to Bethel Chapel, Bodorgan trying to find the grave of Hugh and Mary Jones; they did! (it is right next to the chapel itself) ...and by absolute chance came to talk to Mrs Jennie Owen also from Bodorgan.  At that time, she was caretaker at Bethel Chapel. Hugh and Mary Jones died within months of each other in the early part of 1933.  They got talking and Jennie Owen  told my dad that there had been a photograph of Uncle Jack hanging up at the school after he had been killed in the Great War.  Sadly Jennie Owen has since passed away. I have often wondered where that photograph is now.

That first meeting with Jennie Owen, and the information that she shared was reciprocated by my parents when she stayed in my parents' house in Mold, when the town hosted the Welsh National Eisteddfod.

Following that, Jennie very kindly sent some newspaper cuttings in the post to my dad.  I would imagine that they will have come from the newspaper local to Bodorgan.

These newspaper cuttings, all written in Welsh take the form of letters from the front line. My dad translated them.   :-

"God watch over them."

Dated 13th January 1916, letter written by L/Cpl J. Jones, Council School, Pentraeth.  He refers to the death of Lieut T. Thomas, who was killed by a sniper, youngest son of General Owen Thomas.  Two teachers from Anglesey were also killed, that is Jack Jones who was a teacher in Bethel and Llangefni,  and Geo. Thomas from Holyhead. 

Part of a letter written by L/Cpl Lewis Samuel Jones, son of Mrs Jones, The Furniture Shop, Church Street, Llangefni.  He writes to his mother and sister...'my dear friend Jack Jones of Holyhead, who'd been a teacher at Bodorgan and Llangefni was one of those killed, and the other was his 'chum' George Thomas, he also was a teacher in Holyhead'.

He goes on to describe the scene, 'immediately this shell dropped, I went towards our dugout and to my horror immediately in front of the opening there I found Jack Jones lying flat on his back his soul escaped to eternal peace.

I moved inside the dug out and there I found George Thomas lying peacfully.  I was completely shattered.  I didn't know what to do.  Jack and George were the 'pals' of the company. 

I recall many a time Jack saying to me, ''If the worst comes to the worst, I will have died with the clear knowledge that I came out here, to fight for Freedom and Peace, and for my King and Country''.  Lewis Samuel Jones goes on, 'The whole company are deeply saddened at the loss of these two dear pals, and are deep in thought at the tragic loss to their families. 

God watch over them and comfort them in their grief'.

"Three Anglesey Lads"

Dated 13th January 1916 in a letter written by the Rev W. Llewelyn Lloyd,  Chaplain to the 16th Battalion RWF, BEF France, referring to the deaths of Lieut Trevor Thomas;

Held dear to us

All three were killed on Monday, January 10th and arrangements had been made for their burial to take place at dawn Tuesday at 4.30am. 

As we were altogether talking about the terrible events of the past four days in the trenches, that the enemy started shelling our billets.....

The rearranged burial took place at dawn Wednesday at 4.30am and the Rev Hugh Hughes, RC and I attended (three Anglesey Lads by the way).  Five in all were to be buried - the Army was represented by some of our high ranking officers, and also present were some very close associates of General Owen Thomas. 

The service was very solemn and moving.....'I am sure that everyone will understand my feelings - losing Trevor Thomas, one of our well known and respected officers, losing Jack Jones who was held dear to us here; and held very close to my family at Bethel, and George Thomas who always had a smile on his face, and I being thrown down by the blast of a shell known as Jack Johnsons, and yet alive and unscathed'

There is also a piece of prose called Llinellau penned by 'Treflyn', dedicated to Mr and Mrs Jones and family, Craigle, Moreton Road, Holyhead on the loss of their youngest son in the war.  I have tried to find out who Treflyn was. Gareth Roberts suggests it could be a local bard and probably well known to the family. It transpires that he was Treflyn Jones, of Holyhead.

Cyflwyniedig i Mr a Mrs Jones a'r teulu,

Creigle, Moreton Road, Caergybi,
yn eu profedigaeth lem o golli'r mab ieuengaf yn y rhyfel.

P'le mae'r glocwlano annwyl hwnnw
Yma fu'n pelydru'n wyn?
Ai machludo wnaeth yn welw
I dywyllwch bedd y glyn?

Gwelais ddail eich haf yn syrthio
Yn wywedig yn y ffos
Lle y cwympodd John, wrth frwydro
Tros ei wlad ddiniwed, dlos.

Wylo i chwi'n troi'n hyfrydwch,
Cysur byd o'ch calon ffodd:
Heb eich mab fy'n haul diddanwch,
Angau yn y nos a'ch clodd.

Na, 'doedd angau ddim yn gorchudd,
Dynwyd dros ei dirion wedd,
Tra'r ai drwodd I fyd newydd,
Yno 'does ryfel, glyn na bedd.

Yno, ffrindiau, mae e'n heini,
Yno mae e'n fythol  gun,
Wedi'i wisgo a goleuni,
Tn prydferthu'r nef ei hun!

Peidiwch gw'rafun, yn eich tristwch,
Iddo ef y fath fwynhad-
Newid  dieithr, flin, anialwch,
Am ei garter 'ng Nghannan wlad.

Edrych wna oddiar y bryniau,
I'r hen dy yn Moreton Road,-
Gwel chwi yno ar eich gliniau'n
Ceisio rhoi i'r Arglwydd glod.

Chwardd  yng ngwen yr Iesu'i Hunan!
Ni raid holi y paham:
Nid yw'r nef yn gwisgo allan
Gariad neb at dad a mam.

Pa'm yr wylwch? Pa'm 'rwy'n gofyn
Am y gwn na ellwch chwi
'Nawr amgyffred (d'wed pob deigryn)
Maint ei gyfoeth, maint ei fri.

Ond cyn hir chwi gewch rhedeg
Ato, fry ty hwnt i'r hedd,
Lle bydd dagrau'n peidion rhedeg,
Lle sirioli'r fyth eich gwedd.

Presented to Mr and Mrs Jones and family,
Creigle, Moreton Road, Holyhead,
in their bereavement of losing their youngest son in the war.

Where is that dear shining lad
Who used to gleam so white here?
Has he set* from paleness  (*as in sunset)
To the darkness of the valley's grave. 

I saw the leaves of your summer falling
Withering in the trench
Where John fell when fighting
For his harmless, beautiful country.
Your weeping will turn to beauty
And comfort will come from your heart:
Without your son who sowed happiness 
Death locked you in the night. 

No, grief was not veiled
As it was pulled over his gentle appearance
Whilst he went to a new world
Where there's no war, valley nor grave.

There he's lively with his friends
There is his everlasting
He is dressed with eternal light
To beautify heaven itself.
Do not forbid, in your sadness
The pleasure he is having -
Change the strange, bitter, desert
For his home in Canaan's world.
He is looking from the hillside
Towards his old house in Moreton Road, -
He sees you there on your knees,
Try to praise the Lord. 

There's a laugh in Jesus' smile,
You do not have to ask why
Heaven does not wear out
Anyone's love of their father and mother.

Why do you cry? Why I'm asking
Is because I know you can't 
Yet understand (each teardrops says)
It's richness, it's pride
But before long, you will run
To Him, beyond, to peace,
Where tears no longer fall,
Where your future together will be cheered. 

I don't know what happened to the Death Penny or Uncle Jacks medals, but they are certainly not still in the family.





16th Battalion
Royal Welch Fusiliers


John Henry Jones and George A. Thomas were both killed in Action at Richebourg, France, on Monday 10th January 1916 by shrapnel from the same shell.

They are buried side by side at La Vaaste Military Post Cemetary, Richbourg L'Avoue, France, following a funeral service that took place at 04.15 hrs (dawn), on Wednesday 12th January 1916, conducted by the Rev W. Llewelyn Lloyd.


 2nd Lieutenant
'A' Company


War Memorial copyright
Eric Jones 
and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

2nd Lieut. Trevor Thomas (Llanfechell) of "A" Company was killed a day later on the 10th of January.  His father Brigadier-General Owen Thomas would have been the former 113th (North Wales) Brigade commander, in which the 16th RWF served.

List of the fallen of the Llanfechell area in Two World Wars.
Sixteen men, including five commissioned officers, are listed as having fallen in WWI and two in WWII. Three of the officers were the three surviving sons of Brigadier-General Owen Thomas. All but one of the fallen of 1914-18 were, or had been, members of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The grave of Sapper William Williams of 24 Bomb Disposal Section, Royal Engineers, who was killed at Bexley Heath on Oct 3rd, 1940, lies near to that of Owen Thomas at Ebenezer Chapel Cemetery

Dated 13th January 1916 in a letter written by the Rev W. Llewelyn Lloyd,  Chaplain to the 16th Battalion RWF, BEF France, referring to the deaths of Lieut Trevor Thomas, George A Thomas and John Henry Jones;

Held dear to us

All three were killed on Monday, January 10th and arrangements had been made for their burial to take place at dawn Tuesday at 4.30am. 

As we were altogether talking about the terrible events of the past four days in the trenches, that the enemy started shelling our billets.....

The rearranged burial took place at dawn Wednesday at 4.30am and the Rev Hugh Hughes, RC and I attended (three Anglesey Lads by the way).  Five in all were to be buried - the Army was represented by some of our high ranking officers, and also present were some very close associates of General Owen Thomas. 

The service was very solemn and moving.....'I am sure that everyone will understand my feelings - losing Trevor Thomas, one of our well known and respected officers, losing Jack Jones who was held dear to us here; and held very close to my family at Bethel, and George Thomas who always had a smile on his face, and I being thrown down by the blast of a shell known as Jack Johnsons, and yet alive and unscathed'


 Photo courtesy of Alan Culpitt 

1897 - 1962
Royal Welch Fusiliers

1915 - 1919
Read his remarkable War Diary- click here

Brothers in law

 The daughter of the late Marjorie Ackerley has asked me
to add two relatives
to the Great War In Memoriam pages.
She writes;
These are two relatives from Anglesey who died in the Great War and were always remembered fondly by my mother.
Harold Owen Ackerley born 1899 and from Holyhead.
He was my grandfather's brother who died at the age of 19.
My mother told me that he had been so keen to serve in the forces,
that he lied about his age to join up.
He was killed in France in 1918.
 John Herbert Rees born 1874 and living in Holyhead at the time of the Great War.
He was a Sergeant in the 3rd/6thBattalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
and he was killed in 1917.

It is an honour to remember them
in memory of 

Marjorie Ackerley of Llandudno

Brothers in Law
are featured here.
Information has been supplied by Marjorie's daughter
and Clive Hughes, Anglesey Great War Dead Historian."




Cheshire Yeomanry

 Rifleman 49956
Royal Irish Rifles


Harold Owen Ackerley is actually the first on the Anglesey roll for the First World War.  He was born at Holyhead in about 1899 the son of Thomas and Mary Ackerley. nee Roberts, who resided at 56 London Road, Holyhead, his father being a railway inspector from Cheshire. The couple had about 20 children in all, with most dying at bierth or at infancy.

The family moved to Holyhead sometime between 1894 and 1897. 

1901 census for 56 London Road, Holyhead.
Head of the household was Thomas Ackerley, 45, a Railway Inspector, born in Cheshire. His wife Mary was also 45 and born in Mold as were their first three children, Maud 13, Albert 9 and Ethell 7. Children Blanche 4, Harold 2 and Evaline, just 1 month old, were born in Holyhead.
Jane Roberts, a relative was from Mold, aged 30 and worked for the family as a cook  

Harold's mother,
Mary Ackerley
nee Roberts,
taken around 1917/18

It is not known when Harold joined the Army, but he should have been aged 18 and so eligible to be called up in about 1917.  Harold lied about his age and joined up aged 17. He was formally enlisted at Menai Bridge and became Private 310628 in the Cheshire Yeomanry.
His regimental number in the Cheshire Yeomanry is of a 6-figure type which began to be issued only from January 1917 onwards.

Harold was still a teenager, and nearly half the British Army on the Western Front in 1918 was barely 19 years of age or less, so desperate had the manpower situation become. When he lied about his age, he would have volunteered even during the period of conscription, January 1916 onwards, but if born in 1899, he would have reached the 18 year minimum call-up age in 1917.
The theory was that they'd spend a year in training, ready to go out when they turned 19, the minimum age for overseas service, but circumstances rather shortened the amount of training they got and perforce the overseas age came down as well

While still in the UK, he was then transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles (an Ulster regiment) as Rifleman 45596. 

This photo was taken at the American Galleries,
Liverpool around 1917/8.
Obverse and reverse sides shown.

This move was typical of the way the authorities shifted men from one formation to another as the war progressed, with less regard to local links than to where manpower was needed at that moment in time.

Royal Irish Rifles
(click here)

He was sent out to the Western Front, but at an unknown point (maybe even before crossing the Channel), though still a soldier of the Royal Irish Rifles he was attached or posted to an affiliated Territorial unit, the 1/18th London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) in the 47th Division. 

He was killed in action on 3 October 1918 aged 17, and is buried at Aubers Ridge British Cemetery, Aubers, France.  Interestingly, his headstone bears part of the same epitaph as his much older brother-in-law John Herbert Rees' stone - "Until the day dawns".

Aubers Ridge British Cemetery
(click here)

Following photograph originated
from the British War Graves site





Royal Welch Fusiliers

Royal Defence Corps


John Herbert Rees  was born in 1874, the son of David Thomas and Sophia Rees.

The 1881 census shows John Herbert, aged 6 living at No 20, Hendre Street, Llanbeblig with his parents and siblings.
His father David Thomas Rees was 40, worked as a joiner and was born in Oswestry, his mother Sophia was 30 and Montgomery born. John had two sisters at the time, Frances A. 8, and Margaret 3, noted as born in Carnarvon. 

His father died before 1891, and his mother remarried a Mr John Griffith and they then went to live at Holyhead.

The 1891 census shows John Herbert, aged 16 living at No 7 Uxbridge Court, Llanbeblig. He was a house painter's apprentice.
His widowed mother, Sophia was 40, born in Montgomery and was a lodging house keeper. Family members were Margaret 13, Mary E 9, Louisa 7 and Sophia 5. All are recorded as being born in Llanbeblig
Lodging with them was George K. Nott, 17, an ironmonger's apprentice, born in Denbigh.  

By 1901, John Herbert was already a part-time soldier.  He enlisted in the Volunteer Force (the predecessors to the Territorials), joining the 2nd Volunteer Battalion RWF at Caernarfon on 1 July 1893 and serving as Private 5161 in "G" Company. 
He was then described as age 18 years, height 5 feet 7 inches, with a 34-inch chest measurement.  He was a painter by trade, employed by Mr J.Rowlands of Caernarfon, and resided at 79 Pool Street.
On 29 October 1900 having qualified for the necessary Proficiency Certificate he was made a Sergeant.  The 3rd Volunteer Battalion RWF was then formed and he transferred into their "H" (Holyhead) Company

The 1901 census shows John Herbert , a house painter, 27, living at No 3 Alexandra Terrace, Carnarvon with his sisters Frances, 28, head of household and a bookshop assistant, Lizzie, 19, and Louisa 17 a confectioner. All were born in Carnarvon.
W. O. Jones Lloyd, 20 was boarding with the family. He worked as an ironmoger's assistant and was born in Llanfihangel. 

His mother Sophia had remarried. Her husband John Griffith 61, was a shipwright. She was 50 and they had a month old daughter, Sophia. Baby and John were Carnarvon born.

On 1 April 1908 the Volunteers were stood down and the new Territorial Force came into being.  Rees went through the formality of re-enlisting at Holyhead in the new 6th (Carnarvon & Anglesey) Battalion RWF (TF) on 29 June 1908, but his service was held to have commenced on 1 April.  He signed for one year's service and was renumbered no. 2001. 
At his re-enlistment, he was described as aged 33 years 7 months, a single man whose next of kin was his mother Sophia Griffith, residing at 6 Cybi Street, Holyhead. 
He was a self-employed painter.

He attended the annual training camp at Conway in August 1908, and in Army Orders for April 1909 was awarded the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, the new official long service medal.

On 29 June 1909 his year's service terminated, and he was discharged.  In the last quarter of the year, he married at Holyhead Maude Primrose Ackerley, sister of Harold Owen Ackerley who thus became his younger brother-in-law.  They had two daughters, Iris born in 1910 and Violet born in 1912, and a son Thomas Kenneth born in 1917. Iris married James Galt in Holyhead in 1937. Violet married Henry C. Leon in Holyhead in 1942. 
From 1910 the Anglesey Territorial Force Association, like other county TFAs, maintained a register of experienced men who were free of other Reserve obligations.  These men were termed National Reservists and divided into three classes based on age and seniority (Class I under 42 yrs; Class II Officers and senior NCOs under 55 yrs; Class III  those medically unfit for the previous classes).  The register almost certainly included John Herbert Rees.

War was declared in August 1914, and the 6th Battalion RWF had to quickly sort out those who were fit and willing to serve overseas, from those who were either unfit, unwilling, or both!  A Reserve Battalion was formed at Caernarfon to take these latter and the overflow of raw recruits.   The service battalion was termed the First Line or 1/6th; the Reserve became the Second Line or 2/6th, which was posted initially to Aberystwyth. 

On top of these arrangements for the active Territorials, the National Reserve in October 1914 was called on to form Protection Companies which were attached to Territorial Battalions.  By making themselves available for security duties, to guard important points such as road and rail bridges, tunnels, or ports they freed up younger and fitter men for the fighting units. In November 1914 all National Reservists of classes I and II were called up.  The units served full-time and could be posted anywhere in the UK. 

In March 1915, these formations were redesignated Supernumerary Companies, and the 6th RWF had one attached to it.  Its men had numbers in a sequence around 20,000, and it was recorded that John Herbert Rees was Sergeant number 20149.   In May 1915 a further reserve battalion, the Third Line or 3/6th RWF, was formed at Caernarfon and it is quite probable that Rees' company was attached to this as in the Commonwealth War Graves Register he was stated to be formerly of that unit.
The bewildering roundabout of names and designations did not stop there, as in April 1916 the 3/6th became the 6th Reserve Battalion RWF, and then (combined with other formations) the 4th Reserve Battalion RWF in September 1916.  That summer, a third child Thomas Kenneth Rees was born. 

In 1917, the Supernumerary Companies were finally formed into the Royal Defence Corps, and Rees became Sergeant number 26355.  However, on 20 July 1917 he died of accidental or natural causes aged 43. 

He was buried at Holyhead (St.Seiriol's) Churchyard.  By the time the War Graves Register was printed, his widow Maude was living at 6 Boston Street, Holyhead.  The epitaph on his headstone reads "Until the day dawns and the shadows flee away" (Song of Solomon 2:17 and 4:6).

St Seiriol Churchyard, Holyhead
The Church no longer stands

Sadly, on 20 June 1942 his son Thomas Kenneth Rees also died, while serving as no. 46817 Flying Officer (Instructor) in the RAF, aged 25.  They are buried together, and two official War Grave headstones stand side by side in the plot at St.Seiriol's Churchyard for father and son

Thomas Kenneth Rees was the husband of Olwen Agnes Rees of Leicester, and his epitaph reads "Beloved husband of Olwen Rees.  I'll see you again."  

Also remembering John Ackerley





1st Battalion 
Royal Welch Fusiliers

John Ackerley was born in Rossett in 1893. He was a private in the 1st Battalion Royal Welch Fusilers and went over to France on the 22nd June 1915. He died in Flanders, France on 25/09/1915. He is buried in Loos and on the memorial there. 


Bill O'Brien has been in touch about a very interesting Great War responsible task!  
I am researching the family tree of William Henry Hughes who married to Margaretta Mary Griffiths. They lived in Pwllheli and at Lodge Bodegroes. William Henry guarded the Menai Bridges during the Great War.

He was the son of William Hughes 1854 - 1931.

In 1881, William Hughes, 27, born in Beddgelert, was a nursery gardener living at Newton Lane, Newton by Chester, with his family.
Wife Martha, also 27 was born in Chirk. Their daughter Elizabeth was 5, born in Chester.
E. F. Higgins 21 and Thomas Williams 19, both nursery assistants, were boarding with the family.

William Henry Hughes was born at 19 Ala Road, Pwllheli in 1887.

In 1891, William Hughes, 37, was a nursery manager living at the Workhouse in Ala Road, Pwllheli.
Wife Martha, was 36. Son Thomas, 15, who was not at home in 1881, was recorded as being born in Hoole, as was Elizabeth A. 11. William Henry, born in Pwllheli was 4 and Jane was just a month old.
Living on her own means, Williams' mother Elizabeth, widowed and aged 67, born in Clynnog was living with the family.
Charles Robinson, 40, a nursery labourer, was a lodger at the home. 

In 1901, William Hughes, 46, was a nursery man living at the Workhouse in Ala Road, Pwllheli.
Wife Martha, was 45. Son Thomas, had left home. Elizabeth A. 21, was a milliner. William Henry was 14, Jane 11 and Bertie 7, was born in Pwllheli.
Boarding at the house was Richard W. Roberts, 55, a builder's labourer.  

William Henry married Mary Margaretta Griffiths in December 1907. She was born in 1866 at Pont y Beni, Llangurig, Montgomeryshire.

Their first child, Eva Mary was born in 1908 at Dulwich Ringway and died in 1998, in Birmingham.

William Edward Hughes was born at the Lodge in 1910, where he also died in 1934.

The 1911 census shows William senior, living at 21, Carnarfon Road, Pwllheli. He was 57 and worked as a tailor. His wife Jane, born in 1859, was aged 52.

That year, William Henry and family were living at Lodge Bodegroes, Pwllheli.

Daughter Martha Hughes was born at the Lodge in 1915.

John Hughes was also born in 1919. John, my late father in law, was on HMS Edinburgh when it was carrying all the Russian gold and sunk with it all.

Click here to visit the HMS Edinburgh website
HMS Edinburgh served as escort during World War 2 for the North Atlantic Convoys. On escort duty during the Russian Convoys she was torpedoed by Uboat U456 while escorting Convoy QP11 on May 2 1942, she was carrying 45million in gold bullion. 

He died in Leighton Hospital Crewe in 1991, having lived at Winsford, Cheshire.

Kate Dilys was born in 1921.
Elizabeth Noel Hughes was born in 1925. She emigrated to Canada and moved to Camp Verde, U.S.A.
Mervyn Hughes was born in 1928.
Anitta Margaret Hughes was born in 1930.

William Henry's wife Mary Margaretta died at Lodge Bodegroes in 1933.

He got married for a second time to Ida Fazakerley, and she moved in with Annita until her death.

William Henry Hughes with his second wife Ida

William Henry Hughes died in 1962

Please visit these two HUGHES family websites;


Welcome to the official 1911 Census website WH HUGHES.htm Download all
Bill O'Brien shared 2 online files with you and they're saved on SkyDrive.
To view these files, just click the links above

Information kindly supplied by his
great neice,
Loretta Houben


William Joseph
1898 - 1917
11th Battalion
Royal Welch Fusiliers


William Joseph Williams was born around 1898 and was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Williams, of Gaefron Terrace, Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Brothers John Griffith Williams ('Jack'),
David ('Bob') Williams and
William Joseph Williams ('Willie')

According to the information from the Hogia Stiniog website where his regiment is listed, he was a private in the 11th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and he died of wounds on Feb 22, 1917, following action at Salonika, Greece.
This is confirmed with the newspaper clipping. That is posted on my blog too. He is buried in plot D 828 in the Karasouli Military Cemetery. He enlisted in Wrexham.

"Miss Ellen Roberts, 9 Dolgarregddu received the following letters. As previously notified by us, a little while back, Miss Roberts' nephew died whilst serving his country in Salonica, ie Private Willie Joseph William, R.W.F.
"It is obvious from the following letters that he was very well respected by his fellow soldiers and officers of his regiment. Feb 24 1917"

Dear Miss Roberts,
Before you receive this letter, you will have heard from the War Office, that your nephew, W. Williams, died on the 22nd instant from wounds received in action.

He was wounded in a patrol skirmish between our own and the German lines, and was hit with a bullet fired at very close quarters; the bullet passing out from the leg seems to have become twisted and maade a very bad wound in the leg. I believe the bone was broken, and a main artery severed.

He lingered on nearly a week, but passed away on the sixth day at the Casualty Clearing Hospital. I was out with your nephew and was with the party bringing him back to our lines - it was a rough journey, but he never uttered aa word of complaint, and hardly a groan.

He was what I call one of my old hands, and was in my platoon since I took command of it when we came on Active Service 18 months ago.

He was one of the best of all the glorious boys we have; very quiet and unassertive, but was yet a fine soldier, not once sick during all the long 18 months - punctual, ready, neat and brave.

For the last few months he had been in the Lewis Machine Gun Section of our Company, and was very keen on his important duties. I feel his death as a personal loss, for we who have been out all the time together were naturally drawn to each other, by the memories of what we have gone through.

Yours is the only address that I have, but I know your nephew used to write to his girl very faithfully.

Willie as a young boy

I didn't even know that WWI was fought in Greece! I don't know much about that war at all, as until this past week, I didn't really know who my great uncle William was, although I had seen the war medal that my Dad has.

William's Great War Medal

(click here)

Karasouli Military Cemetery
(Commonwealth War Graves Commission
(Click here)

Plot D 828
Locate row where William is buried
(click here)


Hugh Parry
Welsh Guards


Delyth Shotter  wishes to record her uncle on this GREAT WAR IN MEMORIAM page.
Hugh Parry of 3 Tan y Clogwyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog, was with the Welsh Guards.

Hugh gave Delyth a handkerchief with the words "It's a long way to Tipperary" written on it and his uniform brass buttons and medals.

Great War handkerchief;
"It's a long way to Tipperary"
Unfortunately Delyth at the time, was too young to appreciate them and somehow they got lost.

Can you help identify any soldiers please?

Photo courtesy of Christopher Hawkins
Men of 1st Battalion, RWF, taken in South Africa 1899

Photo courtesy of Christopher Hawkins
Machine Gun Section 2nd Battalion, RWF, 9th June 1922


(click here)

War Memorials on Anglesey in North Wales
The lasting tributes to our brave men and women that gave up their lives for Freedom.
This outstanding site by Phil Evans 
must have the most complete records of
War Memorials on Anglesey.



I am very grateful to Clive Hughes for all his assistance and advice with those who died in the service of their King and Country. Can you help him with his research, details of which appear below? KD

I  found your Penmon website and was interested to see the various aspects covered. I hail from Bangor originally, and. my own main interest is the War Dead from Anglesey, 1914-18 and I have been carrying out research on them for many years past.

I don't think that Penmon had its own dedicated war memorial, though a panel listing the basic names can be found on the North Wales Heroes' Memorial Arch at Bangor.

Penmon does, however, share a joint memorial -  in the Neuadd Goffa at Llangoed are brass plaques recording the losses from Penmon, Llangoed, Llaniestyn and Llanfihangel Din Silwy for the First and Second World Wars.  More than that, there's a large framed glazed Roll of Honour there for the 1914-18 men who served but weren't killed.  Neither of these is organised by parish, so you'd have to know which addresses fitted which place in order to sort them out! 

There will inevitably be some overlap.

Lieut. Bertram Lester Holme MA, who also appears on Llangoed's War Memorial, died of wounds following the action at Sannayiat, Mesopotamia with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and is buried at the Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

Capt. Roderick Mathafarn Williams' address "Lleiniog, Penmon" in one source - he was RWF attached Royal Flying Corps and was seemingly shot down in 1917, no known grave.

Owen Lewis of Caim died with the 1/6th RWF in Egypt in 1915 and is buried at the Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria.

John Henry Parry RWF of Coedwig Terrace died in the UK and has a war grave in Penmon Churchyard.

Henry Pritchard came from Trwyn Du.

H.Williams (of Gorad, or Cae Mawr?)

Gunner J.Williams of Penmon Priory

Clive would be very interested to hear from anyone with information relating to any of these brave soldiers, particularly Henry Pritchard, H. Williams and Gunner J. Williams. Clive can be contacted via 

 Beaumaris Grammar School
Inscription on Memorial Tablet
Praise God for the service of these Bimarensians
who, amid the manifold of the Great War
were found faithful unto death

Neville F.W. Clarkson
Alun E. Davies
John R. Davies
C. Tilson Haley
Arthur J.L. Hughes
J. Ivor Jones
R. Vernon Jones
J. Francis Lewis
Angus Mackay
Edward Owen
W. Jenkins Owen
Henry Pritchard
William Roberts
Matthew H. Stead
Evan D. Thomas
W. Eric Thomas
Emyr J. Williams
Owen Williams (Benllech)
J. Newton Williams
W. Hugh Williams
Matthew Williams
Percy Williams
Do thou, for whom they died,
Live to serve as they served,
Valiant in action, steadfast in adversity,
Gentle in all things


I am very grateful to Clive Hughes for supplying the following details of these men from Wexham Street, Beaumaris, who gave their lives so bravely;
Thomas Goodman Williams at no.31;
Robert Jones 14th RWF
killed Ypres Oct.1916 age 21 at no.49;
William Thomas Morris 28th Canadian Infantry
killed Ypres June 1916 age 22 at no.33
(parents surnamed Perchard - the ?stepfather was a fisherman from Jersey);
Second Lieutenant William Lloyd Roberts 1/7th RWF
killed at Gaza Nov 1917 age 22 at no.8.
Wallis Sims, Royal Engineers [Mentioned in Dispatches]
died in the UK Feb 1919 age 29, buried in Devizes, at no.27.


1914 - 18

L.P. DELAN, Sign Fawr
D. OWEN, New Chamber
W. JONES, Tan Lan
W. JONES, Tyddyn Fawd
R. EDWARDS, Cae Coch Terrace
J.O. GRIFFITH. Ty'n Gerddi
O. GRIFFITH, Chapel House
P. WILLIAMS, Rhengc Isaf 
H. WILLIAMS, Rhengc Isaf
R.O. ROBERTS, Ty'n Pant
R. JONES, Glanffynon
E. HUGHES, Nyth y Gog
E.R. LLOYD-JONES, Pendref Bach
T.WILLIAMS, Moranedd
R. ROBERTS, Henblas
R.L. OWEN, Ty'n Pant
J. OWEN, Penras
J. ROBERTS, Baron Hill
T. OWEN, Baron Hill
T. OWEN, Gallt-y-Rhedyn
W. JONES, Rhengc Isaf
J. WILLIAMS, Tan Rofft
J. WILLIAMS, Ty'n Llidiard

W.G. GRAINGER, Graianfryn
T. HUGHES, Sunny Cliffe
R. JONES, Bryn Menai
R. McLEOD, Carrog House
J. PARRY, Cae Coch Terrace
W. PARRY, Cae Coch Terrace
T. ROBERTS, 5 Ucheldre
O. THOMAS, Gwynfa
S. WILLIAMS, 9 Ucheldre

R.D. WILLIAMS, Idan House
O. WILLIAMS, Tyddyn Bach
W.M. THOMAS, M.B.E., Treflys


Clive Hughes is a Great War historian, specialising in the Great War Dead from Anglesey. He has a particular interest in Louis P. Delan, and would be grateful for any infomation about Louis' family. KD.

Clive writes; I am interested in Louis (sometimes Lewis) P. Delan.  He was born in New York in 1895 and his elderly father (of French extraction) had several wives, but the last was a younger lady born in Llanberis which gave Louis a younger brother Victor Surville Delan (or De Lan) and a small sister Mercedes K. Delan born 1901. 

Sometime between 1901 and 1910 the father died and his widow Mary Delan returned to North Wales with the children.  Late in 1910 aged about 36 she married a Thomas Rowlands, and moved to Rhengc Isaf, Newborough.  By the 1911 Census that's where they were, Louis by then aged 15 but the other two still in school

The War memorials in Newborough & the Arch in Bangor list Louis P. Delan as a fatality, address Sign Fawr, but no other details.  He heads the list on the memorials in the village, which are in date order, so he was the first to die - but where and in what unit?  He is not on any of the official lists of war dead.  Yet Victor Surville Delan, his brother,  definitely enlisted in Liverpool, served overseas and was either wounded or otherwise debilitated enough for him to receive a medical discharge from the Army in 1917.  His photo is in the Newborough Institute, with the address Sain Delyn.  He left Liverpool on a journey to Canada in 1922 and that's as far as I've traced him. 

Sister Mercedes married Frank Williams in Liverpool in 1922, and one of her two daughters Muriel and Mercedes, died in West Lancashire, as recently as 2002. 

Louis, from being a New Yorker born and bred, found himself in 1911 in rural Anglesey, with only step-relatives, and unemployed aged 15.  That's as far as I can trace him, but I am coming to the conclusion that he may be the same man as one Edgar Lewis Delan who was born in New York and enlisted in the South Wales Borderers early in 1913.  He went over to France with the original British Expeditionary Force in August 1914, and was killed at Ypres that October (no known grave).  Only two Delans died in the War, the other being an Irishman.  His service papers haven't survived which might have clinched the matter.  In passing, Rhengc Isaf was an unlucky address - 3 other men who lived there died in the war. 

Looks as if the two other children had made the move to Liverpool, Lancashire by 1922 at latest, so I am very interested to learn about what happened to Mary Rowlands and her family in Newborough.

If you can help Clive, he can be contacted via 



Y RHYFEL MAWR 1914 - 1918




    1939 - 1945



Gwell angeu na chywilydd
Teyrnged ardal Capel Garmon
i'w meibion collwyd yn y
1914 - 18
Mewn angof
ni rhaid fod.

Captain Edward Edwards
Corporal John Davies, Mountain View
Edward A. Davies, Nebo
Hugh Evans, Glanwern
Alexander Gallen, Dylase Cottage
William Jones, Minffordd
Francis Jones, Penllan Bach
David I. Morris, Siloam
David T. Owen, Mountain View
Willaim Parry, Plas yn Rhos Mill
Owen Roberts, Glynfryn
John Roberts, Penllan
Clifford Williams, Rhydlan Fawr
David Williams, Castell Pwt
William J. Williams, Tyddyn Iolyn


1914 - 18

1939 -1945




2nd S.W.B.FLANDERS 1917
R.W.F. FRANCE 1918
R.F.A. FRANCE 1918
R.W.F. FRANCE 1915
R.W.F. FRANCE 1918

R.F.A. FRANCE 1918
S.W.B. FRANCE 1918
R.W.F. FRANCE 1918
W.R. FRANCE 1918
R.W.F. FRANCE 1918
R.A.S.C. FRANCE 1918






1914 - 1919

Arthur Vaughan Owen
John Thomas Jones
Gwalchmai Owen
John W. Jones
William E. Jones
Thomas W. Jones
Robert R. Davies
William P. Parry
William C. Jones
Richard Davies
Evan Owen
David D. Jones
Elias Jones
William Griffiths
Thomas O. Hughes
Francis Hughes
William Hughes
William Ellis
Robert O. Jones
Robert Gwaenydd Jones
Ben Lewis
Richard R. Thomas
William H. Thomas
Robert Hughes
Cwmorthin Road
High St, Bl Ffestiniog
Dolbryn Glanpwll
3 Brothers
Penygroes, Bethania
Derfel Tanygrisiau
Garn Dolbenmaen
High St. Bl. Festiniog
Bronbarlwyd, T'grisiau
Tynllwyn, Tanygrisiau
Hendy, Talywaenydd
New St, Bl. Festiniog
West End, Tanygrisiau
Tynewydd Ffynon
Cemlyn, Dorvil St
High St, Bl. Festiniog
From View, Bl. Festiniog
Bronddwyryd Bl. Fest
Glandwr, Tanygrisiau
Glanrafon Tce, T'ygrisiau
Oakeley TceTalywanydd
Barlwyd Ave, T'ygrisiau
E. Africa


1914 - 18

Please click here to visit this remarkable webpage at
Listed here are the men that lost their lives
in the First World War, and who had links
with the Ffestiniog area

In memory of  Robert Christmas Jones,
10 Maenofferen Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Died of wounds, 9th October 1917,


Mae'r darlun isod i'w weld yn neuadd y pentref
Mae yna gof-golofn i'r bechgyn ar ben "Bryn Coffa"
This picture is from the village hall.
There is a War Memorial on "Bryn Coffa"
(Llun / picture - Haf Madoc Wilson)

G. Llew Morris

J. Morris

W. Evans

Tom Morris

Rt. Morris
Welsh Regt

E.R. Parry

Watkin Jones
Welsh Regt.

Major Evans

W. Llew. Jones

W.J. Davies

O. Evans

Rd. Williams

Ellis Evans

R.E. Phillips

Evan Williams

J. Williams

Morris Lewis

Lieut Azariah Phillips

Ellis J. Jones

Tom Evans

G. Pryce Jarrett

R.R. Owen

H.T. Hughes

David Roberts

A.M. Lloyd

E. Thomas

David G. Williams

R.R. Hughes
? Regt

J. Jones

J. Evans

Collodd fy nain 3 brawd yn ystod y rhyfel,  ond "'run i'r hen Hitlar yna" - chwedl hi.
Daeth awyren Azariah i lawr, saethwyd Bob yn ddamwain gan ei ffrind tra'n glanhau eu gynnau, a bu William farw o'r ffliw. 
Aeth John ymlaen i fod yn fferyllydd llwyddiannus rownd y gornel i Harley Street, ac wedi ei ddewrder yn Rejet de Beaulieu aeth 
Tudor Owen Phillips, M.C. ymlaen i fod yn Archeilydd Banciau.
Arhosodd nain adre i fagu teulu, ac aeth Anti Jennie i Lundain 
i gadw ty i'w brawd.
Geiriau Haf Madoc Wilson.

War Memorial on Bryn Coffa
The following names appear on the War Memorial.

(Hedd Wyn)




War Memorial
Parc Bryn-y-Gofeb
Lluniau - diolchiadau i Rhian Davies

Y Rhyfel Mawr
1914 - 1918

Rhyfel 1939 - 1945

Y Rhyfel Mawr
Robert H. Davies
William J. Davies
Joseph Edwards
Ellis Evans
(Hedd Wyn)

John Evans
Owen Evans
Tommy Evans
Thomas R. Evans B.A.
Willie Evans
Albert F. Carrud
Hugh T. Hughes
Robert R. Hughes
Griffith P. Jarrett
Ellis. J. Jones
John Jones
Watkin Jones
Moses Lewis
Humphrey M. Lloyd
Gryffyth Morris
John Morris
Robert Morris
Thomas Morris
Robert R. Owen
Evan R. Parry
Robert E. Phillips
Azariah Phillips
David Roberts
Evan Thomas
David Griffith Williams
Evan Williams
John Williams
Richard Williams

Rhyfel 1939 - 1945
Arthur Jones
John Ellis
Richard Griffiths
E. Thomas Roberts



St Mary's Church, Caerhun

Lychgate containing Memorial Names of Parishioners who served in 1914 - 1918

Maj. E.H Wrigley, Lanc.Fus
Capt W.H.J. Gough, W. Gds
Capt Gordon Barber, Cam Highrs
Capt J.E.H. Bibby, R.F.C.
Lt Collin M. Barber R.N. Aux
Lt. J.E. Nickson. M.C.&Bar, R.W.F.
Lt D. Ll. Rees, M.S.M., R.A. 

Lt W. Gethin Jones, R.N.
S.D. Deacon, R.N.
J.H. Hughes, R.N.
T. Williams, R.N.
B. Hughes, R.N. Aux
E.A. Hughes, R.N. Aux
E.T. Hughes, R.N. Aux

(Privates unless otherwise stated)
H.T. Edwards, R.F.A.
C. Ll. Jones, R.F.A.
H. Pritchard, R.F.A.
O. William, R.F.A.
R.T. Williams, R.E.
G. Ll. Griffiths, R.E.
S. Owen, S. Gds
R. Evans, W. Gds
L.S. Jones, W. Gds
G. Thomas, W. Gds
Cpl. W.E. Naylor, War. R.
W. Davis, R.F.
Keith Barber, L. Pool (Sc)
E. Thomas, L. Pool R.
T.F. Evans, Suff. R.
J. Roberts, Som. L.I.

T. Edwards, R. Sc. F.
CQMS W. Morris, R.W.F.
Sgt H. Smith, R.W.F
Sgt W.J. Williams, R.W.F.
Cpl J. Owen R.W.F.
Cpl O. Owen, R.W.F.
W. Clarke, R.W.F.
W. Danks, R.W.F.
W. Danks, R.W.F.
C. Davies R.W.F.
P. Davies, R.W.F.
R.W. Davies, R.W.F.
J. Evans, R.W.F.
W. Evans, R.W.F.
R.S. Fisher, R.W.F.
G. Goulding, R.W.F.
H. O. Hughes, R.W.F.
M. Hughes, R.W.F.
A. D. Jones, R.W.F.
H. Jones, R.W.F.
J. Jones, R.W.F.
J. Jones, R.W.F.
I. Jones, R.W.F.
J.R. Jones, R.W.F.
Ll. R. Jones, R.W.F.
R. Jones, R.W.F.
R.P. Jones, R.W.F.
A Lomax, R.W.F.
O. Lloyd, R.W.F. 

G. Owen, R.W.F.
L. Owen, R.W.F.
C. Roberts, R.W.F.
A. Pettigrew, R.W.F.
G.E. Roberts, R.W.F.
J. Roberts, R.W.F.
Ll. Roberts, R.W.F.
M. Roberts, R.W.F.
R. Roberts, R.W.F.
W.Roberts, R.W.F.
W. Roberts, R.W.F.
W. Roberts, R.W.F.
W. Roberts, R.W.F.
W.D. Roberts, R.W.F.
H. Turnor, R.W.F.
R. Williams, R.W.F.
P.F. Williams, R.W.F.
E. Thomas, R.W.F.
I. Thomas, R.W.F.
J. Thomas, R.W.F.
R. Parry, S.W.B.
J.E. Williams, S.W.B.
J.R. Jones, S.W.B.
R.O. Vaughan, Worc. R.
Cpl. R.T. Evans, D.C.L.I.
L/Cpl D. Knowles, Manch. R.
Sgt T.W. Cook, R.A.S.C.
D.J. Evans, R.A.S.C.
W.Knowles, R.A.S.C.
W.C. Roberts, R.A.S.C.
W.J. West, M.M., R.A.S.C.
H.R. Jones, R.A.M.C.
J.W. Jones, R.A.M.C.
Cpl H.V. Turnor, M.G. Corps
jJ.H. Davies, M.G. Corps
A.H. Jones, M.M., Here. R.
W.J. Hughes, C.S.R.
S.R. Jones, Q.V.R.
W. Jones, Lab. Cor
H. Roberts, Lab. Cor
A. Jones, Lab Cor

A. Beckett, R.A.F.
J Hughes, R.A.F.
A. Williams, M.S.M., R.A.F.  

Denotes Supreme Sacrifice

"Rhag i ni Anghofio"

The following Great War Casualties,
are named on graves at Caerhun Churchyard
Owen Griffiths
was the son of William Griffiths, formerly of Roe Wen, who died on the French battlefield
on 25th February 1917

John Elias Williams
was the son of John and Ellen Williams,
Manchester House, Roe Wen
who died in Mesopotamia
on the 29th March 1917.

Willie Roberts
was the son of William and Laura Roberts,
Ty Gwyn, Talybont,
who was killed during the 1914 - 1918 Great War,
aged 28, and was buried in Etaples, France
on the 15th May, 1918. 
Click here to visit the

Samuel Richard Jones, Q.V.R.
was the son of Hugh and Margaret Jones,
formerly of the Post Office, Talybont,
who died in Rouen Hospital, France
on the 9th October 1918, aged 20.


1914 -1918
click here to access

This website is to remember all of the men of Holyhead
who died in The Great War

Photo courtesy of
Steven John

click here to access

This website is being set up to remember
all of the men and women of Pembrokeshire
who died in both World Wars of the 20th Century.


click here to access

This site was originally set up to remember the men on the Laugharne War Memorial, but it has slowly been expanded to include all of the men & women of the county of Carmarthenshire who died
in both World Wars

Photo courtesy of
Steven John

Excitement at 'WWI practice trenches' find

Dec 1 2008 by Carl Butler, Daily Post

A TEAM of local aerial archaeologists has captured what may be World War I practice trenches.

Flying cameramen John Rowlands, of Rhosybol and David Roberts, of Malltraeth, snapped the largely forgotten trenches from 3,000 feet up during a survey part-funded by Anglesey Council's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty unit and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The depressions in the field, which is about three miles from Beaumaris, could well have been trenches used to train soldiers ready for action in France in the 1914-18 war, they believe.

John, who also flies the surveys, said the discovery was "very exciting".

He said: "Although I knew about trenches at Bodelwyddan Castle, this is the first time I'd seen any on Anglesey.

"I was very happy to have found a connection with the Great War here on the island, especially after visiting the old battlefields of France and Belgium earlier this year.

"My family suffered a loss when my great uncle Messach, from Penmynydd, was shot in 1916, just 17 years old - two years younger than the minimum age for service abroad."

The trenches are about 300 yards long and in an irregular pattern, used to avoid the enemy having a clear line of fire too far along the trench, should they penetrate the trench.

John cannot be 100% certain they were practice trenches since historical detail about Army movements in the Great War are nowhere near as well documented as World War II.

"On the ground you would not notice them," he added.

Part of John and David's remit is to raise awareness of Anglesey's archaeology.

They achieved particular success in 2006 when Channel 4's 'Time Team agreed to make a programme about another discovery made by the pair near Amlwch.

Their images of the trenches can be seen online at

Carl Butler, Daily Post Reporter

I am very grateful to John Rowlands for permission to use the photo here. KD

Kingsbridge was named after the stone bridge
that is nearby a stream.

1891 - 5th April; Census shows John Meigh 49, born Fillongley, a Sergeant with the Royal Engineers, living at Camp Field Llanfaes. His wife Mary Ann Meigh was 39 and described as a retired laundress. She was born in Montreal, North America. John's stepson William Harin was 11, born Old Brompton, Kent and the couple had two sons, Albert John Meigh 3 also born Old Brompton and Alfred George Meigh 1, born Beaumaris

1901; Census shows William Joseph Bullen, 42, a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers living at Camp Field, Llanfaes. He was born in Chatham Kent. His wife Henrietta was 32, born in Woolwich. They had four children; William Alfred 9, born Cork, Ireland,  Reginald 7 and Hettie Ada 4 both born Chatham and Millicent 1 born locally in Beaumaris.

At nearby Henllys, resided the Hon. Colonel  Thomas Lewis Hampton Lewis, 66, R.A. R.E. Militia, born Llanfaes, with his wife Lettie Hampton Lewis, 51, born Llangwyllog and their 2 daughters Dorothy Lettice Hampton Lewis 20 born Llanfaes and Mary Gwendolen Hampton Lewis 25 born London. They employed eight domestic staff.

Thomas Lewis Hampton Lewis, born 1834, was educated at Sandhurst and  entered the Army in 1852. He served in the Crimean War, from 1854 to 1856, and was at Balaclava, Inkerman, Tchernaya and Sebastopol. In 1872 he married Lettice Martha, the second daughter of Henry Prichard of Trescawen, Anglesey. He died in 1912 having had issue, Mary Gwendolen Hampton, born 1875. Under the provisions of her father's will she resumed the surname Hampton alone.

1902: The camp site was chosen for a tented Summer Camp for the militia, which included infantry and the Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers. The latter were taught 'smithy work, carpentry, bridge building and musketry'.

1911; Kingsbridge Camp was used for training reservists as army engineers, all housed under canvas.

1913; Beaumaris; In a wave of patriotic fervour, scores of young Beaumaris men flocked to the town recruiting centre to take the King's shilling with no idea of the horrors awaiting them in the trenches.
1914; Beaumaris; Hundreds of troops arrived in the town for training. Horses were commandeered for their use. 

Sallie Williams is pictured here in front of the Beaumaris Castle gates with a draft sending the soldiers out to France.
1914; Llanfaes; Outbreak of First World War, Kingsbridge Camp enlarged, permanent huts erected to accommodate 800 personnel instructed by the Royal Anglesey Engineers to build pontoon bridges, railways, stockades & wire entanglements & then drafted to France.

Soldiers with mule drawn wagons

Army lorry with thick wooden spokes, solid rubber tyres, lamps similar to those on horse drawn coaches. They had no doors or windscreens.
1914; Llanfaes; The Anglesey Volunteer Reserves were stationed at Kingsbridge camp, and guarded both the Britannia Bridge and the Menai Suspension Bridge as a precaution against the Irish troubles, which had threatened to flare up into civil war.

"Pulling Myself Together"
by Arthur Haley
 He mentions soldiers who were training at Kingsbridge Camp, Llanfaes, Anglesey

1917 "...I used to watch the men marching with little more than curiosity.
Then one day in early September we knew that a large body of men were going to march past. They were being drafted to the front. It was evening and all the family were waiting to stand outside to wave goodbye. As soon as they left the camp we knew they were on their way. The strains of "Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag" played by the Regimental band came wafted on the breeze. As the leading column hove into view the song had changed

"Keep the home fires burning
While your hearts are yearning
Though the boys are far away
They dream of home
There's a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining
Turn the dark clouds inside out
Till the boys come home..."

How bravely they sang. How wildly we waved, right until the last man had disappeared round the bend in the road. In all the excitement I had seen mother trying vainly to smile. As we walked in the tears were coursing down her cheeks and I felt overawed by the contrasting silence that had fallen over all"

Group of WAACs, with Sallie Williams, top centre.

Sports day at Kingsbridge 1918.

I have made every effort to locate the owners of these Kingsbridge photos.  If you have any further information, please contact me 

Military Sports, Kingsbridge
photo courtesy of Alison Morris-Jones

8709 Sapper Bernard W. Handley, A Depot Company, R. A. R. Engineers, Kingsbridge Camp, Beaumaris Anglesey. Christmas 1916.

Bernard was the cartoonist who drew the following postcards featuring Officers based at Kingsbridge Camp

Major T. Fanning Evans was from a well known Anglesey family, and had connections with Parys Mountain

Colonel W.A. Yockney, according to cartoon artist Bernard W. Handley, was quite one of the best officers he had met. He has always a 'good morning' when coming to the drawing office for the sketch to be drawn. He has a terrible hate of the R. A. R. E. Band and is always off when he hears the drum beat. It was he who said at the opening of the YWCA, 'I'm afraid it's the leg on the other boot'.

Quite a good sort and of course potters about with the Colonel like a dog trotting with his master. Acts as a sort of general secretary for the Colonel and his chief duty seems to call out on General parade, 'All present, Sir''. He always walks about with his hands in his pockets and his pipe in his mouth. You would miss his pipe before his nose if either was missing.

Lieutenant H Reid was the officer in charge of Field Works.

There is a poor cat in the small box by his feet.

Lieutenat R. W. B. Owens. Quite one of the most sporting officers of the R. A. R. E.. He was in a high position in the banking line and comes from Liverpool, living in Waterloo.

He gets the wind up very quickly but after all is quite harmless and wouldn't do a cap a bad turn. He was very upset to find he generally stands with his toes turned in.

Lieutenat E. L. Roberts. A chief officer of the musketry business - the art of shooting Germans and generally guarding bridges with pieces of hot lead.

He made an awful noise about his breeches but the Adjutant said that Bernard  W Handley hadn't drawn them half bad enough

Lieutenant and Quarter Master A.E. Henderson.
A very straightforward man who had always a pleasant word for everybody. He has most of the general supply of the camp to see to.

Another point to note about Lieut Henderson is that he has rather a nice daughter

1919; Early this year most of the troops were being demobbed or moved to other camps and German prisoners of war moved in. The North Wales Chronicle reported on June 20th that 'Fifty German prisoners of war are employed at the camp, filling trenches, etc. On Tuesday they marched through the streets of Beaumaris for exercise and their appearance created much interest'. 

1920; Llanfaes; Kingsbridge Camp was closed




The Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres.
"To stand within a memorial
to 55,000 men with no known grave,
 listening to that haunting melody,
is something few people would wish to miss."

"The photo of the graves is taken in TYNE COT cemetery
in Zonnebeke near Ypres. In some ways it is even more impressive than the Menin Gate. There are 12,500 individual graves there but behind them are inscriptions for another 32,000, whose bodies, like those commemorated on the Menin Gate, have never been identified."

A remnant of the Great War...............
a Vickers Machine Gun
from the private museum at Varlet Farm.

 Photos courtesy of John Hughes

Our farm was given the name "Varlet Farm" by British soldiers during WW1 and appears as such on original trenchmaps. The original farm, situated on Passchendaele territory and strongly fortified by the Germans, was finally taken by the "Hood Battalion", Royal Naval Division, after fierce fighting in October 1917. Nothing of the original farm remained by 1918. In 1922 rebuilding commenced just a few metres from the original site and the result is the building that we live in today. 

(Robert Graves)
The bugler sent a call of high romance-  
"Lights out! Lights out!" to the deserted square.  
On the thin brazen notes he threw a prayer:  
"God, if it's this for me next time in France,  
O spare the phantom bugle as I lie         
Dead in the gas and smoke and roar of guns,  
Dead in a row with other broken ones,  
Lying so stiff and still under the sky-  
Jolly young Fusiliers, too good to die..."  
The music ceased, and the red sunset flare
Was blood about his head as he stood there.

"Did you say you were from Newtown? Would you like this programme? It is of no interest to us in this area - you're welcome to have it."
I gratefully accepted the kind offer from the second hand bookshop owner of 'Siop yr Hen Bost" in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Souvenir Programme, which cost 3d in its day, was of a play entitled "Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff and presented by the Dramatic Section of the Newtown Community Council at the Victoria Theatre, Newtown on January 18th, 19th & 20th, 1934.

As I browsed through the pages, my eyes were attracted amazingly to the name and photograph of one 'Player' in particular, that of Mr. T. Brandrick, my wife's Uncle Trevor. I read his profile;

"TREVOR BRANDRICK; Known in the town and district as a vocalist of no mean ability. Audiences should have no terrors for him and he should feel doubly at home in "Journey's End" for he will have the opportunity of playing for the first time in scenes which were once too grimly true to him in real life."
Trevor played the part of 2nd Lieutenant Trotter in the play, set in a dug-out in the British Trenches before St. Quentin in March 1918.

The other players were all local men, each with their distinct characteristics.

Mr HOWELL EVANS, performing for the second time that season, had supported a number of other local stage enterprises and is an enthusiastic worker.

He played Captain Stanhope.


Major W.J. BURDON EVANS was a moving spirit in the county, promoting the welfare of the unemployed. He sat on the Bench and was Chairman of the Montgomeryshire Insurance Committee in addition to other public bodies. He performed as Lieutenant Osborne.


Mr ERNEST EVANS, Private Mason in Journey's End. Ernest as secretary, had made the Instructional Centre of the Community Council the envy of other towns. He loved books and debate but had succeeded in eschewing both for three nights to plead the cause of peace in a drama of war. 


Mr SYDNEY GRIFFITHS had a high reputation both in opera and drama and was known throughout Montgomeryshire as one of the mainstays of local concerts. Thoroughly dependable at all times, he creates the very spirit of the part he plays - in this case, that of 2nd Lieutenant Hibbert.


Mr HAROLD MORGAN, performing as 2nd Lieutenant Raleigh, was a concert pianist. Quiet and unassuming, but makes a sound job of any part allotted to him. Takes a great interest in the welfare of those less fortunate that others.


Capt. R.J. BRYMER-GRIFFITH. He suggested the production, playing the Colonel. He has an interest in social welfare and had been active in promoting the interests of the local branch of the British Legion. He did a great deal of public service, particularly with the voluntary bodies. He came to Newtown from North Wales.


Mr R. LEONARD occupies the position of Quartermaster at the Headquarters of the 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Came to Newtown in 1929 and has acted as the Council's instructor to the Physical Training Class, whose displays were a popular feature of the Infirmary Carnival the previous year. He performs in the play as the Company Sergeant Major.


RALPH PHILLIPS, the youngest member of the cast, was selected by the Community Council to attend a course of training in Coleg Harlech and Leeds Training Centre. His good work was officially recognised by the Centre.
Ralph was described as a fine example of the type catered for by the social service movement. Ralph was given the part of a German soldier.


Mr WILFRED HIGSON is an enthusiastic worker and has raised countless amounts of money with the Carnival for the County Infirmary. Takes a great interest in amateur theatricals and has performed in Newtown, doing excellent work. He played Captain Hardy in Journey's End.


Mr HUGH FRANCIS is an ex-soldier and sergeant of the local Territorial Company.   Has always taken an interest in local public affairs and follows a family tradition of service to the town.

Lance Corporal Broughton was his role in the play


Producer GWILYM H. REES, was himself an old soldier and an experienced actor. He was genuinely interested in the development of the amateur stage. His name as a producer was a guarantee that everything possible was done to ensure a high standard of performance.

Behind the scenes at
The Victoria Theatre
Stage Manager,  Mr Gwilym H. Rees;
Property Manager, Mr R. Leonard,
Prompter, Mr Noel Watkin; Scenic Artist, Mr R. Teale; Perruqier, Mr Wilfred J. Higson;
Epilogist, Miss Irene Rees.

The North Wales Power Co. Ltd. Supplied the lighting effects, The Montgomeryshire Express loaned blocks, and the Newtown Orchestra, under the direction of Miss L. Gittins, performed the introductory music.
The programme was printed by Davies & Sons, "Journal" Offices, Newtown.

In its day, Journey's End was arguably the best of war plays. It held up a mirror to trench life and recaptured the comradeship, the horror and intensity of living and the shrieking imminence of death, not of any war, but in the frightful atmosphere of the world-catastrophe of 1914-18.

The concern was with the characterisation rather than the incident. Although the play contains plenty of thrills in the story, it also has a poignant beauty and pathos. It steeps the intellect with a full sense of war's futility and the tragedy of mass murder, and while condemning war, it glorifies the memory of those who fought, and retains that spirit of good comradeship and quiet good humour which preserved the soldier's sanity.

In the last scene, the German attack on the British trenches approaches, and the Sergeant Major (Richard Leonard) tells Stanhope (Howell Evans) they should expect heavy losses. When it arrives, Hibbert (Sydney Griffiths) is reluctant to get out of bed and into the trenches.

A message is relayed to Stanhope telling him that Raleigh (Harold Morgan) has been injured by a shell and that his spine is damaged meaning that he can't move his legs. Stanhope orders that Raleigh be brought into his dugout. He comforts Raleigh while he lies in bed.

Raleigh says that he is cold and that it is becoming dark; Stanhope moves the candle to his bed and goes deeper into the dugout to fetch a blanket, but, by the time he returns, Raleigh has died.

The shells continue to explode in the background. Stanhope receives a message that he is needed. He gets up to leave and, after he has exited, a mortar hits the dugout causing it to collapse and entomb Raleigh's corpse.

The play is remarkable in as much as the programme states "There will be no final curtain". The scene of devastation remains as the audience leaves in silence.

The Montgomeryshire Express and Radnor Times of the 20th January 1934 printed its review:

The performance of Journey's End by the Dramatic Section of the Newtown Community Council on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, was one of the best amateur productions seen in Montgomeryshire for many years. The very conduct of the audience on Thursday between the acts indicated that the performance was surely triumphant.

There was a disinclination to talk and to move among the audience, everyone seemed too much impressed to speak. There was a certain significant quality even in the applause accorded the players at the end of each scene.
The triumph of Journey's End is its realism and the triumph of the performance was that the realism was fully interpreted.

Lord Davies in his message for the Souvenir wrote;

"Journey's End" shows up war in its true colours. There wasn't much glamour about it. It was a drab and bloody business: the business of killing and being killed. Killing for what?
To protect our relatives and friends, and to safeguard ourselves from being enslaved by a foreign nation. The goal at the end of our journey was the safety of our country.
But how much safer are we to-day than we were in August 1914? The truth is that we are now in a much more dangerous and perilous position than we were then. Why?
Because science has during the last twenty five years hurled new weapons into the world - aeroplanes, tanks, poison gas, submarines and big guns - which make it a much more dangerous place to live in now than it ever was before."


In contrast, 'Uncle Osborne' wrote about the community spirit;

There was only one really great thing apart from courage, which stood out during the War. It was the good natured comradeship - that extraordinary spirit of unselfishness, which characterised our people of all ranks during those awful years.
How often have those of us who served heard such phrases as "Poor little blighter, he's done in - let's carry his pack and rifle." Perhaps, more often, nothing was said and a kindly deed was done in a shy, almost shame-faced, way.
There was something very deep, and rather fine, about it all.  Why can't we re-capture more of that spirit in these days of peace and depression? Anyhow we can have a shot at it and we must put up a good show.

Tragically, fifteen years later, the world would again be at war.

However, the 3d. Souvenir Programme of that remarkable play in 1934 at The Victoria Theatre, has now reached its own 'journey's end', back in Newtown, where it belongs. 

Henry Williamson
Illustrated by William Kermode
Sphere Books - 0 7221 9181 2 FICTION / WAR

"Henry Williamson's classic novel of one young man's
experiences of World War 1  a bitingly satirical  story
that captures the full, grim flavour of the ordinary man
caught up in a conflict over which he has no control
John bullock is the archetypal common soldier-
fighting from blind patriotism for a cause he does not understand,
living through the bewilderment of his brutal
initiation into army life, and finally facing the terrors
of trench warfare on the battlefields of France.
The story of his progress
- brilliantly illustrated with the stark lino-cuts of William Kermode -
is a vivid and unforgettable portrayal of the war machine."

This novel really takes you to the 'front line'. KD




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