Welcome to the Carmarthen County Virtual War Memorial
The aim of this website is to remember the men and women of the Counties of Carmarthenshire, in South West Wales, who gave their lives during both World War 1 and World War 2.
This site is mostly geared up toward those who fought in the Great War, due to the tremendous amount of research material available, but those of World War II are not forgotten, being also remembered on this website, and more information will be added as it becomes available. These people are harder to research, as their Service Records are not yet available to the general public.
To give some idea of the loss of life in both World Wars, over 16 million people were killed in the Great War. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone (1 July 1916) over 60,000 casualties were incurred by the British and Allied forces (Made up of around 19,000 dead, and the remainder wounded or missing).
Carmarthen County War Memorial, Priory Street, Carmarthen
During the Second World War, the number of people killed throughout the world was estimated at over 55 million. This stupefying figure includes the mass German slaughters of millions of Russian people and the near extinction of the Jewish Race in Europe.
Estimated Casualty Figures for the County
The Original Carmarthen County War Memorial listed the names of 1,913 men and women of the County who gave their lives in the Great War. This was made up of 3 Nurses, 123 Officers, 254 Non-Commissioned Officers and 1,533 Other Ranks. After painstaking research, this figure has now been expanded to around 2,700 men and women to WW1, and 1,050 in WW2, and more are being uncovered all the time. Many of these are mentioned on the memorials of more than one village, which makes research difficult.
Information and Photographs
The main method of remembering these men is through photographs, either portrait photos of the men them selves, or of their graves or names inscribed on the various memorials. My database of War Grave and Memorial photos is growing constantly, and if anyone requires such, please contact me to see if it is available. New information is always being sought for any of the men from the area, and if anyone has any photographs, paperwork, or information about anyone on these pages, please contact me at;
Carmarthen County War Memorial
This website has been split into separate pages, and the aim is to ultimately have a page for each War Memorial, with a short biography of each casualty, along with a photograph of their last resting place or memorial, plus any photos of the men themselves when they are available.
In addition to these rolls there are separate pages on the local Infantry Battalions, the 1/4th Welsh, and the 15th Welsh (Carmarthen Pals). These pages contain brief histories of the Battalions, and their Casualty Rolls. These pages will be extended in the future.
One page of the site commemorates the role of the Colonial Forces who fought alongside the British Armies on the Western Front. These include the Australian Imperial Force, the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and the South African Expeditionary Force. Men of Carmarthenshire who died in their service are listed on the page.
Another page lists all of the CWGC War Memorials that I have visited in France and Belgium, giving a background history on each, with a photograph.
An interesting page is Carmarthenshire Heroes. Here I will be remembering the men of the County who performed great deeds of heroism, for which they were decorated. Some work has been carried out on this section, but research is still on-going.
Finally there are pages which show a typical tour of the Western Front, Links to other web-sites, and a Shopping Cart where I have for sale copies of my book on the Laugharne War Memorial.
If you wish to donate toward the costs of running and maintaining the website, please feel free to do so by visiting the Shopping Cart page, where a donation can be made via Paypal. This will help cover the costs involved in obtaining photographs both myself and via Third Party sources such as Bob Pike, who gives me a lot of help. If you require photographs of War Graves or Memorials in Belgium, France, Salonika or Gallipoli which are not of men from Carmarthenshire, then Bob's e-mail address can be found in the Links Section.
Copyright © Notice
During a recent spate of copying material from this website to use in publications and on Ancestry, readers are reminded that most of the material used in this website has been compiled from various sources by the Author, except where otherwise noted. Due to the immense amount of hard work, time and money that has gone into creating the website, if any material is copied for anything other than personal research, permission should be sought from the author by using one of the contact links below, and that acknowledgement is given to this website.
Search Tip; If using MS Internet Explorer, then pressing 'CTRL and F' together will open a search bar, which can be used to search for keywords on the page of the site you are viewing. This is particularly useful when looking for family names or regiments etc on a large page.
This section will be used to announce any new discoveries, or people that further research is needed on.
10 February 2011. The memorials of Llanegwad, Llanfynydd and Nantgaredig have been grouped together, and can now be found on the Llanegwad and Area page.
11 February 2011. The memorials of Golden Grove, Llanarthney and Llangathen have been grouped together on the Golden Grove & Area Memorials page.
11 February 2011. The War Memorials of Llanddarog and Llangendeirne have been added onto the website, both on the same page, due to their close proximity.
11 February 2011. The War Memorials of Capel Iwan, Cenarth, Llangeler, Penboyr, Saron and Velindre have been loaded onto the Newcastle Emlyn Area Memorials page of the website.
16 February 2011. The War Memorials of Drefach and Llanybydder have been paired together on the new page, Drefach and Llanybydder, due to their close proximity.
17 February 2011. Llandefeilog (or Llandyfaelog) War Memorial has been added onto the Kidwelly page.
17 February 2011. The Ammanford Area Memorials page has been updated, and the memorials of the neighbouring villages of Betws, Blaina, Capel Hendre, Pantyffynon, Penybanc, Penygroes, Saron and Tycroes have been uploaded onto the page.
18 February 2011. The War memorials of Llandyfeisant, Llansawel and Llanycrwys have been added to the site, and are to be found on the Caio Parish Memorial page.
19 February 2011. A big addition to the site today. A new page, Carmarthen Area War Memorials, has been added, which contains many of the smaller memorials which are situated around the county town. The memorials are; Abernant, Alltwalis, Brechfa, Bronwydd, Bryn Cothi, Conwil Elfed, Cwmbach, Cwmduad, Gwernogle, Llangunnor, Llanllawddog, Llanllwch, Llanpumsaint, Merthyr, Nantycaws, Peniel, Rhyd-y-Gors, Talog, Trevaughan, and White Mill (Felinwen). Each memorial is listed individually, in alphabetical order.
22 March 2011. The Llanboidy and area page has been tidied up and updated, and now includes the memorials of the neighbouring villages of Blaenwaun, Cilymaenllwyd, Cwmfelin Mynach, Cwmbach, Efailwen, Eglwysfair-y-Churig, Egremont, Gelliwen, Hebron, Henllan Amgoed, Llanfallteg, Llanglydwen, Llanwinio, Login and Pantyblaedd who fell during both World Wars.
28 March 2011. The Talley and Taliaris pages have been put together due to the close proximity of each village.
7 February 2013. The details of six more local men have been put forward by myself to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission today. These men died as a result of their service during WW1 and have been forgotten by the CWGC for over 90 years. Please check the 'Uncommemorated Local Men' page for more details and scroll down to the recently submitted section.
3 March 2013. The Ponthenri War Memorial has been added to the website.
28 May 2013. Work had begun on double checking the details on each war memorial, and where possible enhancing the details about the men. As part of this work some of the merged pages will be separated. Today the Llangunnor page has been added, although I still have no photographs of the War Memorials there.
Work is still on-going to develop both this website, and the sister website- the Pembroke County War Memorial. As with this site, any information or photographs of the War Memorials and War Graves in both Counties would be most welcome, and any information on the local regiments is always needed for further research.
This website is one of three websites which have been privately set up to commemorate all of the men of West Wales who fell during both World Wars. Each website covers one of the three counties which together once made up the larger County of Dyfed; Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Links to the sister sites can be found below-
Local War Memorial Books
After a lot of work and research, I have decided to publish War Memorial Books for the Villages of Kidwelly, Llanddowror, Whitland (including Lampeter Velfrey) and St. Clears, along the same lines of my book on Laugharne. These books are being printed as paperbacks, and contain details (and photographs where available) of all of the men of these Villages who lost their lives during both World Wars. I have also updated and republished the Laugharne Roll of Honour, and have added more men with ties to this historic township.
Please click on the link below if you are interested. If there is enough interest, more books on the War Memorials of Carmarthenshire will be written and published in due course.
Steve's War Memorial Books
I still also have about 20 copies left of the original paperback Laugharne book, which on sale for £10 each including Postage and Packing. These Laugharne books are still on the Shop page.
Also the Shop page will now be used to sell replica/ replacement WW1 and WW2 Casualty Memorial Scrolls. These Scrolls were issued to the next of kin of every man and woman who lost their lives during the wars. Many of these have been lost over the years, and so this is an ideal opportunity to support the running and developement of this site, and get yourself a nice bit of memorabilia, which can be framed to complement your ancestors medals.
The History of the 15th (Service) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment
The 'Carmarthen Pals'
My new book on the 'Carmarthen Pals', the 15th (Service) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment has been published by Pen and Sword Books, and is available at all good bookshops, and also on-line, from Pen and Sword Direct, or from Amazon, Tower Books, Play.com, Tesco and all good booksellers. For details please follow the link below;
Carmarthen Pals (Amazon)
Carmarthen Pals (Direct from Pen & Sword)
For basic information on the Battalion, please see the page on this site. I am still looking for anything related to the Battalion, to continue my research into it, so would gratefully welcome copies of paperwork, photographs, memoirs etc. Please see the Carmarthen Pals page of this website for some details on the battalion, and for several reviews of the book.
My name is Steven John. I was born in Laugharne, and attended Laugharne V.C.P., and Whitland Grammar Schools. Upon leaving school, I gained an Apprenticeship as a Mechanical Engineer, at the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Aberporth, and have since worked as an Engineer for Dairy Crest, McCain Foods, BMI Healthcare, and now for Muller (the yoghurt company), where I still work in Engineering- through necessity of supporting my family, not choice! Due to a work-related move to Muller, in Shropshire, I had to give up playing rugby for Laugharne, and found myself with plenty of spare time. This seemed the ideal opportunity to try and unravel the mysteries of the 'John' family tree.
After researching my family tree I discovered that my Great Grandfather, Lance Corporal David Thomas John, of Laugharne, was killed in the Great War. He served as an original member of the 4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, and was one of the original men who landed at ANZAC Cove, on Gallipoli, on the 25th, April, 1915. He survived the terrors of Gallipoli, and fought through the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, being part of the victorious First Australian Division who captured the German stronghold of Pozieres. He died whilst leading a patrol to discover the exact whereabouts of the German Front Line at Mouquet Farm on 18 August, 1916, aged just 25. His grave was lost in the following fighting over the area, and so he is remembered on the Villers Brettoneux Memorial to the Missing, on the Somme. His death left my Grandfather, John William John, fatherless at three years old.
A couple of years back, prompted by this discovery, I wrote a book about the men of Laugharne who died in both World Wars. As a result of the research that I undertook, I began compiling information about the men of the villages nearest Laugharne, but this again escalated, so I decided to undertake the research and compilation of a Roll of Honour for the whole of the County of Carmarthenshire for both Wars. As part of this research, I am in the process of photographing as many of their War Graves and Memorials as possible, and of trying to build up a collection of photographs and information about the men, which is being entered into a database, so far with around 2,800 men who lost their lives in World War One, and over 1,000 men who lost their lives in WW2.
Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoy the website, and please feel free to comment, criticise or to send in information- it all helps to build the site.
Carmarthen County War Memorial
For anyone who does contact me, I will reply to all e-mails as soon as I can, unless I am away on holiday. I would be grateful if anyone who does contact me would please acknowledge my replies, as many don't!
None of this work would be possible without a lot of very valuable help, and my gratitude is given to those who have, and still are, helping with this project.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides a valuable, and much forgotten service to the casualties of both world wars, and to their families, by providing a very high quality service with regards to the maintenance and upkeep of the thousands of war graves and cemeteries scattered throughout the world, and by providing information and help to researchers, and much of the personal information on the people commemorated in this website comes from their extensive archive.
Chris Baker's excellent website, 'The Long, Long Trail' proved useful for biographical information on the various Army Divisions, and, along with the associated 'Great War Forum', is an excellent tool for someone wishing to trace their military ancestors. The link to this site is on the Links page.
My greatest thanks go to the small army of people who have voluntarily submitted photographs and information to both websites, and such information is always welcome. I would like to thanks all of these individuals for their help and input.
Copyright © 2013 Steven John