Golden Grove War Memorial, The Great War, 1914-1918
The Honorable Eric Octavius Campbell, DSO & Bar, Lieutenant-Colonel, Seaforth Highlanders. Eric was born on 3 December 1885, the youngest son of Frederick Archibald Vaughan Campbell, 3rd Earl Cawdor and Edith Georgina Campbell, Countess Cawdor, of Golden Grove, Stackpole Elidor and Cawdor Castle, Nairnshire. He was born in 1885, and after going to Eton passed into the Army through the Militia, being gazetted to the Seaforth Highlanders on 20 December 1905. At the outbreak of the war be went to France as adjutant of the second battalion, was awarded the DSO on 18 February 1915, and was wounded at St. Julien on 25 April 1915. He was employed as brigade major from 3 January 1915 to 24 September 1916, his services being rewarded with a brevet majority on 3 June 1916. He was in hospital In France towards the end of 1918, and on return to duty in November went to the second battalion, but resumed the appointment of brigade major to 44 Infantry Brigade on 22 January 1917. Eric returned to regimental duty on 27 May 1917, and for a short time commanded the Second battalion. On 20 October 1917, he was given command of another battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders, which he retained till the middle of May, 1918, when a breakdown in health, due to nearly four years active service, compelled him to go to hospital. He arrived home on 25 May, having been repeated wounded, but returned to duty immediately, as he was only bruised by a fragment of a shell. In the Gazette of 24 May 1918 he was mentioned in dispatches for the third time, and a bar to his DSO was awarded in the Gazette of 3 June 1918. Sadly Eric died of cerebral haemorrhage on 4 June 1918 in Hospital in London. He was 33 years old, and was buried in the Cawdor Plot of Stackpole Elidor Churchyard, Pembrokeshire.
David Davies, Guardsman, 2955, Welsh Guards. David was born at Bantwen Cottage, near Carmel, the son of John and Hannah Davies. He probably worked near Cardiff prior to the war, and enlisted at Cardiff into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which was in France attached to 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. David would have joined the battalion at Ypres, and fought in the famous attack on Pilckem Ridge. The Guards then moved to Cambrai, where they took fought over the winter of 1917-1918, before moving to Arras. The Guards were among many British units to be hit hard here by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918, and over the next few days, fought a stubborn rearguard action. David was wounded during this time, and died on 28 March 1918. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. David is not commemorated on any local memorials (He is possibly commemorated at Carmel, but I do not know for certain).
Alcquin Christmas Evans, Private, 320495, Welsh Regiment. Alcquin was the son of David and Harriet Evans, of Caefadog, Llanarthney. He had enlisted at Carmarthen into the Army, joining the 24th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion had been formed in Egypt early in 1917 by the merger of the Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry Battalions, and became part of 231 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. Sadly Alcquin was not long with his new battalion. He took ill with enteric fever, and died as a result on 12 May 1917. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. His brother Evan died just three months later.
Evan Evans, Lance Corporal, 25833, Lancashire Fusiliers. Evan was the elder son of David and Harriet Evans, of Caefadog, Llanarthney, Carmarthen. He originally enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Field Artillery, but was later transferred to the 11th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, part of 74 Brigade, 25th Division. The Division landed in France on 26 September, 1915, and were posted to the Vimy area, where they defended Vimy Ridge against a German attack in May 1916. They then moved to the Warloy area and attacked on 3 July near Thiepval. They fought throughout the Battle of the Somme, and then moved to Ploegsteert, where they held the line for the months leading up the Battle of Messines in June, 1917. Evan was killed just before the division moved to Ypres from Messines, on 10 August 1917. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. Evan's death was a tremendous blow to his family, as his brother Alcquin had died just three months previously.
Richard Henry Grover, Driver, 136006, Royal Field Artillery. Richard was born at Bethnel Green in 1894, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Grover. By 1911 he had moved to Golden Grove, and worked as a farm labourer for James and Maria Roberts. He married Margaret Evans in 1916, before enlisting at Ammanford into the Royal Field Artillery. Richard was posted to the 87th Battery, 2nd Brigade, part of 2nd Division. The division had been in France since the start of the war, and had fought at during the withdrawal to the Marne, and at First Ypres and Loos. In 1916 they had taken part in the Somme battles, before moving to Arras where they saw further action in 1917. Later that year they took part in the Battle of Cambrai, and it was here that Richard was killed on 23 September 1917. He was 24 years old, and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France. His widow remarried after the war, and moved to Fron Deg, Waterloo Road, Penygroes. Richard is not commemorated on the Golden Grove Memorial.
Ronald Grove Jones, Private, 8524, Leicestershire Regiment. Ronald was born at Golden Grove in 1890, the son of John and Sarah Jones. The family moved to 109, Lark Hall Lane, Clapham at the turn of the century and Ronald enlisted there into the Middlesex Regiment on 28 March 1908, but then transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. He was stationed with the battalion in India at the outbreak of war, where it was attached to the Garwhal Brigade, 7th (Meerut) Division, and the division was recalled to France to reinforce the stretched BEF. The division took up positions in Northern France, where they saw heavy action the following year, during the Battle of Festubert. Ronald was killed here on 15 May 1915, aged 25. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg L'Avoue, France. Ronald is not commemorated on the Golden Grove War Memorial.
Thomas Rees, Private, 44253, South Wales Borderers. Thomas was born at Golden Grove around 1886, the son of John and Elizabeth Rees. The family later moved to the Three Compasses, Llangathen. Thomas resided at 6, Cromwell Street, Swansea prior to the war, and enlisted at Chatham into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion was in China at the outbreak of war, and took part fighting there against the German Garrison at Tientsin. It was then recalled to Britain, where it joined 87 Brigade, 29th Division, and took part in the Gallipoli Landings, gaining a reputation for its fighting ability. The Division moved to France during May 1915 and took part in its first major action in France during the 1916 Somme Offensive. It then fought at the Battles of Albert and Le Transloy, suffering heavy casualties. In the Spring of 1917 they fought at the Battle of the Scarpe, which was part of the Arras Offensive, and then moved further north to Ypres. Here they fought at the Battle of Langemarck, and this is where Thomas was killed on 16 August 1917, aged 31. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Thomas is not commemorated on the Golden Grove War Memorial.
David Thomas, Sapper, Royal Engineers. This man cannot be positively identified. Two Sappers from Carmarthenshire named David Thomas died during the war, both of whom were from Llanelli.
D. Williams, Sapper, Royal Engineers. This man cannot yet be identified.
Golden Grove War Memorial, World War Two, 1939-1945
John Ronald Campbell, Major, 33632, Coldstream Guards. John was the son of Brigadier General John Vaughan Campbell, VC, CMG, DSO, and of Amy Dorothy Campbell. His father was the son of the 2nd Earl Cawdor, of Stackpole and Golden Grove. John was the husband of Ethel Mildred Campbell, of Hadnall, Shropshire. John served as a regular Officer with the Coldstream Guards, following the family tradition, as it was the Regiment that his father won the Victoria Cross with during the Great War. (See Carmarthenshire Heroes page). After the German invasion of Poland, the British Government sent an expeditionary force to France, and with it was the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards. John was a Major with the battalion, In May 1940 the Germans invaded France and Belgium, and within days John was dead. He had been killed in action on 30 May 1940 during some hard fighting, and is buried at Veurne Communal Cemetery Extension, Belgium. John was 35 years old.
Bertie Lewis, Private, 10699128, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Bertie was the Son of John Thomas Lewis and Jemima Lewis, of Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire. He had become an accountant before joining the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at the outbreak of war, and was posted to North Africa. Bertie sadly died in Algeria while on active service, the official cause of death was sleeping sickness. Bertie was 37 years old, and was buried at El Alia Cemetery, Algeria. Photos courtesy of Bev Lewis.
Llanarthney War Memorial,The Great War, 1914-1918
Ivor Thomas Charles, Private, 39247, South Wales Borderers. Ivor was the son of David and Mary Ann Charles, Shoemaker, of Bank y Mansel, Llanarthney. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Monmouthshire Regiment. Sometime later he was transferred into the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, Pioneers to the 25th Division. The Division moved to France in September 1915 and moved to the Vimy sector. They fought in every major battle thereafter and took part in some of the terrible fighting during the German Spring offensive of 1918 before being moved to the Soissons Sector. On 27 May 1918 a German attack hit them again, and during the coming days the Division was virtually annihilated. By 9 June, a decision had been taken to break up what was left of the Division to reinforce other formations. The core of the Division returned to England to rebuild, and returned to the front in September 1918, moving at first to St Riquier near Abbeville. Late in the month, it entrained for Fourth Army, coming under XIII Corps which was by now engaged in the more or less continuous and eventually victorious advance across Picardy, fighting at the Battle of Beaurevoir. They then fought during the remainder of the great offensive, at the Battle of Cambrai, the Pursuit to the Selle, the Battle of the Selle, and the Battle of the Sambre. Ivor was taken ill and died during the final offensive, and he died on 29 October 1918, aged 30. He is buried at Pont-De-Nieppe Communal Cemetery, France. Ivor is not commemorated on the Llanarthney War Memorial.
George Davies, Sapper, 448501, Royal Engineers. George was the son of Thomas and Ann Davies, of Carreglas, Cross Hands. He lived with his wife at Glynllwchwr Road, Pontardulais prior to enlisting at Ammanford into the Royal Engineers. George was posted to the 90th Field Company, Royal Engineers, which was attached to the 9th (Scottish) Division. The Division had been in France since fighting at Loos in September 1915. It fought on the Somme in 1916, then at Ypres and Cambrai in 1917. In March, 1918 they were still in the Cambrai area, and were one of the Divisions hit there by the German Spring Offensive, fighting at the Battle of St Quentin, and the First Battle of Bapaume. After suffering terrible casualties the Division were moved to Flanders to rebuild, but the Germans launched another offensive there during April 1918, and the Division then took part in the Battles of the Lys, at the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Bailleul, the First Battle of Kemmel, the Second Battle of Kemmel and then during the Advance in Flanders, where they took part in the Action of Outtersteene Ridge. George was wounded in Flanders, and was evacuated to the Base Hospital at Longuenesse. He died of wounds there on 1 August 1918, aged 21, and is buried at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.
Thomas Davies, Lance Corporal, 68852, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Thomas was the son of Mr and Mrs Davies, of Caerllwyn, Foelgastell. He was employed at New Cross Hands Collieries prior to the war, before enlisting at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry. Thomas then moved to the Welsh Regiment, and the Royal Irish Rifles, before being posted to the 11th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was in Salonika, as part of 67 Brigade, 22nd Division. Thomas was killed in action in Salonika on 31 July 1918. He is buried at Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece.
David Howell Griffiths, Sapper, 6405, Australian Engineers. David was born at Llanarthney, and was the Brother of Ruth Roberts, Porthyrhyd, Llanarthney. He was a miner, and had served with the 4th Welsh prior to emigrating to Australia around 1910, after being advised to live in a better climate, due to ill health. He then lived with his sister, Mrs Ruth Roberts, at High Street, Grange, South Australia. David enlisted at Adelaide on 14 October 1915, into the Australian Engineers, and joined the 13th reinforcements to the 3rd Field Company, which was attached to the 1st Australian Division. David embarked on 20 March 1916 at Sydney aboard HMAT Armadale, and arrived at Alexandria on 24 April 1916. Within weeks he was admitted to Hospital at Abbassia, where he was discovered to be suffering from tuberculosis. On 24 June 1916 David embarked at Alexandria for Australia, after being discharged from the AIF as medically unfit. He died on 10 February 1920, aged 30, and is buried at Adelaide (West Terrace) Cemetery, Australia. David isn't commemorated locally.
Rhys Griffiths, Private, 57935, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Rhys was the son of Owen and Sarah Griffiths, of Bron Gwendraeth, Cwm Mawr, Tumble. He enlisted at Llanelli into the Army, and after training was posted to the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division had been in France since July 1915, and had fought at the Battle of Loos that year, then on the Somme in 1916, and at Messines and Ypres in 1917. In 1918 they were caught up in the German Spring Offensive near St. Quentin, where they suffered terrible casualties, and fought at the Battle of Bapaume. They moved to Ypres, but were caught up in the German attack at Messines, and at Bailleul, and Kemmel. After suffering terribly again, they moved South to the quieter French sector to rebuild, but were caught up in the German offensive on the Aisne. Rhys was taken prisoner by the Germans at some stage, and was taken to a Prisoner of War Camp in Germany. He died as a POW on 24 July 1918, aged 18, and is buried at Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.
William John Hughes, Private, 26467, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of John and Hannah Hughes, Gorsfach, Gorslas. He resided at Llandebie prior to the war, and enlisted at Porth into the 17th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The Battalion was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division, which was formed between September and December 1915, composed of bantam units and others which had a mixture of regulation-height and shorter men. Weeding out of very under-sized or unfit men delayed the training programme, and it was not until late spring 1916 that the Division was ready to proceed on active service. The Division moved to France between 1 and 9 June, and moved to the front near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, and remained in the area over the winter. In March, 1917 the Germans withdrew to their shortened line, called the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division were one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. William was killed in action during this period, on 24 April 1917, aged 18. He is buried at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich, France.
David Robert James, Private, 1490, Welsh Regiment. David was born at Voelgastell, and had enlisted at Llanelli into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion had moved to France at the outbreak of war attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division, and had taken part in the Battle of Mons, and the subsequent retreat to the Marne in the first weeks of the war. After successfully stopping the German drive on Paris, the 3rd Division moved to Ypres, where it was tasked with the defence of the ancient City, to prevent the German drive to the Channel Ports. David arrived in France on 27 January 1915, as part of a large batch of reinforcements for the 2nd Welsh, which had been decimated during the defence of Ypres. He fought with the battalion during the following Battles of Festubert and Neuve-Chapelle, but was killed in action during the Battle of Loos on 26 September 1915. David has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.
John Jenkins, Private, 60402, Labour Corps. John was the Son of David and Anne Jenkins, of Llwynhelyg, Llanarthney. He had enlisted at Marylebone into the 34th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, which was formed at Falmer in May 1916, moving to France sometime after June 1916. The battalion had been formed as a Labour Battalion, and in April 1917 became a Labour Corps Battalion. John was wounded during the German Offensive in 1918. He died of his wounds on 13 May 1918, aged 45, and is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. John is not named on the County War Memorial Roll.
Arthur Edward Jones, Private, 10921, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Arthur was born at Llanarthney, the Son of George and Jane Jones, later of Newbridge on Wye and then of 27, Heol Curdy, Sarn, Aberkenfig, Bridgend. He had enlisted at Hereford into the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, and was posted to their 5th Battalion, attached to 42 Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. The Division was to see its first action during the Action of Hooge, where the Division were the first to be attacked by the German use of flamethrowers. They then fought at the Second attack on Bellewaarde. In July, 1916 they moved to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of Delville Wood, and then the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and in March, 1917 followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. May saw them at Arras, where they took part in the First Battle of the Scarpe, which is where Arthur was killed on 3 May 1917. He was 27 years old and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. Arthur is not commemorated on the Llanarthney War Memorial.
David Jones, Lance Corporal, 8436, Welsh Regiment. David was born at Llanarthney. He was a pre-war regular, and had enlisted at Carmarthen into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment. At the outbreak of war, the 2nd Welsh moved immediately to France attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division had been one of the first to arrive in France, fighting at the Battle of Mons, and taking part in the retreat to the Marne, where the Germans were stopped. They then fought at the Aisne, and at Chivy, before being moved north to Ypres. Here they fought at the First Battle of Ypres, where they again stopped the German Offensive, before wintering in Flanders. David was killed while the 2nd Welsh were at Cuinchy on 20 April 1915. He is buried at Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France.
David Jones, Private, 13131, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was the son of William and Hannah Jones, of Dock Terrace, Llanarthney. He enlisted at Tumble into the 8th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. On 13 June 1915 the first ships carrying the Division left port, and moved to Alexandria. By 4 July, all units had moved to Mudros, preparatory for landing on Gallipoli, and between 6 and 16 July 1915 13th Division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division. They left and returned to Mudros at the end of the month, and the entire Division landed at ANZAC Cove between 3 and 5 August, 1915, taking part in the Battles of Sari Bair, Russell's Top, and Hill 60, ANZAC. David was wounded at Sari Bair, and taken aboard a Hospital Ship where he died of wounds on 17 August 1915, being later buried at sea. He was 19 years old, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
Herbert James Jones, Sapper, 96505, Royal Engineers. Herbert was the son of John and Harriet Jones, Agricultural Labourer, Penallt Cottage, Llanarthney. He had married prior to the war, and lived with his wife, Edith F. Jones, at 4, Maryland Road, Wood Green, London. Herbert enlisted there into the 171st Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. Upon arriving in France, the Company was sent to the Hill 70 and the Bluff area near Ypres, where they began one of the most terrifying campaigns of the Great War, the war underground. The tunnellers dug a network of dugouts, subways and mines around the Ypres Salient, and the men manning the trenches above grew to fear the sound of digging beneath their feet, after the explosion of several mines in the sector. Herbert was killed in action at Ypres on 2 June 1915, aged 31, quite possibly underground whilst working on a mine. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. Herbert is one of the new additions to the memorial at Gorslas.
Idris Tudor Rees, Private, 75290, Welsh Regiment. Idris was the son of Daniel George and Mary Ellen Rees, of Min-yr-Afon, Cross Hands. He enlisted at Cardiff on 23 May 1918 into the army, and on 14 September 1918 was posted to France, joining the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had been in France since December 1915 and had fought at Mametz Wood and Pilckem Ridge. Idris joined the battalion during the course of the advance to victory, after it had advanced across the Somme battlefields towards the Hindenburg Line. The Division then fought at the Battle of Beaurevoir, and moved up towards Cambrai, capturing Villers-Outreaux. Idris was wounded during this great advance, and died of wounds on 9 October 1918, aged 19. He is buried at Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy, France.
Stanley Thomas William Saunders, Private, 34121, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Stanley was the son of Thomas and Rhoda Saunders of Ipswich. He had moved to Llanarthney prior to the war, where he worked as a cowman. He enlisted at Tumble on 8 September 1914 into the Welsh Regiment, and married Miriam Davies, of Tanylan, Maesybont, Gorslas on 30 December 1914. On 11 August 1915 he was transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and sailed for Gibraltar, where the battalion was on garrison duties. On 8 May 1916 Stanley was posted to France, joining the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 76 Brigade, and by the summer of 1916 was part of the 3rd Division. Stanley was killed on the Somme, during the fighting around Bazentin, on 20 July 1916. He was 29 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Joseph Henry Webster, Private, 27548, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Joseph was the son of Joseph Henry and Christina Webster, of Liverpool. By 1911 Joseph was working as a ploughman for John and Letitia Tobias, at Llanarthney. He married Rachel Evans, of Curn Dancerrig, Bronwydd Arms in 1916, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Regiment. Joseph was then posted to the 6th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, which was attached to 60 Brigade, 20th (Light) Division. The Division had seen its first action in September 1915 at Fromelles. It then saw further fighting on the Somme in 1916, and at Ypres in 1917, before taking part in the Battle of Cambrai at the end of the year. They remained in the area between Cambrai and St. Quentin over the winter of 1917/18 and were attacked there by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March, 1918. They then fought in the retreat at the Battle of the Somme Crossings and the Battle of Rosieres. The Division was withdrawn after the heavy fighting of the Somme battles, moving on 20 April 1918 to an area south west of Amiens. Joseph was wounded here while the battalion was rebuilding, and was evacuated to the Base Hospital at Wimille. He died of wounds there on 10 September 1918, aged 27, and is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France.
Howell Morgan Williams, Second Lieutenant, Welsh Regiment. Howel was the Son of John and Catherine Williams, of "Gwynondale," Llanarthney, and was commissioned into the Welsh Regiment, serving with the 19th Battalion, which was the Pioneer Battalion to the 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The attack on the wood began on 7 July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until 14 July to clear the wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties at Mametz, and were taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild. Howell was killed in action during the build up to the Third Battle of Ypres, on 24 June, 1916. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium. He is also commemorated on the Llanegwad Memorial.
Llanarthney War Memorial, World War Two, 1939-1945
Leslie Charles Fortey, Sapper, 2004187, Royal Engineers. Very little is known of Leslie, except that he was the son of Thomas and Emma Fortey, of Wern Fach, Llanarthney. He died on 16 December 1945 aged 28, and is buried at Llanarthney (St. David) Churchyard.