Newchurch War Memorial, The Great War, 1914-1918
Daniel Davies, Lance Corporal, 120472, Machine Gun Corps. Daniel was born at Newchurch, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Regiment. In 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, and served with the 74th Company, attached to the 25th Division. The Division landed in France on 26 September 1915, and had fought on the Somme in 1916, and at Messines in 1917. They fought at Pilckem, before moving south again, taking up positions around Bullecourt in reserve, and were used to reinforce the badly depleted British units that were hit in the area by the German Spring Offensive. They moved north to Flanders to rest, but they were again hit by a renewed German Offensive, and fought at the Battle of Estaires, Bailleul, Messines and Kemmel, and moved to the Aisne at the beginning of May to recuperate from their ordeal at Fismes, 20 miles SE of Soissons in the Champagne. However, on 26 May, intelligence confirmed a heavy German attack could be expected. 25th Division was in reserve and ordered up into a closer support position, up to the area of Guyencourt - Muscourt - Ventelay, south of the River Aisne and north east of Fismes, when the enemy struck south across the Chemin des Dames. The decimated division was temporarily broken up, and the reformed Division moved back to France 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, and took part in the Battle of Beaurevoir. Daniel was killed in action here on 21 September 1918. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France.
William Scurlock Davies, Private, 97818, Machine Gun Corps. William was the Son of Thomas and Mary Davies, of Cwmgwili Farm, Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Welsh Regiment, and later transferred into the Machine Gun Corps, serving with the 37th Company, attached to the 12th (Eastern) Division. The Division landed at Boulogne on 31 May 1915, and took over the line at Ploegsteert Wood. They then moved south and fought in the Battle of Loos, and the subsequent actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and remained there until March 1916. By June they were in position at the Somme, and attacked Ovillers on 2 July. They fought at Pozieres and Le Transloy before being moved to the Arras area during October 1916, where they fought in the March 1917 Battle of Arras, taking part in the First Battle of the Scarpe, and the Battle of Arleux. They then fought at the Third Battle of the Scarpe, and helped capture Roeux. The Division remained at Arras until taking part in the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917. William was killed in action here on 2 December 1917. He was just 21 years old, and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
David Evans, Corporal, 55430, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was born at Newchurch, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry. He later transferred into the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The attack on the wood began on 7 July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until 14 July to totally clear the wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties at Mametz, and were taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild. Here they fought at Pilckem Ridge, which is where David was killed on 30 July 1917. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. David is not commemorated at Newchurch.
Evan Griffiths, Private, 320472, Welsh Regiment. Evan was the Son of Timothy and Mary Ann Griffiths, of the Plough and Harrow, Newchurch, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry. The Battalion formed during August 1914 and continued to serve at home until after the evacuation from Gallipoli, when the South Wales Mounted Brigade was sent to reinforce the Middle East. Here a detachment of the Yeomanry joined the Imperial Camel Corps, whilst the remainder of the Battalion combined with the Glamorgan Yeomanry to form the 24th Battalion, Welch Regiment in 74th (Yeomanry) Division. The Division had formed in Egypt in January, 1917 and had fought through the Palestinian Campaign, and at the three Battles of Gaza. Evan was killed during the Third Battle of Gaza, on 6 November 1917. He was just 22 years old, and is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel. Many thanks to Avril Marks for the photograph.
John Griffiths, Sergeant, 13126, Welsh Regiment. John was born at Llanpumsaint, and enlisted at Tumble into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France between 11 and 21 July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos. The Division fought during the opening attack of the Battle of Loos, and then moved to the Somme, where they took part in the second wave of the attack on Ovillers-La Boiselle on 1 July, capturing the village at heavy cost, and fought through the Somme Battles of Pozieres and the Ancre in 1916. They then moved North to Ypres, taking part in the Battle of Messines, and fought on the Menin Road and at Polygon Wood, before moving up to Broodseinde, Poelcappelle and Passchendaele Village itself. 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, and fought during the Battle of the Selle, Valenciennes, the Sambre and the Passage of the Grand Honelle. John was killed during the Battle of the Sambre, on 4 November 1918. He is buried at Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-Au-Bois, France.
David Jeremy, Gunner, 166601, Royal Garrison Artillery. David was the Son of John and Hannah Jeremy, of Mount Pleasant, Ffynonddrain. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Royal Garrison Artillery, and served with the 49th Siege Battery. The Battery were at Ypres during the First Battle of Passchendaele, when David was wounded. He died at the Casualty Clearing Station at Dozinghem on 21 October 1917 aged 38, and is buried there, at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
William Jeremy, Private, 56867, Welsh Regiment. William was the Son of Stephen and Margaret Jeremy, of Park Lodge, Carmarthen. He had been born at Newchurch, and enlisted at Carmarthen into the Pembroke Yeomanry. He later transferred to the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had landed in France during December 1915 and had spent their first winter in the trenches near Armentieres. In June they marched south to the Somme, where they were tasked with the capture of Mametz Wood. The attack on the wood began on 7 July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until 14 July to totally clear the wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties at Mametz, and were taken out of the line, and moved to Ypres to rebuild. William was wounded at Ypres, and died there on 27 March 1917 aged just 21. He is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium. William is not commemorated at Newchurch.
William Lewis, Private, 267153, Notts & Derby (Sherwood Foresters). William was the Son of John and Anne Lewis, of Pentrefynis Farm, Peniel. He enlisted at Hounslow into the 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, which was attached to 139 Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. They moved to France during February 1915, and saw their first action at the Hohenzollern Redoubt near Loos. The Division suffered large numbers of casualties during the attack, which was its first large-scale action. On 23 December 1915 the Division was ordered to proceed to Egypt, however on 21 January 1916 the move was countermanded and the units were returned to France. Here the Division took part in the Attack on the Gommecourt Salient, which was a diversionary attack on 1 July 1916 intended to draw attention away from the main attack on the Somme, but the Division again suffered large numbers of casualties during the attack. They rested for several months at Arras, and at the end of 1916 took part in Operations on the Ancre. During March, 1917 the Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and then fought in the Battle of Arras, taking part in the Battle of Hill 70. In 1918 the Division took part in the Advance in Flanders, and then moved south, where they were tasked with the breaking of the Hindenburg Line. They fought at the Battle of the St Quentin Canal at the end of September, where the 137th Brigade completed one of the finest feats of arms in British military history, when it forced the crossing of the St Quentin Canal at Riqueval. William was killed soon after, on 3 October 1918. He was 27 years old, and is buried at Ramicourt British Cemetery, France.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Glyndwr Davies, Gunner, 1691913, Royal Artillery. Glyndwr was born at Newchurch. He served with 521 Battery, 85 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery. Glyndwr died on active service on 17 August 1941, and is buried at Carmarthen Cemetery.
Thomas Myrddin Evans, Signalman, 2356901, Royal Corps of Signals. Thomas was the Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Evans of Newchurch, and the husband of Doreen Evans, of Ilford, Essex. He served with the Royal Corps of Signals in North Africa, and was attached to the famous Long Range Desert Group as a Signaller. Thomas operated as part of a squadron, hundreds of miles behind German lines. Thomas was killed on an operation on 18 January 1943. He was 32 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.
Cyril Elvet Griffiths, Sapper, 2000886, Royal Engineers. Cyril was the Son of D. H. and Sophia Griffiths, of Carmarthen. He served with the 3rd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, in the North African campaign. Cyril was killed in North Africa on 7 January 1942. He was 22 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.
John Howard Griffiths, Sergeant (Navigator), 1337841, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was born at Newchurch, and was the Son of David and Naomi Griffiths, later of Ferndale, Glamorgan. He served with 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a bomber squadron, equipped with the Vickers Wellington, based at RAF Kirmington. John was killed on the morning of 24 May 1943, when his Wellington was shot down over Holland. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Netherlands.
James Hywel Hughes, Sergeant (W.Op/Air Gunner), 1381323, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. James was the Son of William David and Margaret Hughes, of Knightsford, Carmarthen. He served as a Wirless Operator/ Air Gunner with 77 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the Handley Page Halifax II, based at RAF Elvington. James was killed when his Halifax was shot down over Germany during a raid on 10 March 1943. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.
James H. Jones, Lance Corporal, 2589516, Royal Corps of Signals. James was the Son of Joseph and Rachael Jones of Newchurch, and the husband of Mabel Jones, of Brecon. He served with the 53rd (Welsh) Divisional Signal Company, which had landed in Normandy in June 1944, and had fought through France and Belgium into Holland and Germany during the coming months. James died while in Germany as part of the British Army on the Rhine on 20 December 1945. He was 28 years old, and is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Photograph courtesy of Michael Bloy.
Daniel David Clifford Thomas, Fusilier, 4204908, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Daniel was born at Newchurch, and served with the 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. The battalion formed part of 158 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, landing on the Normandy beaches as part of the reinforcing troops in June 1944. Daniel was killed during Operation Goodwood on 17 July 1944. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Hottot-Les-Baggues War Cemetery, France.
Thomas John Williams, Lance Corporal, 1605347, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Thomas was the Husband of Sarah Ardidfyl Williams of Newchurch, and served with the 2/4th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which was part of the 46th Division. The Division had fought during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940, before being moved to North Africa in January 1943. The Division then took part in the invasion of Italy, and it was there that Thomas was killed, on 12 September 1944. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, Italy.
Copyright © Steven John 2013