Bronwydd is a small village situated about three miles north of Carmarthen in the Gwili Valley, on the A484 road to Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan. The men of the village who fell during the Second World War, and one man who fell in Afghanistan, are commemorated on a new marble memorial plaque, which is located on the front wall of Bronwydd Memorial Hall. There was no World War One memorial in the village prior to this page being written up, but one has since been installed on top of the new WW2 memorial.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Marteine Kemes Arundel Lloyd, Captain, Grenadier Guards. Marteine was born in 1890, the son of Sir Marteine Owen Mowbray Lloyd, 2nd Baronet, and Lady Katharine Helena of Bronwydd. He was educated at Lyndhurst and Eton, and was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards. The battalion had been in France since the outbreak of war, taking part in the retreat from Mons to the Marne. It took part in the First and Second Battles of Ypres, before being attached to the 4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Guards Division. The Guards Division had fought at the Battle of Loos, and had moved south to the Somme in 1916, where they fought at Ginchy. Marteine was Killed in Action on 15 September 1916, aged 26, and is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France. He is not named on the new memorial.
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 The Division was withdrawn after the heavy fighting of the Somme battles, moving on 20 April 1918 to an area south west of Amiens.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.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Glyndwr Davies, Gunner, 1691913, Royal Artillery. Glyndwr was born on 14 October 1912, the son of Henry James Davies and Elizabeth Davies (nee Griffiths), of 62, Richmond Terrace, Carmarthen. He was lodging with his elder sister Mary and her family at Eastry in Kent prior to enlisting into the Royal Artillery soon after the outbreak of war and was posted to 521 Battery, 85 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery. The battery was formed to help protect airfields in the south west of England. Glyndwr was 28 years old when he died as the result of an accident whilst on active service near Oxford on 17 August 1941. The remains of the 28-year-old were brought home, and he was buried in Carmarthen Cemetery. His sister Mary, her husband, John Henry James, and their youngest daughter, Margaret, were all killed in an air raid in 1941.
David Elwyn Griffiths, Signalman, 2353492, Royal Corps of Signals. David was born on 17 December 1910, the son of David Griffiths and Naomi Griffiths (nee Roberts), of 7, Frederick Street, Ferndale. The family was originally from Llanpumsaint and by 1939 had moved back to Brynhyfryd, Bronwydd Arms. David enlisted into the Royal Corps of Signals, and was posted to North Africa with the Mobile Corps Signals. He was killed in action during the 8th Army’s assault on the Gazala Line on 14 December 1941. David was 30 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt. His brother John also fell.
John Howard Griffiths, Sergeant, 1337841, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was born in 1922, the son of David Griffiths and Naomi Griffiths (nee Roberts), of 7, Frederick Street, Ferndale. The family was originally from Llanpumsaint and by 1939 had moved back to Brynhyfryd, Bronwydd Arms. John enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and after completing his training as a Navigator, was posted to 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, a medium bomber squadron, equipped with the Vickers Wellington, based at RAF Kirmington. On the night of 23 May 1943, John took off from Kirmington aboard a Vickers Wellington X, Serial HF486, which joined a large force of bombers despatched to strike targets in Dortmund. The Wellington was brought down and crashed into the North Sea off the Dutch Coast during the morning of 24 May 1943, with the loss of all five men aboard. John was 21 years old when he was killed during the crash. His body was later recovered from the sea and he was buried with his fellow crewmen in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Netherlands alongside his four fallen crew members. His brother David Elwyn Griffiths was killed in North Africa in 1941.
Evan Lloyd Thomas, Gunner, 964697, Royal Artillery. Evan was the son of Evan and Hannah Thomas, of Blaencors, Llanpumsaint. He was a mechanic in Nelson Garage in Carmarthen prior to enlisting into the army, and was posted to 240 Battery, 77 H.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. Evan was sent with his battery to Java, after being diverted from their original destination of Singapore, but the men were captured in Java by the Japanese. Evan was sent to Thailand with H Force in May 1943, and put to work on the excavation of Hellfire Pass, during the construction of the Thai Burma railway. Evan died at Hintok River Camp of beri-beri on 20 August 1943, aged 26, and was buried in Hintok River cemetery. His grave was exhumed after the war, and moved to Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand. The photograph below is courtesy of Rod Beattie.
James Elwyn Thomas, Driver, T/177397, Royal Army Service Corps. James was the son of John and Edith Thomas, of Bronwydd Arms. He served with the 15th Division Composite Company, Royal Army Service Corps. James died on active service in Northumberland on 7 June 1942, aged 26, and was brought home for burial in Llanpumsaint Churchyard.
Percy Thomas, Sergeant, 967631, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Percy was born in 1921, the son of Rees Thomas and Lizzie Thomas (formerly Evans), of Gwarcwm, Llanpumsaint. He enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and after completing his training as a Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner was posted to 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was based at Wick, and equipped with the Handley Page Hampden. On the night of 1 March 1941, Percy was one of the crew members aboard a Handley Page Hampden, Serial X3147, which took off from RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire as part of a force of over 130 aircraft bound for Cologne. The raid was a success, but when the aircraft returned to England, the ground was found to be covered in a thick fog. Percy’s Hampden ran out of fuel while desperately searching for a place to land, and crashed at Syderstone, Norfolk early in the morning of 2 March 1941. The doomed Hampden burst into flames, killing all of the crew. Percy was 21 years old when he died in the crash. His remains were recovered from the wreckage and he was brought home for burial in Bethel Calvinistic Methodist Chapelyard, Llanpumsaint.
Samuel Robinson, Bombardier, Royal Artillery. Sam was born in Carmarthen, and joined the Army on 23 November 1999 when he was 20. He transferred from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in 2006 as a parachute trained corporal, and joined 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery. In March 2008, after successfully passing the Patrol Course he was selected as a Royal Artillery Special Observer. Sam was deployed on his fourth operational tour in Afghanistan in May 2010, and was second in command of a Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol from 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery. Sam was on a local area patrol in Sangin, with members of A Company, 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, when he was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device on 8 July 2010. He was 31 years old.