Dafen is a village to the east of the larger town of Llanelli. The War Memorials for Dafen are located either side of the Lych Gate of St Michael and All Angels Church, Bryngwyn Road, Dafen. This page serves to remember the men who gave their lives during both World Wars. The photographs of the memorials are courtesy of Amy Williams.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Daniel Davies, Private, 13369, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Daniel was the son of Thomas and Mary Davies of the Grist, Laugharne. He had worked at Llanelli for several years prior to the war and lived with his wife Malvina and their six children at 3, Pleasant View, Llanelli. Daniel enlisted at Llanelli into the 8th (Service) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. In July 1915 the Division landed at Mudros, then moved to the Gallipoli peninsula. Daniel landed on Gallipoli on 15 October 1915, as part of a batch of reinforcements. In January 1916 the 8th RWF were sent to Egypt, before heading through Suez on 14 February 1916, arriving at Basra on 28 February 1916. The 8th RWF was then involved in the bitter campaign against the Turkish army in Mesopotamia. The Battalion fought on throughout April 1916, pushing the Turks back through Falahiyeh, Sannaiyat, Beit Aieesa and Abu Roman Mounds. They were hit by savage Turkish counter-attacks, but held on, before being replaced in the front line on 28 April and moving to a rest camp. The Battalion were then entrenched in Beit Aieesa. At some time during this period, Daniel was shot in the back by a German sniper and was sent to a Hospital in India. There he was operated on, having the bullet successfully removed, but succumbed to his wounds on 10 May 1916. Daniel is commemorated on the Kirkee Memorial, Poona, India.
Herbert Ronald Evans, Acting Sergeant, C/1238, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Hubert was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Evans, of 8, Nevil’s Terrace, Dafen. He was a Tinworker prior to the war and enlisted at Llanelli into the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Hubert was later transferred into the Kings African Rifles, and died of sickness in East Africa on 24 April 1918. He was 30 years old, and is buried at Pemba Cemetery, Mozambique.
Joseph Evans, Private, L/15904, Middlesex Regiment. Joseph resided at Penygaer, Dafen, and enlisted there into the Royal Hussars. He later transferred into the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, which had landed at Havre as L. of C. Troops on 11 August 1914. On 22 August, 1914 they were attached to 19th Brigade, forming at Valenciennes, and on 12 October moved with 19th Brigade, to the 6th Division. On 31 May 1915 they again moved, to the 27th Division, and by 19 August were with the 2nd Division at Loos. Here they took part in the opening assault of the Battle of Loos, near Cambrin, on 25 September 1915. Joseph was killed in action this day, and is buried at Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France. Joseph is not named on the memorial.
Joseph Harries, Private, 33742, Welsh Regiment. Joseph was the son of Josiah and Mary Harries, of St. David’s Cottages, Incline, Dafen, Llanelli. He enlisted there into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to the 58th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France between the 11th and the 21st 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 the 1st 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, where Joseph was wounded. He died of wounds on 8 June 1917, aged just 20, and is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. His brothers Josiah and William also fell.
Josiah Harries, Private, 5728, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Josiah was the son of Josiah and Mary Harries, of St. David’s Cottages, Incline, Dafen. He enlisted at Llanelli into the Welsh Regiment, but later transferred into the 2/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which was part of the 182nd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. This Second Line Territorial Division was formed in January 1915, composed of the Home Service units of the associated First Line 48th (South Midland) Division. Men of the First Line who did not undertake the Imperial Service Obligation were transferred to these units. Early clothing and equipment for these men was haphazard to say the least. Many had to train in civilian clothes and it was only between November 1915 and March 1916 that proper equipment was received. The battalion moved to and trained in the Chelmsford area from April 1915, moving on to Salisbury Plain in January 1916. The introduction of the Military Service Act 1916 cleared the way for the Second Line units to be sent overseas, and the Division entrained for the Western Front on the 21st May 1916, moving to positions at Fromelles. The first major action in which the Division was engaged turned out to be a disaster. An attack was made on the 19th July 1916 at Fromelles, a subsidiary action to the much larger battle taking place further south on the Somme. The Division suffered very heavy casualties for no significant gain and no enemy reserves were diverted from the Somme. Josiah was killed in action here on 17 July 1916, aged 24, and is buried at Laventie Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, France. His brothers Joseph and William also fell.
William John Harries, Private, 21539, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of Josiah and Mary Harries, of St. David’s Cottages, Incline, Dafen, Llanelli. He enlisted into the 11th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to the 115th 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 the 7th July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until the 11th July to clear the wood. William was killed during the first attack on the wood, on 7 July 1916. He is buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, France. His brothers Joseph and Josiah also fell.
Brinley Thomas Hughes, Wireless Operator, Mercantile Marine. Brinley was the only son of Thomas and Mary Hughes (nee Williams), of 11, Havard Road, Llanelli. He served as a wireless operator aboard the SS Leasowe Castle. She had been built for a Greek company, but due to the war was taken over by the British government in 1917. Soon after going into service she was torpedoed off Gibraltar on 20 April 1917, but managed to reach port, where she was repaired. On 27 May 1917 she was in convoy from Egypt to Marseilles when she was torpedoed and sunk 104 miles off Alexandria. She was carrying 3,000 troops at the time. Brinley was one of ninety-two people who drowned aboard her that day. He was 22 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Frank Mason Jenkins, MM, Lance Sergeant, 12903, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Frank was the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Jenkins, of 4, Nevill’s Terrace, Dafen. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which were part of 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during 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, Poelcapelle 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. Frank was wounded in Flanders, and died on 8 May 1918, aged 27. He is buried at Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Frederick John, Private, 43608, Welsh Regiment. Frederick was born at Bancyfelin, the son of William and Adalide John. William had been the Station Master there before moving the family to Sarnau, 3, Whitley Road, Loughor. Frederick enlisted at Llanelli into the Welsh Regiment, and at some time i 1916 was posted to France, joining the 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had been in France since 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 began on 7 July, but met with fierce resistance, and it took until 12 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. Here they fought at Pilckem and Langemarck, which is where Frederick was killed on 27 August 1917, aged 24. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. He is also remembered on the headstone of his parent’s grave at Box Cemetery, Llanelli.
David John Morgan, Gunner, 2187, Royal Field Artillery. David was the son of Thomas and Hannah Morgan, of Gwynfryn, Dafen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Royal Field Artillery, and was posted to their D Battery, 119th Brigade, which was attached to the 24th Division. They moved to France during August, 1915 and marched to positions near Loos, where they took up reserve positions for the main Battle of Loos. The Division was sent into battle on 26 September 1915 at Loos and suffered terrible casualties. In 1916 it took part in the Battle of the Somme, before moving north of Arras in early 1917. In April and May 1917 the division fought at the Battle of Vimy, alongside the Canadian Corps, and in June they moved to positions south of Ypres, and fought during the Battle of Messines. After the successful capture of Messines Ridge, the Division moved further north, and fought at the Battles of Pilckem and Langemarck during Third Ypres. The Division then moved to positions north of St. Quentin over the winter of 1917/18, and was here when the German Spring Offensive was launched on 21 March 1918, defending the Village of Le Verguier, before retreating back. It was moved north to Flanders to rest, but was hit by the German offensive on the Lys, taking part in the Battle of Kemmel. The Division rested for a period after this, and took part in the final offensives of the war, at the Battle of Cambrai, and the Pursuit to the Selle. David was wounded here, and died soon after on 12 September 1918. He was 30 years old, and is buried at Arneke British Cemetery, France.
Albert Edward Morris, Sergeant, 11661, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Bert was the son of William Edward Morris and Honora Morris, of 1, North Terrace, Dafen. He enlisted at Llanelli on 14 August 1914 into the 8th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. On 13 June 1915 the division sailed for Alexandria, then moved to Mudros, preparatory for landing on Gallipoli from 6 July 1915, relieving the 29th Division. The Division landed at ANZAC Cove from 3 August 1915, taking part in the Battles of Sari Bair, Russell’s Top, and Hill 60, ANZAC. Soon afterwards the Division was transferred from ANZAC to Suvla Bay, and it was evacuated from Suvla on 19 December 1915, whereupon the infantry moved after a week’s rest to the Helles bridgehead, where they faced the last Turkish attacks at Helles. On the 8th January 1916, the Division was evacuated from Helles, and by 31 January was concentrated at Port Said, where they held forward posts in the Suez Canal defences. On 12 February 1916 the Division began to move to Mesopotamia, to strengthen the force being assembled for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. By 27 March, the Division had assembled near Sheikh Saad and came under orders of the Tigris Corps, and then took part in the attempts to relieve Kut. Albert was killed in action here on 5 April 1916, aged 28, and is remembered on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.
William Nunian, Private, 535001, London Regiment. William was the son of John and Margaret Nunian, of 31, Swansea Road, Llanelli. He worked as a clerk in London prior to enlisting at Hampstead on 15 June 1916 into the 15th Battalion (Civil Service Rifles), London Regiment. On 2 July 1917 he was posted to the 1st/12th Battalion, London Regiment (The Rangers), which was attached to 168 Brigade, 56th Division. The Division had fought at the diversionary attack on Gommecourt then at Ginchy, Flers and Morval, where they captured Combles. They wintered on the Somme, and followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 before fighting in the Battle of Arras. They then moved to Ypres, where they fought at Langemarck, and William saw his first battle. In October they moved south, and fought at the Battle of Cambrai, which is where William was killed on 27 November 1917. He was 19 years old, and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France. He is also remembered on his parent’s grave at Box Cemetery, Llanelli.
Cyrus Price, Private, 31167, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Cyrus was the son of Thomas and Margaret Price, of Nyth y Drew, Dafen. Cyrus was a tinplater prior to the war and enlisted at Swansea on 1 September 1914 into the Royal Garrison Artillery. On 5 June 1915 he was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and landed in France on 29 September 1915, where he was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who by this time were attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division. Cyrus was wounded at Cuinchy on 25 April 1916, and after a spell in hospital rejoined the battalion in time for the infamous explosion of the Red Dragon mine on 22 June 1916. The battalion lost a large number of men killed during the explosion, and resulting German attack, and the following month moved to the Somme. Cyrus was killed in action during the attack on High Wood, on 20 July 1916, aged 21. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France. His father had died just days before news of Cyrus’s death was received by his mother, and the telegraph was handed to her as the funeral cortege was assembling.
Lewis Watkins, Private, 3237, Welsh Guards. Lewis was the son of William and Emma Watkins, of 67, Trosnant, Pontypool, Monmouth. He resided at Dafen prior to the war, working as a Furnaceman in one of the local tinworks, and enlisted at Llanelli into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards. The battalion was attached to 3 Brigade, Guards Division. This division formed in France in August 1915, and saw its first action at the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, remaining in the area during the coming months, where they also fought in the subsequent Action of Hohenzollern Redoubt. In July 1916 the Division moved to the Somme, where they fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and then at the Battle of Morval, capturing Lesboeufs Village. They remained here for the winter, and in March 1917 took part in the advance caused by the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Later that year they moved north to Ypres, where they fought at the Battle of the Pilckem, and then at the Battle of the Menin Road, Battle of Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. November saw them move south again, where they took part in the Battle of Cambrai. Lewis was killed in action here on 1 December 1917, aged 34. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.
William Whitehouse, Private, 15735, Worcestershire Regiment. William was born at West Bromwich, the son of William and Sarah Ann Whitehouse. The family later moved to Havard Road, Llanelli, and William enlisted there into the 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, which was attached to 57 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos. William sadly died here soon after, on 6 August 1915. He was just 19 years old, and is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, France.
Daniel George Williams, Private, 12525, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Daniel was the son of John and Margaretta Williams of Incline Row, Dafen. He had married Jane Chamberlain in 1906, and the couple lived at 2, Charles Street, Trealaw, with their three daughters. Daniel enlisted at Tonypandy into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. On 13 June 1915 the division sailed for Alexandria, and then moved to Mudros, preparatory for landing on Gallipoli. During July 1915 the division landed on Cape Helles and relieved the 29th Division. During the following month the division moved to ANZAC Cove and took part in the Battle of Sari Bair. This is where Daniel was killed on 11 August 1915, aged 29. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. Daniel is not named on the memorial.
John Williams, Private, 38530, South Wales Borderers. John was born at Burry Port, the son of David and Margaret Williams. By 1911 the family had moved to 6, Nevill’s Terrace, Dafen. John enlisted at Llanelli into the 12th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who were attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. This division was composed of bantam units, and moved to France during June 1916, 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 Division was one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. Later in the year they took part in the Battle of Cambrai, playing an important role in the attack on Bourlon Wood. John was killed in action here on 25 November 1917, aged 18. He has no known grave, and so is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France. The photograph of John is courtesy of Amy Williams.
World War Two, 1939-1945
J. Bevan. This man cannot presently be identified.
Brynmor Evans, Guardsman, 2734644, Welsh Guards. Brynmor was the son of Isaac and Christina Evans of Dafen, and served with the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards. The battalion formed in October 1941, and moved to North Africa in February 1943. Brynmor was killed during their first major engagement, at the Fondouk Gap, on 10 April 1943. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia.
Thomas Alfred Harries, Private, 3973583, Army Air Corps. Thomas was the son of Thomas and Florance Harries, of Llanelly, and the husband of Irene Harries, of Llanelly. He served with the Army Air Corps, which was formed in 1942 from Commando personnel. Thomas could possibly have served during the Airborne offensive at Normandy on D-Day, but no details of his service are forthcoming. He died as a result of his service on 19 July 1945, aged 22, and is buried at Llanelli (Box) Cemetery.
Colin Hawley Harris, Corporal, 319277, Royal Armoured Corps. Colin was the son of Albert and Gladys Harris, of Llanelly, and the husband of Matilda Harris, of Dafen. He served with the 16th/5th Lancers, which was part of the Royal Armoured Corps. The Lancers were attached to the 6th Armoured Division, and fought in North Africa. Colin was killed during the Battle of the Kasserine Pass on 20 February 1943, when the 6th Armoured Division was rushing to the assistance of the beleaguered American II Corps. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia. Colin is not commemorated at Dafen.
David John Jones, Private, 3962655, Welch Regiment. David was the son of Millie Jones, of Dafen, and served with the local Territorial unit, the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. The battalion formed part of the 53rd (Welsh) Division, and spent the first five years of the war on home service, spending a lot of time training in Northern Ireland. It landed in Normandy after D-Day, then took part in the break out from the Normandy Beach-head. David was killed during Operation Bluecoat on 2 July 1944. He was 24 years old, and is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, France.
E. Jones. This man cannot presently be identified.
G. Jones. This man cannot presently be identified.
Maldwyn Herbert Lee, Leading Aircraftman, 1316626, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Maldwyn was the son of David and Alice Lee, and the husband of Margaret J. Lee, of Dafen. He served with the Royal Air Force at Malta. Maldwyn died, probably in an air crash into the sea, on 19 June 1944. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial, Malta. Maldwyn is not named on the Dafen Memorial.
O. Lewis. This man cannot presently be identified.
Austin Cecil Lovering, Home Guard. Austin was the son of George and Agnes Lovering, of 1 Charles Street, Marble Hall, and the husband of Marie Lovering, of Llys Gwyn, Baynelli Villas, Dafen. He served as an F.A.P. member of the Home Guard, and was injured during an air raid on 25 September 1940, at Richard Thomas’ Steel Works. He died at Llanelly Hospital on 26 September 1940, aged 35, and is buried at Llanelli. Austin is not named on the Dafen Memorial.
Harold John MacLean, Telegraphist, D/JX 211871, Royal Navy. Harold was the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. MacLean, of Dafen, and served with the Royal Navy aboard HM Yacht Rosabelle. She had been purchased into the RN in September 1939 as an armed boarding vessel, and operated in the Mediterranean. Harold died when Rosabelle was sunk by the German submarine U-374 off Gibraltar on 11 December 1941. He was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.
Harry Morgan, Able Seaman, C/JX 185145, Royal Navy. Harry was the son of Daniel and Alice Morgan, and the husband of Phyllis Doreen Morgan, of Dafen. He served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Avenger, which was an American lend-lease aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in 2 March 1942 and served with Convoy PQ 18, before participating in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. Harry was one of 538 men who died when Avenger was sunk by the German submarine U 155, as she was heading back from Africa to the Clyde on 15 November 1942. Harry was 25 years old, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. Harry is not named on the Dafen Memorial.
R. Morgan. This man cannot presently be identified.
Hugh Vaughan Morgan, Leading Aircraftman, 1709011, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Hugh was the son of Thomas and Jane Morgan, of Llanelly, and served with the Royal Air Force. The squadron that he served with is not recorded, but Hugh died on 20 September 1945, and is buried at Cambrai (Route Des Solesmes) Communal Cemetery, France. He was 22 years old.
Ernest Thomas Rees, MID, Sergeant (Cadet Pilot), 524559, Royal Air Force. Ernest was the son of Ernest Graham and Lucie Rees, and the husband of Peggy Rees, of Dafen. Ernest was training as a Pilot in Zimbabwe when he was killed in an air crash on 14 May 1943. He was 27 years old, and is buried at Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery, Zimbabwe. At some time during the war Ernest was Mentioned in Despatches. Ernest is not named on the Dafen Memorial.
David Stanley Richards, Flight Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.), 1314457, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. David was the son of William Emrys and Annie Richards, of Llanelly, and the husband of Elma Doreen Richards, of Llanelly. He served as a Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner with 207 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the Avro Lancaster I, based at RAF Spilsby. David died when his Lancaster was shot down over Germany during a raid on the morning of 12 September 1944. He was 21 years old, and is buried alongside his fellow crewmen at Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.
Mervyn John Rees Ryan, Sergeant, 1386032, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Mervyn was the son of David Ryan, and of Esther Mary Ryan, of Llanelly, and served with the Royal Air Force. Mervyn trained as a Pilot aboard an Airspeed Oxford, at Alberta, Canada, before returning to Britain to take up a posting. Mervyn was reported as missing on 12 July 1943. It was not until May 1944 that he was reported as being believed killed on that date. He was 21 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
Harry Verdun Simon, Sergeant, 3962637, Welch Regiment. Harry was the son of William and Roseanna Simon, of Dafen. He served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was the local Territorial battalion, attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. Harry married Iris Joyce Hille, of Belmont, Kent while the battalion was based there in 1943. The division landed in Normandy at the end of June 1944, and took part in the break out from the Normandy beach-head and the subsequent drive through northern France into Belgium and Holland. Harry was killed during the clearing of Oosterhout on 11 October 1944, aged 28. He is buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands.
J. Thomas. This man cannot presently be identified.
Ronald James Thompson, Private, 14541770, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey). Ronald was the son of William John and Mary Ann Thompson, of Llanelly, and the husband of Catherine Hilda Thompson, of Dafen. He served with the 2/5th Battalion, Queen’s Royal Regiment. Ronald fought initially during the North African campaign. The battalion then took part in the invasion of Italy in 1943. Ronald was killed in Italy on 18 January 1944. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Minturno War Cemetery, Italy.
Leslie Williams, Gunner, 2036598, Royal Artillery. Leslie was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Williams of Dafen, and the husband of Margaret Williams, of Freckleton, Lancashire. He served with 216 Battery, 70 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. The battery fought in India during the war, and it was there that Leslie was killed on 17 May 1943. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Kirkee War Cemetery, India.