The rural town of Llanybydder lies on the main road from Carmarthen to Lampeter. The War Memorial in Llanybydder is sited on the cross-road in the centre of the Village, alongside the main road to Lampeter. Fifteen men and one woman are commemorated on the War Memorial, and the names seem to be in no particular order with WW1 and WW2 mixed. Below are the details of the men, plus any others with links to the Village, who are not remembered on the War Memorial. These men are marked as such. None of these names has any useful details for identifying them. This makes research a bit more difficult than normal. After much head scratching, the following Roll of Honour for Llanybydder is as accurate as is possible at the moment, but any additional information is always welcome.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Isaac Davies, Private, 33756, Welsh Regiment. Isaac was the son of Isaac and Anne Davies, of Blaenina, Llanybydder. He was the Husband of Sarah Davies, of Trehyfryd House, Llandilo Road, Brynamman. Isaac enlisted at Brynamman into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. The Division fought at Gallipoli, before moving to Mesopotamia, where Isaac took ill. He died in India of sickness on 22 August 1916, aged 35 and is commemorated on the Kirkee Memorial, India.
William John Davies, Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force. William was the son of David and Mary Davies of Llanybydder. He had married prior to the war, and lived with his wife, Margaret Hamilton Davies, at 26, Station Road, Ystrad Mynach. William served with the Royal Air Force, at the E.P.D. Branch at Chingford. He died at home on 22 October 1920, aged 33, probably of illness or injury related to his war service, and is buried in Ystrad Mynach Churchyard. William is not commemorated at Llanybydder.
William Thomas Davies, Private, 57772, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of David and Martha Davies of Llygadenwyn, Llanybydder. He originally enlisted on 17 January 1918 into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but was later posted to the 24th Battalion, Welsh Regiment on 16 June 1918. The battalion had formed in Egypt attached to 231 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division, and had fought in Palestine before moving to the Western Front in May 1918. The division first moved to Northern France, but were then transferred to the Somme, where they took part in the push towards the Hindenburg Line. William was killed in action, aged just 18, on 7 September 1918. He is buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. The photograph of William is courtesy of Gareth Davies.
Alfred Evans, Private, 2754, Welsh Guards. Alfred was born at Llanycrwys on 14 June 1894, the son of Jenkin and Rachel Evans. The family later resided at 14, Rock Terrace, Aberaeron. He was educated at Lampeter, and later worked as an Agricultural Labourer, before enlisting in the Welsh Guards on 18 May 1916. Alfred missed the Somme Battles of 1916, as he didn’t arrive in France until December 1916, but he arrived on the Western Front in time to join the 1st Battalion at St. Quentin. He was wounded just three months after arriving at the front, on 12 March 1917. He returned to action, and fought at the Battle of Cambrai later that year, but was evacuated home to the General Hospital at Denmark Hill, London after being gassed at Cambrai in December 1917. Alfred sadly died of the effects of gas poisoning on 20 April 1918, and is buried at Rhydybont Congregational Chapelyard, Llanybydder. He is not commemorated at Llanybydder.
Thomas Davies Evans, Driver, 730701, Royal Field Artillery. Thomas was the son of Thomas and Sarah Evans, of Green Meadow, Llanybydder. He married prior to the war, and lived with his wife, Gwen Evans, at Glynteg, Whitchurch, Cardiff. Thomas enlisted into the 2nd Welsh Field Battery, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division fought at Gallipoli in 1915, then spent a year in Egypt, before taking part in the offensive into Palestine from March 1917 onwards. Thomas died of illness in Egypt, on 6 November 1918, aged 32, and is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Garfield Ivor Griffiths, Sapper, 448351, Royal Engineers. Garfield was born at Skewen in 1887. By 1891 he had been fostered by James Jones, of Waun, Llanybydder. Garfield trained as a cabinet maker, and at the outbreak of war enlisted into the Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers. Garfield had served with the 437th Field Company, Royal Engineers in the Palestinian campaign throughout 1917, attached to the 53rd Welsh Division. Garfield survived the war, but took ill, and died on 16 November 1918, aged 31. He is buried at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.
David Hughes, Private, 19019, South Wales Borderers. David was born at Llanfihangel, and was the husband of Dinah Hughes, of Tenby Cottage, Llanybydder. He enlisted at Ystradgynlais into the 5th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during July 1915, and moved to positions near Loos, where it took part in the opening attack of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. The following year the Division moved to the Somme, where it took part in the second wave of the attack on Ovillers-La Boiselle on 1 July, capturing the village at heavy cost. David was seriously wounded during the Battle, and was progressively worked home, through the various Casualty Clearing Stations and Base Hospitals in France. He died of his wounds at Bowood Hospital, Wiltshire, on 16 September 1916, aged 37, and is buried in Aberduar Welsh Baptist Chapelyard.
John Jones, Private, 27774, South Wales Borderers. John was born in Llanybydder, and enlisted at Seven Sisters, into the Devonshire Regiment. He was transferred to the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th Division. The Division fought at Gallipoli from August 1915 onwards, and upon being withdrawn to Egypt, moved to Mesopotamia. They were taking part in the Battle of the Hai Salient, when John was killed in action, on 15 February 1917. He is remembered on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.
John Rees Jones, Private, 203373, Welsh Regiment. Rees was the son of Rees and Elizabeth Jones (nee Evans), of Llanybydder. He resided at Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen prior to the war, and enlisted there into the army, and was posted to the 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was known as the Cardiff Pals battalion, and was in Salonika attached to 67 Brigade, 22nd Division. Here he was transferred into the 67th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, which was attached to the 22nd Division, and it was with these that Rees died, on 6 October 1918, aged 35. He is buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria.
Llewellyn Jones, Private, 39592, South Wales Borderers. Llewellyn was the son of David and Catherine Jones, of Henfaes, Llanybydder. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the army, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which had recently moved to France, attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. The Division were in positions at Beaumont Hamel, on the Somme in 1916, and the 2nd SWB took part in the opening assault of 1 July 1916 here, suffering heavy casualties. The Division rebuilt strength, and took part in the Battle of Le Transloy. Llewellyn was killed in action here, aged 22, on 21 October 1916. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
William Jones, Sapper, 113892, Royal Engineers. William was born at Dderwengam, Llanybydder. He worked as a Mason at Pengam prior to the war and married Gladys Margaret Rees on 7 July 1912. The couple resided at Tugela House, Elliott’s Town, New Tredegar, Mon, where their daughter Elizabeth Irene was born. The name of the house suggests that William was a Boer War Veteran. On 28 September 1915 William enlisted into the Royal Engineers, and was posted to Newark, before being posted to France on 20 December 1915. William was wounded by gunfire in France and was hospitalised at Manchester. He died in hospital at Manchester on 9 September 1917. William was 43 years old, and is buried at Manchester Southern Cemetery. William is not commemorated at Llanybydder.
Herbert Gladstone Ridge, Sapper, 915, Royal Engineers. Herbert was born at Manchester in 1886, the son of Alfred Ridge. By 1901 the family was living at Taunton, and it was probably there that Herbert joined the Great Western Railway. By 1911, Herbert was lodging at 1, Alma Road Avenue, Kingston, Bristol, working as a Piano Tuner. Prior to the outbreak of war, Herbert was living at 36, Gilbert Road, Llanelli, and was working for the Great Western Railway, based at Llanybydder. He enlisted at Llanelli on 24 July 1915 into the Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers, and was posted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, which was in Egypt. After a year on active service in Egypt, Herbert became ill, and returned home on 2 October 1916. He died at Taunton on 18 March 1918, aged 31, and was buried at Taunton (St. Mary’s) Cemetery. Herbert has only recently been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC, following my own research.
Benjamin James Rodney, Gunner, 30002, Royal Field Artillery. Benjamin was born at Prendergast, Haverfordwest, the son of Thomas and Ann Williams. He worked in the Great Western Railway Station at Llanybydder, and enlisted at Preston into the Royal Artillery. He was posted to A Battery, 77th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 16th (Irish) Division, and moved to France during December 1915. They saw their first major action during the Somme Offensive, at the Battle of Guillemont, and also fought at the Battle of Ginchy. By May 1917 the Division had moved to positions south of Ypres, where they fought at the Battle of Messines. Benjamin was wounded in July 1917, and was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station at Proven, where he died of his wounds on 29 July 1917, aged 23. He is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
T. A. Thomas. The memorial states that this man was 19 years old when he died, and resided at Y Fro. He cannot presently be identified.
John Thomas Walters, Private, 30568, South Wales Borderers. Thomas was born at Llanfihangel, the son of William and Anne Walters, and was the husband of Margaretta Walters, of Prospect House, Llanybydder. He enlisted locally into the army, and was posted to the 11th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which had been in France since December 1915, attached to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division fought at Mametz Wood in July 1916, and at Pilckem Ridge, at Ypres. After wintering around Armentieres, the Division moved to the Somme in April 1918. By now the 11th SWB had been disbanded, and formed into an entrenching battalion. They were still stationed near Armentieres when the Germans launched their assault on the Lys on 9 April 1918, and just two days later, John was killed in action, on 11 April 1918, during heavy fighting around Merville. John was 40 years old, and is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Daniel Thomas Williams, Gunner, 281268, Royal Garrison Artillery. Daniel cannot positively be identified, but is possibly this man. Daniel was born in Llangyfelach, and lived with his wife Hannah, at Neaudd Cottage, Llanybydder. He enlisted at Mountain Ash into the Royal Artillery, and was posted to the 26th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. The Battery was at Ypres in the summer of 1917, where they provided artillery fire for the Third Battle of Ypres. Daniel was killed in action on 4 October 1917, aged 44. He is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Islwyn Alban, Gunner, 1138909, Royal Artillery. Islwyn was the son of Thomas and Mary Alban, of 5, Waterloo Street, Llanelli. His parents moved back to their native Llanybydder at sometime before the war, and Islwyn married Elizabeth Jones, of Coedmor, Pencader, in 1942. Islwyn served with the 65th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, which had been in France in 1939 as part of the 44th Division of the BEF. The remnants of the 65th Field Regiment were among the thousands of British and French soldiers that were pulled off the beaches of Dunkirk during May and June, 1940. They were then sent to North Africa, and fought at the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein, and were disbanded in North Africa after El Alamein. The 65th Field Regiment, RA went on to serve in Italy, during the Landings at Anzio, and Islwyn was killed in action during the Battle of Anzio on 22 May 1944, during the Allied breakout of the Beach-Head. He was 29 years old, and he is buried in Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio. Islwyn is not commemorated at Llanybydder, but at Pencader.
Ann Joan Davies, Aircraftwoman 1st Class, 2076919, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Ann was the Daughter of Henry and Rosie Mary Davies, of Blaenpant, Llanllwni. Ann served as an Aircraftswoman with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and died on active service at Bristol on 15 August 1942, aged just 19. Ann is buried at Rhydybont Congregational Chapelyard.
Idris Davies, Private, 5387186, South Staffordshire Regiment. Idris was the son of the Revd. David Stephen Davies, and of Emily Davies, of Streatham Hill, London. He served with the 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. The battalion was based in Palestine at the outbreak of war, fought in the North African campaign in 1941. Idris was wounded in the desert, and died of his wounds in hospital on 13 January 1942. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
David Ronald Llewellyn Jones, Driver, T/198182, Royal Army Service Corps. David was the son of Llewelyn and Mary Hannah Jones, and the husband of Rachel Anne Jones of Llanybydder. He served with the Royal Army Service Corps. David died during the final stages of the war in Europe on 4 April 1945. He was 33 years old, and is buried at Lille Southern Cemetery, France.
Trevor Isaac Jones, MM, Lance Sergeant, 3970378, Welch Regiment. Trevor was the son of Llewelyn and Mary Hannah Jones, and the husband of Edith Jones, of Nebo. He served with the 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division was a Territorial unit, and served in Northern Ireland early in the war, before returning to England to train for the Normandy invasion. The Division landed at Normandy at the end of June 1944, and took part in the breakout from Normandy, and the resulting drive through France and Belgium into Holland. Trevor was awarded the Military Medal for bravery during the Normandy fighting, but was killed in Holland on 22 September 1944. He was 30 years old, and is buried at Valkenswaard War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Harold Anthony Murray, Battery Quartermaster Sergeant, 1396426, Royal Horse Artillery. Harold was the son of Percy Oswald Murray and Nancy Murray, and the husband of Elizabeth Anne Murray, of Llanybydder. He served with the 11th (Honourable Artillery Company) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. The regiment was sent to North Africa to take part in the Western Desert campaign. Harold had been taken prisoner by the Italians early in the campaign, and was among several hundred POW’s who were embarked onto the S.S. Ariosto, which set sail for Italy from North Africa. On 15 February 1942, Ariosto was torpedoed and sunk by the Royal Naval Submarine P-38, and 138 POW’s were lost. Harold was among the dead, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt. Harold does not seem to be commemorated locally.
William Lloyd Rees, Rifleman, 6916543, 7th Battalion, Rifle Brigade. William was the son of David and Mary Rees of Myrddin House, Llanybydder. He served with the 7th Battalion, Rifle Brigade. The Battalion formed part of the 61st Infantry Brigade, 6th Armoured Division, 8th Army, which had fought with great acclaim in North Africa, before taking part in the liberation of Italy. William saw heavy fighting with the division during its drive through Italy, taking part in the fighting at the Liri Valley, Arezzo, the advance to Florence, the attacks on the Gothic Line and the Argenta Gap. William was taking part in the fighting on the Italian Front when he was Killed in Action on 10 June 1944, aged 27. William is buried in Rome War Cemetery, Italy. The photograph of William is courtesy of Gary Rees.