The Memorial to the Postal Workers from Llanelli and District who fell during both World Wars is located at the old Post Office at St. John’s Street, Llanelli. This page commemorates the men on the memorial, the majority of which have been positively identified. The photograph of the memorial was kindly sent in by Lisa Voyle. The John Street Post Office closed in July 2019, and the war memorial was moved from there to Llanelli Sorting Office. The sorting office also contains another war memorial, with the same names on, but in the form of a wooden plaque with more detail.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Albert Owen Davies, Signaller, Z/1094, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Albert was born on 22 August 1882, the son of William and Jane Davies, of 3, New Street, Burry Port. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1904. Albert enlisted into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 25 May 1915 and was initially posted to the Royal Naval Division before being posted to HMS Pembroke I. He was based at Woolwich when he was killed during an accident on 2 December 1917, aged 29. His remains were conveyed back home and he was buried with full military honours in Burry Port (Tabernacle) Baptist Chapelyard. The CWGC record that he served aboard HMS Paladin, which was an M-Class destroyer, but his service and casualty papers state that he was at Woolwich.
Ivor Griffiths, Private, 241790, Welsh Regiment. Ivor was the son of Griffith and Hannah Griffiths, of Henfaes, Glanyrafon Road, Pontarddulais. He worked as a Postman prior to enlisting at Pontarddulais into the 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the Pontypridd area Territorial Battalion, attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division moved to the Mediterranean in July 1915, and landed on Gallipoli on 9 August. Here the Division was immediately thrown into action, and spent the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair, and then at the Attack on Scimitar Hill. The Division remained here throughout the coming months, and suffered severe losses in manpower strength during the great November 1915 blizzard on Gallipoli, when its total strength was reduced to less than that of a full-strength Brigade. On 11 December 1915 the Division was evacuated to Mudros, and by 23 December 1915 were moved to Egypt. They remained on the Suez Canal Defences for the next twelve months, and in early 1917 moved into Palestine, where the Welsh took part in the First Battle of Gaza. Ivor was killed here on 26 March 1917, aged 25, and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.
William John Jones, Corporal, 371436, London Regiment. William was the son of William and Hannah Jones, of 13, Andrew Street, Llanelli. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1910, enlisted at Llanelli into the army at the outbreak of war. William was posted to France with the 8th Battalion, London Regiment, which was known as the Post Office Rifles. On 18 March 1915 the battalion landed at Le Havre, and two months later its formation was renamed 140 Brigade, 47th (2nd London) Division. The Division fought at the Battle of Aubers, and the Battle of Festubert during May 1915 and in September fought at the Battle of Loos, and subsequent Action of Hohenzollern Redoubt. They were north of Arras when the Germans attacked Vimy Ridge on 21 May 1916, and William was killed that day. He was 25 years old, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
Sydney Stevenson Preston, Private, 3889, Welsh Regiment. Sydney was the son of Ernest John Preston and Ellen Preston, of Downing Street, Llanelli. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1913, and at the outbreak of war enlisted at Llanelli into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Battalion, attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The Division landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 9 August 1915, and was immediately thrown into action, spending the next few days in isolated pockets, fighting against a Turkish counter-attack during the Battle of Sari Bair. Sydney was wounded at Gallipoli, and evacuated to the Hospital at Malta, where he died on 12 October 1915. He was 18 years old, and is buried at Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta. His father had served as a Sergeant with the 2/4th Welsh.
David Charles Pritchard, Private, 8443, Welsh Regiment. David was the son of David and Mary Ann Pritchard, of Cardiff. He was an army reservist, and was working at Llanelli Post Office by 1912. David rejoined the army at Merthyr at the outbreak of war and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion moved to France at the outbreak of war, attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division, and took part in almost every major engagement thereafter. David was taken prisoner by the Germans at some time during the war, and was taken to a POW Camp in Germany. He became ill, and died in captivity on 9 April 1918, aged 31, and is buried at Berlin South-Western Cemetery, Germany.
Alfred Thomas Reece, Corporal, 222280, Labour Corps. Alfred was the son of Thomas and Sarah Reece, of Ivy Cottage, Stapleton, Salop. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1913, after leaving the army, and at the outbreak of war re-enlisted at Shrewsbury into the 1st Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Alfred was wounded at some time and returned home for a spell to recuperate. He married Annie May Overton, of 2, Park Terrace, Dorrington, Salop in the summer of 1917 before returning to France attached to the 209th Employment Company, Labour Corps. Alfred was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai, and died at Manancourt on 8 December 1917, aged 31. He is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, France. Annie remarried, and died in 1933.
John Rees, Corporal, 11454, Grenadier Guards. John was the son of David and Ann Rees, of Reform Cottage, Bryncrug, Towyn, Merioneth. He had served during the Boer War of 1899-1902 prior to moving to Llandybie to work for the post office, and re-enlisted at Aberystwyth into the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards. In September 1914 they transferred to 20 Brigade, 7th Division, and landed at Zeebrugge on 6 October to assist in the Defence of Antwerp. However, by the time they arrived, the City was falling, and so they moved to Ypres, becoming the first British troops to occupy the City. They successfully helped repel the German attacks of First Ypres, then moved south, taking part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, and it was here that John was Killed in action, sometime between 10 to 14 March 1915. He was 32 years old and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg L’Avoue, France.
William John Richards, Rifleman, 485024, London Regiment. William was the son of Richard and Elizabeth Richards, of 53, Stepney Place, Llanelli. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1911, and on 8 December 1915 enlisted at Llanelli into the 8th Battalion, London Regiment, which was known as the Post Office Rifles. William was posted to France on 18 March 1917, where he joined the 12th Battalion (The Rangers), London Regiment, which was attached to 168 Brigade, 56th (London) Division. He joined the battalion on the Somme, in time to take part in the advance to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 and the ensuing Battle of Arras. William was wounded here during the Third Battle of the Scarpe on 12 May, after being shot in the head, and was evacuated to the Base Hospital at Etaples for treatment. He died on 27 May 1917, aged 24, and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, France.
Adolphus Thomas, Private, 2591, Welsh Guards. Adolphus was the son of Lewis and Mary Thomas, of White Lion Hotel, Llandeilo. He was the local postman at Llandeilo prior to joining the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1909. Adolphus enlisted at Ammanford into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards on 9 December 1915. The Welsh Guards were raised after the Royal Warrant of 26 February 1915. After being formed, they became part of the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division, which was formed in France in August, 1915. Their first taste of battle was at Loos, and they then moved to Ypres to rebuild their strength after the fierce fighting there. The Guards remained here until July 1916, when the Division moved to the Somme, and fought at the Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval. The Guards followed the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917. They then moved to Ypres, prior to taking part in the Battle of Third Ypres. Adolphus was wounded by multiple shrapnel wounds while the Welsh Guards were in the line at Ypres. He died of wounds that same day, on 15 July 1917, aged 26. Adolphus is buried at Canada Farm Cemetery, Belgium. His brother was also serving with the colours in Salonika.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Daniel Gwyn James, Sergeant, 1419008, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Daniel served with the Royal Air Force, and had been posted to 16 Operational Training Unit. On 27 November 1943, he was flying aboard a Vickers Wellington, Serial BJ823, which took off from Culworth on a training flight. Less than quarter of an hour later, the Wellington crashed, killing all five men aboard. Daniel was 21 years old, and is buried in Llanelli (Box) Cemetery.
Griffith John Jones, Trooper, 7922755, Royal Tank Regiment. Griffith was the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Jones, of Brynamman, and served with the Royal Armoured Corps, in their 47th (Oldham), Royal Tank Regiment. The Battalion had been formed by the conversion of a Battalion of the Manchester Regiment’s Infantry to an armoured Battalion in 1938, and formed part of the Territorial Army. They fought in the Western Desert during the Battles of El Alamein in 1942, which is where Griffith was killed in action on the 27 October 1942. He was 32 years old and is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.
Ronald Porter Lloyd, Corporal, 1897209, Royal Engineers. Ronald was the son of George Robert Nelson Lloyd and Elizabeth Lloyd, of 8, White Street, Swansea. Ronald joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1939, and joined the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war. Ronald was posted to the 8th Armoured Brigade Headquarters during the Battle of Normandy, and died while serving as part of the army of occupation in Germany on 5 October 1945, aged 35. Ronald is buried at Celle War Cemetery, Germany.
Edmund Toulmin Rees, Sergeant, 1653111, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Edmund was born on 23 September 1923, the son of Ernest Morgan Rees and Sarah Jane Rees (nee Toulmin), of Bynea. His father had served with the Welsh Regiment during the Great War, but Edmund decided on joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and was posted to North Africa with 78 Operational Training Unit. He was killed in Libya on 3 November 1944, aged 21, possibly during the crash of a Douglas Baltimore V. Edmund is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Libya. (The Memorial shows Sergeant Pilot E.T. Rees, and either of these two men could be the correct person).
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. On 17 March 1941 war Ernest was Mentioned in Despatches. (The Memorial shows Sergeant Pilot E.T. Rees, and either of these two men could be the correct person).
John Edgar West, Sergeant, 1254233, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was the son of James William West and Una Mabel West (nee Slater), of Llanelli. He joined the staff of Llanelli Post Office in 1937, and at the outbreak of war enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. After training as a Navigator, John was posted to 97 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a heavy bomber unit, equipped with the Avro Lancaster I, based at R.A.F. Woodhall Spa. John was a veteran of at least nine missions as part of the crew of Lancaster R5575, Serial OF-L. On the night of 17 January 1943, the Lancaster took off from Woodhall Spa bound for Germany. The aircraft failed to return the following morning, and was posted at missing on 18 January 1943. No trace of the aircraft was ever found, and it was presumed to have crashed into a canal in Holland, where one of the bodies of the crew was found. John, like the remainder of his crew, was posted as missing presumed killed on that day. He was 22 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.