Peniel is a small village situated on the A485 road from Carmarthen to Lampeter, about three miles north of Carmarthen. Peniel Chapel contains within its grounds a marble war memorial in the form of an obelisk, which commemorates the eight men of the village who fell during the Great War and the one man who fell during World War Two. The photograph of the memorial has been kindly supplied by Dai Phillips.
The Great War, 1914-1918
William Lloyd Davies, Second Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. William was born on 3 April 1894, the son of John George Davies, and Mary Davies, of Coombe Park, Peniel. He was educated at Carmarthen Grammar School, before passing into the University of London, and joined the Artists Rifles in November 1915. William was then commissioned on 7 July 1916, and joined the 13th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Belgium in August. The battalion was rebuilding after its mauling at Mametz Wood, and was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division was in the trenches at Boesinghe when William joined them, and remained here until launching their assault on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. William was killed during the attack on Pilckem that day, and was reportedly buried at Caesars Nose Cemetery. He now lies in Dragoon Camp Cemetery, Belgium. He was 23 years old.
John Griffiths, Sergeant, 13126, Welsh Regiment. John lived at Brynhyfryd, Peniel, and was the son of David Griffiths, of the Post Office, Bronwydd Arms. He enlisted at Tumble into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The battalion crossed to France on 18 July 1915, and moved with the division 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. 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, aged 23. He is buried at Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-Au-Bois.
Walter James, Private, 203066, South Lancashire Regiment. Walter was the son of Thomas and Rachel James, of Llettywithig, Peniel. The family later resided at Wauniago, Picton Place, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Llanelli into the 2/4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, part of 172 Brigade, 57th Division. The Division landed at Boulogne on 6 February 1917, moving to the ‘Nursery Sector’ around Armentieres. Sadly Walter was wounded at Armentieres, and Died of Wounds on 19 April 1917 aged 32. He is buried at Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery.
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 army, and at some time during 1916 was posted to the 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, which was in France attached to 139 Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. 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, aged 27. He is buried at Ramicourt British Cemetery, France.
William Alcwyn Lewis, Private, 2381989, Canadian Infantry. William was born on 4 January 1883, the son of John and Elizabeth Lewis, of Peniel Cottage, Rhydargaeau. He had emigrated to Canada prior to the war, and resided at 268, Spence Street, Winnipeg. William had enlisted in 1917, but was called up on 17 April 1918, joining the 96th Battalion (Canadian Highlanders), Canadian Infantry. William didn’t serve overseas. He became ill and died on 21 January 1919, aged 36, and is buried at Montreal (Mount Royal) Cemetery, Canada.
John Rees Morgan, Private, 2118, Welsh Guards. John was the son of David and Rachel Morgan, of Peniel Road, Carmarthen. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which was raised in February 1915, and moved to France in August 1915, attached to 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The Welsh Guards saw their first major action during the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, and remained in the area during the coming months. 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. The Guards stayed on the Somme over the winter, and it was here that John was killed, on 10 December 1916, aged 29. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Dan Ivor Price, Private, 40048, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Dan was born at Abergwili, the son of David and Margaret Elizabeth Price. The family later resided at Chapel House, Peniel. He was educated at Carmarthen Grammar School. Dan enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, part of 22 Brigade, 7th Division. On 7 October 1914 the Division landed at Zeebrugge, but were too late to prevent the city falling, and moved to Ypres, where they took part in the First Battle of Ypres, saving the City from the Germans. They fought at Neuve Chapelle, Loos and on the Somme, capturing Mametz Village, before spending the winter of 1916/17 on the Somme, at the Ancre. Dan was Killed in Action on the Ancre aged just 20, on 26 February 1917. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
David Richards, Ordinary Seaman, J/47681, Royal Navy. David was born at Llanllawddog on 29 January 1891, the son of John and Elizabeth Richards. By 1901 the family had moved to Harpley Green, Clifton on Ferme, Worcester. David had returned to Peniel by the outbreak of war and enlisted into the Royal Navy on 16 December 1915. After training at HMS Victory he was posted aboard the battleship H.M.S. Invincible, which was attached to the 1st Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet. The Invincible saw action at the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, before taking part in the famous Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. She took a direct hit from a salvo from the SMS Lutzow, blowing up with the loss of over 1,000 of her crew, including 25 year old David. He is commemorated alongside his crewmates on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire.
World War Two, 1939-1945
James Glyn Davies, Flying Officer, 175652, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. James was the son of Thomas and Mary Davies, of Carmarthen, and the husband of Hannah May Davies, of Carmarthen. He served with 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a heavy bomber unit, equipped with the Avro Lancaster III, based at RAF Kirmington. James was killed when his Lancaster Mark III, Serial LM722 was shot down while returning from a raid on Germany on 24 September 1944. He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.