Gartheli is situated about six miles north of Lampeter, in the centre of the county, about two miles south-west of Llangeitho, and next to the village of Llwynygroes. The men of the Parish who fell during both World Wars are commemorated on the Parish War Memorial, which is situated at St Gartheli Church. Many thanks to Mike Berrell for the photographs of the memorials.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Daniel Meurig Davies, MM, Private, 91673, Durham Light Infantry. Daniel was the son of David and Margaret Davies, of Taincwm, Gartheli, Felinfach. He was senior scholar of St. John’s College School, Ystrad Meurig prior to the war, and enlisted at Aberystwyth on 23 December 1916 into the Pembroke Yeomanry. After four months on the reserve, Daniel was posted to the Welsh Regiment, before being drafted to France in April 1918, and joining the 15th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, which was attached to 64 Brigade, 21st Division. The division was one of the units hit by the German Spring Offensive on the Somme in March 1918, fighting at the Battle of St Quentin and the First Battle of Bapaume, before being evacuated to Flanders to rest. Unluckily though, the Germans launched a fresh offensive on the Lys in April 1918, and the division was caught up in the thick of the fighting again. The battered division now moved south to rebuild, but again was unlucky, as the Germans launched a fresh offensive on the Chemin-des-Dames, and the division was caught up in the action again, fighting in the Battle of the Aisne. During August 1918 onwards the Division they took part in the great offensive which ended the war. Daniel was wounded during the Battle of the St Quentin Canal, and was evacuated to the 65th Field Ambulance, where he died of his wounds on 6 October 1918, aged 19. Daniel is buried at Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand, France. He had won the Military Medal prior to his death.
Evan James Davies, Second Lieutenant, Welsh Guards. Evan was probably born in 1900, the son of Roderick and Mary Davies, of Gartheli. The family later moved to London, and Evan enlisted there into the 28th Battalion, London Regiment (Artists Rifles) OTC. He was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, and served with them in France from 3 October 1917. The Welsh Guards were attached to the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division, and Evan would have taken part in the Battle of Cambrai soon after joining them. They remained in the area over the final winter of the war, and were stationed near Gouzeaucourt when the German Spring Offensive hit the area on 21 March 1918, at the Battle of St Quentin. On the night of 27 March 1918, the Welsh Guards moved into the front line to relieve the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, at Boyelles. On the following morning, 28 March 1918, the Germans launched a fresh assault on the Welsh Guards positions, and it was whilst trying to repel this attack that Evan was killed. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
Roderick Lewis Davies, Sergeant, 33943, Devonshire Regiment. Roderick was the son of Stephen Lewis Davies and Ann Davies, of Pantyrhwchfawr, Llangybi. He resided at Bridgend prior to the war, and enlisted at Cardiff into the 5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He had been promoted to Colour Sergeant prior to being transferred into the 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, which was in France attached to 23 Brigade, 8th Division. Roderick probably joined the battalion after its exploits on the Somme in 1916. In March 1917 the division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and later that year moved to Ypres, fighting at the Battle of Pilckem, and the Battle of Langemarck. In March 1918 the Division was on the southern end of the Somme, and here met the German Offensive head on, seeing terrible fighting before being withdrawn from the line to rest. However, the chosen rest area was soon to be hit by a German attack on their new positions on the Aisne, and fought at the Battle of the Aisne. After the Germans were stopped here, the Division moved to Arras, and took part in the Battle of the Scarpe, and then at the Final Advance in Artois and the Capture of Douai. Roderick was wounded around Douai, and was evacuated to hospital at Etaples where he died on 14 November 1918. He was 27 years old, and is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery, France.
Hughie Lodwick Maldwyn Ellis, Second Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Hughie was born at Porth, Glamorgan, on 26 July 1888, the son of the Reverend Evan Lodwick Ellis and Elizabeth Elinor Ellis, of Gartheli, and later of Ysceifiog. He was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers in September 1916, and joined the 2nd Battalion in France, where it was attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division. Hughie saw his first major action with the battalion at Bullecourt in May 1917, but was wounded there on 5 May 1917, and evacuated to Achiet-le-Grand, where he died later that day. Hughie was 28 years old, and is buried in Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Stephen John Jones, Private, 2672, Welsh Regiment. Stephen was the son of John and Mary Jones, of Tynfronisaf, Gartheli. He was a regular soldier, and served with the 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment. At the outbreak of war the battalion was at Chakrata, India, attached to Dehra Dun Brigade in Meerut Division. It returned to England, landing at Plymouth on 22 December 1914, becoming attached to 84 Brigade, 28th Division at Hursley Park. Stephen landed at Le Havre with the battalion on 18 January 1915, and the entire division moved to Ypres, being bussed to the Hill 60 sector. Stephen was killed in action just a month later, at The Bluff on 20 February 1915, aged 32. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. There is a Memorial to him at Abermeurig Chapel.
Griffith Owen, Private, 60045, Welsh Regiment. Griffith was the son of Griffith and Elizabeth Owen, of Penbrynlas, Talsarnau, Merioneth, and the husband of Elizabeth Owen, of Maesyfforest, Llangybi. He enlisted at Lampeter into the army, and was posted to France early in 1918, joining the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. Griffith possibly joined the division at Armentieres, at around the time of its move to the Somme in April 1918. The division took up the line north of Albert, facing the valley of the River Ancre, and from here launched its famous assault across the Ancre on 21 August 1918, which began its part in the advance to victory. Griffith was killed during the Battle of Épehy on 18 September 1918, aged 27. He is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Jenkin Davies, Corporal, 6145491, Lincolnshire Regiment. Jenkin was the son of David and Catherine Davies, of Wenallt, Llangeitho. He served with the 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment during the campaign in India and Burma, against the Japanese. Jenkin was killed in Burma on 17 February 1944. He is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Burma. The photograph below is courtesy of Tony Beck.
Evan Ancre Jones, Lance Corporal, 2075386, Royal Engineers. Evan was the son of David Jones and of Jane Jones, of Aberystwyth. He served with the Royal Engineers in the Mediterranean, and was serving with the British Forces in Greece, during the time of the German invasion of the country. Evan was killed in Greece on 24 April 1941. He was 22 years old, and is commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Greece.