Llanfarian is located about two miles south of Aberystwyth, and lies above the banks of the river Ystwyth in the Ystwyth Valley. The men of the village who fell during both world wars are commemorated on a granite obelisk, with a separate granite plaque, which names the WW2 fallen, and is situated on a junction adjoining the A487.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Alexander Rees Davies, Private, 55547, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Alexander was born at Llanychaiarn in 1882, the son of Edward and Ellen Davies. He was a plasterer prior to the war, and enlisted at Aberystwyth into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1914. Alexander was posted to France in 1916, joining the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. By then the battalion was attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division, which had moved to France during November 1915, and saw its first major action during the Battles of the Somme, from July 1916 onwards. Alexander was wounded on the Somme, and had made his way back home through the chain of Casualty Clearing Stations and hospitals. He died of his wounds at Netley Military Hospital on 25 February 1917, aged 34, and is buried at Llanychaiarn (St. Llwchaian) Churchyard.
Cyril Thomas Morris Davies, Captain, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Cyril was the son of Morris and Mary Laura Davies, of Llanllwchaiarn. He had enlisted as a Private into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the outbreak of war, and was commissioned in the field on 18 September 1915, joining the 6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The battalion was attached to 143 Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division. The Division saw its first major engagement at the opening of the Battle of the Somme, holding the line between Gommecourt and Serre. Cyril was killed in action on the opening day of the Battle, on 1 July 1916. He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
John Jenkin Davies, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 320157, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of John and Anne Davies, of Frondeg Farm, Llanfarian, and the husband of Elizabeth Davies, of 32, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth. He had enlisted into the Pembroke Yeomanry several years prior to the war, and after mobilisation, moved to Norfolk with the regiment. During March 1916 the 1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry moved to Egypt, where it merged with the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade and formed the 4th Dismounted Brigade. On 2 February 1917 it merged with the 1/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry to form the 24th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, and became attached to 231 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. The Division had formed in Egypt in January 1917 and had fought through the Palestinian Campaign, at the Battles of Gaza and the Battle and capture of Jerusalem. Due to the terrible casualties suffered by the British on the Western Front in March and April 1918 the Division was recalled to the Western Front, and arrived at Marseilles during May 1918. They then fought at the Second Battle of Bapaume during the great offensive, and fought in Flanders before returning to the Somme and fighting at the Battle of Épehy, as part of the offensive towards the Hindenburg Line. They then fought in the final advance in Artois. John was killed in action here on 20 October 1918, when the 24th Welsh was moving into the village of Lamain. He was 42 years old, and is buried at Lamain Communal Cemetery, Belgium. The photographs are courtesy of John Rhys Davies.
Morgan Hugh Davies, Private, 42187, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Morgan was the son of John and Mary Davies, of Aberaeron, and the brother of Lewis Davies, of Penrhyw, Llanfarian. He originally enlisted into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment in August 1914, and had served at Gallipoli with the battalion before being invalided home. After recovering, he was posted to France on 7 June 1916, and served with the 4th (Garrison) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, before joining the 13th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 12 June 1917, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. Morgan joined the battalion at the Canal Bank at Boesinghe, and was killed in action during the division’s famous assault on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917, aged 31. Morgan is buried in Dragoon Camp Cemetery, Belgium. He does not appear to be commemorated locally.
Evan David Edwards, Private, 64068, Machine Gun Corps. Evan was born at Tregaron in 1897, the son of Elizabeth Edwards. Elizabeth was widowed by 1911, and lived with Evan at Shop Dyffryn, Llanbadarn. Evan enlisted at Aberystwyth into the South Wales Borderers on 13 December 1915. He went to France on 10 July 1917, where he was posted to the 228th Company, Machine Gun Corps, which was attached to the 39th Division. He joined the Company at Ypres. Evan was only with his new unit for two weeks, before he was wounded. He died of his wounds at Poperinghe on 24 July 1917, aged just 19, and is buried at Gwalia Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium.
Thomas David Foulkes, Sergeant, 2766, Machine Gun Corps (Motors). Thomas was the son of Honor Foulkes, of Rhydyfelin. He worked as a bootmaker prior to the war, and enlisted at Perth into the Royal Highlanders. Thomas was then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, and attached to the 10th Battery, which was a motorised unit. He was killed in action on 31 August 1916, aged 25, and is buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Thomas does not appear to be commemorated locally.
William Lionel Phillips Griffith-Jones, MC, Second Lieutenant, Durham Light Infantry. William was born at Aberllolwyn Hall, Llanfarian on 13 November 1889, the son of Griffith Jones, JP, and Annie Jones. He was educated at University College School, London, and became Assistant Manager of the Bukit Mertajam Rubber Co. Ltd., Kulim, Kedah, Straits Settlements prior to the war. William returned to England after the outbreak of war and was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. He was posted to France, joining the 2nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, which was attached to 18 Brigade, 6th Division, and became Bombing Officer in the battalion. He was awarded the Military Cross in March 1916 (see the Ceredigion Heroes PDF). William was accidentally wounded following the premature bursting of a bomb (grenade) on 12 July 1916, and died of his wounds later that day, aged 25. He is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium. He does not appear to be commemorated locally as the family moved to London around the turn of the century. His brother Melville also served as an officer and was taken PoW on 21 March 1918.
Henry Morgan Jones, Private, 1380, Welsh Guards. Henry was born at Llanbadarn in 1890, the son of Mary Hughes. Mary later resided at Tancoed, Llanfarian. Henry enlisted at Bridgend into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which had been raised by Royal Warrant of 26 February 1915, at White City. On 18 August 1915 the Welsh Guards landed at Havre, joining the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division, and saw their first action at the Battle of Loos. In the summer of 1916 the Guards moved south to the Somme, where they fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. Henry was killed in action here on 10 September 1916. He was 26 years old, and is buried at London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, France.
Daniel Owen Lewis, Private, 27083, Canadian Infantry. Daniel was born on 22 January 1888, the son of David and Mary Lewis, of 62, Clydach Road, Blaenclydach. He resided at Brynglas, Chancery, Aberystwyth with his brother, John prior to the war, before emigrating to Canada. Daniel enlisted at Valcartier on 18 September 1914 into the 15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (48th Highlanders). The battalion embarked at Quebec on 3 October 1914 aboard SS Megantic, disembarking in England on 14 October 1914. The battalion disembarked in France on 14 February 1915, becoming part of 3rd Canadian Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. The Division saw its first major action during the Second Battle of Ypres. Daniel was wounded at Ypres, and died of his wounds on 24 May 1915, aged 27. Daniel is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. His brother John also fell.
John David Lewis, Gunner, 88713, Royal Field Artillery. John was the son of David and Mary Lewis, of 62, Clydach Road, Blaenclydach. He resided at Brynglas, Chancery, Aberystwyth with his brother, Daniel prior to the war. John enlisted into the Royal Artillery, and landed in France on 20 May 1915 attached to C Battery, 50th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 9th (Scottish) Division. The Division saw its first major action during the Battle of Loos in September 1915. During 1916 the Division saw much fighting throughout the Battle of the Somme, and in 1917 fought at the Battle of Arras and at the Third Battle of Ypres. In November 1917 the Division moved to Cambrai, and fought at the Action of Welsh Ridge. In March 1918 the Division was still in the Cambrai area, and was one of the Divisions hit there by the German Spring Offensive, fighting at the Battle of St Quentin, and the First Battle of Bapaume. After suffering terrible casualties the Division were moved to Flanders to rebuild, but the Germans launched another offensive there during April 1918, and the Division then took part in the Battles of the Lys. From August 1918 the Division took part in the Advance in Flanders, where they took part in the Action of Outtersteene Ridge, fighting in the subsequent Battle of Ypres. John was wounded during the great offensive, and was evacuated to the military hospital at Wimille, where he died of his wounds on 29 October 1918, aged 25. John is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France. His brother Daniel also fell.
David Morgan Stephens, Private, G33866, Middlesex Regiment. David was born at Llanbadarn in 1895, the son of James and Elizabeth Stephens. David had worked as a carpenter with his father prior to the war, but at some time had moved to Middlesex to work. He enlisted there into the Middlesex Regiment, and was posted to France in 1916, joining the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, which was by then attached to 98 Brigade, 33rd Division. The Division moved to France during November 1915, and saw its first major action during the Battles of the Somme, from July 1916 onwards. They then fought at the Battle of the Scarpe and at Bullecourt, before heading to Ypres, and fighting at the Menin Road and at Polygon Wood. David was killed in action at Polygon Wood on 24 September 1917. He was 22 years old, and is today buried at Tyne Cot Military Cemetery, Belgium.
William David Stephens, Gunner, 156560, Royal Garrison Artillery. William was born at Llanbadarn in 1887, the son of W. and S. Stephens, of Aberystwyth. He married in 1910, and by 1911 had moved to Harcourt Street, London with his wife Elizabeth, where he worked as a dairyman. William enlisted at Hammersmith into the Royal Artillery, and was posted to France with 265th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, which had formed at Hartlepool on 28 September 1916. By the summer of 1917 the Battery had moved to Ypres, where it supported the Allied assault during the Third Battle of Ypres. William was wounded here, probably by German counter-battery fire, and died of his wounds on 15 September 1917. He was 30 years old, and is buried at The Huts Cemetery, Belgium. His bereaved widow, Elizabeth, moved back to 56, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Richard Parry James, Sub-Lieutenant (A), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Richard was the son of James Morgan James and Mary James, of New Cross, Aberystwyth. He served with the Royal Navy at HMS Lanka, the Royal Naval shore establishment at Ceylon. Richard was killed here during the Japanese invasion of the Far East, on 13 March 1943. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire.
Frederick George Meyrick, MM, MID, Private, T/134823, Royal Army Service Corps. Frederick was the son of Francis and Mary Meyrick, of Selatyn, Shropshire. He was a Coachman, and was residing at Lampeter by 1911. Frederick served with distinction during the Great War, being awarded the Military Medal, and being Mentioned in Despatches twice, whilst serving with the Army Service Corps. Frederick married after being demobilised, and resided at Llanfarian with his wife, Margaret Anne Meyrick. He rejoined the colours at the outbreak of WW2, and served with the Royal Army Service Corps. Frederick died at Thanet, Kent on 31 December 1939, whilst on active service. He was 53 years old, and is buried at Bettws Bledrws (St. Bledrws) Churchyard.
Michael John Pugh, Captain, 121680, Royal Artillery. Michael was born on 29 September 1918, the son of Lt.-Col. Archibald John Pugh, and of Marion Fraser Pugh, of Whitchurch, Hampshire. He was commissioned from the Cadets on 24 February 1940 into the Royal Artillery, and served in the North African campaign, and the subsequent invasion of Italy. Michael was killed at Anzio on 3 June 1944. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy. Michael is commemorated on a brass plaque inside Eglwys y Plwyf.
Thomas Glyn Roberts, Gunner, 1717208, Royal Artillery. Thomas was the son of William and Priscilla Roberts, and the husband of E. M. Roberts, of Aberystwyth. He served with 239 Battery, 77 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. The battery was a Welsh unit, and was sent to the Far East, where it was captured by the Japanese in Java, whilst covering the evacuation of allied ships, containing servicemen and civilians. In January 1943 the men were transported to Singapore, and incarcerated at Changi Jail, before the men were distributed to various POW camps in Thailand and Burma. Thomas died as a POW on 8 November 1944. He was 33 years old, and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, Singapore.