Llansantffraid is situated just off the main A487 Coastal Road between Aberaeron and Aberystwyth, about eleven miles from Aberystwyth, near Llannon. The men of the Parish who fell during both World Wars are commemorated on two Memorial Panels which are located inside the Parish Church. Several men commemorated on the memorial were lost at sea but not through enemy action, so are not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Many thanks to Mike Berrell for the photographs of the memorials.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Evan Davies, Captain, Mercantile Marine. Evan was the husband of Elizabeth Davies, of Ontario, Llansantffraid. He had served with the Mercantile Marine for many years, and was a sea Captain. Evan died on 11 December 1916, aged 55. He was brought home for burial in Llansantffraid Churchyard. He was not a casualty of war, so is not commemorated by the CWGC.
Herbert Price Davies. Herbert was born in 1885, the son of Ellen Davies, of Dicoed, Llansantffraid. He died at home on 5 February 1917, aged 31. Nothing more can presently be traced of him, as he is not commemorated by the CWGC, but he was buried at Llansantffraid Churchyard.
William Timothy Davies, Private, 27401, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. William was born at Blaenplwydd, Llansantffraid in 1895, the son of Timothy John Davies and Elizabeth Davies. The family moved to London several years prior to the war, where they ran their own dairy business. William enlisted at Holborn, London on 21 April 1915 into the 18th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He landed in France on 15 April 1916, joining the Depot at Etaples, and on 14 May 1916 was posted to the 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was in Flanders attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. During June 1916 the Division marched south to the Somme, and on 7 July 1916 attacked Mametz Wood. The initial attack failed, and it was three days later, on 10 July, that a fresh attack was mounted. After two days of heavy hand to hand fighting within the wood, the Germans withdrew, and the battered Welshmen moved via Hebuterne to Boesinghe, on the Yser Canal, where it remained until launching its attack on Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917. The Division remained in the line, and also took part in the Battle of Langemarck, before the entire Division was moved to positions near Armentieres over the winter. William was killed in action here on 8 November 1917, aged 22. He is buried at Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, France.
David James Evans, First Mate, Mercantile Marine. David was the son of Evan Evans and Anne Evans, of Llanon, and the husband of Jane Evans (nee Davies), of Omia House, Llanon. He served with the Mercantile Marine aboard the SS Ballater, a Liverpool registered Merchant steamship. On 22 September 1917, she was on route from Bilbao to Middlesborough with a cargo of Iron Ore, when she was torpedoed and sunk about seven miles off Devon by the German submarine UB-40, with the loss of 19 lives. David was 30 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Jenkin Evans, Boatswain and Lamps, Mercantile Marine. Jenkin was the son of David and Anne Evans, of Priory House, Llanon. He served as Bosun aboard the S.S. Constantia, a London registered cargo steamer. On 8 May 1918 Constatia was en route from Newcastle to Rouen with a cargo of coal when she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-21 and sank off South Cheek, Robin Hood’s Bay, with the loss of three lives. Jenkin was 48 years old when he died that day and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. I have recently been kindly informed by Sue Rees that Jenkin is buried in Llansantffraed Churchyard, and recent research has discovered that his body was brought ashore at Whitby, and sent home for burial by his family. Jenkin is commemorated at Llanon Memorial Hall.
Charles Gutteridge, Private, Welsh Regiment. Charles lived at Rhydtorth Farm, and served with the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He is shown on the memorial as having been killed in France on 15 March 1915, aged 17. Only two men of the Welsh Regiment died that day, neither of which is Charles. His name does not in fact appear on the Welsh Regiment casualty roll, so Charles is for now somewhat of a mystery.
Walter Raymond Hicks, Private, 49758, Royal Fusiliers. Walter was the son of Ernest Walter and Mary Jane Hicks, of Albany House, Llanon. He resided at Highbury prior to the war, and enlisted at St Paul’s Churchyard, London into the Royal Fusiliers. At some time in 1916, Walter was posted to the 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, which was attached to 36 Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. By June 1916 the Division was in position at the Somme, and attacked Ovillers on 2 July. They fought at Pozieres and Le Transloy before being moved to the Arras area during October 1916, where they fought in the March 1917 Battle of Arras, taking part in the First Battle of the Scarpe, and the Battle of Arleux. Walter was in hospital at Etaples by the time of the Battle of Arras, and died there on 11 April 1917, aged 19. He is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery, France.
James James, Captain. James was born at Manoravon, Llansantffraid on 17 May 1845. He is shown as having died on 4 August 1916. Nothing more can be traced about him, as he is not commemorated by the CWGC.
Daniel Harold Jenkins, Guardsman, 1427, Welsh Guards. Daniel was the son of David and Elizabeth Jenkins, of Millet Park, Llanon. He enlisted at Cardiff into the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards. The Regiment was raised by Royal Warrant of 26 February 1915, at White City, before landing at Le Havre on 18 August 1915, becoming attached to 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The Division saw its first major action during the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, remaining in the area during the coming months, where they also fought in the subsequent Action of Hohenzollern Redoubt. 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. They remained here for the winter, and in March 1917 followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Later that year they moved north to Ypres, where they fought at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, and then at the Battle of the Menin Road, Battle of Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. November saw them move south again, where they took part in the Battle of Cambrai. 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. Daniel was killed on the Somme on 27 May 1918. He was 30 years old, and is buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery, France.
David Lewis Jenkins, Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was born on 2 June 1886, the son of Captain David Jenkins, and of Anne Jenkins, of Eukrateia, Llanon. He was educated at Ellesmere College prior to serving an apprenticeship in banking at the Crickhowell Branch of the National and Provincial Bank. He became well known in the town and regularly played for the Crickhowell Rugby and Cricket Clubs. He remained at the branch as a clerk until February 1906, when he moved to Abergavenny branch then moved to the Bute Docks branch in October 1908. In June 1912 David moved to Petre, a sub-branch to Pontypridd, and in August 1913 he moved to the Abergele branch, where he became branch accountant. David enlisted into the King’s Liverpool Regiment straight after the outbreak of war but was soon commissioned as Second Lieutenant into the 5th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 16 September 1914. The battalion was a Territorial unit, which mobilised for war at Newtown in August 1914, as part of North Wales Brigade, Welsh Division and moved to Conway until the end of the month, before moving to Northampton. In December the Division moved to Cambridge and then in May 1915 to Bedford, where the Division was numbered and the formation became 158 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. On 19 July 1915 the entire Division sailed from Devonport for Imbros and on 9 August 1915 landed at Suvla Bay. The infantry moved off the beaches across the Salt Lake, under shellfire, into the scrub covered Chocolate Hill, but due to a lack of maps and no knowledge of the terrain, many of the units became disorientated, and the situation became chaotic. Soon after the landings, news was received at Crickhowell that David had been killed, but he had in fact been wounded and evacuated to a Hospital Ship waiting offshore. He returned to Gallipoli soon afterwards where he contracted frostbite and was invalided home. David was posted to France on 14 May 1917, joining the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was at Arras, attached to 76 Brigade, 3rd Division. The Division saw terrible fighting throughout the Battle of Arras, especially during the Third Battle of the Scarpe, where it captured the ruined village of Roeux. The Division then spent a period in the Louverval Sector before being transferred to Ypres at the end of September, to join the great drive on Passchendaele Ridge. The 10th RWF entrained at Brandhoek on 26 September and detrained at Ypres Asylum, before marching forwards across the Hannebeke to its new positions facing Zonnebeke. At 03.40 the following morning, 26 September 1917, the Divisional artillery opened fire upon the German positions in the ruined village, before the 10th RWF assaulted the village of Zonnebeke. Heavy casualties were suffered in the vicinity of the railway station, before the battalion captured the ruins of the Church, in the centre of the village. David was killed in action during the terrible fighting for Zonnebeke that day. The 31-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
Thomas Jones, First Mate, Mercantile Marine. Thomas was the son of the late David and Elizabeth Jones, of Llanon, and the husband of Mary Elizabeth Jones, of Gwalia House, Llanon. He served with the Mercantile Marine aboard the SS Landonia, a London registered cargo steamer. On 21 April 1918, she was 27 miles off Strumble Head, in St Georges Channel, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-91, whilst on route from Bilboa for Glasgow with a cargo of pig iron. Thomas was among 21 men who died in the sinking that day. He was 48 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
David Henry George Jones Manley, Captain, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. David was born at Llansantffraid on 20 January 1895, the son of the Reverend Henry Jones Manley, and of Ann Marguerita Manley (nee Morgan). By 1901 the family was residing at Penrhyndeudraeth, before moving again to Llanbedrog Rectory, Pwllheli. David was educated at Ellesmere College and at Keble College, Oxford, where he joined the OTC. On 9 November 1914 David was commissioned into the 6th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 158 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The 53rd (Welsh) Division sailed from Devonport in July 1915, and arrived at Mudros on 5 August 1915. From here they moved to Gallipoli, landing on 9 August 1915. 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, then the ensuing 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 they remained for the duration of the war, fighting at the Battles of Gaza, and successfully capturing Jerusalem. David was killed at Tel Khuweilfeh on 6 November 1917. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel. David does not seem to be commemorated locally.
David Morgan, Captain. The memorial states that David died on 13 December 1916. He is not commemorated by the CWGC, and so nothing further can presently be traced about him, except that he resided at Lawrenny, Llansantffraid. He was not a war casualty, as he had been suffering from ill health for a long time prior to his death.
Stephen Lewis Morgan, Private, 63698, Royal Fusiliers. Stephen was the son of William and Mary Morgan, of Peris Terrace, Llanon. He resided in London prior to the war, and enlisted there into the 2nd Battalion, London Regiment. Stephen was posted to France early in 1916, and transferred to the 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (3rd Public Schools), which was attached to 19 Brigade, 33rd Division. He saw his first major action at the Battle of the Somme that year, and was killed during the Battle of the Ancre on 7 November 1916. Stephen was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Evan Edward Jones Morris, Sapper, 216899, Royal Engineers. Evan was the son of Catherine Morris, of Felinmore, Llanon. He served with the 158th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers. Evan served in Italy, probably after moving there in 1917. He survived the war, but died in hospital at Cremona on 26 November 1918. Evan was 21 years old, and is buried at Cremona Town Cemetery, Italy.
John Alfred Evan Norton, Private, 458, 5th Royal Irish Lancers. John was born at Hemel Hempstead in 1883. His links with Llansantffraid are presently unclear, but John lived at Bethnel Green prior to the war, and enlisted at Croydon into the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. John landed in France with the regiment on 15 August 1914. The 5th Lancers formed part of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, and took part in the Rearguard Action of Solesmes, near Mons, and the subsequent retreat to the Marne. The Lancers then took part in the Battle of the Aisne, before the BEF was moved to Ypres, taking part in the Battle of Messines and the First Battle of Ypres. After wintering in Flanders, John fought with the Lancers at The Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, the in the resulting Second Battle of Ypres. John was killed in action during the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge, on 24 May 1915, He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Don Jose Manuel Segarra, Captain, Mercantile Marine. Don Jose was a Captain in the Mercantile Marine. The memorial shows that he resided at Mariano Benlliure, and died on 26 December 1915. No more information about him can be found, as he is not commemorated by the CWGC, but his body was washed ashore locally, after his ship, the S.S. M. Benlliure was sunk in the Irish Sea. He was buried at Llansantffraid Churchyard by the local community.
World War Two, 1939-1945
John Merfyn Davies, Aircraftman 1st Class, 1255308, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was the son of John Evans Davies and Ellen Davies, of Llansantffraid. He served with 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with the obsolete Vickers Vildebeest. The Squadron took part in the defence of Singapore in December 1941, but most of its personnel were captured by the Japanese after the surrender of the garrison. John was interred at Batoe-Doeah-Ambon, Dutch East Indies, and died there on 25 July 1944, aged 24. He is buried at Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia. The photograph is courtesy of Tony Beck.
Simon Davies, Sailor, Merchant Navy. Simon was the son of Owen and Ann Davies, of Sunny Villa, Llanon. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Empire Amethyst, a Middlesbrough registered Steam Tanker, which had been built in 1941. On 13 April 1942, she was on route from New Orleans for Freetown carrying a cargo of 12,000 tons of oil, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-1564, blew up and sank with the loss of all her crew. Simon was 24 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Thomas Morgan Evans, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy. Thomas was the son of Morgan and Mary Evans. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Castlemoor, a London registered cargo steamer. On 16 February 1940, Castlemoor left Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the Tees. She was last seen by the SS Merchant Royal on 25 February 1940, and she was assumed to have been lost by enemy action. Thomas was 35 years old, and is commemorated alongside his fellow crewmen on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
William Ewart Herbert, Master, Merchant Navy. William was the Husband of Margaret M. Herbert, of Llanon. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Stangarth, a London registered cargo steamer. On the evening of 16 March 1942 Stangarth was on her maiden voyage, heading for Bombay with a mixed cargo of war material, when she was hit by one torpedo from the German submarine U-504, exploded and sank northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. William was amongst 46 men lost in the sinking that day. He was 47 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Tom Ellis Jenkins, Second Officer, Merchant Navy. Tom was the son of Captain Rees Jenkins and Mary Anne Jenkins. He was a Master Mariner in the Merchant Navy, and served aboard the SS Empire Blanda, a London registered cargo steamer. On 18 February 1941, she was on route from Baltimore via Halifax for Grangemouth, carrying a cargo of steel, scrap and explosives, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-69 and sunk with the loss of 40 lives. Tom was 37 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Christopher David Lewis, Master, Merchant Navy. Christopher was the son of Owen and Sarah Peers Lewis, and the husband of Belva Margaret Williams Lewis, of The Mount, Llanon. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Stanburn, a London registered cargo steamer. On 29 January 1940, Stanburn was off Flamborough Head, Scarborough when she was bombed and sunk by German aircraft. There were also reports of machine gun fire on the survivors in the ships lifeboats. All but three of her crew were killed in the attack that day. The bodies of four of the crew were washed ashore some time afterwards, one of which was identified as that of Christopher. He was 40 years old, and is buried at Llansantffraid (St. Bridget) Churchyard.
Evan Iorwerth Rosser Morgan, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy. Evan was the son of David Thomas Morgan and Margaretta Jane Morgan, of Dauntless, Llanon, and the husband of Gladys Lilian Morgan, of Poplar, London. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the MV San Emiliano, a London registered motor tanker. On 9 August 1942, she was 450 miles west of Trinidad, carrying a cargo of Aviation spirit, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-155, with the loss of 39 lives. Evan was 39 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Evan William Sweeney, Baker, Merchant Navy. Evan was the son of Robert and Anne Jane Sweeney. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Empire Endurance, a Middlesborough registered cargo steamer, which had been captured from the Germans at Norway in 1940. On 20 April 1941 she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-73, southeast of Rockall, Scotland, with the loss of 66 lives. Evan was 27 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.