Llechryd is a small village situated on the A484 road along a crossing of the River Teifi, just over three miles east of Cardigan. The area was once known for its locally quarried slate, but is now more known as being a popular holiday destination. The parish church is dedicated to St. Tydfil. The local village school contains a war memorial to the former pupils of Llechryd Council School who fell during the First and Second World Wars, and also to the one local man who was killed during the Falklands War. The photograph of the memorial has been kindly supplied by Richard Tolbart. I have also added below the details of other local men from Llechryd who did not attend the school, and as a result are not named on the memorial. There may well be other memorials in the village, possibly in the Church, but it has been locked every time I have gone there.
World War One, 1914-1918
Benjamin Davies, Gunner, 711561, Royal Field Artillery. Benjamin was the son of Stephen and Alice Davies, of Clifton House, Llechryd. He enlisted at Cardigan into the Royal Field Artillery, and was posted to France, probably in 1917, to join C Battery, 330th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 66th (2nd East Lancs) Division. Benjamin seems to have been taken prisoner by the Germans, and died of wounds on 21 June 1918, aged 24. He is buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery, France. His parents later moved to Park View, West Meon, Petersfield, Hants.
George Stewart Berrington Davies, Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade. George was born at Llechryd on 31 January 1899, the son of David and Joyce Berrington Davies, of Plas, Llangoedmore. He married Mary Joyce Emily Prioleau in 1917, and was commissioned from the OTC just after, on 29 August 1917, being posted to the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade. George doesn’t look to have served during the Great War, but was instead part of the Allied army sent to North Russia, to take part in Operation Archangel. George returned home after the Allies pulled out of Russia, but the campaign had seriously damaged his health. He died on 26 October 1919, aged 20, and is buried at Llandygwydd (St. Tygwydd) Churchyard. George is not commemorated on the memorial.
James Davies, Lance Corporal, S/2277, Rifle Brigade. James was the son of John and Margaret Davies, of Tyrffynon, Llechryd. He enlisted into the Rifle Brigade at Winchester on 4 September 1914, and was posted to France on 21 July 1915 joining the 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade. He was later transferred to the 13th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, which was attached to 111 Brigade, 37th Division. The division saw its first major action during the attack on the Gommecourt Salient, the diversionary attack on the Somme on 1 July 1916, and suffered heavy casualties throughout the offensive. It fought during the First Battle of the Scarpe, and captured Monchy le Preux during the Battle of Arras in 1917, and also took part in the Second Battle of the Scarpe, and the Battle of Arleux before moving north to Ypres. Here, the division fought throughout Third Ypres, at the Battle of the Menin Road, the Battle of Polygon Wood, the Battle of Broodseinde, the Battle of Poelcappelle, the First Battle of Passchendaele and the Second Battle of Passchendaele. James survived all of these terrible ordeals, but was killed during a relatively peaceful period of the war, on 1 March 1918, aged 34. He is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium. James is not commemorated on the memorial.
Thomas Evans, Gunner, 137886, Royal Field Artillery. Thomas was born in Tyrhos, Llangoedmore, the son of John and Mary Evans. His parents later lived at Cnwc, Blaenporth. He enlisted at Preston, Lancashire into the Royal Field Artillery, and at some time during 1916 was posted to B Battery, 76th Brigade, which was attached to the Guards Division. Thomas probably saw action with the division during the Battle of the Somme during the summer of 1916, and the following year the division followed the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. Thomas was one of a number of men of his gun battery who were killed together on 23 April 1917, probably due to German artillery fire. He was 28 years old, and is buried in Canadian Cemetery No. 2, Neuville St. Vaast, France.
William David Evans, Private, 33612, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of Daniel and Mary Ann Evans, of Adam Street, Llechryd. He enlisted at Cardigan into the army, and was posted to France in 1916, joining the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. William joined the battalion in time to take part in the Somme offensive, where it fought at the Battle of Albert, then at Bazentin, and at Pozieres. He was killed in action during heavy fighting at Munster Alley, near Contalmaison, on 25 July 1916, aged 21. William has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Joseph Griffiths, Private, 73269, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Joseph was the son of Thomas and Hannah Griffiths, of Penperci Isaf, Llechryd. He enlisted at Brecon into the army, and was posted to France, probably early in 1918, where he joined the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The battalion had spent most of the war attached to 33 Brigade, but in January 1918 was transferred to 115 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The division moved to the Somme at the end of March 1918, taking up positions facing Thiepval Ridge, across the Ancre valley at Aveluy. Joseph was killed in action here during a routine spell in the line on 2 July 1918, aged 19. He is buried in Mesnil Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Benjamin John Jones, Private, 42731, Essex Regiment. Benjamin was the son of Benjamin and Jane Jones, of 3, Church Row, Llechryd. He lived at Greenwich prior to the war and enlisted at Woolwich into the Norfolk Regiment. He was posted to France at some time after 1916, and was transferred into the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, which was attached to 12 Brigade, 4th Division. The division had fought on the Somme in the summer of 1916, and during 1917 had fought at the Battle of Arras, and the Third Battle of Ypres, taking part in the Battle of Polygon Wood, the Battle of Broodseinde, the Battle of Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. In spring 1918 the Division fought at the First Battle of Arras, and was then moved back to Flanders, where it took part in the Battle of Hazebrouck. Benjamin was killed in action during desperate fighting on 20 April 1918, aged 19. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.
Evan James Garbett Jones, Ordinary Seaman, Mercantile Marine. Evan was the son of Evan and Jane Jones (nee Davies), of Manchester House, Llechryd. He served with the Mercantile Marine aboard the S.S. Avanti, a London registered cargo steamer. On 2 February 1918 Avanti was en route from Bilbao to West Hartlepool, with a cargo of iron ore, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-58, with the loss of 22 of her crew. Evan was just 17 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, England.
John Henry Lloyd, Fourth Engineer Officer, Mercantile Marine. John was the son of Denis and Anne Lloyd (nee James), of Ffos y Teilwr, Llangoedmore. He served with the Mercantile Marine, as an engineer aboard the S.S. Azul, a London registered cargo ship. On 5 February 1917 Azul was en route from Buenos Aires for Cherbourg when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-54, with the loss of eleven lives. John was 22 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
John Lodwick, Sergeant, 14373, South Staffordshire Regiment. John was born at Llandygwydd in 1889, the son of David and Mary Anne Lodwick, of Parkgwniuegod, Llechryd. He lived at Cardiff prior to the war, and married Margaret Treharne in 1914. John enlisted at Penarth on 9 September 1914 into the 3rd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, which was a training battalion for the regiments’ two main battalions. John remained on home service for the duration of the war, and was discharged as medically unfit on 21 September 1918. John went to live at 7, Woodville Road, Cardiff after being discharged with a pension, with his wife, Margaret. Nothing more can be traced of John, as he is not commemorated by the CWGC. John is not commemorated on the memorial.
William John Thomas, Private, 75173, Royal Army Medical Corps. William was the son of Mary Thomas, of Ponthirwaun, Llechryd. He resided with his wife, Martha Thomas, at 12, Glogue Terrace, Glogue, prior to the war, and enlisted at Cardigan into the Royal Army Medical Corps. William was posted to France, probably early in 1917, where he joined the 54th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, which was attached to the 18th (Eastern) Division. In March 1917 the Division followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and in May took part in the Third Battle of the Scarpe, which was part of the Arras Offensive. Later that year the Division fought at Third Ypres. In 1918 the Division were stationed south of the Somme, and were one of the Divisions hit there by the German Spring Offensive, which was launched on 21 March 1918. They fought at the Battle of St Quentin, and suffered terrible casualties, and then took part in the Battle of the Avre and the Actions of Villers-Bretonneux. On 8 August 1918 they formed part of the force which attacked the German positions around Villers-Bretonneux, south of the Somme Valley, during the Battle of Amiens, and then took part in the Battle of Albert, which began the great push by the Allies which ended the war. William was killed in action during fighting at Franvillers on 22 August 1918. He was 24 years old, and is buried in Franvillers Communal Cemetery Extension, France. William is not commemorated on the memorial.
David Idris Williams, Lance Bombardier, 745785, Royal Field Artillery. David was the son of Reverend Hugh H Williams and Jane Williams, of Gwylfa, Llechryd. He had worked as a Draper in Cardiff for several years prior to the war. David had served overseas with the Royal Field Artillery, before being posted back to England, and attached to the 60th Reserve Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He died at Dorchester Military Hospital on 23 May 1918, aged 26, and is buried in Tremain (Ffynonbedr) Congregational Chapelyard.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Thomas Clifford Gibby, Third Officer, Merchant Navy. Thomas was the son of John and Sarah Gibby. He married Betty John, of Llanddewi Velfrey in 1939, prior to going to sea with the Merchant Navy, aboard the S.S. Newton Pine, a Cardiff registered merchant steamer. On 16 October 1942, Newton Pine was en route from Hull for Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was straggling from Convoy ONS-136, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-410 about 500 miles south-east of Iceland, with the loss of all her crew of 47. Thomas was 31 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Desmond De Courcy Creagh Gower, Pilot Officer, 40905, Royal Air Force. Desmond was born on 7 December 1919, the son of E. W. Gower and Violet F. Gower of Castell Malgwyn, and before the outbreak of the Second World War was a pupil at the Imperial Service College, Haileybury. He entered the RAF, becoming a Pilot Officer in 253 Squadron, RAF. On 30 October 1939, No 253 Squadron reformed at Manston and was originally intended as a shipping protection unit with Blenheims. None were delivered, however, and the squadron began to receive Hurricanes in February 1940, becoming operational on 3 April. In May 1940 one flight was sent to France to reinforce the hard-pressed Hurricane squadrons while the second flight flew daily to French airfields from 17 to 23 May. Sadly Desmond was killed over France on 21 May 1940. He was just 20 years old, and is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery, France.
Sidney Griffiths, Volunteer, Home Guard. Sidney was the son of Jeremiah and Sarah Griffiths of 1, Gate House, Llechryd. He married Sarah Elizabeth Mary Scourfield, of Llanilar, at Llanelli during 1918, and the couple later moved to Cilgerran. He had served during the Great War, and in World War Two volunteered for service again, with the 1st Pembrokeshire (Tenby) Battalion, Home Guard. Sidney died on active service on 27 December 1940. He was 45 years old, and is buried at Llechryd (Llwynadda) Calvinistic Methodist Chapelyard. Sidney is not commemorated on the memorial.
David Albert Vivian Jones, Steward, Merchant Navy. David was the son of Daniel and Nancy Jones, of Bodafon, Llangrannog. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard the S.S. Menin Ridge, a London registered cargo steamer. On 24 October 1939, Menin Ridge was en route from Djidjelli for Port Talbot with a cargo of iron ore, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-37, with the loss of 20 lives. David was 36 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Desmond David Patrick Thomas, Sergeant, 929865, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Desmond was the son of David William Charles and Eleanor May Stephens Thomas, of Pantgwyn, Cardiganshire. He served as a Pilot with 15 OTU, Royal Air Force, and was serving at Malta. On 12 July 1941, Desmond was aboard Wellington I.C., Serial Z8775, which crashed upon take off from Luqa. All the men aboard were killed. Desmond was 19 years old, and is buried at Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery. There is a memorial chalice to Desmond inside St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan.
Ernest Edward Tyler, Ordinary Seaman, Merchant Navy. Ernest was born on 27 June 1922, the son of Charles Edward Eagle and Amy Stidston Tyler (nee Stidston, formerly Eagle). His father was originally from the Isle of Wight, and had served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the First World War, before settling at Penally with Amy. The family had then lived near Llandeilo before settling at Oak Cottage, Llechryd, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Ernest served with the Merchant Navy aboard the S.S. Dalblair, a Newcastle-on-Tyne registered cargo ship. On 28 August 1940, Dalblair was en route from the Tyne for Philadelphia, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-100, with the loss of 24 lived. Ernest was just 18 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
The Falkland War, 1982
Michael Joseph Dunphy, Guardsman, 24263842, Welsh Guards. Michael was born in Birmingham on 20 June 1958, the son of Michael and Doreen Dunphy. The family later settled at Maesyderi, Llechryd. Michael served with the Welsh Guards. After Argentinian troops invaded the Falkland Islands, the British sent a task force to recover the Islands. Michael was with the Welsh Guards who had been deployed to the Falklands, and was off Fitzroy aboard the RFA troopship Sir Galahad when it was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile on 8 June 1982, killing 48 men, mostly of whom were of the Welsh Guards. Michael was 23 years old, and was among the Welsh Guardsmen buried at sea when the Sir Galahad was sunk as an official war grave.