Bwlch is a small village situated in Breconshire, along the A40 road between Brecon and Crickhowell, a mile north of the River Usk. The village is a part of the administrative community of Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine. The men of the village who fell during both World Wars are commemorated on the Bwlch war memorial, which is situated in the centre of Bwlch at the side of the A40 and was erected in 1921, being unveiled at a special ceremony by Lord Glanusk. The memorial takes the form of a Celtic Cross and the names have recently been re-engraved and painted with black paint.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Sydney Barter, Private, 37058, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Sydney was born at Dartford, Kent in 1898, the son of James Barter and Annie Barter (nee Goodchild). His father was a carpenter and the family had moved to Lion Cottage, Bwlch prior to the war. Sydney enlisted into the army in April 1916 and was posted to the 67th Training Reserve Battalion, at Ripon. As soon as he had completed his training he was drafted to France in December 1917 and was posted to the 9th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which was attached to 64 Brigade, 21st Division. Sydney joined the battalion in camp at Longavesnes, where the battalion was resting, yet supplying working parties for pioneer work on the front-line trenches. On 21 December the battalion relieved the 10th KOYLI in the front line in the Vaucelette Sector, part of the Épehy defensive line, and began a routine tour in the trenches over Christmas, Sydney’s first experience of trench life. The battalion followed a similar routine over the coming weeks, during a terribly cold period. Sydney had not been in France long when he was wounded by enemy rifle fire. Sydney was evacuated to the 1st General Hospital at Etretat, but died of his wounds there on 17 January 1918, after just three weeks in France. The 19-year-old is buried in Etretat Churchyard Extension, France.
William Henry Booth, Private, 33587, East Lancashire Regiment. William was born in Newport, Monmouthshire in 1896, the son of William Henry Booth and Elizabeth Booth. His father died in 1902 and William was raised by his grandparents, before joining his mother, who had moved to Buckland Laundry, Bwlch. William enlisted into the 10th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps at St. Pancras soon after the outbreak of war. The battalion had formed at Winchester in September 1914, moving to Blackdown to join 59 Brigade, 20th (Light) Division. The Division then moved to Witley before moving to Hamilton Camp, near Stonehenge in April 1915 to complete its training. William embarked for France with the battalion and disembarked at Boulogne on 21 July 1915. The Division then moved to the Fleurbaix Sector for trench familiarisation and training. When the Battle of Loos was launched on 25 September 1915 the Division fought a diversionary attack towards Fromelles. Later that year it moved north, and fought at the Battle of Mount Sorrel alongside the Canadian Corps. The Division then fought through the Somme Offensive, at the Battles of Delville Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy, and took part in the advance to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917. Later that year the Division fought at the Third Battle of Ypres, before moving south in November, to take part in the Battle of Cambrai. The Division remained in the area between Cambrai and St. Quentin over the winter of 1917/18 and were attacked there by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918, seeing heavy fighting as the Division withdrew over the Somme crossings. William was wounded at sometime and upon recovering transferred to the 6th (Reserve) Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He was then drafted back out to France in July 1918 and joined the 13th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, which was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. By 21 August the 13th East Lancs had reached Morbecque and had a brief rest before relieving the 24th RWF in the line at Vieux Berquin at dawn on the following day, 22 August 1918. William was killed in action during the relief that day. The 22-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.
Percy Johnson Evans, Private, 8522, Border Regiment. Percy was born at Cleobury Mortimer in 1887, the son of Arthur John Johnson Evans and Emma Barrett Evans (nee Coates). The family had moved to The Common, Cathedine, Bwlch by 1911. Percy worked as a baker prior to enlisting into the Border Regiment at Manchester on 10 August 1906 and over the coming years served in Gibraltar, South Africa and in the East Indies, before returning to Britain on 28 November 1913. When war was declared he was stationed at Pembroke Dock with the 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment. The battalion moved to Lyndhurst on 5 September 1914 to join 20 Brigade, 7th Division and on 6 October landed at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The Division had been despatched to Zeebrugge to defend the port, but it was already in the process of falling to the Germans, so the 7th Division moved out of the city, marching via Bruges to Ostend, where the Division then entrained for Ghent. The Division then marched to Meirelbeke, and dug in defensive positions, in support of the French and Belgians. It soon became apparent that the Germans had broken through the Belgian lines, so on 11 October the 7th Division received orders to withdraw, reaching Hansbeke by the following day, and over the coming days continued to withdraw, marching through Thielt to Roulers, and by 14 October reached Ypres, becoming the first British Division to hold the City. The remainder of the BEF moved to Ypres from the Marne soon afterwards, in time to take part in the desperate defence of Ypres, when the Germans began attacking the city on 19 October. The 2nd Border Regiment entrenched at Kruiseik Hill that day, forced to cover a section of the line over two miles long, so was thinly stretched when the Germans began shelling their positions. After five days of almost constant artillery fire the battalion was hit by a series of infantry attacks on 24 October, before the Germans attacked in greater force and heavy fighting raged over the coming days. Percy was killed in action here on 26 October 1914, during a terrible day which saw the Germans take the front-line trench held by the battalion. The 27-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His brother Wilfred was killed in France in 1917.
Wilfred Easthope Evans, Private, 235394, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Wilfred was born at Cleobury Mortimer in 1899, the son of Arthur John Johnson Evans and Emma Barrett Evans (nee Coates). The family had moved to The Common, Cathedine, Bwlch by 1911. By the time war broke out, the family was residing at 14, Struet, Brecon. Wilfred enlisted in Brecon into the Brecknockshire Battalion, South Wales Borderers on 19 October 1914 and was posted to Pembroke Dock to join the 2/1st Battalion. The battalion was stationed at Pembroke Dock and Dale until April 1915 when it moved to Bedford to join the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division. Wilfred embarked for France at Southampton on 16 June 1917 and disembarked at Rouen, where he was transferred to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On 8 July 1917 Wilfred was posted to Ypres, joining the 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division and was holding the Boesinghe sector. Wilfred was wounded by gas shell whilst the 14th RWF was in the front line at Boesinghe on 23 July, preparing for the forthcoming assault on Pilckem Ridge, and was evacuated via the 131st Field Ambulance to the 12th Casualty Clearing Station. He was then transferred to the 2nd Canadian General Hospital, where he received further treatment. Upon his recovery he was sent back to Étaples, before being posted back to the 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 27 August, by which time the 38th (Welsh) Division had seized Pilckem Ridge and was assisting in the further assault on Langemarck. Wilfred was killed near Iron Cross whilst the 14th RWF was carrying out salvaging work on 2 September 1917. The 17-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. His brother Percy had been killed during the early months of the war.
Edmund Fitton, Private, 77338, Canadian Infantry. Edmund was born on 22 March 1891, the son of William Fitton and Elizabeth Fitton (nee Powell), of Pleasant View, Bwlch. He had worked as a bank in Aberavon prior to emigrating to Canada with his two brothers in 1911 and settled at Neilson, British Columbia, where he worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Edmund enlisted at Victoria into the 30th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force on 9 November 1914 and sailed from Canada for Liverpool with the battalion on 23 February 1915. Edmund embarked for France at Southampton on 26 April 1915 and upon his arrival in France was posted to the 16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, which was attached to the 3rd Canadian Brigade, 1st Canadian Division in the Ypres Salient. Edmund joined the battalion as it was rebuilding following heavy losses at the Battle of Gravenstafel, following the launching of the first German gas attack, where the Canadians had plugged the line. He saw his first major action during the Battle of Festubert in May 1915, and then in the Second Action of Givenchy the following month. The Canadians then took up positions at the southern edge of the Ypres Salient, at Mount Sorrel and Hill 63. On 2 June 1916 the Canadians were hit hard by a German artillery bombardment which was followed up by a massed infantry assault, and their lines were broken by the Germans. Only a gallant action over the coming days saved the situation, and a counterattack regained most of the lost ground at Mount Sorrel. Edmund was badly wounded during the fighting, suffering bomb wounds to his legs and arms on 7 June 1916. After being treated in France was sent back to England for specialized treatment at the 3rd Northern General Hospital at Sheffield for treatment. He died of his wounds there on 29 July 1916, aged 25. Edmund’s remains were brought home and he was buried in Penuel Presbyterian Chapelyard, Bwlch.
Thomas Charles Hadley, Sergeant, 12232, South Wales Borderers. Thomas was the son of Thomas Hadley and Mary Jane Hadley (nee Booth), of Pantyfelin Cottage, Cathedine. He worked as a coal miner and haulier prior to the war. Thomas enlisted at Brecon into the 3rd Battalion, South Wales Borderers soon after the outbreak of war. He embarked for the Mediterranean on 26 August 1915 and landed at Gallipoli, joining the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion was attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division and had been on the Gallipoli peninsula since taking part in the landings of 25 April 1915. The division saw heavy fighting during the landings and then more heavy fighting at Gully Ravine and Turkey Trench in June. There was further heavy fighting during several failed offensives in August and Thomas would have joined among a large number of drafts for the battalion as it was rebuilding its strength. On 29 August the Division landed at Suvla, joining the 53rd (Welsh) Division and advanced north of Chocolate Hill before launching an assault on Scimitar Hill, the last great offensive of the campaign. Thomas was killed in action during the assault on 4 September 1915. The 25-year-old is buried in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla, Gallipoli. His brother William Edward Hadley died in 1929 due to wounds and ill health suffered during the war.
John William Jones, Driver, 21885, Royal Field Artillery. John was the son of William Jones and Agnes Jones (nee Maddocks), of Yew Tree Cottage, Bwlch. He married Elizabeth Annie Jane Broadhurst in 1910 and the couple moved to 35, Glyn Terrace, Tredegar, where William worked as a coal hewer. John enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery at Newport prior to the outbreak of war and was posted to the 3rd Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery. He embarked for France with the unit on 19 August 1914 and the entire 3rd Division moved to the Belgian frontier. The Division then took part in the Battle of Mons, and in the epic retreat to the Marne, taking part in the Rearguard Action of Solesmes and the Battle of Le Cateau before continuing the retreat to the Marne, where the German Offensive was stopped. The Division followed the German withdrawal to the Aisne, where another great battle saw the German’s forced to entrench along the Chemins-des-Dames ridge, before the entire BEF moved north to Flanders. The 3rd Division then took part in the Battle of La Bassée, and at the Battle of Messines, which were a prelude to the First Battle of Ypres. John was wounded at some time during this terrible period and returned to Britain. Upon his recovery he was transferred to the 13th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 29th Division. The Division had been formed from units which had arrived back in Britain following service around the Empire, before moving to the Mediterranean and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. John served throughout the Gallipoli campaign, but was killed in action on 30 December 1915, during the evacuations. The 35-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
David Thomas Lewis, Private, 2175, Welsh Regiment. David was born at Talybont on Usk in 1890. His parents died when he was young and David went to live with the family of Thomas Morgan at Cathedine, Bwlch, where David found work as a mason. He left the area prior to the war to find work at Swansea. David enlisted at Swansea into the 1/6th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the local Territorial Army infantry battalion. The battalion was one of the first territorial units to move to France in August 1914. Initially, in late 1914 and early 1915, the battalion was put to work on lines of communication in Calais, but by July 1915 was based in the Locre and Kemmel area, facing the Germans who were on the high ground at Spanbroekmolen. On 5 July 1915 the battalion was attached to 84 Brigade, 28th Division, and took part in the Battle of Loos on 25 September, fighting alongside the 1st Welsh. On 23 October 1915 the battalion was transferred to 3 Brigade, 1st Division, becoming the Divisional Pioneer Battalion. The Division was holding the South Maroc Sector and had also seen heavy fighting during the Battle of Loos. It held this sector over the winter of 1915-16, with its battalions carrying out the usual routines of trench rotation, usually four days in the front line, four in support and four in reserve. At the end of March 1916, the 6th Welsh moved into some old German trenches and on the night of 30 March relieved the 1st Gloucester’s in the front line at Loos. David was killed when the battalion was hit by a German artillery barrage on the morning of 1 April 1916. The 25-year-old is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Loos, France.
William Owen Lewis, Private, 34536, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. William was born in 1882, the son of John and Elizabeth Lewis, of Llanidloes and was baptised there on 6 August that year. The family moved to Brecon by 1891 and William married Annie Hargest at Bwlch in 1905. William enlisted into the army at Brecon and was drafted to France in the Spring of 1917, where he was posted to the 9th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The battalion was attached to 74 Brigade, 25th Division in the Ploegsteert sector, remaining here over the coming months leading up the Battle of Messines in June 1917. After fighting at Messines, the Division moved north, and fought at Pilckem, before moving south again, taking up positions around Bullecourt in reserve. Here the Division was used to reinforce the badly depleted British units that were hit in the area by the German Spring Offensive from 21 March 1918. The Division moved north to Flanders on the night of 30 March, where it took up positions at Ploegsteert again and over the coming days rested and refitted. Unfortunately, on 9 April the Germans launched an offensive on the Lys, and the Division was caught up in the terrible fighting here over the coming days. The battered Division withdrew to Abeele on 17 April, but on 25 April was ordered back into the line, and took part in the Second Battle of Kemmel. On 9 May the Division moved to Fismes, 20 miles south-east of Soissons in the Champagne, to give it a chance to rest and rebuild again. However, on 26 May the Division took up positions south of the Aisne, to guard against a predicted German Offensive and at dawn on the following day, 27 May 1918 the attack hit them, and during the coming days the Division was virtually annihilated. William had been taken prisoner during the fighting in the Champagne and was taken to a Prisoner of War camp in Germany, where he died of influenza on 14 October 1918. The 37-year-old is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Germany.
Albert Meager, Private. Albert is shown on the Bwlch war memorial as having died on 22 March 1918. This was the second day of the German Spring offensive and thousands of men were killed around this date, however nobody of this name fell during the period. There is also no trace of anyone of that name living at Bwlch prior to the war.
William Francis Morris, Gunner, W/2198, Royal Field Artillery. William was the son of William Morris and Mary Ann Morris, of the Farmers Arms, Bwlch. He enlisted into the newly formed Welsh Divisional Royal Field Artillery soon after the outbreak of war. The 43rd (Welsh) Division had been formed as part of a planned Welsh Army Corps, but due to a lack of men, only the one division was formed. The units of the Division trained in North Wales before moving to Salisbury Plain in the summer of 1915, where the Division was renumbered to the 38th (Welsh) Division and William joined A Battery, 122nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery within the Division. He embarked for France with the Battery on 24 December 1915 and the entire Division moved to the to the Nursery Sector near Fleurbaix for trench initiation alongside the Guards Division. The Division then held a sector of the line near Cuinchy before marching south to the Somme sector in June 1916 to take part in the assault on Mametz Wood. The first attack on the wood was launched on a two-battalion front on 7 July, but failed, and the Divisional Commander, Sir Ivor Philipps, was replaced before the Division attacked again on a two Brigade front on 10 July 1916. After two days of ferocious hand-to-hand fighting, the wood was cleared up to its northern edge, before the battered Division was relieved. It then took over a section of the front at Hébuterne before moving to the Ypres Salient and taking over the Canal Bank sector at Boesinghe. The infantry battalions of the Division then began carrying out the normal pattern of rotation in the trenches, four days in the front, four in support and four in reserve, whilst also working on trench improvement, digging new trenches, and carrying out regular patrols and trench raids. The Division was to take part in the opening assault of the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele, which was to be launched on 31 July 1917. During the build up to the offensive, the Divisional artillery was kept busy targeting key German positions facing the Division. William was gassed during the build up to the battle and was evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station at Mendinghem where he died of pneumonia on 27 July 1917 because of his gassing. The 19-year-old is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Ernest O’Dell, Rifleman, 5095, Royal Irish Rifles. Ernest was the son of John William O’Dell and Eliza O’Dell (nee Weatherley), of 116, Welldon Crescent, Harrow. He came to work at Bwlch as a young man but following the outbreak of war enlisted at Marylebone into the Lancers. Ernest was then drafted to France on 30 June 1915 and was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, which was attached to 7 Brigade, 3rd Division at Ypres. On 18 October the entire Brigade transferred to the 25th Division, which was at Le Touquet, having arrived in France the previous month, and the following week the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles transferred to 74 Brigade, in the same 25th Division. The Division wintered in the Le Touquet area and during March 1916 was posted to positions at La Targette in the Vimy Sector, north of Arras. By 10 May the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles was in positions at Zouave Valley and Cabaret Rouge, in Brigade Reserve. On 15 May the Germans shelled the area before firing two huge underground mines in front of the battalion. Men of the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers rushed forwards to consolidate the new craters and the 2nd Royal Irish Regiment helped consolidate the new positions over the following day. At dawn on 17 May 1916 the battalion was holding its new positions when the line was bombarded again by German artillery and was followed by an assault by German infantry. Heavy fighting raged throughout the day but due to heavy losses the Germans captured the craters. Ernest was killed in action during the fighting that day. The 27-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
Roy James Oldcorn, Corporal, 8997, Royal Irish Rifles. Roy was the son of Arthur Egerton Oldcord and Alice Oldcorn (nee Campbell), of Northop, Flintshire. He came to Bwlch to work as a Footman prior to the war. He enlisted into the 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles at Putney in 1915 and was posted to Dublin to join the battalion. Roy was involved with the Irish rebellion of Easter Monday 1916, but soon afterwards was drafted to France, joining the 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, which was attached to 107 Brigade, 36th Division. The Division was at Auchonvillers, on the Somme, during the Spring of 1916 and took part in the opening offensive of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. After further action during the latter stages of the Somme offensive, during the Battle of Le Transloy, the Division moved to the Arras sector and in April 1917 fought at the First Battle of the Scarpe. The Division then fought during the Third Battle of the Scarpe and remained in the Arras sector until July 1917 when the Division began moving to the Ypres Salient. The 8th Royal Irish Rifles were not at Ypres for long, as within weeks the battalion was posted to the Equancourt area where it merged with the 9th Royal Irish Rifles on 28 July 1917 to form the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles in 107 Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division. The battalion was stationed around Havrincourt Wood after being formed and remained in the area, rotating with the other battalions of the Division, in the front line over the coming months. On 20 November 1917 the Allies launched a massive offensive here, the Battle of Cambrai, using massed tanks in formation and broke the Hindenburg Line. The 8th/9th Royal Irish Rifles had been in reserve on the opening day and on 21 November moved forward into the Hindenburg Support Line where the battalion established itself in dugouts. On the following day the battalion was ordered to move forwards to meet a German counterattack at Kangaroo Alley, but no attack came and the day passed quietly. On the following day, 23 November 1917, the battalion took part in an assault by the 36th Division upon the canal at Masnières. Roy was killed in action during the fighting that day. The 27-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.
Cyril John Powell, Private, 535008, London Regiment. Cyril was the son of Evan Powell and Mary Ann Powell (nee Gwynne), of Pantybailey Farm, Bwlch. He worked as an assistant clerk prior to the war and enlisted at Brecon into the 15th Battalion, London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles) on 28 July 1916. Cyril was initially placed on the Army Reserve but was mobilised on 19 February 1917 and posted to Winchester for training. He was drafted to France on 7 August 1917 and joined the Infantry Base Depot at Le Havre before being posted to the 1/15th Battalion, London Regiment, which was attached to 140 Brigade, 47th (2nd London) Division and was billeted at Steenvoorde when Cyril arrived. The Division then moved south to the Arras sector, taking up positions in the front line at Gavrelle by the end of the month, relieving the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. The Division then moved to the Cambrai sector, to join the action, which was taking place during the Battle of Cambrai, which had been launched on 20 November 1917, advancing across the Bapaume to Arras road on 25 November to join II Corps. Cyril was killed in action on 30 November 1917, during the heavy fighting which resulted from the German counterattack which had been launched that morning. The 19-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.
Arthur Aston Talbot, Lieutenant, South Wales Borderers. Arthur was born at Oaklands Park, Awre, Gloucestershire on 5 March 1881, the son of Captain Hervey Talbot, 18th Royal Irish Regiment, and Eva Julianna Talbot (nee Crawshay), the daughter of Ironmaster Henry Crawshay. The family residence was at Rhysnant Hall in Montgomeryshire. Arthur’s father died at Aston Grange in 1884 and his mother remarried, to George Capel Ralph Curzon Fenwick. His mother died in 1888, so Arthur and his sister Muriel were raised by their stepfather at Erbistock Hall near Wrexham. Arthur was educated at Wellington College, then by 1911 Arthur was residing with his sister Muriel at Treholford House, Cathedine. On 13 April 1912, Arthur married Mary Winifred Battiscombe, of Llansantffraid Cwmteuddwr and their son Patrick Edward Aston Talbot was born in Chelsea in September 1913. The family then moved out to Kenya, British East Africa, where Arthur ran an estate. He returned to Britain following the outbreak of war and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant into the Brecknockshire Battalion, South Wales Borderers on 29 October 1914. He did not embark for Aden with the battalion but remained in England attached to the 50th Provisional Battalion, before transferring to the 64th Provisional Battalion, helping to train young recruits. He had suffered an injury to his foot in 1911 which had begun to hamper him physically, so in the Spring of 1917 he was allowed to go back to his estate in East Africa to tend to his affairs there. He took ill whilst back in Kenya and was hospitalized for a while before taking up a post in the Nairobi Post Commandant’s office. Sadly, he contracted bronchopneumonia soon afterwards and died in hospital in Nairobi on 29 October 1918. The 37-year-old was buried in Nairobi South Cemetery, Kenya. His nephew, Talbot Tim Logan, was killed during World War Two.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Frederick James Davies, Lance Corporal, 3914405, South Wales Borderers. Frederick was born on 16 July 1910, the son of Charles Rees Davies and Sarah Ann Davies (nee Eckley), of Blaenlunvey, Cathedine. By 1939 Frederick was residing with his wife, Rosemary Davies, at Blaenllynfi Cottage, Cathedine and was working as a labourer, on a land erosion prevention scheme. He enlisted into the South Wales Borderers soon after the outbreak of war. He did not serve overseas but remained in Britain over the coming years. Frederick took ill during the beginning of 1943 and was taken to the Emergency Hospital at Whitchurch, Cardiff, where he died on 28 February 1943. The 32-year-old was buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard, Cathedine.
Talbot Tim Logan, Lieutenant, QX1518, Australian Infantry. Talbot was born at Ukamba, Tanzania on 10 February 1913, the son of Edward Percival Logan and Muriel Margaretta Logan (nee Talbot). The family home was at Treholford House, Cathedine. Talbot emigrated to Australia in 1938 and married Lorne Daisy Mabel Deacon there some time after. The couple set up home at North Rockhampton, Queensland, where Talbot worked as a stockman. Following the outbreak of war he enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force on 20 October 1939 and gained a commission as Second Lieutenant into the 2/12th Battalion, Australian Infantry. The battalion joined the 18th Brigade, 6th Australian Division and on 5 May 1940 sailed for the Middle East. Whilst en-route, the battalion was diverted to Britain, to assist in its defences following the fall of France and disembarked at Gourock in Scotland on 17 June before moving to Lopcombe Corner, near Salisbury. In September, the 18th Brigade was transferred to the 9th Australian Division and left Britain on 17 November for Egypt, joining the 9th Australian Division at Tobruk. The 2/12th Battalion participated in the defence of Tobruk until it was withdrawn on the night of 26 August 1941 and moved to Palestine, before sailing back to Australia from Suez on 12 February 1942. The battalion disembarked at Adelaide on 28 March and was then sent to Papua New Guinea, landing at Milne Bay on 17 August 1942. The battalion then took part in a successful counterattack against the Japanese invasion forces between 31 August and 4 September. It occupied Goodenough Island between 22 October and 28 December and then returned to Papua, where it took part in the ferocious Battles of Buna and Sanananda. On 1 January 1943 Talbot’s battalion launched a decisive attack against the Japanese garrison at Giropa Point but suffered 63 killed and 122 wounded in the process. Talbot was 30 years old when he was killed during the terrible fighting that day. His grave lay undisturbed for almost 70 years before his grave was located and his remains identified. Talbot was then buried in Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea on 1 December 2009, alongside three other Australians. Talbot is not commemorated on the Bwlch war memorial.