Llanbedr is a small village some two miles northeast of Crickhowell in the county of Breconshire, which lies above the river known as the Grwyne Fechan, just above its confluence with the Grwyne Fawr in the southern reaches of the Black Mountains. The men of the village who fell during the Great War are commemorated on the relatively new war memorial which is located near the site of the old Crickhowell War Memorial Hospital, at Crickhowell.

The Great War, 1914-1918

Henry Richard Hawkins, MiD, Sergeant, 1539, Hampshire Regiment. Henry was the son of Frank Albert Hawkins and Alice Eliza Hawkins (nee Quant), of 72, South Street, Andover, Hampshire. He worked as a cowman as a young man, prior to becoming a groom, at Glynpedr, Llanbedr. Henry had enlisted at Andover into the 4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment at some time prior to the war, and following the outbreak of war was mobilised, joining the battalion at Winchester, where it was attached to Hampshire Brigade, Wessex Division. The Division moved to Bulford before embarking at Southampton for India on 9 October 1914, arriving on 11 November. The Division was then broken up and the 4th Hampshire’s moved to Mesopotamia in March 1915, landing at Basra, before joining 30 Indian Brigade, 12th Indian Division. The HQ Staff of the battalion plus one company became besieged in Kut al Amara until 29 April 1916 when they were captured after the surrender of the garrison to the Turks. Henry was taken prisoner of war following the surrender of Kut. He was among the list of men Mentioned in Despatches by Major General Townshend for distinguished service during the defence of Kut during his Despatches and his name was published in the London Gazette of 19 October 1916. Henry died in captivity on 30 January 1917. The 22-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.

Douglas David Raymond Lewis, Lieutenant, Durham Light Infantry. Douglas was born at Penllergaer on 24 August 1891, the son of Reverend Thomas Phillip Lewis and Jane Lewis (nee Davies). His mother was the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Davies, of Glanyrafon, Llandeilo. The family later resided at Llanbedr Rectory, Crickhowell. Douglas was educated at St. David’s College School in Lampeter, and at Carmarthen Grammar School, before becoming a teacher at Hoe Grammar School, Plymouth, then at a Private School in Weymouth. Douglas was commissioned as Second Lieutenant into the Durham Light Infantry on 16 August 1915 and was posted to the 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, which was attached to 151 Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division. Douglas served throughout the Somme Offensive, at Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy, and the Battalion then moved to Arras, where they fought in the Battles of the Scarpe, where Douglas was wounded. He died of his wounds on 22 April 1917, aged 25, and is buried at Beaurains Road Cemetery, Beaurains, France. Douglas is also commemorated at Llandeilo, in Carmarthenshire.