Pontarddulais is a town in the City and County of Swansea, situated ten miles north west of Swansea city centre. It was a hamlet for centuries, straddling the River Loughor, it was an important crossing point between Glamorgan and Carmarthen. This bridge gained fame during the 1843 Rebecca Riots when rioters attacked the toll gate there. The town stands mostly in the parish of Llandeilo Talybont, which referred to the medieval church now situated at St Fagans National History Museum. The part of the town located on the Carmarthenshire side of the bridge stands in the parish of Llanedi. Pontarddulais was an important industrial centre from 1872, with tin-working the main occupation.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Herbert Thomas Hinkin Arnold, Lieutenant, 247136, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Herbert was born in Llangennech in 1922, the son of Walter and Lilian G. Arnold. The family later moved to Pontarddulais. After receiving his education at Llandovery College, he attended Oxford, gaining his B.A. and being awarded a Blue for association football. At the outbreak of war he joined the Army, being commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Herbert was attached to the 2nd North Staffordshire Regiment, which was part of the Allied force in Italy, when he was killed on 23 September 1944. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Florence War Cemetery, Italy.
Thomas Ralph Bevan, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 1317942, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Thomas was the son of John and Annie Bevan, of Pontarddulais, and served with 61 Squadron, RAF. The squadron was equipped with the Avro Lancaster. Thomas served as an Air Gunner aboard Lancaster R5679. She was shot down over Denmark at 02.13 on 25 September 1942 while returning from a mine laying operation to the Baltic, with the loss of all her crew. Thomas was 19 years old, and is buried at Frederikshaven Cemetery, Denmark.
Elvie Beynon, Leading Aircraftman, 523511, Royal Air Force. Very little information about Elvie can be found, but he served with 51 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, and Eric was a crew man aboard Whitley K9040. On 5 April 1940 his Whitley was lost while on a training flight over the Bristol Channel. No trace of it was ever found, and so Elvie and his fellow crewmen are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, England. The other crew were; Aircraftman 1st Class James Boyd, Sergeant Robert G. Bruce, Flight Lieutenant Frederick O. Dickson, and Flying Officer Dermot E. Gould.
Gordon Morris Bishop, Gunner, 980264, Royal Artillery. Gordon was from Pontarddulais, and served with 88 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. The Regiment fought in the Far East, and Gordon was taken prisoner by the Japanese there. He was one of thousands of POWs put to work on the Thai Burma Railway, and died in Burma on 31 August 1943, aged 23. Gordon was buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar.
Reginald Owen Clee, Warrant Officer, 1068617, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Reginald was the son of Lewis John and Elsie Margaret Clee, of Pontlliw, and had studied for his B.Sc. at the University of Wales prior to the war. He then served with 256 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron reformed in a night fighter role on 23 November 1940 at Catterick, equipped with Defiants. It then moved to Pembrey, from where it began operations in February 1941. From March 1941 it was based in the North-West to defend the Merseyside area until April 1943, when it moved to Ford. In May 1942, the Defiants were replaced by Beaufighters and a year later these were superseded by Mosquito XIIs. July 1943, saw the squadron supply a detachment to Luqa in Malta to provide night cover for the invasion of Sicily. Once the invasion of Italy was complete, the rest of the squadron arrived in Malta on October, remaining there until April 1944. Its next move was to Algeria, absorbing the Gibraltar Defence Flight equipped with Spitfires in May. Reginald was reported as missing on 27 July 1944, after his plane touched the water when descending to attack an enemy plane off Corsica. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial, Malta.
Evan John Britten Davies, Craftsman, 3910462, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Evan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Davies, of Pontarddulais. He served in the REME as a Craftsman, and died on active service on 20 April 1944. Evan is buried at Rhydgoch Cemetery.
Graham Davies, Warrant Officer, 964498, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Graham was the son of William Idris and Mary Davies, of Pontarddulais. He served as a Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner with 524 Squadron, RAF, which was a Coastal Command Squadron, equipped with the Vickers Wellington. Graham was killed while returning from a mission near Caen, Normandy on 8 June 1944. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Rhydgoch Cemetery.
Lewis Randolph Davies, Private, 14670492, Welch Regiment. Lewis was the son of Trevor and Mary Davies, of Pontlliw, and served with the 1/5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. Lewis landed in Normandy with the battalion in June 1944, and fought during the break out from Normandy, and the drive through France and Belgium into Holland. Lewis was killed on 1 October 1944 while fighting near St. Odenrode. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Uden War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Philip Edward Davies, Flight Sergeant, 1317450, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Philip was the son of William Thomas Davies and Emily Maria Davies, of Pontarddulais, and served with 227 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was equipped with the North American Mitchell, and was based in the Mediterranean. On 30 March 1944, Philip took off from Benghazi to rejoin his flight on convoy duty, but did not contact them. He was presumed lost in the Aegean Sea by enemy action that day. Philip was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.
Vincent Howell Davies, Fusilier, 4198779, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Vincent was the son of Stephen and Sarah Davies, and served with the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. In 1942 the Battalion sailed for the Far East, and arrived in India at the end of May 1942. They fought during the campaign in Burma against the Japanese, which is where Vincent was killed, during the Battle of Kohima, on 6th May 1944. He was 26 years old, and is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial.
William Daniel Roydon Davies, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 967345, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. William was the son of Maldwyn and Mary Hannah Davies, of Pontarddulais, and served with 44 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was a heavy bomber unit, firstly equipped with the Hampden, then in 1942 No.44 became the first squadron to convert to the Avro Lancaster. William served as an Air Gunner aboard Lancaster Mark I, DV331. On the night of 19-20 December 1943, William and his crew took part in a huge mission to bomb Frankfurt. Their Lancaster crashed at Rossdorf on the return journey on the morning of 20 December, killing William and four other crew; Flying Officer (Air bomber) Blake, Flying Officer (Navigator) Burrell, Sergeant (Air Gunner) Thomas, and Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Tuppen. All five men are buried at Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.
Douglas George Edmunds, Private, 3963251, Hampshire Regiment. Douglas was born in Laugharne in 1917, the son of Thomas Rees and Mary Jane Edmunds of Laugharne. The family then moved to Hendy. Douglas enlisted during WW2 and joined the 5th Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment, which was part of the allied army that landed at Sicily between 9 and 12 July 1943. They invaded Italy on 3 September and mounted an amphibious assault at Salerno on 8 September 1943. The objective of the Italian campaign was to draw German troops away from the Russian front, and especially from the French coast, where the offensive was planned for the following year. Douglas was killed during the battle at Salerno on 9 September 1943, and is buried in the Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. His widow has recently passed away after never having remarried.
John Davies Cross Evans, Sergeant (Pilot), 742933, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. John was the son of David Daniel and Catherine Evans, of Pontarddulais, and served with 9 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was first equipped with the Vickers Wellington and was based at RAF Honington. On 4 September 1940 the Squadron gained the distinction of making the RAF’s second bombing raid of the war, when together with 149 Squadron it bombed German warships at Brunsbüttel. On 7 October 1940 John was on duty on the flare path at Honington when a damaged Wellington of 149 Squadron crashed whilst attempting a crash landing after returning from a raid on France. John was among three airmen of 9 Squadron killed on the ground. He was 26 years old, and is buried at Pontardawe (All Saints) Cemetery.
Reginald Edward Gale, Signalman, 2658267, Royal Corps of Signals. Reginald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Gale, of Pontarddulais, and served with the Royal Corps of Signals. Reginald fought throughout the North West Europe campaign, which followed the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and was killed in Germany on 17 April 1945. He was 28 years old, and is buried at Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.
James Gill, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 188663, Royal Navy. James was born at Pontarddulais on 17 January 1918. He enlisted into the Royal Navy prior to the war and was posted aboard the Canadian destroyer HMCS Fraser. Following the outbreak of war Fraser took part in convoy escort duties from Halifax before being assigned to Western Approaches Command. She was part of the large number of ships sent to France to help evacuate the BEF from France. On 25 June 1940, Fraser, her sister HMCS Restigouche, and the cruiser Calcutta were returning from St. Jean de Luz after rescuing refugees trapped by the German Army, when Fraser was rammed by Calcutta in the Gironde estuary and was cut in half, sinking immediately with the loss of 45 lives. James was 22 years old when he died that day and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.
Selwyn Griffiths, Petty Officer, D/JX 128350, Royal Navy. Selwyn was the son of Taliesin and Maud Griffiths of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Doreen Griffiths, of Perranporth, Cornwall. He served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Gloucester, which was a Town Class Cruiser, launched in 1937. She saw service in the Indian Ocean and around South Africa early in the war, before moving to the Mediterranean. Selwyn was killed when HMS Gloucester was sunk off Crete during the ill fated defence of the Island on 22 May 1941. He was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. Over 700 men died in the loss of Gloucester.
Charles Mansel Gwynne, Aircraftman 2nd Class (Flight Mechanic), 983903, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Charles was the son of Albert and Maud Gwynn of Pontlliw, and the husband of Sarah Phyllis Gwynn, of Uplands, Swansea. He served with the Royal Air Force, and was accidentally killed during an aeroplane crash on 23 September 1940. Charles was 25 years old, and is buried at Pontlliw (Carmel) Baptist Chapelyard. Mansel is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Emlyn Harries, Serjeant, T/91304, Royal Army Service Corps. Emlyn was the son of Thomas W. and A. Harries, of Pontarddulais. He served in the Far East with 2, Combined Army Depot, Royal Army Service Corps, and was captured when the Singapore Garrison surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Emlyn died of malnutrition aboard a ‘Hell Ship’, as a POW, sometime between 1 and 14 August 1944. He was 29 years old, and was buried at sea in Manila Bay. He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, Singapore.
Glyn Harries, Aircraftman 1st Class, 1315784, Royal Air Force. Glyn was the son of Thomas and Katherine Harries, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Reta P. Harries, of Guelph, Canada, who he had met and married while serving in Canada. He enlisted into the Royal Air Force, and was sent to Canada to train with the Empire Air Training Scheme. Glyn was killed when his plane crashed in Canada on 6 March 1944. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Guelph (Woodlawn) Cemetery, Canada.
James Howard Harry, Sub Lieutenant, 137905, Naval Auxilliary Personnel (Merchant Navy). James was the son of William Henry and Rachel Ann Williams of Llwyn Helyg, Grovesend, Pontarddulais. James served aboard H.M.S. Manistee, a British Merchant Ship, which had been requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as an ocean boarding vessel. She was sunk off Iceland by U-Boat, U-107 on 24 February 1941, with a total loss of 141 lives, including James. James was 26 years old, and is commemorated on the Liverpool Naval Memorial. He is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial. Many thanks to Martin Thomas for the information.
William Handel Hughes, Second Radio Officer, Merchant Navy. William was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hughes, of Pontarddulais, and served in the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Wayfarer, a London registered cargo ship. On 19 August 1944 she was en route from Colombo for Britain with a cargo of copper, when she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-862, about 90 miles from Mozambique. William was 27 years old when he died that day, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
David Warren James, Master, Merchant Navy. David was the son of Captain John James and Mrs. James, of New Quay, Cardiganshire, and the husband of Sarah Morfydd James, of Pontarddulais. He was a long serving Merchant Seaman, being Master of the SS Anchises (Liverpool), he had received a King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct. The Anchises was attacked and bombed by Focke-Wolf Condors, on 27 February 1941. Stricken, she was re-attacked by a Focke-Wolfe Condor the following day, and sunk. David went down with her on 28 February. He was 50 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Elvet James, Private, 6102775, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey). Elvet was the son of William and Mary James of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Edith Mary Cavell James, of Loughor. He served with the 1/5th Battalion, West Surrey Regiment, which served in North Africa with the 131st Lorried Infantry Brigade. Elvet was killed at the Battle of El Alamein on 14 November 1942. He was 30 years old, and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.
Hilton Jones, Flight Sergeant, 965692, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Hilton was the son of Mabel Jones, of Pontarddulais, and he served with 220 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron flew with Coastal Command, equipped with the Hudson. In April 1941 the squadron as a whole moved to Wick in Scotland, where it continued to operate on anti shipping duties over Norwegian waters. Hilton was killed on 19 October 1941 when his Hudson did not return from a flight to Norway. He was 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
Morris Kirby (Moss), Private, 7356931, Royal Army Medical Corps. Morris was the son of Thomas and Margaret Kirby, of 11, Cambrian Place, Pontarddulais, and was known locally as Moss. He served with 181 Airlanding Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. The unit was an elite arm of the RAMC, and was attached to the 1st Airborne Division, moving to North Africa in May 1943. Here, the 1st Airborne prepared for the invasion of Sicily, and on the night of 9 July 1943 the Division took off in several Waco gliders bound for the Island, as part of a massive Allied invasion force. Unfortunately, around 60 percent of the gliders were lost over the Mediterranean during the journey, one of which included Moss. He was 23 years old when he lost his life on the morning of 10 July 1943, and is commemorated on the Cassino Memorial, Italy. Many thanks to Martin Thomas for identifying Moss, and for the photographs.
Alexander Lewis, Aircraftman 2nd Class, 1417906, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Alexander was the son of Thomas and Rebecca Lewis, of Craigcefnparc, and the husband of Gwyneth Lewis, of Pontarddulais. He served with the RAF during the war, and died after the war on 11 April 1946. Alexander was 37 years old, and is buried at Pantycrwys Congregational Chapelyard. He is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Brynley Howard Lewis, Private, 3911446, South Wales Borderers. Brynley was the son of Jenkin and Polly Lewis, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Pearl Louisa Lewis, of Llangennech. He served in Burma with the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. On 5 August 1944 the 6th Battalion, SWB took part in an attack on a strongly defended Japanese position at Hill 60, by the village of Sahmaw Chaung, and suffered heavy casualties in the attempt to take the position. Brynley was 27 years old when he was killed that day, and is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar.
Thomas Harold Lewis, Trooper, 14427411, Royal Armoured Corps. Thomas was born in Glamorgan and served with the 5th Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. On 28 May 1940 the 5th sailed for Cherbourg, but arrived too late to aid the BEF and withdrew for England. The Regiment sailed for Suez, then fought throughout the North African Campaign in 7th Armoured Division. On 15 September 1943, the Regiment landed at Salerno, and after the Volturno crossing was withdrawn to England with the rest of 7th Armoured Division to train for the Normandy landings. The Regiment landed in Normandy on 7 June 1944 and saw heavy fighting in the Bocage, before taking part in the advance through France and Belgium into Holland. Thomas was killed in Holland on 21 October 1944, and he is buried at Uden War Cemetery, Netherlands. He was just 19 years old.
John Raymond Madoc Michael, Second Lieutenant, 96052, Welch Regiment. John was the son of David R. Michael and Jennie M. Michael, of Pontarddulais. He served as a Second Lieutenant with the 15th Battalion, Welch regiment, which was a Home Service battalion. John was killed accidentally while on duty during a movement of troops on 2 August 1940. He is buried at Pontarddulais (St. Teilo) Churchyard. Many thanks to Bev Lewis for the photograph.
Richard James Mitchell, Lance Serjeant, 2734611, Royal Artillery. Richard was the son of Mary Mitchell, and the husband of Edith Gwendoline Mitchell, of Pontarddulais. He served with 312 Battery, 90 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. Richard served in North Africa, and took part in the invasion of Sicily and Italy in 1943-4. He was 25 years old when he was killed at Anzio on 12 February 1944, and is buried at Anzio War Cemetery, Italy.
John Morgan, Private, 3915890, South Wales Borderers. John lived at Iscoed Road, Hendy. He served with the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, which was raised in July 1940. The battalion sailed for Bombay in October 1942, and trained in India until March 1943, before moving to Calcutta. It was then posted to Burma, where it took part in a hard fought campaign against the Japanese, and the 6th SWB gained fame for their part in the capture of the Mayu Tunnels. In February 1945 the Battalion crossed the Irrawaddy, and took possession of Myitson, where three bridgeheads were developed. In the following days the Japanese launched a series of heavy attacks on the possession, but the SWB clung on. John was killed at Myitson on 16 February 1945. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar.
Glyndwr Phillips, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 630457, Royal Air Force. Glyndwr was the son of Rees William and Eleanor Ann Phillips, of the Glamorgan Arms, and of 13, Oakland Road, Pontlliw, Swansea. He served as an Air Gunner with 50 Squadron, RAF, which was a heavy bomber Squadron, equipped firstly with the Hawker Hampden, before converting to Avro Manchesters and Lancasters in 1942. At the time the Squadron was based at RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire. Glyndwr was one of seven men who crewed Lancaster I, Serial R5639, which took off from Swinderby on the night of 16 August 1942, bound for Osnabrück, Germany. The aircraft was part of a force of 129 aircraft sent on the raid, but on the return leg of the journey went missing. Despite an intensive search for the aircraft and her crew, all seven were deemed to have been missing/ killed in action on 17 August 1942. Glyndwr was 21 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surry, alongside his fellow crewmen; J S Bunbury, A G MacDonald, M P Gallagher, A T Mears, S R Mitchell, and P Simpson. Thanks to Martin Thomas for sending in the information about Glyndwr.
William Bertrand Donald Price, Private, B/42194, Canadian Infantry. Donald was born in 1915, the son of Bertrand William Price and Mary Elizabeth Price (nee Williams), of Pontarddulais. The family emigrated to Canada, and Donald married Bernice Eleanor, and they lived at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. William enlisted there into the Canadian Infantry, and was posted to the Algonquin Regiment, which moved to England in June 1943, where it became part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. On 16 July 1944 an advance party left for Normandy, with the remainder joining them within the coming days. The Regiment took part in the break out from the Normandy beach-head, and saw heavy fighting during the Battle of the Falaise Pocket. Donald was killed in action here while in action against elements of the S.S. Panzer Division on 18 August 1944. He was 28 years old, and is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, France.
Joseph Purchase, Corporal, 3957278, Welch Regiment. Joseph was the son of Frederick and Hannah Purchase, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Catherine Jane Purchase, of Hendy. He served with the 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment, which was at Palestine at the outbreak of war, moving to North Africa soon after. The 1st Welch then moved to Crete, where it became part of the garrison which was wiped out during the German airborne invasion in 1941. The battalion reformed at Cairo, and took part in further fighting in North Africa, joining the invasion of Italy in 1943. Joseph was killed in Italy on 8 December 1943. He was 34 years old, and is buried at Ancona War Cemetery, Italy.
Evan Henry Richards, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force. Evan served during the war as an Education Officer with the Royal Air Force. He died in hospital after having been invalided out of the RAF on 28 August 1946. He was 39 years old, and is buried at Rhydgoch Cemetery, Pontarddulais. Evan is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Thomas John Foster Roberts, Lieutenant, 203580, Royal Engineers. Thomas was the son of Christopher Emlyn Roberts and Mary Roberts, of Llanelli. He was educated at Llandovery, and joined the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war, serving with their 20th Field Company, which was part of the Allied invasion force which landed at Normandy in June, 1944. Thomas was killed during the first few weeks of the fighting, on 27 June, 1944. He was 23 years old and is buried at St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Cheux, France.
Frank Rogers, Leading Aircraftman, 1390032, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Frank was the son of Florence Rogers, of Upper Mill, Pontarddulais, and served with the Royal Air Force. He was posted to Alabama to take part in the Empire Air Training Scheme, and was killed there during a flying accident on 28 May 1942. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Montgomery (Oakwood) Cemetery Annexe, Alabama, USA. Frank is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Frederick Ernest Ryder, Sergeant (Flight Engineer), 617495, Royal Air Force. Frederick was the son of John William and Sarah Elizabeth Ryder, and the husband of Margaret Rowena Ryder, of Pontarddulais. He served with 77 Squadron, RAF, which was requipped with Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk III medium bombers, and from November 1939 the Mk V version, until April 1942 when the Bomber Command Whitley squadrons were transferred to Coastal Command. In October 1942 the Squadron converted to the Halifax, and returned to Bomber Command. At the end of November 1943 the “Battle of Berlin” commenced, and Frederick was killed when his Halifax was shot down over Germany on 4 December 1943. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany. Frederick is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Arthur Rees Schroeder, Serjeant, 2192663, Royal Engineers. Arthur was the son of George H. and Annie M. Schroeder, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Rene Schroeder. He served with 626 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers in North Africa and Italy. Arthur was killed in action on the Salerno beach-head on 3 September 1943. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Salerno War Cemetery, Italy.
William John Ryland Scott, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 2221348, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. William was the son of Edward Henry and Dilys Irene Scott, of Pontarddulais, and served with 61 Squadron, RAF. The Squadron was equipped with the Avro Lancaster. William was killed when his Lancaster crashed over Poland on 8 February 1945. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.
Benjamin Thomas, Gunner, 1482117, Royal Artillery. Benjamin was the son of Thomas and Polly Thomas, and the Husband of Mary Esther Thomas, of Pontarddulais. He was a Great War veteran, and served again during WW2 with 64 Battery, 34 Light A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. Benjamin died on active service on 29 November 1939, aged 55, and is buried at Pontarddulais (St. Teilo) Churchyard.
David Glyn Thomas, Captain, Royal Marines. David was the son of John and Caroline Thomas, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Elinor Annie Thomas, of Loughor. He had gained his B.A. with Honours prior to the war. He served with the Plymouth Division, Royal Marines, landing on the Normandy Beach Head on 25 June 1944, attached to the 602 L.C.M. Flotilla. David was killed during the landing. He was 33 years old, and is buried at Hermanville War Cemetery, France.
Douglas Arthur Gwynne Thomas, Sergeant, 1446824, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Douglas served with 405 Squadron, RCAF, which was one of the elite ‘Pathfinder’ Squadrons. Equipped with the Avro Lancaster, 405 Squadron was tasked with laying flares or incendiary bombs on targets, which the main bomber formations could use as guidance. Douglas was killed when his Lancaster went missing during a night raid on 2-3 August 1943. He was declared as having been killed on 3 August 1943. Douglas was 31 years old, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Douglas is not commemorated on the Pontarddulais War Memorial.
Evan William Clifford Walters, Corporal, 551094, Royal Armoured Corps. Evan was the son of Dan Morris Walters and Mary Elizabeth Walters, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Megan Walters, of Pontarddulais. He served with the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, which was attached to the Royal Armoured Corps. Between the wars the Regiment served as a cavalry unit, mobilising in that role in 1939 to move to Palestine. In 1940 it converted to Artillery and took part in the defence of Tobruk and Benghazi as well as the battle for Crete. Evan was killed at Crete on 1 June 1941. He was 31 years old, and is buried at Suda Bay War Cemetery, Crete.
Johnny Waters, Marine, PLY/X 101624, Royal Marines. Johnny was the son of Lewis and Sarah Ann Waters, and the husband of Jenny Waters, and served in the Royal Marines. He was posted to HMS Charybdis, which was a Dido Class Light Cruiser, launched in 1940. She had a busy career, serving in the Malta Convoys, at North Africa in 1942, Salerno in 1943, the Atlantic in 1943, then the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay during 1943. On 23 October 1943 she was heading a small force, which was tasked with the sinking of the German supply ship Munsterland, when she was sunk by a German Torpedo boat. Jonny was killed in the sinking. He was 29 years old, and was buried at St. Brieuc Western Communal Cemetery, France, after his body washed ashore.
David Coslett Williams, Volunteer, Home Guard. David was the Husband of Mary Annie Williams, of Pontarddulais. He served with the 8th Glamorganshire (Gorseinon) Battalion, Home Guard. David was killed on duty on 1 June 1941, probably during an Air Raid. He is buried at Pontlliw (Carmel) Baptist Chapelyard.
David Frederick Williams, Private, 4202274, Worcestershire Regiment. David was the son of Thomas and Mary Williams, of Pontarddulais, and served in Burma with the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. David was killed in Burma on 2 March 1945, aged 23, and is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar.
John Penry Williams, Chief Steward, Merchant Navy. John was the son of Roderick and Mary Williams; husband of Jessie Victoria Williams, of Hendy, and served in the Merchant Navy aboard the M.V. Empire Steel, a Liverpool registered oil tanker. John was killed when Empire Steel was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-123 on 24 March 1942. He was 48 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Leslie Williams, Private, 4696482, Pioneer Corps. Leslie was born at Pontarddulais, the son of David and Lydia Williams, later of West End, Doncaster, Yorkshire. He served with the Pioneer Corps in North Africa, and then in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. Leslie was killed in Sicily on 12 August 1943. He was 23 years old, and is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.
Leslie Alexander Williams, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 1897783, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Leslie was the son of Emrys and Louisa Williams, of Pontarddulais, and the husband of Edith Williams, of Pontarddulais. He served as an Air Gunner with 61 Squadron, RAF, which was a heavy bomber squadron, equipped with the Avro Lancaster. Leslie was killed over Belgium while returning from a mission over Germany on 5 January 1945. He was 28 years old, and is buried at Hotton War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Robert Graham Wright, Pilot Officer (Air Gunner), 142491, Royal Air Force. Robert was the son of Robert and Harriet Wright, of Pontlliw, and served with 76 Squadron, RAF. The squadron reformed at RAF Linton-on-Ouse as a Handley Page Halifax bomber squadron, part of No. 4 Group, RAF Bomber Command, and moved to Middleton St George in June 1941, returning to Linton-on-Ouse in July 1942. Robert was killed when his Halifax was shot down over Holland, while returning from a raid on Berlin, on 30 March 1943. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Vlieland General Cemetery, Netherlands.
Ronald Henry Yerbury, Private, NX66145, Australian Infantry. Ronald was born on 9 June 1919, the son of Edgar Charles Yerbury and Annie Catherine Yerbury (nee Green), of Craig Fawr, Pontarddulais. He emigrated to Australia, sailing from London on 12 May 1939, and spent just a year in Australia before enlisting at Paddington, New South Wales into the Australian Imperial Force on 10 July 1940. After training, Ronald was posted to No 1 Independent Company, which was an Australian Commando force, and was sent to Papua New Guinea, as part of ‘Lark Force’, a force of 1,500 men, to defend two airfields on the Island. Desperately outnumbered by an invading Japanese force of over 20,000, which landed on 23 January 1942, the Commandos fought desperately, but over the coming weeks were either killed or captured by the Japanese. Ronald was among the Australians taken prisoner, and was one of a number of POWs taken aboard a Japanese transport, the Montevideo Maru, which sailed from New Guinea on 22 June 1942, bound for Japan. Ronald died when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the American submarine USS Sturgeon off the Philippines on 1 July 1942. He was 23 years old, and is commemorated on the Rabaul Memorial, Papua New Guinea.