Llandrillo, or Llandrillo yn Edeirnion, is a small village situated on the B4401 road between Bala and Corwen, in the ancient county of Merionethshire. In 1996 the village was placed within the county of Denbighshire. The men of the village who fell in both World Wars are commemorated on the village war memorial, which is located outside the Memorial Hall. The memorial takes the form of a Celtic Cross. As the village was in the county of Merionethshire during both wars, this page is located in the Merionethshire section of this website.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Robert Austin, Private, 204390, Middlesex Regiment. Robert was the son of William and Margaret Austin, of Pant Afallen, Betws Gwerful Goch. He lived at Garthisey, Llandrillo prior to enlisting at Dolgellau into the 2/7th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment on 3 February 1917. After completing his training, Robert embarked at Folkestone on 13 September 1917 and landed in Boulogne later that day, before joining the 3/10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, which was at Ypres attached to 10 Brigade, 4th Division. The Division had moved to Ypres in September following service in the Arras sector and was thrown into the Passchendaele offensive on 29 September soon after reaching Belgium and Robert probably saw his first taste of battle during an attack by his new battalion that day. The battalion moved back to Leipzig Camp for a rest on 1 October, and on the night of 3-4 October moved back into the line near Langemarck, to take part in an assault to the north-east of the battered remains of the village. Robert was badly wounded in the back during fighting near Eagle Trench early in the assault, and died of his wounds at the 61st Casualty Clearing Station on 5 October 1917, aged 21. He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Llewelyn Davies, Private, 23135, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Llewellyn was born in Llandrillo in 1892, the son of Henry and Sarah Davies, of Garthiaen. He worked as a banker, and resided at the London County and Midland Bank, Llandyssul, Carmarthenshire prior to the war. Llewelyn enlisted at Carmarthen into the 7th Dragoons, but later transferred to the 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which was attached to 43 Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. On 21 May 1915 the Division landed at Boulogne, and moved to positions east of Ypres. Here the Division gained the dubious distinction of being the first troops to have been attacked by the new German Flamethrower, at the Action of Hooge, and also fought at Bellewaarde. The Division then spent several months in the Arras sector, before being moved south during the first week of August to take part in the Somme offensive. On 12 August the 6th KOYLI moved into the front line on the Somme for the first time, in order to take part in the bloody fighting for Delville Wood and saw heavy fighting around Longueval over the coming days, until being relieved on 20 August. The battalion went back into action at Montauban and Guillemont on 25 August and spent another four days in the front before being relieved again, moving to the back areas over the coming days, having suffered heavy casualties. By 12 September the battalion was back near the front, at Mericourt, then camped at Méaulte before moving to bivouacs at Pommiers Redoubt, where it received orders to take part in another assault, as part of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. On the following day, 15 September 1916, the battalion attacked northwards towards Flers, to the east of Delville Wood. Llewelyn was killed in action during the attack that day. The 24-year-old has no known grave, and so he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Robert Owen Davies, Corporal, 17688, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Robert was the son of Robert and Margaret Davies, of 1 Fairclough Terrace Llandrillo. He worked as a steel worker in Brymbo prior to enlisting at Wrexham into the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers soon after the outbreak of war. Robert married, Margaret Elizabeth Hughes, of Brymbo, on 27 March 1915. Robert embarked for France early in 1916, and was posted to the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The battalion was at Ypres attached to 76 Brigade, 3rd Division, and was rebuilding after having suffered heavy casualties during the Actions of the Bluff, and then during the terrible fighting at the St Eloi Craters. The Division then moved south to take part in the Somme offensive, arriving at Doullens on 2 July. By 9 July the 10th RWF had reached Bronfay Farm, and began training in preparation to join the offensive, before moving into the line at Breslau Trench on 13 July, and supporting an attack near Montauban by 76 Brigade. On the following day the 10th RWF took over a section of Montauban Alley, moving forward to Caterpillar Valley before digging in. On 19 July the battalion received orders to attack Delville Wood, and during the early hours of 20 July 1916 the attack was launched. The 10th RWF moved into the wood by the south western corner, then moved along Buchanan Street, passing the South Africans. At 3.45 the main attack began, and the battalion was met by heavy machine-gun fire. As daylight dawned, many men were killed by snipers hidden within the dark ruins of the wood, and terrible fighting raged all day. Robert was killed in action in Delville Wood at sometime during the day. The 23-year-old is buried in London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, France. Two men of his battalion were later awarded the Victoria Cross for their gallantry during the attack on Delville Wood.
Rhys Thomas Edwards, Private, 335, Australian Infantry. Rhys was born in Llandrillo on 28 September 1891, the son of David Edwards and Jane Edwards (nee Pugh). When he was 19 years old he emigrated to Australia, and moved to Cannington Road, Bicton, Fremantle. Rhys found work as a Grocer’s Assistant, prior to enlisting at Fremantle into the 44th Battalion, Australian Infantry on 24 January 1916. The unit embarked from Fremantle aboard HMAT A29 Suevic on 6 June 1916, and sailed via the Suez Canal to England. Rhys contracted laryngitis soon after arrival and was treated at Fargo Military Hospital. On 16 January 1917 Rhys embarked for France, joining the 3rd Australian Division Base Depot, and was then posted to re-join his battalion, the 44th Battalion, AIF, which was attached to 11 Brigade, 3rd Australian Division. The Division moved to the Armentieres sector, and began alternating between service in the front line, and training and labouring in the rear areas. Its first major action was during the Battle of Messines from 7 June 1917. It then moved slightly north and took part in a very costly assault on the Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October 1917. Rhys was shot in the hand and shoulder during the battalion’s assault on 4 October 1917, and was invalided back to England, for treatment at Edmonton Military Hospital. On 1 February 1918 he embarked aboard HT Balmoral Castle, and returned to Australia for discharge from the AIF as medically unfit. Unfortunately, Rhys became ill and died of appendicitis at Fremantle on 26 June 1918, aged 26. He is buried in Fremantle Cemetery, Western Australia.
Edward Hughes, Private, 25086, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Edward was the son of William and Grace Hughes, of 1, Minafon, Llandrillo. He worked as a Carter prior to enlisting at Corwen into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 1 February 1915. He was posted to Llandudno, joining the 17th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but on 19 June 1917 was posted to Litherland Camp, Liverpool, joining the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On 30 September 1915 Edward embarked for France, joining the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 22 Brigade, 7th Division. The Division had suffered heavy casualties during the Battle of Loos during its capture of the Quarries. By the summer of 1916, the Division was on the Somme, and took part in the opening offensive of 1 July 1916, capturing Bois Francais and Mametz village. The Division then fought at the Battle of Bazentin, and the Attacks on High Wood, becoming the first troops into High Wood. The Division then took part in the Battle of Delville Wood, and the Battle of Guillemont, before spending the winter on the Ancre. In March 1917 it followed up the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and took part in Flanking Operations Round Bullecourt, taking part in terrible fighting alongside the Australians. Later in the year the Division moved to Ypres, and again saw terrible fighting in the Battle of Polygon Wood. On 4 October the Division again fought alongside the Australians, during the Battle of Broodseinde, successfully pushing the line forwards to the east of Polygon Wood. Edward was killed just before his battalion was relieved on 10 October 1917. The 24-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
Abraham Wilson Jones, Private, 53209, Cheshire Regiment. Abraham was the son of Hugh and Ann Jones, of Glyn Mill, Llandrillo. He worked at his fathers mill prior to the war, and in 1916 received a call up notice. Due to the skilled nature of the work at the mill, Abraham submitted a Military Appeal, which was heard at a Tribunal in September. Further exemptions were then granted over the coming twelve months, with the promise from his father that he would soon find a replacement, so his son could go off to war. As a result, Abraham enlisted into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham on 8 October 1917, after a skilled Russian mill worker had been sent in his place. He was drafted to France on 27 March 1918, initially bound for the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but on 31 March was transferred to the 9th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division, which had just suffered heavy casualties in the days following the German Spring Offensive of 21 March. He joined the battalion at Ramillies Camp, as part of a draft of over 200 men. The 19th Division had been transferred from the Somme to the Messines sector to rebuild, and on 9 April 1918 the 9th Cheshires moved to Nieppe, following reports of a fresh German offensive along the Lys Valley. At dawn on 10 April a thick fog covered the area held by the 19th Division, which came under heavy artillery fire at 5.30. At 6.00 the German infantry attacked en-masse, and the Division got caught up in desperate fighting once more as it was slowly pushed back west towards Mount Kemmel. The battered Division entrained for Chalons sur-Marne on 16 May, taking up positions in the more peaceful Aisne Sector to recover, but unfortunately the Germans launched their third, and last, offensive of 1918 in that sector on 27 May 1918. The Division was in reserve and received orders to proceed to the Jonchery-sur Vesle area, where it came into contact with the Germans, for the third time in as many months. Abraham was posted as missing, presumed died of wounds or killed in action on 31 May 1918, during a terrible action which saw the Division suffer horrific casualties yet again. The 20-year-old is buried in Chambrecy British Cemetery, France.
John Ogwen Jones, Private, 204092, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. John was the son of Mary Elizabeth Jones, of Bryngoleu, Gwyddelwern. He was employed as a farm servant at Caenog and Branas Ucha, Llandrillo prior to marrying Elizabeth Evans, of Bodowen, Llandrillo, in 1915. John enlisted at Dolgellau into the Royal Welsh Fusilers, and was posted to France in March 1918, joining the 15th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. He was then transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division had taken a battering when it became caught up in the German Spring Offensive on the Somme from 21 March, and John was probably transferred to it from the 38th Division as it was rebuilding in the Messines area. The Division was unfortunately caught up in heavy fighting again when the Germans launched the second phase of their Spring Offensive along the Lys valley on 9 April, and over the coming days saw terrible fighting. John was killed in action whilst attached to the 58th Light Trench Mortar Battery on 9 May 1918, when the battery came under fire from German artillery. He was 34 years old and is buried in La Brique Military Cemetery No.2, Belgium.
Robert Pierce Jones, Private, 3/59064, Cheshire Regiment. Robert was the son of Isaac and Grace Jones, of Tyn-y-Cefn, Corwen. He married Nellie Edwards at Corwen in 1912, and the couple lived at Berwyn Terrace, Corwen. Robert worked as the Queensferry Munition Works prior to enlisting into the Royal Field Artillery in October 1916. In January 1917 he was transferred to the 3rd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, and was posted to France soon afterwards, joining the 13th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, which was attached to 74 Brigade, 25th Division. The Division was in the Ploegsteert area when Robert joined its ranks, holding the line to the east of Ploegsteert Wood, and alternated between this sector and Le Touquet over the coming weeks. Robert was seriously wounded in the right leg during one such tour of the trenches in April 1917. He was evacuated to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Bailleul where he died of his wounds on 29 April 1917, after having his leg amputated. He was 26 years old and was buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Thomas Ellis Jones, Gunner, 215042, Royal Field Artillery. Thomas was the son of Edward and Mary Jones, of Nant-y-Wern, Penybont Fawr. He worked as a waggoner for Edward Jones, at Ty’n-y-Coed Farm, Llandrillo prior to the war. Thomas received a call-up notice in 1916, and his employer took the case to the Appeals Tribunal, as he needed Thomas to help work his 100 acres. In December 1916 the Tribunal rules that Thomas must enlist, and that his role on the farm be substituted by someone else. As a result, soon afterwards Thomas enlisted at Dolgellau into the Royal Field Artillery, and was posted to France early in 1917, joining B Battery, 76th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The Brigade was attached to the 16th (Irish) Division, and saw action during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line before being moved north to Ypres. Thomas was killed in action at Ypres on 4 October 1917, probably by counter-battery fire. He was 24 years old and is buried in Cement House Cemetery, Belgium.
Richard Herbert Evan Parry, Private, M/295835, Army Service Corps. Richard was the son of Robert Evan Parry and Anne Parry, of Meirion House, Llandrillo. He worked as a Saw Mill Labourer prior to the war and resided at 1, Hazel Grove, Trevor, near Llangollen. Richard enlisted into the Army Service Corps at Wrexham on 4 September 1916, and was placed on the Army Reserve. On 15 February 1917 Richard was mobilised and posted to the ASC Depot at Grove Park, for training with the Motor Transport. Not long after his arrival in camp, Richard was taken ill, and was hospitalised at the South Western Hospital at Stockwell, London, where he died of Scarlet Fever on 20 March 1917, aged 18. His remains were conveyed home for burial in Brynllan Cemetery, Llandrillo.
Edward Roberts, Private, 53653, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Edward was the son of Robert and Anne Roberts, of Efail-y-Bont, Llandrillo. He worked as a Carter at Corwen prior to the war. Edward enlisted at Corwen into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and upon completing his training was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 22 Brigade, 7th Division. He probably joined the battalion early in January 1917, and would have been with the Division when it followed up the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917. The Division then fought alongside the Australians at the Battle of Bullecourt, seeing terrible fighting in the village. Later in the year the Division moved to Ypres, and again saw terrible fighting at the Battle of the Polygon Wood. They then took part in the Battle of Broodseinde, the Battle of Poelcapelle and the Second Battle of Passchendaele, but had suffered significant losses during Third Ypres, so was relieved before moving to Italy, in support of the Italian Army. The Division took part in the assault to cross the Piave River, and in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, before the Armistice was signed. Edward had survived the war, but sadly took ill and died in Italy on 23 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried in Giavera British Cemetery, Arcade, Italy.
Howell Williams, Private, 48936, Lancashire Fusiliers. Howell was the son of Samuel and Anne Williams, of Tynygroes, Llandrillo, Corwen. He worked as a Millinery Salesman at Altrincham prior to the war and married Elizabeth Ellen Williams in 1915. Howell enlisted at Altrincham into the Middlesex Regiment, but upon completing his training was transferred to the 16th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. The battalion was attached to 96 Brigade, 32nd Division, and had been in France since the end of December 1915. The Division fought throughout the Somme offensive in 1916, and in March 1917 followed the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. The Division did not take part in a major battle until being caught up in the German Spring Offensive from 21 March 1918. By the beginning of April 1918, the battalion was in positions at Ayette, to the south of Arras. Towards the end of the month the battalion moved into billets for a rest, and then on 11 May moved into new positions in the line at Boisleux Au Mont to begin a tour of duty, and after ten days moved back into billets. Again, after just four days’ rest, the battalion moved back into the same sector on 21 May to begin another tour. Howell was killed in action during this spell back in the line, on 28 May 1918, aged 39. He is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Morris Maldwyn Davies, Guardsman, 2734593, Welsh Guards. Morris was the son of Robert and Margaret Davies, of Tyn y Wern, Llandrillo. He enlisted into the Welsh Guards and was posted to the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards. The battalion had been in France with the BEF at the outbreak of war, and saw heavy fighting during the defence of Arras, before being evacuated from Dunkirk. The battalion then spent four years on home service before landing in France in June 1944, attached to the Guards Armoured Division. Following the break-out from the Normandy beach-head, the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards re-entered Arras, over four years since being forced out, and by 3 September had reached Brussels. The battalion then took part in Operation Market Garden with the Guards Armoured Division, during the operation to attempt to capture the Arnhem Bridge, and by December had reached Sittard on the German Frontier. After resting over Christmas, in February the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards moved back into action for the last time, and took part in actions at Haversum, Kassel, Hassum, Mull and Bonning-Hardt. Morris was killed in Germany during fighting to the south of Metxekath Wood on 6 March 1945, aged 27. He was originally buried in Metxekath along with four other men of the battalion, but on 25 November 1946 their graves were re-interred in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Glyn Williams, Sub Lieutenant (S), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Glyn lived at Tyfos, Llandrillo. He served as a Sub Lieutenant (Paymaster) in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and had been posted aboard the Dido class light cruiser HMS Bonaventure in 1940. Soon after the outbreak of war, Bonaventure took part in the evacuation of British wealth to Canada, before being despatched to the Mediterranean. On 10 January 1941 she sank the Italian torpedo boat Vega off Cape Bon, Tunisia. Just over two months later, on 31 March 1941, Bonaventure was on operations south of Crete when she was torpedoed and sunk by the Italian submarine Ambra, going down with the loss of 139 of her crew of 480. Glyn has no known grave and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.