Aberedw is a village in the heart of Radnorshire, which contains the ruins of the medieval Aberedw Castle. The village is the location where Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was killed, following the defeat of his army at Cilmeri. Withinn the village is the ancient Church of St Cewydd, which contains a wooden war memorial to the men of the village who served, and those who died, during the Great War. Those who fell are not marked as such on the memorial, probably because they both died after the unveiling of the memorial, so the details on this page are as accurate as I can get. The plaque was presented by the High Sheriff J L Greenway in 1917. The details on the plaque have been split into two sections: those who fell; and those who served and survived.
The Great War, 1914-1918
Harry Cox, Corporal, 108673, Machine Gun Corps. Harry was born in Glastonbury in about 1891. By 1911 he was living at 28, Partridge Road, Llanhilleth where he was in charge of a gang of roadmen. In 1913 he married Lily Morris at Pontardawe, and the couple moved back to her native Aberedw, where two of their three daughters were born. Harry enlisted at Ystradgynlais into the South Wales Borderers at the outbreak of war, and was later posted to the 17th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, which was attached to the 17th Division. He served in France with the division, but had returned to England prior to the Armistice. He died at Grantham on 1 November 1918, aged 27 and his body was brought back to Aberedw for burial in St. Cewydd’s Churchyard.
William Ernest Mason, Private, 95802, Royal Defence Corps. William was the son of John and Jane Mason, of Llanelwedd Villa, Builth Wells. He married Lilian May Pearce at Aberedw in 1916. William enlisted into the army and was posted to the 1st Labour Company, King’s Liverpool Regiment on 26 February 1917, before being transferred to the 258th Provisional Company, Royal Defence Corps in December 1917. William had served overseas and had survived the war, but his health had been ruined and he died at home at Aberedw on 8 May 1920, aged 31. He is buried in St. Cewydd’s Churchyard.
Aberedw War Memorial
REES, J.C. Lt. Col. W.H
WINDHAM, W. Commander. R.N
KIDSTON, G.P. Sub Lieutenant. R.N
LLOYD, J.E. Lieutenant. S.W.R
LLOYD, J.P. Captain. W. Regt.
LLOYD, G.M. Captain. R.G.A
MORRIS, J. Private. K.S.L.I
MORRIS, E.L. Private. K.S.L.I
MORRIS, R.J. Private. S.W.B
MORRIS, H.V. R.E
MORRIS, A.M. Private. W. Regt.
MORRIS, G.M. Sapper. R.E
PRICE, T. Sapper. R.E
PROBERT, D.J. Private. W. Regt
WEBB, A. Bombardier. R.F.A
HANDLEY, C.T. Sapper. R.F.A
MASON, W.E. Private. Hants Regt. (Died 1920)
PEARCE, F.M. Private. York
DAVIES, C.T. Private. S.W.B
PRICE, P.J. Private. Lab. Co.
PUGH, T. Private. W. Regt
MORRIS, W.T. Sapper. R.E
COX, H. Corporal. M.G.C (Died 1918)
PRICE, L. Sapper. R.E
HANDLEY, T. Private. A.S.C
BARKER, T. Private. R.A.S.C
THOMAS, T. Private. K.S.L.I
DAVIES, B. Canadian. R.A.F
JONES, E.R. Private. Q.W.R
George Pearson Glen Kidston, Sub Lieutenant, Royal Navy. George was not a casualty of the Great War, but merits a mention here as he is probably the most famous man on the Aberedw War Memorial. He was born on 23 January 1899, a grandson of the wealthy industrialist A.G. Kidston.
He served in the Royal Navy as a Lieutenant Commander during the Great War, being aboard HMS Aboukir when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-9 on 22 September 1914, he was rescued and taken aboard HMS Hogue, which was then torpedoed in the act of picking up survivors and also sank. He then served at the Battle of Jutland aboard the dreadnought HMS Orion, before volunteering to serve on submarines.
He was aboard the submarine X1 when she was on sea trials and became stuck on the seabed after developing a fault. After the war he remained in the submarine service and was given command of the submarine H24, and whilst serving became an early Naval flier.
He married Nancy Miriel Denise Soames in 1925 and had a son. The fashion designer Cath Kidston is his granddaughter.
He was also a motorsports enthusiast, taking part in the Monte Carlo Rally, the Isle of Man TT and the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb among others. He also raced in several Grand Prix, owning the first Bugatti in the UK and entered Le Mans, winning on his second attempt in 1930, driving a Bentley.
During 1929 he was aboard a German airliner which crashed whilst flying from Croydon to Amsterdam and burst into flames. Badly burned, he managed to rescue a fellow passenger, Prince Eugen von Schaumberg-Lippe, who later died.
During April 1932 he embarked on a flight from Netheravon, Wiltshire to Cape Town, South Africa, completing the epic journey in less than a week, flying his own aircraft.
On 5 May 1931 his luck ran out, and George was killed whilst flying a De Havilland aircraft which broke up and crashed during a dust storm over South Africa. His remains were brought home for burial in St. Peter’s Churchyard, Glasbury-upon-Wye.