Mathry is a small village situated on a hill about six miles west of Fishguard. The men of the village who fell during both world wars are commemorated on the war memorial, which is situated in the grounds of the parish church, and takes the form of a marble obelisk. These men are commemorated below.
The Great War, 1914-1918
James Barrington, Serjeant, 28199, Welsh Regiment. James was the Husband of Elizabeth Mary Barrington, of Upper Houlse, Castle Morris. He enlisted at Haverfordwest into the 18th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. The Division moved to France during June 1916, and moved to the front near Loos. Late in 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought at the Battle of the Ancre, and remained in the area over the winter. In March 1917 the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line, and the 40th Division was one of the Divisions that followed the withdrawal. James was wounded during this period, and returned to Britain for treatment. He died of his wounds on 31 August 1917, aged 27, and is buried at Mathry Church Cemetery.
Edgar Evans, Private, 54514, Welsh Regiment. Edgar was born at Mathry and was the husband of Phoebe Evans, later of the Cambrian Inn, Fishguard. He enlisted at Fishguard into the army, and was posted to the 19th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was the Pioneer Battalion of the 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division arrived in France at the end of November 1915 and was stationed around Armentieres, before moving South to the Somme in June 1916. They famously captured Mametz Wood during July 1916 and suffered terrible casualties, which necessitated them being removed from the Battle and sent north to Ypres to recover. Edgar was mortally wounded at Ypres, and was brought to No. 46 Casualty Clearing Station at Mendinghem, where he died of wounds on 25 May 1917, aged 30. He is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Edwin Evans, Gunner, 725752, Royal Field Artillery. Edwin was born in Mathry, the son of William and Maria Evans. The family later resided at 5, Vergam Terrace, Fishguard. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the Royal Field Artillery, and was posted into ‘B’ Battery, 98th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 22nd Division. The Division was in France during September, 1915 but were soon to embark at Marseilles for Salonika, arriving by 13 December 1915. They remained there for the duration of the War, and Edwin Died there of sickness on 19 October 1917, aged just 23. He is buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Salonika.
Gwilym Philip Evans, Private, 267451, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Gwilym was born in Mathry in 1890, the son of William and Sarah Evans. A year later the family moved to Pontypridd, where William had gained work as a council labourer and the family resided at 113 Middle Street, Trallwn. After leaving school Gwilym worked at the Maritime Colliery and in 1911 married Blodwen Evans. He enlisted into the 4th Welsh on 14 January 1915 and was posted to Pembroke Dock for training. He was posted to France in 1916, attached to the 1/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The battalion was attached to 143 Brigade, 48th Division and moved to Ypres in the summer of 1917 in order to take part in the Passchendaele offensive. Gwilym was killed in action during an attack near Langemark on 4 October 1917, aged 27. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Gwilym is not commemorated locally, but is named on the Pontypridd Roll of Honour.
James Devereaux Evans, Stoker 1st Class, 282467, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. James was born on 21 June 1876 at Rickerston Bridge, the son of William and Emma Evans, later of Lammas Fold, Haverfordwest. He was employed as a Labourer prior to enlisting on 4 April 1896 into the Royal Navy. By the time of the Great War, James was in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He re-enlisted, and joined Howe Battalion on 15 September 1915, which was attached to the Royal Naval Division. The Naval Brigades were sent to Antwerp and Dunkirk in September 1914 to guard against invasion by the Germans. However Antwerp fell to the Germans soon after, and so many of the RND units were withdrawn to England. After a lengthy period of refit and training the Division moved to Egypt preparatory to the Gallipoli campaign. Landing on 25 April 1915, the Division fought throughout the Campaign on Gallipoli. James was killed at Gallipoli on 4 June 1915. He was 39 years old, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
James Harries Evans, Private, 9882, Royal Fusiliers. James was born in Mathry, the son of Joseph and Margaret Evans. The family later resided at Drim, Goodwick and James became a teacher at Fishguard Council School. He enlisted at Fishguard into the army, and was posted to the 13th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, part of 111 Brigade, 37th Division. The Division fought at Gommecourt and the Ancre during the Somme offensive, before moving to Arras, where they took the village of Monchy-le-Preux. It was during the Second Battle of the Scarpe that James was Killed in Action, on 25 April 1917, aged just 21. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. James is not named on the Mathry Memorial, but at Fishguard.
William George Griffiths, Petty Officer Stoker, K/2750, Royal Navy. William was born at Mathry on 9 July 1889, the son of James Griffiths. He had enlisted into the Royal Navy on 26 April 1909 and on 28 June 1917 was posted to HMS Ariadne, a Diadem-class cruiser which had been converted to a minelayer and assigned to the Nore Command. She was torpedoed and sunk off Beachy Head by the German submarine UC-65 on 26 July 1917. William died in the sinking that day, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.
Sidney Charles Harris, Corporal, 26735, King’s Liverpool Regiment. Sidney was the son of Giles and Harriet Harris, of Spittal. He enlisted at Haverfordwest into the army, and was posted to the 6th Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment, which was attached to 165 Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division. The Division moved to France during January 1916, and fought on the Somme that year. During 1917 it took part in the Third Battle of Ypres. The Division relieved 42nd Division in the front line at Givenchy on 15 February 1918, and faced numerous strong enemy raids in March. April was at first much quieter, but it was a lull before the storm, as the Germans launched another offensive here, with the Division taking part in the Battle of Estaires. Sidney was wounded during this tumultuous period, and died of his wounds on 15 May 1918. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, France.
William Bowen Lewis, Private, 50106, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of David and Ann Lewis, of Bryn Awel, Letterston, and the brother of David Albert Lewis, of 9, Bridge Street, Cardigan. William was the head teacher at Mathry School prior to the war. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 2nd Battalion, the Welsh Regiment, which formed part of 3 Brigade, 1st Division. This was a regular Army Division that had been in France since the Battle of Mons, and had fought through almost every major campaign of the Great War. The Division was in French Flanders during the middle of 1918, when they were still in the midst of the epic struggle to hold the German Offensive. William was killed in action on 6 June 1918, aged 36, and is buried in Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
William Miles, Private, 24399, South Wales Borderers. William was the son of William and Mary Miles, of The Square, Mathry. He enlisted at Haverfordwest into the Welsh Regiment, but was posted to the 12th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion was attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division, and moved to France on 1 June 1916, moving to the front near Loos. William was killed at Loos on 3 September 1916. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France.
William Mathias Richards, Pioneer, 130559, Royal Engineers. William was born at Mathry on 2 November 1881, the son of Joseph and Hannah Richards. On 21 November 1899 he enlisted into the Royal Navy, but within a year was injured and discharged as unfit. He married Hannah Evans on 26 December 1903, and the couple lived at 6, Clifton Street, Swansea. William enlisted in August 1914 into the South Wales Borderers, but was transferred into the Royal Engineers on 21 March 1916, and posted to ‘F’ Special Company. The Special Companies were Chemical Warfare Engineers, which handled Gas Shells to be fired from Stokes Mortars. William was Killed in Action on 6 April 1917, during the build up to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, part of the main Battle of Arras, while his Company were situated in the Souchez Valley. He was aged 36, and is buried in Zoave Valley Cemetery, Souchez, France. William is not commemorated at Mathry, but at nearby Fishguard.
Gwynne Lewis Thomas, Corporal, 44345, Royal Engineers. Gwynne was the son of George and Jane Thomas, of Penlan Square, Mathry. He served throughout the war with the 75th Field Company, Royal Engineers, which was attached to the Guards Division. Gwynne survived the war, but suffered from gas poisoning during the latter stages of the war. He died as a result of his gas poisoning on 2 March 1920. Gwynne was 25 years old, and is buried at Mathry (Rehoboth) Congregational Chapelyard. Gwynne is not commemorated locally.
Lionel George Theophilus Thomas, Second Lieutenant, Welsh Regiment. Lionel was the only son of Theophilus Evan Thomas and Mrs. Edith H. Thomas of Trehale, Mathry. Lionel was commissioned into the 5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The battalion was in Palestine, but Lionel went to France attached to another battalion of the Welsh Regiment on 2 December 1916. He was attached to the Machine Gun Corps on 5 February 1917. Lionel was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres, on 20 September 1917. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium. Lionel is commemorated on a plaque inside Blaenllyn Baptist Chapel, Mathry, by a stained glass window in Llandeloy Church and also at Wolfscastle.
World War Two, 1939-1945
Thomas James Levi Davies, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy. Thomas was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Davies, of Mathry. He served with the Merchant Navy aboard S.S. Amarylis. She was a Panamanian Cargo Steamer of 4,328 tons built in 1918. On 2 December 1942, when on route from Aden for Durban she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-181, and sunk with the loss of 29 of her crew of 37. Thomas was among the dead. He was 25 years old, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Edwin Charles Edwards, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy. Edwin was born at Mathry on 22 January 1897, the son of Charles and Margaret Edwards. He lodged at Workington Farm, Abercastle as a young man, where he worked as a farm labourer. Edwin then left Pembrokeshire to work for the Great Western Railway and by 1913 was working at Neath as a Fireman for the GWR. Soon after the outbreak of war he enlisted into the Mercantile Marine, and continued to serve at sea in the years after the Armistice. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, he was serving aboard the coastal cargo ship SS Foam Queen. On 2 November 1943 Foam Queen was steaming from Goole to Poole with a cargo of coal, when she was torpedoed by a German E-boat. The explosion blew off her stern, however the bulk of the ship remained afloat. Edwin was among eight men aboard the ship who were killed in the explosion. The 46-year-old has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Edwin does not appear to be commemorated locally.
James Trevor Willis Morris, Flight Lieutenant (Pilot), 156959, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. James was the son of James William Charles Bala Morris and Antoinette Paige Morris, and the husband of Muriel Morris. He served as a Pilot with 640 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was a heavy bomber squadron, equipped with the Handley Page Halifax III, based at RAF Leconfield, in Yorkshire. On 7 December 1944, while on a raid to bomb the Krupp works at Essen, James’ Halifax came down over Germany, killing him and his crew. James was 23 years old, and is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Arthur Gwynfor Rees, Private, 14550322, Somerset Light Infantry. Arthur was the son of George and Annie Mary Rees, of Mathry. He served with the 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, which landed in Normandy two weeks after D-Day, attached to the 43rd Wessex Division. Arthur survived the war, and remained in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. He was accidentally killed on 7 July 1946. Arthur was 22 years old, and is buried at Munster Heath War Cemetery, Germany.
Reginald Thomas, Lieutenant, 78890, Parachute Regiment. Reginald was the son of Theophilus Lloyd Thomas and Anne Eliza Thomas (nee Reynolds). He married Edith Elizabeth Nora Llewellin, of Haverfordwest, in 1940. He was originally commissioned into the Royal Artillery, before volunteering for service with the 11th Battalion, Parachute Regiment. Reginald was in charge of the battalion Mortar Platoon, and was one of 571 men of the battalion to take part in the Airborne operations code-named Operation Market Garden, whose intention was to seize the vital road bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem. Reginald landed in Arnhem on 17 September 1944. He was killed after several days of desperate fighting at Oosterbeek while defending their positions against a German counter-attack on 21 September 1944. He was 28 years old, and is buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands.