During the early part of the war, Llanreath was the site of the Admiralty Oil Tanks Depot. On the afternoon of Monday 19 August 1940, three Junkers 88 bombers carried out a raid on the depot, starting a huge fire which would rage on for three weeks. Firemen from all 22 fire brigades throughout the country were brought down to Pembrokeshire in the effort to stem the fire. This massive effort took the lives of five Cardiff firemen, and injured many others. My Grandmother in Whitland remembered seeing the flames and smoke from there, and my Grandfather took part in the effort to stem the fire, while serving with the Auxiliary Fire Service. South Pembrokeshire Golf Club stands on the site of the fire, and within the grounds are several memorials to these brave firemen who gave their lives. There is also another memorial in Pembroke Dock named the ‘Direct Hit – 1941’ Memorial, which commemorates the fire being started by a direct hit from a German bomb.
Llanreath Oil Tank Fire Memorial
Frederick George Davies. Frederick was the Husband of Mrs. F. G. Davies, of 6 Llanbradoch Street, Cardiff. He was a Fireman with Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service, and was one of the crew that was brought to Pembroke Dock to try and contain the blaze at Llanreath. He died at Llanreath Fuel Oil Depot, Pembroke Dock on 21 August 1940, and is buried at Pembroke.
Ivor John Kilby. Ivor was the Husband of Winifred Kilby, of 44 Gilligaer Street, Cathays. He served as a Leading Fireman with Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service, and died at Llanreath Fuel Oil Depot, Pembroke Dock, while fighting the oil fire, on 21 August 1940. Ivor was 29 years old.
Clifford Mills. Clifford was the Son of John Mills, of 118 Brunswick Street, Canton, Cardiff. He served as a Fireman with Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service, and died at Llanreath Fuel Oil Depot, Pembroke Dock, while fighting the oil fire on 21 August 1940. Clifford was 31 years old.
Trevor Charles Morgan. Trevor was the Son of R. J. Morgan, and Martha A. Morgan, of 46 May Street, Cathays, and the husband of Hilda May Morgan, of the same address. He was a Fireman with Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service, and died while fighting the oil blaze at Llanreath Fuel Oil Depot, Pembroke Dock on 21 August 1940. Trevor was 32 years old, and is buried at Pembroke.
John Frederick Thomas. John was the Son of David and Catherine Thomas, of 88 Swansea Street, Splott, and the husband of Florence May Thomas, of 16 Elaine Street, Splott. He served as a Fireman with Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service, and died while fighting the oil blaze at Llanreath Fuel Oil Depot, Pembroke Dock, on 22 August 1940. John was 31 years old.
City of Cardiff Fire Service Memorial
There is also a separate memorial inside South Pembrokeshire Golf Club, which names these four men, plus the remaining men of City of Cardiff Fire Service who died during the war. This memorial is a framed photograph of the marble memorial tablet which is located at Cardiff Central Fire Station. For some reason only one of these other men are commemorated by the CWGC, while one is shown as being killed in 1936.
The other men on the memorial are:
William L. James. Died on 29 September 1940.
Francis Wilberforce Gaccon. Divisional Officer, A.F.S.; M.A.I.E. Son of the late Watkin and Alice Charlotte Gaccon; husband of Lilian Maud Gaccon, of 153 Cyncoed Road. Died at Newport Road, Cardiff, aged 53. The memorial shows that he died on 3 March 1941, while the CWGC shows 2 March 1941.
Vincent L. Hyatt. Died on 3 October 1943.
William G. Simons. Died on 11 August 1944.
William R. Evans. Died ‘in the line of duty’ on 2 December 1936.
Pembroke Dock ‘Direct Hit – 1941’ Memorial