Walwyn’s Castle is a parish situated about five miles south-west of Haverfordwest, and four miles north-north-west of Milford Haven. The parish church is dedicated to St. James, and contains a single war memorial to Edwin Thomas, a Clerk to the Church, who fell during the Great War. Another soldier who fell during the Great War is commemorated on his parent’s grave within the churchyard, and although he is commemorated at Steynton, I have added his details to this page. Also commemorated on a local grave at nearby Robeston West is William Morris, a man who is not commemorated on any memorial locally. The remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle sit next to the churchyard, which was erected within an iron age hillfort, and located in an important position at the head of a valley running into the Cleddau estuary.

The Great War, 1914-1918

William Henry Thomas Davies, Private, 54489, Welsh Regiment. William was the son of Robert Septimus Davies and Emma Davies (nee Phillips), of Dale Road, Steynton. He enlisted there into the army, and was posted to France late in 1916 to join the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, the Carmarthen Pals battalion. The battalion had been in France since December 1915 attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division, and had taken part in the capture of Mametz Wood in July 1916, before moving via Hebuterne to Boesinghe, north of Ypres. On 31 July 1917 the 15th Welsh took part in the assault on Pilckem Ridge, successfully capturing their objectives. During the following days, the battalion remained in the front line, and played a part in the Battle of Langemarck. After a winter near Armentieres, in April 1918 the Division was moved to positions near Aveluy Wood on the Somme, where it remained until it crossed the River Ancre from 21 August 1918 onwards, and successfully captured Thiepval and Pozieres Ridges over the coming days. The Welshmen then advanced over the old Somme battlefields of 1916, capturing Longueval and Delville Wood, before taking part in the Battle of Morval. After the capture of Morval village, the division advanced towards Sailly-Saillisel. William was killed at Sailly on 4 September 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery, France.

William Morris, Private, 14740, Welsh Regiment. William was born in 1897, the son of David and Ellen Morris, of East Lodge, St. Ishmaels. He enlisted at Milford into the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. The Division crossed to France during July 1915, and moved to positions around Givenchy, near Loos. William was wounded soon after, and died of his wounds on 23 August 1915. He was 19 years old, and is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, France. William is commemorated on his parent’s grave at Robeston West.

Edwin Thomas, Private, 15904, Welsh Regiment. Edwin was the son of James and Ellin Thomas, of Woods End, Robeston West. He enlisted at Haverfordwest into the Welsh Regiment, and was posted to France in December 1915 with the 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The division moved to positions in the Fleurbaix sector for trench initialisation and training, and on 10 January 1916 moved into the front line at Riez Bailleul. Edwin was a signaller, and was positioned in an isolated post on 12 January when the battalion made an experimental demonstration of raising dummies above the trenches to test the Germans opposite. The Germans retaliated by shelling the Welshmen’s positions, killing Edwin and two other signallers, when their post suffered a direct hit that day. Edwin was 21 years old, and is buried at Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, France.