British troops have been involved in wars for as long as history remembers, but the first truly modern war which caught the imagination of the public was the Crimean War, mainly because it was the first war to have been reported by telegram communication. This meant that the British public could for the first time read firsthand news and reports of the war as events occurred. The Crimean War was also the instigator for the most famous gallantry decoration to be awarded, the Victoria Cross, the medals of which are made of bronze taken from captured Russian cannon.
There were, of course, other wars during the nineteenth century which were widely known. The famous Peninsula Wars (1807 – 1814) led to the invasion of Napoleonic France and culminated in Wellington’s famous victory at the Battle of Waterloo on Sunday 18 June 1815, a battle which saw a famous West Walian, General Sir Thomas Picton, killed.
The British Empire’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’, India, involved the British in several wars, while we also fought in North Africa, New Zealand, Burma, China, and more recently South Africa, during the Zulu War and the two Boer Wars.
Scattered throughout churches, chapels and memorials halls in West Wales are dozens of individual memorials to officers and men who fought and died in these far off places, while towns such as Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Llanelli boast fine public monuments to commemorate men who died in the Boer Wars. Carmarthen is also home to the impressive Crimea Monument, which is dedicated to the fallen officers and men of the 23rd Regiment who fell during the campaign.
As time allows, I will be gathering information on as many of these memorials as I can, and placing the details in this section of the website. While the main county sections of the website contain the details of the WW1 and WW2 memorials, there are also scattered among the pages details of men who fell during other wars and these will be left where they presently are, alongside the details of their kinsmen, while I will also add them into this section, for easier negotiation.
The British Army was founded after the Acts of Union in 1707, and brought the existing Irish and Scottish Regiments into fold of the existing English Army to form the new British Army. The list of wars fought by the British Army from its formation until 1914, when the Great War erupted, is shown below. Many of these wars saw our local units the 23rd (Royal Welch Fusiliers), 24th (South Wales Borderers), 41st and 69th (Welch) Regiments in action against their former colonial allies, while local Yeomanry and Militia units, such as the Pembroke Yeomanry and Carmarthen Militia, kept peace at home.
To see details of Pre-WW1 Memorials in west Wales, please click on one of the links below: