Men and women from west Wales served in every operational theatre of war during the Second World War, as well as serving in every branch of the armed forces. This page commemorates those from Carmarthenshire who gained gallantry awards during the conflict. It is very much a work in progress and more details will be added as they become available.
Carmarthenshire WW2 Gallantry Awards
Reginald Arthur Anstee, DCM, Sergeant, 2031345, 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Kidwelly). Reginald served with the 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. His award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was recommended by the CO of the 7th RWF, and read: ‘During 5 Jan 44 Sjt Anstee was commanding a Platoon of the right forward company engaged in the advance through the thick forest area South of Sur Wana 3684/92. The difficult country made control extremely difficult, and our advance was opposed with determination by enemy posts concealed in the thick woods. Throughout the advance Sjt Anstee led his Platoon with great dash and showed considerable skill in outflanking enemy MG posts, and it was largely owing to the action of his Platoon that his Coy reached their objective by about midday. During the reorganisation on the objective the Coy was subjected to heavy shelling, and Sjt Anstee continued to provide a most inspiring example of complete indifference to danger. At about 1600 hrs a heavy counter attack with considerable artillery support developed on the left flank of the Bn position. Sjt Anstee’s Coy Commander was severely wounded, and all the coy officers and the CSM having already become casualties, he assumed command of the Coy. By his admirable personal example, and complete calmness he kept the Coy quite steady, and the coy position intact. After the position had been stabilised, the coy locality on the left having been largely over-run by the enemy it was necessary to readjust the dispositions of Sjt Anstee’s Coy in order to prevent any further penetration. With the enemy still in close contact, his own troops tired, and in the face of enemy shell fire, this, in the gathering darkness, was a most delicate operation. Sjt Anstee, however, continued to keep complete control of his men, and the readjustment had been successfully carried out before an officer arrived to take over command of the company. Throughout a day of hard fighting under the most unpleasant conditions Sjt Anstee showed leadership of the highest order. The magnificent example and tremendous energy of this NCO undoubtedly had a very marked effect on his coy and contributed materially to the successful outcome of the entire operation.’ His award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was countersigned by General Bernard Law Montgomery and published in the London Gazette of 12 April 1945, after his death near the Reichswald Forest on 28 March 1945.
William Lewis Bell, MBE, Major, 138831, Gloucester Regiment. (Carmarthen). William served with the 49th (West Riding) Division. His award of the Member of the British Empire was recommended by Major General Barker, and read: ‘Major Bell became DAAG of 49 (WR) Inf Div on 7 Jul 44 having previously been SO of 70 Inf Bde in this Div. He at once grasped the essentials of his post. By frequent visits to forward battalions and other fighting units he has always known accurately their strengths and requirement. He has worked untiringly to see that these requirements were met. During the advance to the Seine when the Division was moving long distances each day, problems of reinforcement organisation were considerable. He tackled the job realistically. Reinforcements arrived at all hours of the day and night. He saw to it that they were properly fed, if necessary rested, and sent up to the units which needed them within minimum of delay. At one stage of the advance early in September some of the fighting units of the Division who needed reinforcements were across the Seine, but the bulk of the adm units had not crossed. He sent men across the river by every possible means. Rafts ferrying vehicles across carried a few men, motor boats took others. And on the far side he organised the collection and distribution of these men to units. He is a first class organised and under his direction the arrangements for Div Clubs and Rear Centres have always been set up in any new area amazingly quickly after the arrival of the Div. Entertainments have also been provided with the same surprising speed. Recently he organised with success the adm staff of the Div Battle School which had to be found from within the resources of the Div. His untiring work has added in a very great measure to the adm efficiency of the Div, which has contributed largely to its operational success.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 19 June 1945.
Henry Howard Browning, MM, Sergeant, 3964101, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Llanelli). Henry served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment, and was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by Lieutenant Colonel Frisby, who wrote: ‘Sjt Browning until recently had been signal cpl in the signal platoon, 4th Bn The Welch Regiment. At all times Sjt Browning has shown outstanding devotion to duty and personal courage. As NCO IC line party he has been a great inspiration to the men under him, and his cheerfulness and determination under conditions of great physical discomfort and danger from enemy action has very often been responsible for the establishing of line communication. Although badly wounded in Normandy, Sjt Browning has never allowed weather, physical exhaustion or enemy action to stop him or his signallers from carrying out their allotted tasks. Sjt Brownings personal courage and devotion to duty has been outstanding, and has to a large extent been responsible for the smooth working of communications within the battalion.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 24 January 1946.
William Harries Clement, MC, Captain (T/Major), 89525, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Llanelli). William served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Cross by Lieutenant Colonel Williams, whose report read: ‘On the night of 23 July 1944, two companies of the battalion took part in a raid on an enemy locality in the area of Le Bon Repos (Ref France 1/25,000 Sheet 37/16 S.E. Map Ref 944614). T/Major Clement was in command of the left forward company which had to advance down 900 yards of forward slope before reaching the objective. During this advance Major Clement was wounded in the left leg by shrapnel. Enemy opposition was considerable and the right forward platoon of Major Clements Company was, with the exception of four men, all either killed or wounded. In spite of his wound, Major Clement rallied his Company and pressed on to the final objective inflicting severe casualties on the enemy. Later when ordered to withdraw this officer remained behind and personally supervised the removal of his wounded before himself withdrawing. Major Clement had no second in command and only two young officers, one of which was killed with the right forward platoon; it was therefore entirely due to his devotion to duty and utter disregard to pain or personal danger that the object of the raid on the left flank was achieved, at least 30 enemy being killed in close quarter fighting. Major Clement remained with his company throughout the withdrawal and only agreed to receive treatment after returning to the Battalion RV.’ His award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 21 December 1944.
Cyril William Cole, DSM, Petty Officer, D/JX192690, Royal Navy. (Llanelli). Cyril’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal was published in the London Gazette of 29 December 1944: ‘The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointments to the Distinguished Service Order and to approve the following awards for gallantry or outstanding service in the face of the enemy, or for zeal, patience and cheerfulness in dangerous waters and for setting an example of wholehearted devotion to duty, upholding the high traditions of the Royal Navy.’
John Alistair Cook, MC, Lieutenant, 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. (Pembrey). John followed in his father’s footsteps by winning the Military cross. His citation, published in the London Gazette of 27 August 1940, read; ‘For conspicuous gallantry, initiative and leadership. On 28 May 1940, near Bergues, this Officer was ordered to take his Troop and occupy Anti-Tank positions South of Bergues to prevent the enemy A.F.Vs from crossing the railway. On arrival at his rendezvous enemy Infantry were found to be already close up to the front and flank of the position. 2nd Lieutenant Cook at once put one gun into action while the remaining three were ordered back to a rear position. 2nd Lieutenant Cook took command of this gun and when it was no longer possible to maintain it in action, covered the retirement of its detachment with a Bren Gun. he then proceeded to the rear of the position where two guns were in action and took charge there, maintaining fire on the advancing enemy until ordered by his Battery Commander to withdraw. Having seen his detachment to safety he then destroyed the remaining guns himself. Throughout the action the coolness and personal disregard for danger shown by this Officer had a very marked effect in his Troop enabling it to inflict considerable casualties on the enemy.’
James Gerallt Daniels, MC, Captain, 284520, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Pencader). James served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment and was recommended for the award of the Military Cross by Major Burnett, who wrote: ‘On April 26, 1945, 4th Bn The Welch Regiment was ordered to occupy the north eastern portion of the aerodrome to the east of Botersen. The enemy had a considerable number of SP Guns and mortars in the area, which had been very active. A PW the previous night said there were numerous infantry on, and around, the aerodrome. It was thought, however, that the enemy intended to withdraw further west. A Carrier Patrol, under the command of Lieutenant Daniels, was therefore sent out to discover if the enemy had withdrawn overnight. The only possible route for the patrol to take, in view of the distance to be covered and the necessity for speed was along a straight ride through thick woods running down to the aerodrome. Lieut Daniels had led his patrol almost to the end of the ride when fire was opened by a party of enemy concealed around a small road block in front. Lieut Daniels deployed the patrol, and with great skill led his men through the trees and assaulted the enemy post. Two of the enemy were killed (one by this officer himself), the remainder making off through the trees towards the aerodrome. Not satisfied that the presence of this enemy post gave proof that the aerodrome was still held in strength, Lieut Daniels determined to push on. Having got through the road block, the patrol came to a bend in the track, where the latter led onto the airfield. Here, the leading carrier blew up on a mine, and was completely destroyed. At the same time, fire was again opened on the patrol, this time from a small house, a few yards down the track. Although badly shaken from the blast from the blown up carrier, Lieut Daniels completely ignored the fact that the track was mined and without hesitation – and with the utmost bravery and disregard for his own safety – dashed, alone, across the open ground, under heavy Schmeisser fire, into the house, killing one German and capturing another. Leaving behind the bulk of his patrol to clear a way through the minefield for the use of the Bn, Lieut Daniels – using one man to cover him forward, moved up to the limit given for his patrol, namely the aerodrome administrative buildings, and personally searched them. Having only now satisfied himself that he had completed his task, he withdrew his patrol. As a result of this absolutely reliable information brought back, and the aggressiveness shown by Lieut Daniels, the Bn was able to make a rapid advance onto the aerodrome, without suffering a single casualty – and was able to keep in contact with, and further destroy, the retreating enemy. Liet Daniels had led his patrol, under the most difficult and dangerous conditions, with great singleness of purpose and the highest degree of bravery and disregard for his own safety.’ His award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 2 August 1945. He died in Carmarthen on 12 January 1967, aged 53.
Daniel Davies, MM, 904117, Lance-Sergeant, Royal Regiment of Artillery. (Llanybyther). Daniel served with 146 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, which, along with the 102nd Field Regiment, had been formed from the old Pembroke Yeomanry regiment. The Regiment landed at Suez in September 1942, joining the Eighth Army and participated in the Battle of El Alamein, as part of the 7th Armoured Division’s Artillery Group, before taking part in the invasion of Italy. The citation for Daniel’s award of the Military Medal read: ‘On 12 Nov 43, Lance Sergeant Davies was the NCO in charge of communications at an OP in La Marata. At the time the only means of communication to the guns was by telephone. At 1300 hrs the line was broken by shellfire, and was repaired by L/Cpl Davies and another signaller. Accurate enemy shellfire continued to break the line until 1800 hrs, but in spite of this, L/Sgt Davies and the other signaller ran from break to break mending the line as it was broken. The courage, determination and example of L/Sgt Davies were instrumental in maintaining the only means of communication by which the fire of the guns could be directed and vital information passed during this period.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 2 May 1944.
David Hugh Davies, MC, Major, 107 Regiment, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, 77603. (Carmarthen). David’s unit, 107 Regiment, King’s Own, was attached to the Royal Armoured Corps. His award of the Military Cross was recommended by Brigadier Clarke, Commanding 34 Tank Brigade, and read: ‘At first light on the morning 8 Aug 44 Major Davies’ Squadron was ordered over the crossing over the River Orne at Brieux to protect the bridge at all costs. He led his Squadron forward through heavy shellfire and mines and in face of attack by enemy Panther tanks. Although he lost 5 tanks on mines he eventually led the remainder of his Squadron forward and fought the enemy tanks throughout the day. His own tank was hit and set on fire. In spite of flames and Spandau fire directed on his tank he personally rescued his wounded operator from the turret and returned to remove the body of his dead gunner but was finally driven off by the enemy Spandau fire and the intensity of the flames. When only two tanks of his Squadron were left he came back on foot to report to his CO, then returned also on foot to stay with the Infantry whom he was supporting, where he remained watching the actions of his two tanks until ordered to withdraw by 2IC of the Brigade at about 2230 hrs on 9 Aug. Throughout a long and trying period, without sleep and with little food, he displayed the utmost gallantry, efficiency, vigour and cheerfulness, and his personal example did much to maintain the morale of both the Infantry and his own Regiment in a most difficult and critical situation. No praise is high enough for the conduct of this young officer.’ His award of the Military Cross was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery, and was published in the London Gazette of 19 December 1944.
David Walter Davies, MBE, Lieutenant, 233605, Royal Army Service Corps. (Llanelli). David served with No 2 Section, No 5 Bulk Petroleum Storage Company, Royal Army Service Corps. He was recommended for the award of the Member of the British Empire by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel White, who wrote: ‘This officer has been, during the period April – June 1943 in sole charge of the Military Petrol Installation at Souk El Arba, and has also put into working order and operated those at Beja and Medjez El Bab. In addition he has taken over and operated since 7 June 43 the petrol farms at Charing X and Souk El Khemis. Despite shortage of personnel continual technical difficulties, Lieut Davies has never failed to provide petrol in bulk for the Army and Air Forces whenever it has been required, his daily issues reaching on occasions 250,000 gallons. He has always shown initiative and devotion to duty and has shouldered his heavy burden with unceasing cheerfulness. Prior to April 1943 Lieut Davies operated the installation at Souk El Arba since November 1942 and was frequently under air attack.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 9 November 1943.
Emrys Davies, DCM, Sergeant, 2737357, 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards. (Trawsmawr, Carmarthen). Emrys served with the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards, and was recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Rose-Price, who wrote: ‘This NCO commanded a Platoon on 25 Apr 45 when the Battalion crossed the River Po and enlarged the bridgehead on the northern bank. From first light until 1800 hrs this Platoon attached ten farms capturing ten Germans and killing four, after fire fights at each place, and was at time over a mile away from other elements of the Company. At 1830 hrs the decision was taken to make a further advance at speed. For this a Platoon was needed to proceed riding on tanks. Sjt Davies volunteered immediately. The advance continued northwards for 8 miles to Castel Cuglielno 062069, which was occupied by the enemy. Sjt Davies ordered his Platoon to take up a position in houses overlooking the Camlie Biancho (?) from where they engaged the enemy, who replied with rifle and MG fire. Although the house in which he stood was twice struck by bazookas and the bridge was blown up at very close range to the platoon, he kept his men in position while the tanks backed away from the river. Only at nightfall when ordered to retire did he lead his platoon back to safety with one prisoner. Sjt Davies showed powers of command, initiative and reliability of a high order and in addition his disregard for his own personal safety was an inspiration to his Platoon and to all those who saw him.’ His award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was published in the London Gazette of 21 August 1945.
Enoch Davies, DSM, MID, Stoker Petty Officer, D/KX76292, Royal Navy. (Carmarthen). Enoch’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal was published in the London Gazette of 6 July 1945, and was for: ‘For outstanding courage, coolness and skill in searching out, attacking and sinking an enemy cruiser with a minimum of loss to their own forces.’ The Gazette doesn’t give out any further details, but Enoch was one of a number of the crew of HMS Saumarez which was serving in the Pacific when its flotilla destroyed the Japanese cruiser Haguro in May 1945. He had also been mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 3 March 1944.
George Samuel Davies, BEM, Sergeant, 13040097, Pioneer Corps. (Llanelli). George served with the Pioneer Corps. The citation for his award of the British Empire Medal read: ‘On the 13th September 1944, an Allied aircraft crashed in flames near where Sergeant Davies was working. Although not aware that the bombs were not carried and in spite of exploding ammunition, he immediately approached the burning aircraft and brought out two members of the crew who were severely injured and unable to help themselves. These two men doubtless owe their lives to the gallantry of Sergeant Davies. Having been informed by one of the injured men that a further three members of the crew were still inside the aircraft, Sergeant Davies entered and explored the wreckage for a further fifteen minutes and before being driven away by the intense heat and burning ammunition ascertained that the remaining crew were all dead and buried in the wreckage.’ The award was published in the London Gazette of 20 March 1945, and stated: ‘The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Military Division), in recognition of gallant conduct in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.’
Ieuan Merfyn Davies, BEM, Staff Sergeant, 8/142862, Royal Army Service Corps. (Llanelli). Ieuan served with the 21st Army Group, Royal Army Service Corps. The citation for the award of his British Empire Medal read: ‘S/Sjt Davies has been employed on works connected with Buko 21st Army Group from the outset. His ability, proved during the planning stage, caused his selection as Chief Clerk of the British Zone. Owing to the unique organisation and functions of BUCO, there was no precedent for him to follow, and he was therefore required to shoulder exceptionally heavy responsibilities and display great initiative. His untiring efforts and outstanding ability for organisation produced admirable results. Throughout, he showed himself unfailingly loyal and capable of dealing with all emergencies, setting a very fine example to all working under him.’ His award of the British Empire Medal was published in the London Gazette of 30 January 1945, and was for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe.
Ivor Thomas Davies, MID, Engine Room Artificer 3, D/MX61569, Royal Navy. (Llanelli). Ivor was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 19 May 1944, for his work during the landings at Salerno and Italy.
Reverend Leslie Lobbett John Davies, MC, BA, Chaplain 4th Class, 69686, Royal Army Chaplain’s Department (Llwynhendy). Leslie’s award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 16 February 1943, and was for gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East.
William Davies, MID, Seaman, LT/JX190120, Royal Navy. (Llanelli). William was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 2 June 1944.
William George Davies, MM, Private, 14541544, The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. (Llanelli). William served with the 2/5th Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. His award of the Military Medal was recommended by his CO, and read: ‘During the recent operations in Italy, Pte Davies has set an outstanding example of courage and determination. On the 18th April 1945, when A Company 2/5th Bn The Queen’s Royal Regiment, secured the double bridge at 297645 over the Benvignante the section in which Pte Davies was Bren gunner was the first to cross. As the Platoon approached the bridge it came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from enemy positions on the far side. Pte Davies was in the forefront of his section and he immediately dashed across the bridge. He charged one Spandau post, firing as he went and then silenced a second one further on. The whole company was then able to cross the bridge and the enemy were routed. Throughout this action Pte Davies acted with coolness and determination. His promptness in crossing the bridge against heavy opposition estimated at about two companies of Germans, was an inspiration to all his comrades and played a vital part in its capture. It was this action which enabled the rate of advance of the Battalion to be maintained and the fact that this double bridge was taken intact had far reaching effects on the subsequent operations of the Division.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 18 October 1945.
Sidney James Dodd, BEM, Gunner, 14298419, Royal Artillery. (Llangadock). Sidney’s award of the British Empire Medal was published in the London Gazette of June 1945: ‘In recognition of gallant conduct in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.’ The actual citation for the award read: ‘On the occasion of a V2 incident in December, 1944, Gunner Dodd was a passer-by and immediately came forward as a volunteer to assist in rescue work. Through many exhausting hours of the night he took a prominent part in the extremely difficult and highly dangerous work of tunnelling and cutting through the debris, at great danger to his won life, to rescue trapped personnel. His courage and complete disregard for personal safety was an inspiration to the whole rescue party and undoubtedly the removal from the debris of seven officers and three airmen alive was in no small measure due to his magnificent efforts, which he continued until the last man alive was brought out, risking his own life time and time again.’
Ernest Edward Duckfield, MM, Sergeant, T7/163136, Royal Army Service Corps. (Carmarthen). Ernest served with 345 Company, Royal Army Service Corps. His award of the Military Medal was recommended by his CO, who wrote: ‘On the night 11/12 May 44, Sergt Duckfield was Sgt i/c vehicles carrying Bridging for 4/Brit Div. The vehicles were ordered down to the bridge site (Congo) on the Rapido, and intensive enemy shell, mortar and Small Arms fire were encountered on the road down and also at the Bridge Site. Sergt Duckfield controlled all the transport at the site and constantly went round his men and vehicles, with complete disregard for his personal safety. Sergt Duckfield by his devotion to duty and courageous bearing was responsible for the marshalling of vehicles and high morale maintained by his men, under extremely difficult battle conditions. On the following evening he proceeded to the Bridge Site, still under heavy fire, to attempt to recover vehicle’s which had been damaged on the previous night by enemy action. This, he eventually succeeded in doing, setting a fine example to his men, and showing outstanding initiative and courage throughout.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 22 August 1944.
Gerald William Edwards, MC, Captain, 183221, Royal Army Medical Corps. (Ammanford). Gerald served with 131 Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. His award of the Military Cross was recommended by his CO, and read: ‘At Medenine on 6th March, the R.A.P. commanded by Captain Edwards came under direct fire from several enemy tanks. In spite of this, and of continuous heavy shelling, he showed great courage in personally removing a number of wounded men from an exposed position to one of safety. His coolness and example during this action, undoubtedly saved their lives and in no small way accounted for the high morale of his battalion.’ The recommendation was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery and the award was published in the London Gazette of 28 May 1943.
Arthur Evans, DSC, Surgeon Lieutenant, Royal Navy. (Pendine). Arthur served aboard the destroyer HMS Saumarez. She had participated in the Russian Convoys during the early part of her career, and later moved to south, taking part in the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst on 26 November 1943. Saumarez later participated in the Normandy Landings before finishing off her war in the Pacific theatre. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions while his ship was heavily engaged against a Japanese Cruiser which was sunk by British aircraft and was hit by a Japanese shell, sustain a number of casualties which Arthur attended to.
David Talfryn Evans, MM, Corporal, 14200791, 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Ammanford). David served with the 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. His was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Exham, who wrote: ‘On the night of 24/25 Oct 1944, C Coy, 6 RWF, were ordered to capture Varkenshoek. L/Cpl Evans was commanding the leading section of the platoon detailed to clear a group of houses. By skilful and determined leadership L/Cpl Evans captured his objective and drove the enemy from the houses and dug-outs they were holding. On reaching their final objective, the Company came under heavy fire from a house. Completely disregarding the enemy’s fire, L/Cpl Evans charged the building alone and silenced the enemy post killing one machine gunner and forcing the remaining enemy to withdraw in disorder. During the whole of the attack and the subsequent consolidation when the Coy was isolated and cut off for many hours, L/Cpl Evans showed outstanding qualities of courage, initiative and devotion to duty.’ The recommendation was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery and his award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 27 February 1945.
Geoffrey Marker Evans, MID, Lieutenant (A), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. (Llanelly). Geoffrey was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 26 May 1944, for leadership, skill and devotion to duty.
Gwyn Evans, MM, Corporal, 3961346, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Carmarthen). Gwyn served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Spurling, who wrote: ‘For gallantry and devotion to duty at Reusel (2010) Holland on the night 25/26 Sep 44. This N.C.O.s Company, having successfully reached its objective in the village, was counter infiltrated by strong enemy patrols which established themselves between this and another Company. Two runners having failed to get through with an important message, this N.C.O. volunteered and in spite of being fired upon by Spandaus and having grenades thrown at him, succeeded in getting down the street and reaching the next Company HQ. He returned with the reply under similar fire from short range. On his return it was necessary to send another message. This N.C.O. volunteered to take it. He again made the journey under fire and returned with a signal line party. The determination and devotion to duty of this young N.C.O. was outstanding.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 27 February 1945.
John James Pugh Evans, MBE, MC & Bar, MID, Major, Home Guard. (Llangain). John was the brother of Colonel Lewis Pugh Evans, VC, DSO. He had been commissioned into the Welsh Guards and served with the battalion throughout the war. He was awarded the Military Cross in the King’s Birthday Honours List of 2 June 1916 and a Bar to his MC in the Birthday Honours Lust of 3 June 1918. He was mentioned in despatches on 22 May 1917. John served as a Major with the Carmarthen Home Guard during WW2 and was awarded the MBE for his services to the Home Guard on 15 December 1944.
William John Phillip Evans, MM, Sergeant, 3958804, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Llanelli). William served with the 4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Frisby, who wrote: ‘Sjt WJP Evans has been a Pioneer Sjt of the Pioneer Platoon, 4th Bn The Welsh Regiment since the Bn’s arrival in Normandy. Throughout the campaign Sjt Evans has set his Platoon a high example of cool courage and fearless determination in successfully carrying out numerous hazardous tasks in connection with the laying of mines, and the lifting of enemy mines, neutralising enemy booby traps and demolitions and generally dealing with explosives. Many of the tasks undertaken by him were carried out under circumstances of great personal danger and when in charge of assault parties detailed for these jobs, he infused in them a spirit of cheerful courageousness by himself undertaking the most difficult and most dangerous part of the job. His devotion to duty was outstanding, particularly on one occasion in Reusel, Holland when a R.E. party had been badly injured when drawing a minefield, without hesitation Sjt Evans took his assault section forward under heavy Spandau and mortar fire, cleared the remaining minefield so that unit trucks were able to go forward. This leadership and personal bravery and disregard to danger was a magnificent example to the remainder of the platoon and was undoubtedly largely responsible for the successes which they have had throughout the campaign.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 24 January 1946.
Thomas Lewis Griffiths, DSM, Signalman, LT/JX214012, Royal Navy (Llandeilo). Thomas’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal was published in the London Gazette of 10 August 1945, and was for distinguished service in the Aegean.
Frederick John Ham, MM, Lance Corporal, 7045676, North Irish Horse. (Burry Port). Frederick was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Lord O’Neill, who wrote: ‘At about 0900 hrs 19 June 44 two tanks of Lieut Rogers Troop were knocked out by Anti Tank gun fire in the area 784947 whilst supporting B Sqn 6 Lancers (Indian) in the advance of 8 IND Div. Both tanks were evacuated on orders from Lieut Rogers. The crews were subjected to heavy mortar fire, all members of the crew being wounded with the exception of Lieut Rogers and L/Cpl Ham. One man, Tpr Linton, had been unable to leave the area of the tanks as he was too badly wounded. Lieut Rogers set out to get this man back and L/Cpl Ham volunteered to accompany him. Together they set out across an area which was under heavy mortar fire and swept by MG fire from the village of Ripa 786943. They reached the tank and succeeded in getting Tpr Linton onto a ground sheet. They started crawling back dragging the wounded man along. Lieut Rogers decided that this method was too slow and exhausting and ordered L/Cpl Ham to stay with the wounded man while he went back to reverse his remaining tank up to rescue the wounded man. Owing to enemy fire it was an hour before Lieut Rogers could get the tank up. During this period L/Cpl Ham and the wounded man were subjected to mortar fire. As soon as the tank arrived L/Cpl Ham assisted Lieut Rogers and Cpl Jackson, the driver of the tank, in getting the wounded man into the tank. Before he had succeeded in doing this, Cpl Jackson was mortally wounded. L/Cpl Ham dressed Cpl Jackson’s wounds and then helped Lieut Rogers to place Tpr Linton into the tank. These two then placed Cpl Jackson on the front of the tank and secured him with wire. Lieut Rogers and L/Cpl Ham got on the front of the tank as well and Lieut Rogers ordered the tank to withdraw. On the way back a shell hit the front of the tank and blew Lieut Rogers and L/Cpl Ham off the tank, wounding them both. L/Cpl Ham applied a tourniquet to Lieut Rogers arm and remained with him until both were picked up by the R.M.O. at 1200 hrs. L/Cpl Ham’s cool and courageous behaviour cannot be overstressed.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 5 December 1944.
Bernard John Hanna, MM, Lance Corporal, 3961408, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Llanelli). Bernard served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Colonel Frisby, who wrote: ‘During an attack on the woods west of Aplon on 6 Mar 45 L/Cpl Hanna was a regimental stretcher bearer attached to C Coy 4th Bn The Welch Regiment. When the advance started C Coy almost immediately came under very heavy enemy small arms fire and intense shelling from enemy SP guns. Casualties were heavy and included three out of the four S.B.s. L/Cpl Hanna in spite of the very severe enemy fire and with no thought for his own safety started attending to the wounded. Being unable at the time to carry them back owing to the casualties in the other S.B.s, he dressed their wounds and collected them in an enemy dugout. He then proceeded on his way along the company axis, despite intermittent fire from unlocated spandaus in the woods, attending to the wounded which he found. During the whole of this time the whole area was being subjected to very intense fire from SP guns two of which were located only 500 yards away. Later after nightfall the enemy counter attacked the company which was then on its objective. This counter attack was proceeded by very heavy and accurate shelling and mortar fire and again casualties were heavy. Through all this and when the enemy actually launched the attack during which the whole area was swept by small arms fire, L/Cpl Hanna moved about in the open attending the casualties. He finally evacuated all the casualties totalling forty from his coy and others from other coys just before dawn having been doing so under heavy shellfire with no rest for over twelve hours. Throughout the operation L/Cpl Hanna showed complete disregard for his own personal safety and such devotion to duty as will long be remembered by the men of the company. He was tireless in his efforts to attend the wounded, and but for his personal bravery many lives would have been lost.’ His recommendation was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery and the award of his Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 21 June 1945.
Raymond Hiley Harries, DSO, DFC, Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force. Raymond was born in Llandilofawr in 1916 and by 1939 was studying dentistry at Guy’s Hospital, London. He enlisted into the Royal Air Force and after training as a pilot was posted to 43 Squadron in Scotland. He was then posted to 52 OTU as an instructor before being posted to 131 Squadron at Llanbedr as a flight commander, claiming his first kill when he shot down a Junkers 88. On 19 August 1942 Ray took part in the aerial operation covering the ill-fated Dieppe raid, claiming one kill and sharing two others. He was awarded the DFC for his work during the day. He was then given command of 91 Squadron at Hawkinge which received the new Griffon engined Spitfire XII in April 1943. He became the highest scoring Griffon Spitfire ace, scoring 11 kills in this aircraft alone and was also credited with the downing of a V-1 flying bomb. He spent some time in the US lecturing on tactics before returning to Britain to become Wing Leader of 135 Wing, 2nd TAF, in the spring of 1944. By the end of the war Ray had been awarded the DSO and Bar, the DFC and two bars and the Belgian Croix-de-Guerre and had scored 15 victories against enemy aircraft, as well as three shared kills, two probable kills and five damaged as well as the destruction of the V-1 flying bomb. He remained in the RAF and became CO of 92 Squadron. Ray was killed on 14 May 1950 when flying a 92 Squadron Gloster Meteor F4 which ran out of fuel and stalled. He attempted to bale out of the stricken aircraft but his parachute became entangled in its rear wing and he was killed. He was buried in Newton-on-Ouse (All Saints) Churchyard. He left behind his widow Doreen and at least one child. The photograph of Ray is courtesy of the IWM.
William James Harries, MID, Able Seaman, D/JX285730, Royal Navy. (Carmarthen). William was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 16 June 1944: ‘For courage, coolness and devotion to duty when H.M. Ships Inglefield and Spartan were lost.’
William Ralph Howells, MM, Warrant Officer II, 816617, Royal Regiment of Artillery. (Llanelli). William served with the 4th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Smith, who wrote: ‘BSM Howells is T.S.M. of C Troop 14/16 Bty. During the recent battle he has given gallant and distinguished service of a very high order. His steadiness under fire, his untiring devotion to duty, and his magnificent powers of leadership have proved an inspiration to all ranks in his Bty. If any gun, vehicle, or man in his Troop got into any difficulties, BSM Howells at any hour of the day or night went out to render assistance. The following are but two of many instances of his gallantry and skill. On 15 Apr he went forward with his Troop recce party to select a new gun position in front of Filo, near Argenta. The area was said to be heavily mined and was still being cleared of enemy by leading infantry platoons. It was also under intermittent mortar fire. There was insufficient time to carry out detailed mine clearance so BSM Howells with complete disregard for his own life insisted on driving his vehicle along the routes where each gun would have to follow. He then himself taped the safe lane to each gun position. On 22 Apr the area in which C Troop was coming into action South of Copparo was shelled by hostile artillery. BSM Howells, regardless of his own safety, went round directing men to suitable cover. He personally moved one AEC and gun into the shelter of a bank after first ordering the gun detachment to take cover. His coolness and bravery on this occasion undoubtedly saved the lives of many men and also damage to equipment. Throughout the battle BSM Howells was a tower of strength. His gallantry and devotion to duty have been beyond praise.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 18 October 1945.
William Raymond Dennis Hugh, MID, Marine, PLY.X.120105, Royal Marines. (Llanelli). William was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 2 June 1944.
Edmund George Hunt, GM, Warrant Officer, 359883, Royal Air Force. Edmund was born in Tisbury, Wiltshire in 1906, the son of Edmund and Annie Hunt. At some time around 1914 the family moved to Llandovery. Edmund married Phylis Havelock, of Medway, Kent in 1929. He was serving as an armourer with the Royal Air Force when war broke out. He put his skills with weapons to good use during the Battle of Britain, working on Bomb Disposal, and for his good work during the Battle of Britain, was awarded the George Medal: ‘This Warrant Officer has dealt with unexploded bombs after six enemy bombing attacks on the aerodrome. On one occasion, while assisting an officer he was blown 20 yards; but in spite of this he has continued to show a complete disregard for his own safety and his gallant actions have been instrumental in keeping the aerodrome operationally serviceable’. Edmund was killed while attempting to defuse a German bomb at Biggin Hill on 7 October 1940, aged 34. He is buried in Chatham (Palmerston Road) Cemetery, Kent.
Edward Hurley, MM, Sergeant, 2094584, Royal Engineers. (Carmarthen). Edward served with 751 Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by the CRE of 5 Corps, who wrote: ‘On 29th November 1943, 751 Field Company, R.E. were engaged on bridging operations over the River Sangro. The task was the erection of a 140’ Bailey Bridge plus approaches. At this time the stores had been conveyed to the site and temporary approaches constructed. All work had been done by night owing to the site being under observed shellfire. Work was however sanctioned by day and the bridge which was almost complete was hoped to be finished. On three or four occasions during the morning, shellfire accurately placed, compelled the working party to withdraw. As the bridge proper was then complete, orders were given for a small party to filter out onto the site and complete the jacking down. In spite of further shellfire however, during which one sapper was wounded by shrapnel, this party continued work and finally completed the jacking down of the bridge. Sgt Hurley’s fearless leadership enabled this vital work to be completed and this bridge, so urgently needed, to be opened. Throughout the operation on the Sangro crossing Sgt Hurley showed courage and devotion to duty of a highest order.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 4 April 1944.
Douglas James, MM, Private, 3961215, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. (Llanelli). Douglas served with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, who wrote: ‘On 8 Aug 1944, during the attack on the Incontro Monastery 869659 by 2nd Bn D.C.L.I. Cpl James was commanding the leading section of a platoon of C Coy ordered to enter the Monastery grounds from the West at approx. 0545 hrs. As soon as his section had climbed through the gap in the wall, the Germans from within the Monastery grounds opened heavy small arms fire on to the section and on to the gap, thus barring the entrance of the remainder of the platoon. Cpl James attempted to get forward with his section, but was unable to do so. He therefore ordered his section to dig in inside the walls. This section remained in position, under aimed M.G. fire, and, at a later stage, under considerable shelling until 1400 hrs when the Monastery finally fell. During this period Cpl James collected together some men of another platoon which had lost its officer and N.C.O.s. These men he pulled into his own section to replace casualties. By his courageous leadership and control he managed to keep the section in its fire position inside the wall for nearly 8 hours, thus denying to the Germans a covered approach by which they could have launched a counter-attack on to our one firm position.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 5 December 1944.
George Eurwedd Jenkins, MC, Lieutenant, 145140, 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Llanelli). George served with the 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, which was attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Division. He was recommended for the award of the Military Cross by his CO, who wrote: ‘On 11 Aug 44 the Bn attacked Fresnay village. Lieut Jenkins was commanding the right forward Platoon which was to move through some fields on the right edge of the village. As soon as the Platoon emerged into the open it came under intense MG fire from Hill 182, a feature on the right flank. A number of men were hit, and the platoon appeared to be pinned to the ground. None the less Lieut Jenkins remained quite unshaken in his determination to reach the village. Accompanied by a NCO and one Fusilier he worked his way forward in order to find a defiladed approach. He eventually found a fire position for Bren gun and 2” Mortar, and then by his indomitable courage and personal example succeeded in getting his platoon into the village after suffering only moderate casualties. A whole company was later completely held up in this area, and Hill 182 was only eventually cleared on the next day by a Sqn of tanks and flame throwers. During the later stages of the operation Lieut Jenkins was severely wounded in the leg. Evacuation of casualties was at that time impossible. Lieut Jenkins remained in the village for some hours and during this period his courage and cheerfulness were an example to all. Later he assisted in organising a temporary RAP in the village with all the stretcher bearers available, where the wounded were collected and looked after until evacuation was possible. Throughout, Lieut Jenkins showed determination and powers of leadership of the highest order, and his infectious enthusiasm, even after being severely wounded, had a most inspiring effect on all.’ His recommendation was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery, and his award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 21 December 1944.
Edwin John, MM, Sergeant, 3963476, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Burry Port). Edwin served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Spurling, who wrote: ‘For gallantry and good leadership at Reusel (2010) Holland on 27 Sep 44. After part of the village had been occupied by some of the Companies it was found that one of the Platoons was cut off in the Church into which Germans had infiltrated. This N.C.O. had assumed command of his Platoon when his commander was wounded. He was ordered to force an entry into the Church and to take food and ammunition to the Platoon inside it. This operation was successfully achieved and several Germans hidden in various parts of the church were killed. A corridor connected the Church to the Priest’s quarters and the enemy in the latter frequently fired a Spandau up the corrido and threw grenades along it into the Church. L/Sjt John organised the defence of the Church and it was undoubtedly due to his determination and leadership that the enemy was prevented from re-entering the Church. Later when the Platoons inside the Church were ordered to withdraw he reorganised and co-ordinated their withdrawal which was completely successful.’ His recommendation was counter signed by Bernard Law Montgomery and his award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 27 February 1945.
Ebenezer Samual Jones, MID, Yeoman of Signals, D/JX142860, Royal Navy. (Cwmduad). Ebenezer was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 10 August 1945, and was for distinguished service in the Aegean.
Henry Griffith Jones, MM, Sergeant, 3963712, 2nd Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Ammanford). Henry served with the 2nd Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal by his CO, who wrote: ‘During the period under review 16 Nov 44 to 15 Feb 45, showing conspicuous and consistent gallantry, Sgt Jones has been NCO i/c stretcher bearers, 2nd Bn The Welch Regiment in Burma. On 21 Dec 44 near Kyaung-Pintha an enemy LMG caused casualties to a Coy of 2nd Welch, who were moving East along a track brought accurate enemy LMG fire down it, Sjt Jones led the Stretcher Bearers under fire to the casualties, who were lying on the track close to the LMG, and got all five back safely. On 29 Jan 45, when the Bn were proceeding from Nygapin-In bridgehead East of the Irrawaddy to Yeshin, the Japanese attacked the mule column. Sjt Jones immediately collected four men, attacked the enemy, and drove them off, killing four of them. On 3 Feb 45 enemy guns heavily shelled the 4/6 GR West of Yeshin and the 2nd Welch defended locality to the North of it over a period of two hours, causing over 80 casualties. During the whole of the period Sjt Jones worked in an exposed position, bringing in and dressing the wounded, many of whom were badly mutilated. Shells fell close to him and the blast from one blew him over, but he never ceased his work, showing complete disregard for his own safety. On other occasions during the period under review, Sjt Jones has been conspicuous for his coolness and courage under fire, and his prompt and effective action has been the cause of saving many lives.’ The award was downgraded to that of the Military Medal, which was published in the London Gazette of 15 November 1945.
Herbert Martin Jones, MM, 918010, Gunner, Royal Regiment of Artillery (Llanybyther). Herbert served with 146 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, which, along with the 102nd Field Regiment, had been formed from the old Pembroke Yeomanry regiment. The Regiment landed at Suez in September 1942, joining the Eighth Army and participated in the Battle of El Alamein, as part of the 7th Armoured Division’s Artillery Group, before taking part in the invasion of Italy. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, who wrote: ‘On 12 Nov 43 Gnr Jones was one of a line maintenance party on the line between the OP and the guns which ran from La Marata to Vezzara. Between 1300 hrs and 1800 hrs, the ground on which the line ran was continuously shelled by observed enemy artillery fire, causing many breaks in the line. During this time Gnr Jones ran continuously backwards and forwards among the shells repairing the breaks. By his complete disregard of his own safety and by his devotion to duty, Gnr Jones enabled fire orders and information of the utmost importance to be passed over the line with the minimum delay.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 2 May 1944.
John Garner Jones, MC, Lieutenant, 92411, Welch Regiment. (Llandovery). John was commissioned into the Welch Regiment, but had volunteered to serve in the newly formed Army Commandos early in the war and after passing the Commando Course was posted to No 1 Commando. He was mentioned in despatches for North Africa on 23 September 1943, possibly for Operation Torch and was later recommended for the Military Cross by his CO, Major Davies, who wrote: ‘On the night 22/23 November this officer by a skilful night march crossed the Ton Chaung and surrounded a Japanese platoon in Hinthaya. He led his Troop to the assault at dawn, achieving complete surprise. He drove the enemy from strong bunker positions. His Troop killed six, wounded eight, and took one live Jap prisoner. Capt Garner Jones himself accounted for several of the enemy. During this action he was everywhere exposing himself without the least regard to personal danger. He inspired his men by his courage and his sound tactics. After this success he withdrew his men without loss, being the last man to leave.’ The recommendation was countersigned by Colonel Peter Young, CO 3rd S.S. Brigade and his award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 22 March 1945.
Trevor Isaac Jones, MM, Sergeant, 3970378, 5th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Alltwalis, Carmarthen). Trevor served with the 5th Battalion, Welch Regiment. His award of the Military Medal was recommended by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who wrote: ‘On Aug 16th 1944 near Bafour, Sjt Jones was commanding No 10 Platoon of B Company which was the left forward Coy in a Bn attack on objectives near the railway. His Coy had to cross open cornfields under fire from MG’s at close range and also an 88mm gun. Considerable casualties were caused by these and in addition by booby traps set in the corn. Undeterred, he led on his diminished platoon until he encountered enemy positions at close quarters. He then ran on alone and killed or wounded all the occupants of at least two Spandau and rifle posts. His action enabled the advance of the remainder of his Coy to continue but again on encountering enemy posts on the objective at close quarters Sjt Jones repeated his performance alone, silencing another post. Throughout the battle he continued to set a splendid example of courage and leadership and there is no doubt that his actions were in a great measure responsible for placing the Company on its objective.’ The recommendation was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery, and his award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 19 December 1944. Trevor was later killed in action.
Arthur Leonard Lewis, DCM, Corporal, 3961349, Lincolnshire Regiment. (Carmarthen). Arthur served with the 6th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment. His award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was recommended by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Bell, who wrote: ‘On 1st September 1944, C Company were ordered to attack the Western End of Monte Gridolfo Ridge (MR 960752 Italy, sheet 109/4, 1/50,000). Cpl Lewis was in command of one of the forward Sections. The Platoon came under intense small arms fire as it came into the open, moving down the forward slope and suffered a number of casualties. Cpl Lewis and his Section never faltered but doubled forward into a gully and from here worked up to the objective. Covering 800 yards in 12 minutes, Cpl Lewis was the first man into the village, and engaging the enemy at close range, caused several casualties to them and captured the first of the prisoners. During the whole attack his leadership and personal gallantry were of the highest order and an inspiration to his men, and greatly influenced the success of the attack. On 10th September 1944, C Company’s task was to attack between B and D Companies. The Company was shelled all day and suffered casualties. Cpl Lewis was conspicuous for his steadiness and deliberateness in all moved and his grip and command of his men was most apparent. When the Company attacked at dusk his personal gallantry was outstanding as he led his men to the enemy position. This section reached the first enemy M.G.s and a hand to hand fight took place, casualties being inflicted on both sides. During this Cpl Lewis could be distinguished firing his TMC and urging his men on. His leadership and bravery throughout the day was outstanding. On 19th September 1944, at Monte Lupo (MR 8086 Italy, sheet 109/4 1/50,000) Lieut Stockdale’s Platoon, of which Cpl Lewis was a member, was ordered to occupy Pt 244 consisting of a farmhouse on a bare ridge some 600 yards to the West of our positions, supported by a troop of tanks. The approach to the objective was completely devoid of cover with both flanks open. The tanks moved forward supported by artillery and smoke, and with great dash, this NCO and his men followed their officer at the double. Before they had gone many yards a salvo of heavy calibre shells dropped among them killing five men outright and wounding others. Out of this Cpl Lewis, Lieut Stockdale and three OR’s dashed on towards the objective. They covered 300 yards, passed the tanks and then paused for breath, but came under MG cross fire from the left of the objective and from the right rear, wounding a NCO and killing one man. Nothing daunted this NCO and his Officer went straight for the objective and by grit and determination reached it and as they did so a stream of about 20 enemy retreated from the farm. Those that remained – about 10 – were engaged by this NCO and his Officer in the building with TMC and grenades. At this juncture Lieut Stockdale was killed and Cpl Lewis wounded and taken prisoner. The forward movement of the tanks caused the enemy considerable confusion; taking advantage of this, Cpl Lewis escaped although wounded in the head, and making his way back over which he had come, reached his company position in a state of collapse. Throughout these and other actions this NCO has invariably displayed the greatest courage and steadiness. His sense of discipline and duty have been a very fine example to those under his command and enhance the fine qualities of leadership he has always shown.’ His award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was published in the London Gazette of 26 June 1945.
John Maddocks Lewis, MM, Lance Corporal, 14541663, The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). (Felinfoel). John served with the 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. His award of the Military Medal was recommended by his CO, who wrote: ‘On the night of 16th September 1944, L/C Lewis was a section commander in the forward Coy, when the Battalion crossed the River Marano. It was very dark: and at one stage the platoon came under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire. The platoon commander became separated from his platoon, and there was no longer a platoon Sjt. L/C Lewis made an immediate appreciation and with complete disregard for the enemy fire he took command, collected the platoon, which was very scattered, and led them round to the flank to attack. He personally led the assault on the enemy post, killing or wounding the Germans in it, and re-organised the platoon there. His quick decision and immediate action, besides making an effective force again of his platoon, enabled the rest of the Company to continue the advance.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 6 March 1945.
Hermas Maldwyn Llewellyn, MM, Lance Corporal, 2136378, Royal Engineers. (Garnant). Hermas was the son of John and Martha Llewellyn, of Garnant and served with the 275th (H) Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Major Lloyd, who wrote: ‘On the 13th and 14th December 1942 L/Cpl Llewellyn was one of a party which was clearing mines. His section started at 1000 hrs and cleared a track south of Mersa Brega on to the main road west of this village. Clearing up the main road to K.5. continued until 1900 hrs. L/Cpl Llewellyn was the first to volunteer when a party was called upon an hour later to continue work throughout the night. His courage and complete disregard for personal safety were outstanding. Most of the mines contained booby traps and there were a large number of anti-personnel mines amongst them, which caused two fatal casualties. Realising the importance of getting the road cleared L/Cpl Llewellyn’s keenness never flagged in spite of the dangers of working in the dark. He was a fine example to the remainder of the party. Having helped to carry the bodies of his comrades home, he continued work on the road all the following day.’ Hermas was sadly killed in Libya soon afterwards, on 15 February 1943, and is buried in Tripoli War Cemetery. His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 9 March 1943, soon after his death.
Emrys Lloyd, MM, Private, 6103268, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey). (Llandeilo). Emrys served with the 2nd Battalion, The Queen’s. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, who wrote: ’10 Jul 41 on Hill 1634. The above named displayed conspicuous bravery when his platoon was engaged by the enemy at close range. There was no available cover and under withering M.G. fire from both flanks Pte Lloyd got his bren gun into action and continued to fire until twice wounded.’ His award of the Military Medal was gained in the Jebel Mazar area, N Yaafour, Syria and was published in the London Gazette of 10 February 1942.
John Audley Lloyd, MC, Major, 134271, 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. (Dryslwyn). John served with the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. He was recommended for the award of the Military Cross by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Cresswell, who wrote: ‘During the operations N of Pinwe two forward Coys of Major Lloyd’s Bn were cut off for two days. On the afternoon of 15 Nov 44, Major Lloyd was ordered to take out a strong patrol to fight his way through to these two coys with urgently needed ammunition. Very soon Major Lloyd’s patrol encountered enemy opposition, and was held up. Major Lloyd went forward and personally organised an attack on the enemy posts which proved successful thus enabling the ammunition to be taken through. It was now dark, and Major Lloyd remained forward for the night 15/16 Nov 44. Early on 16 Nov 44 Major Lloyd led his patrol back to the Bn’s main position, but again encountered stiff enemy resistance and he was blinded one eye and his thigh severely damaged by a grenade. In spite of his wounds he continued to lead the patrol and refused all aid. Throughout this period Major Lloyd displayed qualities of leadership and personal bravery of the highest order.’ His award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 22 March 1945. His father had won the Military Cross with the 1st SWB in the Great War.
Wilfred Lyonel Miron, MBE, Major (T/Lt Col), 93813, Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters). (Llanelli). Wilfred was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters on 16 July 1939. He served in Burma with the D.A.A.G. HQ 17th Indian Division. He was mentioned in despatches on 5 April 1945 for his work in Burma and the Brigadier General Cowan, CO of the Division recommended him for the award of the Member of the British Empire. The recommendation stated: ‘This officers work has been of a very high grade throughout the operational period under review. Previously it was largely due to Major Miron’s devotion to duty, energy and determination to overcome difficulties that the movement of a mass of M.T. and the evacuation of casualties worked so smoothly, in spite of constant enemy attacks, during the withdrawal of the Division from Tiddin. In the present operational period he was responsible for the organisation of the Div Admin Box and for the co-ordination of road movement and evacuation of casualties from the Bishenpur Sector to Imphal and for organising amenities for the troops. By constant visits to the forward troops, throughout the fighting, he made certain, by personal supervising, that everything that could be done to help the troops was being carried out by all concerned. He organised amenities for the troops and overcame many difficulties in his constant efforts to look after their welfare. Always cheerful, imperturbable under fire, and blessed with a keen sense of humour, his constant visits were a tonic to forward commanders and troops. Although, by virtue of his appointment, he had no opportunity of distinguishing himself in the actual fighting, his efficiency and devotion to duty contributed materially to the success of the general fighting efficiency of the Div. Strongly recommended for the MBE.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 26 June 1945. He a Solicitor who was later to become Chairman of the National Coal Board, for the Midlands and South Wales and died on 1 January 2000.
John Gwynne Morgan, CBE, OBE, Colonel (T/Brigadier), 35510, Royal Army Medical Corps. (Llandeilo). John was a Doctor prior to the war before being commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps. By the time of the invasion of Italy he was in command of the 48th General Hospital in Tripolitania. His work there led to him being recommended for the award of the Member of the British Empire by Brigadier Galloway, who wrote: ‘Colonel Morgan was asked by me to expand his hospital urgently to meet the needs of the North battle. By his ingenuity and ceaseless work, he succeeded in adding the new accommodation in a very short time, thus relieving a difficult situation. Throughout the period which followed his hospital was constantly working at double pressure and it was largely due to his personal example of enthusiasm and untiring energy that the casualties were so well looked after throughout this difficult time.’ His award of the Order of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 23 November 1943. Following the move into Italy, John was promoted to Temporary Brigadier, was mentioned in despatches as a result of similar work, and then recommended for the award of the Commander of the British Empire. The recommendation was made by Major General Lammie, who wrote: ‘Within this very large District Brigadier Morgan has met and solved the many medical problems which have arisen, both from the Military and Civil aspects. During the Battle of Cassino in May 1944 he thought out and established a most efficient method of clearing casualties from various parts of the front to their appropriate hospitals in the shortest possible time, thereby saving many lives and speeding up the return of manpower to the fighting forces. Since Oct 1944 this District has been further increased in size, bringing with it many hospitals catering for other nationalities. The problems in connection with both these and our day to day tasks have been both intricate and troublesome, but by his energy, resourcefulness and tact, Brig Morgan has set up and maintained a very high standard of medical efficiency within the District. I recommend him for the CBE.’ His award of the Commander of the British Empire was listed in the London Gazette of 28 June 1945.
Charles William Nevill, OBE, TD, MID, Major (T/Lt-Col), 37860, Welch Regiment. (Ferryside). Charles was commissioned into the Welch Regiment and had attached to the Staff of British Troops in Egypt. He was recommended for the award of the Order of the British Empire by his CO, Lieutenant General Stone, who wrote: ‘With the exception of two months in PAIFORCE Lt Col Nevill has been DAQMG and AQMG BTE since January 1942. During the difficult period in 1942 of the occupation and defence of the El Alamein Line by Eighth Army Lt Col Nevill displayed great energy and ability in dealing with the many Q problems involving both Eighth Army and the improvised Defence line of the Delta itself, and during the subsequent advance, by his own initiative , tact and extensive knowledge of his Q work he was able to ensure that the heavy demands put upon this branch of BTE were at all times efficiently and expeditiously carried out.’ His award was published in the London Gazette of 18 October 1943. He was also mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 23 May 1946, for the Mediterranean campaign.
William Oliver, MM, Private, 14627409, 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Trevaughan). William served with the 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Brookes, who wrote: ‘On 17 Jan 45 at Casa Rasponi Pte Oliver’s position was very heavily attacked, the enemy quickly surrounding the house. He coolly and steadily fired his Bren gun from an exposed window being directly engaged by two Spandaus, in spite of which he destroyed a large number of enemy. A direct hit by a shell wounded Pte Oliver but he refused treatment and evacuation and remained manning his gun for a further two hours. After the enemy had been driven off, a volunteer was asked for to fetch stretcher bearers for the seriously wounded, and under intense Spandau fire he reached Coy HQ and returned with assistance.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 19 June 1945.
George Edward Pegler, BEM, Lance Sergeant, 3955967, Royal Regiment of. Artillery. (Llanelli). George served with the 7th Light Anti Aircraft Brigade, Royal Artillery. He was recommended for the award of the British Empire Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Powell, who wrote: ‘On 26th April 1942, at Tigne, during heavy bombing a stick of bombs fell in that area, one of which exploded at the entrance of a Bofors Ammunition store, and started a fire inside. Regardless of his personal safety, Sgt Pegler entered the store with an officer, and together they succeeded in extinguishing the fire and saving the bulk of the ammunition.’ His award of the British Empire Medal was published in the London Gazette of 16 February 1943.
Benjamin David Malcolm Price, OBE, BA, Chaplain 3rd Class, 70563, Royal Army Chaplain’s Department. (Llandeilo). Benjamin was attached to the 4th Infantry Division. He was recommended for the award of the Order of the British Empire by Major General Ward, Commanding 4th Infantry Division, who wrote: ‘Rev BDM Price Chaplain 3rd Class) has been SCF of the 4 Brit Inf Div since 10 Aug 1943. Throughout this period he has inspired the Chaplains of the Division to a very lively sense of their responsibilities and has produced in them a team which has had a very considerable influence in maintaining the high morale of the Division. In action he never spares himself in ensuring that all the arrangements of his department are working well and particularly that all arrangements for burials in well chosen cemeteries proceed smoothly. Recently, when through shortage of Chaplains a Battalion was going into battle without one, Rev BDM Price himself took over the duties of Chaplain with the 2 DCLI and proved a great inspiration during a long period of particularly trying shelling. His work has been all that one expects from the high tradition of his Service, and as head of that Service in this Division he has been an outstanding success.’ His award of the Order of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 17 April 1945, and was in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Italy.
Melvyn Price, Signalman, LT/JX190383, Royal Navy. (Ammanford). Melvyn was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 29 December 1944.
William Garnet Edward Price, MM, Sergeant, 4196300, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Llanelli). William served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Bosanquet, who wrote: ‘On 7 May 45 D Coy was ordered to establish a road block behind a Jap position on the road to Kalaw. During a wide flanking movement through difficult and precipitous jungle country, 17 Pl, commanded by Sgt Price, contacted an enemy MMG post. This, Sgt Price engaged with fire most successfully, and skilfully, withdrawing his platoon, continued to probe forward to the position where the block was to be established. Here, a patrol from his platoon reported yet another Jap post up a steep hill, overlooking the road. Sgt Price led his platoon up over the hill and immediately came under LMG and MMG fire. He blitzed the post with all the weapons in his platoon from 30 yards range, fearlessly exposing himself to the enemy fire, in order to direct the fire of his own weapons to full advantage. He was ordered to withdraw in order that the enemy might be engaged by artillery. The position was then successfully occupied by the Company. Throughout the operation Sgt Price led his Platoon with unerring skill, without a casualty, and his coolness and courage were an inspiring example to the men under his command.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 18 September 1945.
Nelson Rees, MM, Sergeant, 2734220, 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards. (Llanelli). Nelson served with the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Hodgson, who wrote: ‘This Sjt commanded 10 Pl during the action at Hammam Lif on 9 May 43. His Platoon came under heavy Machine Gun fire during the attack on the DJEBEL. By his personal courage and example he got the whole of his Platoon to their objective. He then took them to the Town of HAMMAM LIF where he remained all night although the town was in enemy hands and returned at dawn with valuable information.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 8 July 1943.
Philip Rees, DCM, Lance Sergeant, 3957743, The Royal Scots Fusiliers (Llanelli). Philip originally served with the 4th Welch, before being transferred to the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was originally recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie, who wrote: ‘On 5 November 1944, Corporal Rees commanded a Section of the leading platoon of ‘B’ Company, 6th Battalion, The Royal Scots in the attack on Schans. Soon after leaving the start line the tanks which were supporting the company ran into a mine field and were unable to proceed with the Infantry. Corporal Rees however continued to advance with his section over very exposed and open ground which was being heavily shelled and mortared at the time. An enemy MG post then opened fire and held up both forward companies inflicting many casualties. Corporal Rees with complete disregard for the heavy mortar and MG fire and despite the fact that the area contained many anti-personnel mines left his section where they had been halted and alone stalked the MG post. When within range Corporal Rees threw a grenade at the post and rushed in with his Sten gun putting the whole post out of action. He then went on to round up some fifteen prisoners from the houses in the area which he brought back single handed. This outstanding action resulted in both forward companies being able to continue their advance and consolidate their position. Throughout Corporal Rees showed the most superb bravery and gallantry and was an inspiration to all the troops pinned to the ground in that area.’ His award was downgraded to that of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and was published in the London Gazette of 27 February 1945.
Elwyn George Rhydderch, BEM, Driver, 7/172814, Royal Army Service Corps. (Carmarthen). Elwyn served with 346 Company, Royal Army Service Corps. His award of the British Empire Medal was recommended by his CO, who wrote: ‘On 27.2.41 on the road between Bomba and Durna this man and Cpl Battersby suddenly finding their vehicle on fire and knowing it to contain 7000 ibs of H.E. bombs, showed great presence of mind and bravery in immediately driving the vehicle off the road on to the desert so that passing convoys would not be damaged in the explosion. They then attempted to extinguish the fire using extinguishers etc. Realising that it had gone beyond the scope of extinguishers, they ran to another vehicle which had spades aboard and proceeded back to their own lorry to endeavour to extinguish with sand. As they were returning the explosion took place, wounding both men. Their presence of mind probably saved the lives of many.’ His award of the British Empire Medal was published in the London Gazette of 4 July 1941,
Brinley Parry Richards, Croix-de-Guerre (France), Friends Ambulance Unit. (Carmarthen). Brinley was born in Carmarthen on 22 January 1920, the son of Reverend Glyndwr Richards. He was a well educated man, who had achieved a double first in French and classics, and as a result became a Conscientious Objector, refusing to bear arms against his fellow man. Wanting to play a part in the war he joined the Friends Ambulance Unit, which had been set up in September 1939 with the establishment of a training camp at Manor Farm, Bristol Road, Northfield, Birmingham. Brinley served in North Africa with a unit of the FAU and returned to England at the end of May 1944 in order to follow up the Allied invasion of Normandy the following month. Brinley’s unit was attached to a French unit moving into Paris at the time of liberation, and Brinley drove his ambulance into a cul de sac under fire to rescue French soldiers who had been pinned down by the Germans. As a result of his heroism he was awarded the Croix-de-Guerre by the French Government, and on his return home after the war was awarded the freedom of Carmarthen. He married Mair Griffiths in Carmarthen in 1948 and became a teacher after the war, but was refused a teaching post in Carmarthen because the Council allegedly had a policy prohibiting the employment of Conscientious Objectors, so moved to Cefn Coed. He died on 13 November 1994, aged 74. His widow, Mair, lived until 20 December 2015.
John Rees Richards, MBE, Lieutenant, 1st (Carmarthenshire) Battalion, Home Guard. (Ystrad, Carmarthen). John’s award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 18 November 1941, and was for the following brave act; “On 16th July 1941, at Ystrad Bombing Range, Carmarthen, an accident occurred under the following circumstances. A volunteer of the Home Guard, after receiving theoretical instruction, was practising the throwing of a live Mills bomb. After he had removed the retaining pin, the bomb slipped from his hand and rolled some little distance away. The bombing instructor, Lieutenant Richards, an old soldier whose right arm was shot off in the Great War, ran to the bomb-the fuse of which by that time would have been burning for three or more seconds, picked up the bomb and threw it to a place of safety. One volunteer was injured, but had not Lieutenant Richards acted quickly with great presence of mind, many casualties would have been incurred.”
Harry Raymond Roberts, MID, Electrical Artificer III, D/MX71942, Royal Navy. (Llanelli). Harry was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 17 August 1945, and was: ‘For bravery, determination and devotion to duty whilst serving in H.M. Ships Saumarez, Rapid, Volage, Vigilant and Virago, in an action with shore batteries off Andaman Island on the 19th March, 1945, and in successful attacks on enemy submarine chasers and merchantmen on the 26th March, 1945.
John Emile Glyn Roberts, MBE, Captain, 233456, Royal Army Service Corps. (Llanelli). John was attached to 184 Field Ambulance. He was recommended for the award of the Member of the British Empire by Lieutenant Colonel O’Connell, Co of 184 FA, who wrote: ‘This officer has served with this unit as Transport Officer since it came overseas in Jan 1943. No countries could have been rougher on transport than those of Tunisia and Italy. In addition, vehicle breakdowns from low-flying attacks of German aircraft were common in Tunisia. Since the Jeep became the main vehicle of forward evacuation of wounded personnel, the work of the attached RASC of the Fd Amb became correspondingly more dangerous. Throughout the whole of the Tunisian and Italian campaigns this officer has maintained an outstanding record of service under physical conditions which were mostly adverse and often appalling. Jeeps were always in short supply and, therefore, recovery, no matter what the conditions, hostile or climactic, had to be rapid and repair swift. Capt Roberts has been present at nearly every battle of this Division from Hunts Gap to the Gothic Line and in them all displayed a sense of cool efficiency without which the smooth flow of evacuation of casualties could not have taken place. In addition, his leadership of the RASC section of this unit was such that his men never wavered even under the most intense shelling or adverse climactic conditions. His outstanding management and devotion to duty under all conditions saved many lives and limbs over two prolonged and trying campaigns.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 11 December 1945.
Elwyn Thomas, MM, Lance Corporal, 14722204, 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. (Ammanford). Elwyn served with the 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. His award of the Military Medal was recommended by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Exham, who wrote: ‘During the fighting for the village of Host on 24 Feb 45, Fus Thomas was a Bren gunner in one of the assault platoons. In the course of operations it became necessary to carry out a slight withdrawal from an area subjected to heavy enemy fire. Fus Thomas volunteered to remain and cover his platoon out. This he did successfully, engaging the enemy with great skill and courage. When his platoon had reached cover Fus Thomas noticed two enemy MG groups infiltrating forward on his right. He immediately moved out alone, engaged the enemy, killing 3 and dispersing the remainder. By this time Fus Thomas’ position had become completely isolated and he was unable to rejoin his platoon. Quite undaunted he remained alone in his post with his gun from 0815 hrs in the morning until darkness fell. All this time he engaged the enemy whenever they showed themselves, inflicting several casualties although he himself was subjected to frequent heavy mortar and shell fire. Fus Thomas’ great courage and coolness both when covering his platoon and when he was himself cut off and isolated were an inspiration to his comrades. Throughout the day he showed outstanding qualities of bravery and devotion to duty.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 5 June 1945.
Ernest Thomas, MM, Corporal, 3953847, Royal Scots Fusiliers. (Llandebie). Ernest (shown as Myrddin in the London Gazette) served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel MacInnes, who wrote: ‘This NCO was Commanding a section of a Fighting Patrol which met a very strong German position at first light on 25 Nov 43 on Hill 1154, North East of Alfadena. The weather was misty and heavy rain was falling at the time. The Patrol was subject to intense MG and Mortar fire and the officer gave orders to disperse and move back. Cpl Thomas with great coolness personally covered the withdrawal of his section and then rejoined them behind a ridge; later he led them across the waist high river Rio Torto. His complete disregard of personal danger inspired the men under his command and his calm leadership in the face of heavy Mortar fire was responsible for the successful withdrawal of his section to his company position.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 4 April 1944.
Haydn Thomas, MID, Seaman, LT/JX221385, Royal Navy. (Llanelli). Haydn was mentioned in despatches in the King’s Birthday Honours List, which was published in the London Gazette of 2 June 1944.
William Charles Thomas, MBE, Captain, 146193, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. (Carmarthen). William served with the HQ of 207 Sub Area in Greece. His award of the Member of the British Empire was recommended by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Wilkins, who wrote: ‘As Ordnance Officer of 207 Sub Area during operation “Bingham”, April and May 1945, the quiet but swift efficiency of this officer contributed greatly to the speed with which the troops settled down, and to their comfort and contentment, which in no small measure lead to their excellent behaviour under somewhat trying conditions. I feel it should be taken into consideration also that prior to “Bingham” this officer carried out similar duties with this Sub Area at Piraeas, Greece, last December and January, and later on 8th Army L of C in the period just prior to their last offensive. At Piraeas, these HQ and localities where staff and services had to work were frequently subjected to fire from all weapons from small arms up to 105mm guns. Undoubtedly this officer produced an effort greater than merely his normal duties with a Sub Area.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 11 December 1945.
Ralph Anthony Tucker, MID, Major, 88131, 1st Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Laugharne). Ralph was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 26 April 1945, while serving with the 1st Welch in Burma. He had originally been commissioned into the 4th Welch on 27 May 1939. He died on 9 November 2011, aged 94.
Thomas Lawford Walker, GM, Sapper, 4208733, Corps of Royal Engineers. (Penygroes, Llanelly). Thomas’s award of the George Medal was published in the London Gazette of 6 November 1945. The recommendation for his award read: ‘Sapper Walker, who has been trained as a diver, has spent hundreds of hours in the performance of extremely hazardous and very dangerous duties. At Dieppe, which port was entered with the original reconnaissance party, he located and removed under-water mines and demolition depth charges. At Flushing, by his efforts, six vessels were raised and the first five berths cleared for shipping in mine-infested water and in proximity to known delay action torpedoes. On another occasion his persistence under extremely adverse conditions enabled a sunken dredger to be raised for operational requirements. At another place he dived so often in mine and ice-packed water that his hands and limbs became infected and he had to go to hospital. Sapper Walker has persistently shown a high standard of devotion to duty and courage in face of a silent and insidious enemy. His actions have been performed under solitary and remote conditions, and any accident or mistake during operations would have resulted in his meeting with a terrible death.’ He died on 22 June 1995, aged 71.
Edgeworth Horace Williams, MC, M.B., Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps, 136806. (Llansteffan). Edgeworth was a Doctor who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and had been attached to the 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment, which was attached to the 20th Indian Division. He was recommended for the award of the Military Cross by Brigadier Rodham, Commanding 110th Indian Infantry Brigade, who wrote: ‘Captain Williams was R.M.O. 2 Border, when two coys were ordered to attack and capture the village of Satpangon on 3 Feb 45. The leading coy (C) and later the second coy (A) both received very heavy casualties crossing a open strip of paddy land to enter the village, from LMG’s and snipers in trees. As the leading troops were engaged at close quarters with the Japs, in a struggle to gain a foothold in the village, the wounded men attempting to crawl to cover were being sniped at. Capt Williams, with amazing coolness and disregard for safety, went out into the open and examined these men, dressing the urgent cases, and then successfully evacuating all those still living, from under the very noses of the Japs. When the battle died down at dusk, Capt Williams did not leave the area until he had satisfied himself that there were no more wounded in the area. This he did by going round the village himself, without help or escort from the coys. Captain Williams was an inspiration to all those who saw him, he was instrumental in saving many men’s lives during the action.’ His award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette of 22 May 1945.
Reverend Rheinallt Nantlais Williams, MBE, Chaplain 4th Class, Army Chaplain’s Department. (Ammanford). Rheinallt served with the Royal Army Chaplains Department and was attached to the 63rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was recommended for the award of the Member of the British Empire by Lieutenant Colonel Gayer, the Commander of the Battery, who wrote: ‘Since landing in North Africa with this Regiment, this officer has been tireless in his efforts on behalf of the welfare of the men and has secured their confidence in great measure. He is equally unsparing in his efforts on behalf of the men of any unit stationed near which for various reasons have no padre of their own in the vicinity. For three weeks in January he shouldered the responsibility of looking after 5000 men RAF and RA on a close bomber support aerodrome at Canrobert and Oulemens working 18 hours a day in his efforts to visit them all. Later during February and March in the Djebel Bargou he has carried out his work under shell fire.’ His award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 21 September 1943. After the war, Reverend Williams became a professor of the philosophy of religion and principal of the Presbyterian United Theological College, Aberystwyth. He died on 8 December 1993, aged 82.
Reverend William David Conwyl Williams, MBE, 65491, Chaplain to the Forces, Fourth Class, Royal Army Chaplain’s Department (Laugharne). William was commissioned as a Chaplain on 1 June 1935 and served as a Chaplain at 8th Army HQ during the war. He was recommended for the award of the Member of the British Empire by Assistant Chaplain General Hughes, who wrote: ‘For continuous good work over a period of more than 3 years (June 1939 to Oct 1942) all (except 8 months as S.C.F. Sudan and Eritrea) in the Western Desert. For six months (Jul ’40 to Jan ’41) S.C.F. Matruh, and 1 year S.C.F. Army Troops. The special action of this Chaplain was to serve the long line of Army Troops when it stretched from the frontier to Benghazi. This work required a sense of duty, zeal and physical fitness in a high degree, and in doing it he imparted to his Chaplains under him a like enthusiasm. This Chaplain is still doing work of the same quality, and the sum total of these 3 years service to troops in the desert is very considerably above the average.’ The award was countersigned by Bernard Law Montgomery, and was published in the London Gazette of 16 February 1943. William was later awarded the Order of the British Empire whilst serving as a Chaplain with the War Office in 1957. He died on 15 April 1995, aged 86.
William Daniel Williams, MBE, DL, Colonel, Home Guard. (Carmarthen). William’s award of the Member of the British Empire was published in the London Gazette of 12 December 1944. He served with the Carmarthen Sector Home Guard.
William Henry Williams, MM, Sergeant, 3963556, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Llanelli). William served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Frisby, who wrote: ‘On 11 Feb 45, Sjt Williams was commanding 13 Platoon of C Coy 4th Bn The Welch Regiment at the Palanswald Cross Roads in the Reichswald Forest. At about 2300 hrs the enemy launched a counter-attack against 13 Platoon with about forty infantry supported by one S.P. gun. Casualties were inflicted on the forward section of Sjt Williams’ Platoon, which looked like being over-run. Sjt Williams crawled to his left hand section through very heavy small arms fire and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, to give the Section Commander orders for covering fire. He then personally led his reserve section forward to the relief of his forward section. During the whole of this time the whole area was swept by small arms fire and intermittent point blank fire from the S.P. gun. Sjt Williams reached the forward section when the enemy including the S.P. gun were only fifty yards off. The increased volume of fire which the reserve section produced, including that from a PIAT caused the enemy to withdraw. Without doubt Sjt Williams’ personal bravery and devotion to duty under heavy enemy fire, saved the forward section from being over-run. His complete disregard of danger in personally conducting the operation was an inspiration to all ranks of his platoon, and is worthy of the highest praise.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 10 May 1945.
Robert Rice Young, MM, Sergeant, 3962656, 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. (Ammanford). Robert served with the 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal by his CO, Lieutenant Colonel Frisby, who wrote: ‘On 7 Jan 45, Sjt Young was acting as Platoon Sjt of 7 Platoon of A Coy 4th Bn The Welch Regiment during the attack on the Au Thiers De Tailles feature. Shortly after crossing the start line, the platoon came under heavy and accurate enemy mortar fire, and suffered over 50 percent casualties, including the officer platoon commander. Showing complete disregard for his personal safety, Sjt Young ran from section to section collecting the remnants of his platoon, although mortar fire was still falling and the area was now being swept by Spandau fire. In a remarkably short time he completed the reorganisation of the platoon into one strong section led by himself. The result of his drive was that when the enemy pushed on soon afterwards, his platoon was with him. In spite of his platoons numerical weakness, Sjt Young then carried out the completion of his platoon’s task – the elimination of a strong dug-in enemy post. The clearing of this position was essential for the safety of his own company on its final objective, and for the forward movement of the follow up company. Throughout the action Sjt Young showed a very high standard of leadership and personal courage. His determination in reorganising his platoon under conditions of great danger with complete disregard of his own personal safety were an inspiration to the remaining members of his platoon, and undoubtedly instilled into them the desire to continue to attack the enemy under what were at the time very unfavourable circumstances.’ His award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette of 12 April 1945.