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Next Event Local History Club

Local History Club

The next few talks arranged by Llanfihangel-ar-arth and Parish Local History Club are as follows –

The last talk in this year’s programme will be held on June 15th when there will be an evening ‘In the company of Bees’ (John Wigli) (in Welsh).

The Club’s Annual Trip will take place on Saturday July 15th. For more details and to book a place please contact Calvin Griffiths, 384812.

A warm welcome to all.

HISTORY OF PENCADER EXHIBITION

HISTORY OF PENCADER EXHIBITION

including a model of Pencader village and station

 Yr Hen Gapel, Pencader

26-29 Mai / May 2017 (10am-4pm)

Entry: £2      Children free entry

Do you have any photos or artefacts of Pencader village, people, events, trips, weddings, clubs or memorabilia?. Bring them to Yr Hen Gapel during the weekend to help us preserveand share your memories and to learn more about the village. I will be scanning all items, and with your permission, will upload all photos to the People’s Collection website (www.peoplescollection.wales), and give copies to Llanfihangel-ar-arth Historic Society for safekeeping.

 Sponsored by: Pwyllgor yr Hen Gapel, Statkraft Alltwalis Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, Llanfihangel-ar-arth Community Council

 For further information contact

 Morfudd on 07989 520667       e-mail– morfuddnia@gmail.com

Historical Walks

Historic Walks

Historic Walks

Have you ever wanted to see a Norman castle, a Roman road, an Iron Age hillfort or a Bronze Age burial site? Or perhaps you would like to know about the woollen industry in our area or see an old railway station? Now is your opportunity to discover the rich history of our community while at the same time enjoying healthy exercise.

The Llanfihangel-ar-arth and Parish Local history club is pleased to announce that it has produced a bilingual booklet of eight historical walks. The journeys are of varying distances and will take from one to three and a half hours, though the longest can be done by car. The walks begin in Alltwalis, Gwyddgrug, Llanfihangel and Pencader and will be of interest to visitors and local residents. The booklet gives a detailed description of each walk together with outline maps.

Copies are free of charge and can be obtained from Club members. Please ring Calvin Griffiths 384812, or Gerald Coles 384987. The booklet was officially launched on May 7th and the photo shows Club members with their copies.

We are grateful to the Statkraft Alltwalis Wind Farm Community Benefit Trust for a grant towards the costs of printing.

Pencader War Memorial

Pencader War MemorialTo mark the beginning of World War 1, this is a series about the men from the Parish who died in that war. Most are commemorated on the War Memorial in the centre of Pencader, but there are a few whose names do not appear and they will also be mentioned here.

The information is taken from an excellent internet site www.wwwmp.co.uk dealing with very many of the War Memorials in West Wales and the men who fought in both World Wars. If anyone has any more information about the men in this series, the founder of the website would be delighted to hear from you – contact details are on the website or send to the editor who will pass it on. Due to cost and space constraints, it has unfortunately not been possible to publish this article in Welsh as well as English. It is sincerely hoped that readers who prefer Welsh will forgive this departure from the normal policy.

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 Tom Davies

Tom

Private Titus Davies

Titus Davies

Titus was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Davies of Glantalog, Pencader. He enlisted at Cardiff into the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 40 Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. The division embarked at Avonmouth on 29 June 1915, and landed at Gallipoli on 6 July 1915, and were immediately thrown into battle. Titus was killed in action just two days after landing, on 8 August 1915. He was just 20 years old, and is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. The Pencader War Memorial incorrectly shows his date of death to have been 7 August.

Private Tom Davies

Tom was born on 29 April 1884, the son of James and Hannah Davies of Brynamburg, Pencader. He emigrated to Canada prior to the war, where he worked as a Miner, and he enlisted there at Edmonton on 8 February 1915. Tom was posted to the 49th Battalion (Edmonton) Canadian Infantry, which were attached to 7 Canadian Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, which formed in France during December 1915. The Division moved to positions around Ypres. On 12 April 1916 the battalion was in the front line near Hooge when they were attacked by a German raiding party. The attack was beaten off, but the Germans retaliated with heavy artillery fire on the Canadian trenches. Tom was killed in the ensuing bombardment that day. He was 32 years old, and is buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Private Tom Davies

Tom was born on 29 April 1884, the son of James and Hannah Davies of Brynamburg, Pencader. He 

Private Tom Davies

Tom was born on 29 April 1884, the son of James and Hannah Davies of Brynamlwg, Pencader. He emigrated to Canada prior to the war, where he worked as a Miner, and he enlisted there at Edmonton on 8 February 1915. Tom was posted to the 49th Battalion (Edmonton) Canadian Infantry, which were attached to 7 Canadian Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, which formed in France during December 1915. The Division moved to positions around Ypres. On 12 April 1916 the battalion was in the front line near Hooge when they were attacked by a German raiding party. The attack was beaten off, but the Germans retaliated with heavy artillery fire on the Canadian trenches. Tom was killed in the ensuing bombardment that day. He was 32 years old, and is buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.

party. The attack was beaten off, but the Germans retaliated with heavy artillery fire on the Canadian trenches. Tom was killed in the ensuing 

Private John Jenkins

John was the son of John and Mary Ann Jenkins of Nantllech, Pencader. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which had landed in France in August, 1914 as part of 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division fought at the Battle of Mons, and took part in the epic retreat to the Marne, where the German Advance was stopped in its tracks. They then followed the withdrawing Germans to the Aisne, and fought another pitched battle here, before being moved to positions east of Ypres. They famously halted the German attack towards Ypres, but at heavy cost, during First Ypres, and spent their first winter in Flanders. In 1915 the Division fought at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, and then at the Battle of Loos. They remained around Loos throughout the winter of 1915/1916 and were due to move to the Somme in June 1916. John was wounded by a shell before the move, and died of wounds two days later, on 9 June 1916, aged just 19. He is buried at Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France.

Private Daniel Rees

Daniel was the son of John and Sarah Rees of 3, Lewis Street, Pontwelly, Llandysul. He enlisted at Ferndale into the 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, which was attached to 20 Brigade, 7th Division, and moved to Belgium on 6 October 1914, landing at Zeebrugge. Due to the imminent collapse of the Zeebrugge defences, the Division were moved south, and took up positions east of Ypres. Here, they fought the advancing German Army to a standstill during First Ypres, and settled down for their first winter on the Western Front. In March, 1915 they fought at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, and then in May fought at Aubers Ridge. They then fought at Givenchy, before taking part in the Battle of Loos in September. After a hard winter near Loos, they moved to the Somme in June, 1916, and fought during the Somme Offensive, at the Battles of Albert and Bazentin. They then moved towards Delville Wood, where Daniel was killed in action on 4 September 1916. He was 22 years old, and is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France. The Pencader War Memorial incorrectly shows his date of death as 3 September.

Private David Griffiths James

David Griffiths James

David was the son of Thomas and Rachel James of 8 Davies Street, Pencader. He worked as a Butcher, and enlisted at Port Talbot into the Monmouth Regiment. He subsequently transferred into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had had a novel start to the war. It had defeated the German Garrison at Tientsin, China, before taking place in the Gallipoli Landings on 25 April 1915, attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. They remained here until evacuation to Egypt on 11 January 1916 and then when David joined the battalion. The Division took part in its first major action in France during the 1916 Somme Offensive, which is where David was killed in action, aged 19, on 21 October 1916 during the Battle of the Ancre. David’s body was lost in the terrible conditions on the battlefield, and so he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

David was the son of Thomas and Rachel James of 8 Davies Street, Pencader. He worked as a Butcher, and enlisted at Port Talbot into the Monmouth Regiment. He subsequently transferred into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had had a novel start to the war. It had defeated the German Garrison at Tientsin, China, before taking place in the Gallipoli Landings on 25 April 1915, attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. They remained hereuntil evacuation to Egypt on 11 January 1916 and then when David joined the battalion. The Division took part in its first major action in France during the 1916 Somme Offensive, which is where David was killed in action, aged 19, on 21 October 1916 during the Battle of the Ancre. David’s body was lost in the terrible conditions on the battlefield, and so he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

avid was the son of Thomas and Rachel James of 8 Davies Street, Pencader. He worked as a Butcher, and enlisted at Port Talbot into the Monmouth Regiment. He subsequently transferred into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had had a novel start to the war. It had defeated the German Garrison 

Private Daniel James

Daniel James

Daniel was the son of Thomas and Mary James of Lan Farm, Pencader. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was formed during August, 1914 in Carmarthen. The Battalion were then attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, and in July 1915 sailed from Devonport for Egypt. On 9 August 1915 the Division had moved from Egypt, and landed on Gallipoli. They fought on Gallipoli until evacuation in December, 1915, after suffering terrible casualties, and moved to positions on the Suez Canal. In early 1917 the British launched an attack into Palestine, which was occupied by the Turks, and Daniel was killed in action here at the First Battle of Gaza, on 21 April 1917. He was 29 years old, and is buried at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.

Daniel was the son of Thomas and Mary James of Lan Farm, Pencader. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was formed during August, 1914 in Carmarthen. The Battalion were then attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, and in July 1915 sailed from Devonport for Egypt. On 9 August 1915 the Division had moved from Egypt, and landed on Gallipoli. They fought on Gallipoli until evacuation in December, 1915, after suffering terrible casualties, and moved to positions on the Suez Canal. In early 1917 the British launched an attack into Palestine, which was occupied by the Turks, and Daniel was killed in action here at the First Battle of Gaza, on 21 April 1917. He was 29 years old, and is buried at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.

avid was the son of Thomas and Rachel James of 8 Davies Street, Pencader. He worked as a Butcher, and enlisted at Port Talbot into the Monmouth Regiment. He subsequently transferred into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had had a novel start to the war. It had defeated the German Garrison 

Gunner Thomas Thomas

Thomas Thomas

Thomas was the son of John and Anne Thomas, of Ysgubor, Pencader. He was residing in Burry Port prior to the war, and enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Garrison Artillery, being posted to the Western Front with their 158th Siege Battery. Thomas was wounded during the latter stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, and died of wounds on 10 December 1917. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

David was the son of Thomas and Rachel James of 8 Davies Street, Pencader. He worked as a Butcher, and enlisted at Port Talbot into the Monmouth Regiment. He subsequently transferred into the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. The battalion had had a novel start to the war. It had defeated the German Garrison at Tientsin, China, before taking place in the Gallipoli Landings on 25 April 1915, attached to 87 Brigade, 29th Division. They remained hereuntil evacuation to Egypt on 11 January 1916 and then when David joined the battalion. The Division took part in its first major action in France during the 1916 Somme Offensive, which is where David was killed in action, aged 19, on 21 October 1916 during the Battle of the Ancre. David’s body was lost in the terrible conditions on the battlefield, and so he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

he war, and enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Garrison Artillery, being posted to the Western Front with their 158th Siege Battery. Thomas was wounded during the latter stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, and died of wounds on 10 December 1917. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

e war, and enlisted at Llanelli into the Royal Garrison Artillery, being posted to the Western Front with their 158th Siege Battery. Thomas was wounded during the latter stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, and died of 

Private David Griffith Thomas

David was born at Llanfihangel-ar-Arth, and moved to London prior to the war, with his wife Elizabeth Thomas. David enlisted at Finsbury into the 5th Battalion, London Regiment. David subsequently transferred into the 2/13th Battalion (Kensington), London Regiment, which was attached to 179 Brigade, 60th Division. After a short period in Ireland, helping to quash the rebellion, the Division moved back to England, and then to France on 22 June 1916. In November 1916 they moved to Salonika, where they fought in the Battle of Doiran, and remained there until moving to Palestine on 2 July 1917. Here they fought in the Third Battle of Gaza, the Capture of Beersheba and the Capture of the Sheria Position, and went on to fight at and capture Jerusalem in December 1917. David was wounded during the Battle of Jerusalem, and died of wounds on 28 December 1917, aged 30. He is buried at Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.

Private Evan Henry Davies

Evan Henry Davies

Evan was the son of Evan and Mary Davies of Emlyn Villa, Pencader. He served in the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, which had moved to France in August 1915 attached to 3 Brigade, Guards Division. The Division had a distinguished career during the Great War, fighting at the Battle of Loos, and through the Somme Offensive at the Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval. In 1917 they followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and then fought later that year at Third Ypres, at the Battles of Pilckem, the Menin Road, Poelcapelle and Passchendaele, and saw the year out fighting at the Battle of Cambrai. In 1918 they were near Gouzeaucourt when the area was hit by the German Spring Offensive of 21 March 1918. The Guards, as indeed were all of the British Divisions in the area, were pushed back beyond Bapaume towards Albert, where the German Offensive stagnated. The war turned during the month of August 1918 after a brilliant Australian success at Villers Brettoneux on 8 August 1918 was followed by a successful British breakthrough on the old Somme Battlefields on 21 August, when the Battle of Albert saw the Germans pushed back beyond Bapaume in a few terrible days fighting. Evan was wounded around this time, and brought back to the Base Hospital at Rouen, where he sadly died of wounds on 22 September 1918, aged 22. He is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

Corporal Benjamin Davies

Corporal Benjamin Davies

Benjamin was the son of Ben and Rachel Davies of Neaudd Deg, Llanpumsaint. He resided at Cwmgreiciaufach, and worked as a Haulier. Benjamin had enlisted at London on 12 August 1914 into the 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The battalion was attached to 41 Brigade, 14th (Light) Division, and landed at Boulogne on 19 May 1915. The Division moved into positions east of Ypres, and became the first British unit to be attacked by German flamethrowers during the German assault at Hooge on 30 July 1915. The 7th KRRC were positioned on the south side of the newly blown Hooge Crater, when at 3:15pm jets of fire shot across from the German trenches towards their positions, and then a German Artillery Barrage saturated the ground. Vicious hand to hand fighting ensued, but the Germans didn’t follow up their attack, and the line stabilised again. Benjamin survived this horrific attack, but was wounded by gunfire on 5 October 1915 and evacuated to England for treatment. He died of wounds at the Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital, Shorncliffe on 15 October 1915, aged 23. Benjamin is buried in Llanpumsaint (Saer Calem) Baptist Chapelyard. The Pencader War Memorial incorrectly shows his date of death as 20 October 1915.

John was born in 1888, the son of Mary Jones, of Cartref, New Inn, Pencader. He enlisted on 9 December 1915 at Newcastle Emlyn into the 20th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, part of the 13th Reserve Brigade. The Battalion became part of the Training Reserve in 1916, severing its ties with the Welsh. John became ill while training, and died of tuberculosis at Kinmel Park on 27 February 1917, aged 28, without having seen overseas service. He is buried at Llanllwni (St. Luke) Churchyard. The memorial is again incorrect, showing his date of death as 3 March 1917.

John was born in 1888, the son of Mary Jones, of Cartref, New Inn, Pencader. He enlisted on 9 December 1915 at Newcastle Emlyn into the 20th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, part of the 13th Reserve Brigade. The Battalion became part of the Training Reserve in 1916, severing its ties with the Welsh. John became ill while training, and died of tuberculosis at Kinmel Park on 27 February 1917, aged 28, without having seen overseas service. He is buried at Llanllwni (St. Luke) Churchyard. The memorial is again incorrect, showing his date of death as 3 March 1917.

Private John Jones

John was born in 1888, the son of Mary Jones, of Cartref, New Inn, Pencader. He enlisted on 9 December 1915 at Newcastle Emlyn into the 20th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, part of the 13th Reserve Brigade. The Battalion became part of the Training Reserve in 1916, severing its ties with the Welsh. John became ill while training, and died of tuberculosis at Kinmel Park on 27 February 1917, aged 28, without having seen overseas service. He is buried at Llanllwni (St. Luke) Churchyard. The memorial is again incorrect, showing his date of death as 3 March 1917.

Gunner James Thomas

James was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Thomas, of Lan Meredith, Brechfa. James enlisted at Carmarthen into the Royal Garrison Artillery, and was attached to their No. 1 Depot, on Home Service. James died of sickness on 28 June 1918, aged just 19, and is buried at Gwernogle Congregational Burial Ground.

Private Edward Last

Edward was the son of Robert and Ellen Last of Woolwich, London. Prior to the war he had moved to Pencader with his brother William, and both men worked for Thomas and Phoebe Picton at Pant-To, Pencader. Edward had served with the 2/1st Battalion, Pembroke Yeomanry, which was the Reserve (Home Service) Battalion. He died at Bedford on 15 November 1918, aged 29 and is buried in Kempston Cemetery, Woolwich.

Sapper William Thomas

Sapper William Thomas

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

Sapper Johnnie Jones

Johnnie was the son of David and Elizabeth Jones of Cader Vale, Pencader. He served during the war with the Royal Engineers and died on 14 October 1920, aged 30. Nothing more is presently known about Johnnie as his service papers cannot be traced, and he is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Lieutenant Thomas Lloyd Rees Jones

Lieutenant Thomas Lloyd Rees Jones

Thomas was born in Pencader, the son of Thomas Rees Jones and Mary Jones. Thomas was commissioned from Lampeter College, into the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Thomas saw service with the battalion in Mesopotamia, but became ill, and returned home. He was then posted to Ireland, where the rebellion was gaining pace. In February 1918 he married Charlotte Mary Davies, of 7, Guildhall Square, Carmarthen, and after the armistice, went to Germany with the Army of Occupation. Thomas suffered a re-occurrence of malaria while in Germany, and returned home, but complications set in, and Thomas died on 29 September 1919. He was 26 years old and is buried in Llanfihangel-ar-Arth (St. Michael) Churchyard. The Pencader War Memorial incorrectly gives his date of death as 21 September 1919.

Private Henry James Lewis

Harry was the son of David and Mary Lewis of Aeron Villa, Pencader. He served during the war with the Army Service Corps. Little else is known of Harry, but he died on 3 October 1921, aged 22. Harry is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and so little else is presently known of him. His brother, Lewis Lewis, served as a Shoeing Smith with the Army Service Corps and survived the war.

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

Private Evan Holmes

Private Evan Holmes

Evan was born on 27 June 1897, the son of Josiah and Mary Holmes, of Bryntwely, Pencader. The family emigrated to Australia, where they lived at Bungalow, Cairns, Queensland. Evan enlisted at Cairns on 12 March 1915 into the 25th Battalion, Australian Infantry, which was attached to 7 Brigade, 2nd Australian Division, and he landed on Gallipoli with his Battalion just months later. Evan was shot in the head on 13 October 1915 and brought to a Field Ambulance, where he died soon after that same day. He was just 18 years old, and is buried at 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli. His brother George Henry also died. Neither brother is commemorated locally.

William was born at Panteg Shop, Llanllwni, the son of William and Mary Thomas and was the husband of Elizabeth Thomas, later of Cross Inn Fach, Llanfihangel-ar-arth. He was a Packer with the GWR at Swansea prior to joining the enlisting into the Royal Engineers. He had already been serving for two years when he joined the 263rd Railway Company, RE, which was raised at Longmoor and embarked to France on 26 April 1917. Once in France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

 France, William was assigned to a construction train, and his unit were deployed in laying new standard gauge track, often in very close proximity to the front. William took ill, and died in France of influenza on 19 November 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery, France.

Private Thomas Ansell

Thomas was the son of John and Hannah Ansell, of Cnwcdu, Pencader. He enlisted at Carmarthen into the 1/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was formed during August 1914 in Carmarthen. The Battalion was attached to 159 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, and in July 1915 sailed from Devonport for Egypt. On 9 August 1915, the Division had moved from Egypt and landed on Gallipoli. They fought on Gallipoli until evacuation in December 1915, after suffering terrible casualties, and moved to positions on the Suez Canal. In early 1917 the British were fighting in Mesopotamia, before moving into Palestine to fight the Turks, and Thomas was killed in action in Mesopotamia on 25 January 1917. He was just 19 years old, and is remembered on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.

Private George Henry Holmes

George was born on 19 January 1896, the son of Josiah and Mary Holmes, of Bryntwely, Pencader. The family emigrated to Australia prior to the war, where they resided at Bungalow, Cairns, Queensland, and George enlisted at Cairns on 20 June 1916, just eight months after his brother Evan was killed in Gallipoli. George was posted to the 52nd Battalion, which was attached to 13 Brigade, 4th Australian Division, and he embarked at Brisbane on 27 October 1916 bound for England. After a spell in hospital ill, he was posted to the Western Front on 25 June 1917, where he joined his Battalion in the line. The 4th Australian Division were by now posted in Ypres, and were ready to take part in the Battles of Third Ypres, or Passchendaele. George was killed in action during the Battle of Passchendaele on 18 October 1917. He was 21 years old, and is buried at Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Belgium. Neither brother is commemorated locally.

Private John James

John was born in Pencader, and enlisted at Llanelli into Pembroke Yeomanry. He later transferred into the 14th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was formed at Swansea during August, 1914 and was later attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division landed at Havre during December 1915, and took up positions in the ‘Nursery Sector’ near Armentieres. In June, 1916 they moved south to the Somme, and fought in the Battle of Mametz Wood. The first attack went in on 7 July, but it took a week of further, bloody, assaults to clear the wood. The Division suffered terrible casualties here, and were removed from the line, and moved north to positions around Ypres, where they remained for the next twelve months. Their next major offensive was at the Battle of Pilckem, and then the Battle of Langemarck, where John was wounded. He Died of Wounds at the Casualty Clearing Station at Dozinghem on 13 September 1917, and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Private Evan Jenkins

Evan was born in Pencader, the son of Griffith and Mary Jenkins. The family had moved to Gregynog House, New Road, Pwll, Llanelly prior to the war. Evan enlisted at Llanelli into the South Wales Borderers, and subsequently transferred into the 12th Battalion, Gloucester Regiment, which was attached to 95 Brigade, 5th Division. The Battalion had originally landed in France on 21 November 1915 and had moved to the sector around St. Laurent Blangy over the winter of 1916/1917. In July, 1916 the Division moved south, and fought throughout the Somme Offensive, at the Battles of High Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy, and on 5 November were moved from the line, and posted to Festubert to rebuild. In Spring, 1917 the Division fought during the Arras Offensive, during the Battles of the Vimy and the Scarpe, and after another rest period were moved north, where they fought at Third Ypres, at the Battles of Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle and Passchendaele. Evan was wounded during the Battle of Passchendaele, and was brought to the Base Hospital at Wimereux for treatment. He sadly died of wounds here on 2 November 1917 aged 29, and is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France.

Private John Cynfyn Davies

John was the son of the Reverend William Jones Davies and Margaret Agnes Davies (nee Morgan), of Blaenblodau Hall, Pencader. He enlisted at Lampeter into the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, which was attached to 113 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Brigade landed at Havre during December 1915, and moved to positions near Armentieres. They fought through some of the hardest and most famous battles of the Great War-at Mametz Wood during the Battle of the Somme, and at the Pilckem Ridge during the battle of Passchendaele. During March 1918, the 15th RWF was in reserve at The Laundry, Erquinghem. On 6 March 1918 they relieved the 13th Welsh in support trenches at Houplines. Eight men were wounded by gas on 9 March, and for the next few days the area was continually shelled and gassed by the Germans. After suffering badly here the Division was rushed south to assist with the desperate defence of Albert. The German Spring Offensive had swept across the old Somme Battlefields, and had pushed the Allies back further than ever. However, the attack burnt itself out, and for several months this resulted in a stalemate settling along the line on the Somme. John was killed in action near Albert during the attack on Bouzincourt Ridge on 22 April 1918. He was 25 years old, and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial, France.

Interest in Pencader Station

Emails with the Secretary from David Stewart

Dear Mrs Griffiths,

In the 1980s I ran a model railway club in my school, and the boys decided that they would like to model Pencader. As a result, we put a notice in the village Post Office asking for anyone with photographs of the station to contact us, visited the village and spoke to all those who had replied. A lady who lived on the castle side of the station site at the time was from the family who had had the refreshment room at the station and was most helpful. When a retired architect, Mr Peter Blair, asked for help for his model, we supplied all the information which we had, and later I became a friend and fellow modeller with him. He made a model of the station and village, and after his death his widow told me that she had contacted the authorities in the village and offered his model. She said that it was to be included in a museum of the village’s history which was to be put in the Old Chapel (Hen Chapel). Could you tell me if this ever actually took place? I am particularly interested since to help Peter I contributed a model building to his layout. As the building concerned was a model of the chapel, it was fascinating to think that my model was to be inside itself, so to speak. It has been such a lovely idea that I have never wanted to test it out, but as I am now starting a new model of Pencader and Henllan, the time has come to bite the bullet and ask what happened.

Yours,

David Stewart

Do the little thing
St David

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello David

You do not say where you are from or to which school you referred, but thank you anyway for getting in touch.

The model railway is housed in a room at Yr Hen Gapel. I have seen it and taken photos of it when I took a nonagenarian born in the village to see it. . It is said that the organisers are waiting for a Perspex cover to fit the layout before it can be put on permanent display. At the moment a volunteer lets people in by prior arrangement.and I have forwarded your email onto him.

Hope this helps

Jane Griffiths

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Thank you very much, Jane.

I live in Winsford in Cheshire, though my maternal grandfather was from Dihewid, my parents retired to Aberaeron, my aunt was Chief Nursing Officer for Carmarthen and Cardiganshire, and uncles retired to Penrhiwllan and Llandysul. I, therefore, know the whole of the area well, but have not been through Pencader since my father died in Glangwili six years ago. My school at the time was St Edward’s College in Liverpool. My mother translated our appeal for photographs into Welsh for the Post Office, but when we visited we were told that everyone read the English, as my mother’s Welsh was “proper Welsh” (she was trained as a teacher at Barry Training College). A nonagenarian from Swansea got in touch with us when we made our appeal and drew us a wonderful map-sketch of the station as he remembered it from playing on it before the Great War. I am delighted that the railway is still in being. If your volunteer gets in touch I shall ask if they want help in constructing a cover.

With best wishes,

David Stewart

Evacuees research

I am currently researching a degree about evacuation and education in Carmathen and Glamorgan and have come across a reference in the Carmarthen Archives about a group of children evacuated to Pencader between 1940-1944. Many of them lived in a hostel called The Beeches and went to school at Tabernacle Vestry. Others lived at the local public house. I wonder if anyone has any recollections of this. I am particularly interested in The Beeches because it was unusual for so many evacuees to be living in one place for such a long period.

Many thanks
Mary-Lyn Jones

Pencader Tunnel, Carmarthenshire Jan 2012

This is a forum about the old railway tunnel with some good pictures.

Report – Pencader Tunnel, Carmarthenshire Jan 2012 – UK Urban Exploration Forums.

Family from Pencader

This is a link to a question on the rootschat website asking for information about John Rees Williams born 1897.

Family from Pencader Family History Local History.

Family History

You are free to post your enquiry or provide information here but there is no parish genealogy service available, and we cannot guarantee any response.

Good sources of information are the Parish records, now in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the Census. The 1841 to 1911 censuses are available on line. Copies of the 1841 to 1901 censuses can also be viewed in the County Archives, Richmond St, Carmarthen.