North Wales Western Front Association

In Glan Conwy cemetery, in the Conwy valley in North Wales, are memorial stones to lcoal men who have died in WWI and WWII.  The WWI ones are listed here, with the inscription on the tablet, the information on the soldier from the CWGC database and information on the memorial or cemetery where he is commemorated.  More information on the cemeteries and memorials is at the end of the article.

Norman Wilfred Cox

“Missing 16th June 1915, Battle of Hodge”

Presumably, this should be Hooge, as in Hooge Crater and Museum, Ypres.

CWGC

Date of death 16/06/1915

Private G/2375

Age 22

City of London Royal Fusiliers

Son of William Henry and Alice Mary Cox of Llwyn-onn, Glan Conwy

Commemorated

Menin Gate Memorial,Ypres, Belgium.

This is one of the memorials to those soldiers with no known grave in the Ypres sector or “salient”. There is another memorial at Tyne Cot CWGC cemetery at Zonnebeke, not far away.

 

Thomas John Williams

(Pendraw Llan)

“Lost at sea, SS Arcadian”

CWGC

15/04/1917

Private 20668

Age 20

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Son of Thomas John and Jane Williams of 4, a View, Glan Conwy

Killed when HT “Arcadian” (a transport ship) was torpedoed by a U-boat NE of the Greek island of Melos, carrying reinforcements for Egypt.

Commemorated

Mikra Memorial,

Thessaloniki, Greece (more below)

 

Hugh Davies

(Ferndale)

“Died in France”

He is on Tyne Cot memorial which is, of course, in Belgium, not France.

CWGC

07/11/1917

Private 380957

Age 29

The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)

Son of Mr J and Mrs J Davies of Fern Dale, Glan Conwy

Commemorated

 Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing, Zonnebeke, Belgium.

 

Edmund Williams

(Dolwyd Bach)

“Died at sea, 16th July 1918

HMS Anchusa”

CWGC

Date of death 16/07/1918

Stoker first class,

Royal Navy

Age 28

HMS “Anchusa”

Son of Griffith Williams, husband of Sarah Williams of Dolwyd Bach, Mochdre.

“Anchusa” was a fleet minesweeping vessel (sloop) of the “Flower” class, and was sunk off the North coast of Ireland by a U-boat on 16/07/1918. Of the crew of 100, 78 were killed.

Commemorated

Plymouth Naval Memorial

 

Elias Thomas Williams

(Bryn Pistill)

“Died in France”

CWGC

Date of death 08/06/1917

Private TR/5/10229

Age 28

Northumberland Fusiliers

Commemorated

Etaples Military Cemetery.

There were 16 military hospitals in Etaples, hence the cemetery. Etaples was an important depot area for troops.

 

Thomas Owen Evans

(Bryn Rhys shop)

“Died in East Africa, January 1915”

Note that the date does not quite tally with CWGC records but presumably refers to date of notification of the family.

Both this soldier and the one below are attributed to Bryn Rhys shop and are both Evans. Were they brothers?

CWGC

Date of death 04/11/1914

Private 9679

Age 26

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Commemorated

Tanga Memorial cemetery, Tanzania (more below)

 

Arthur Evans

(Bryn Rhys shop)

“Died in Alexandria”

CWGC

17/08/1915

Private 12396

Age 22

Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Son of Mary Ellen Davies (formerly Evans) of Top Shop, Bryn Rhys, Glan Conway, and the late Thomas Evans

Commemorated

 Alexandria (Chatby) Military and Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (see below)

 

Ezekiel Thomas

(Pen y Croesan)

“Lost at sea, SS Leinster”

TheRMS Leinster” was a Holyhead mail ship sunk by a U boat.

CWGC

10/10/1918

Private 92077

Age 23

Royal Welsh Fusiliers

He is known to have been coming back to Wales for hiis father's funeral

Commemorated

Buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin (more below)

 

Hugh Evans

(Islwyn)

“Died in Salonica”

CWGC

22/11/1918 (note the date is almost a month after the Salonika Armistice)

Sapper 71056

Age 29

Royal Engineers and HQ 61st Bde Royal Garrison Artillery

Commemorated

Buried at Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, near Thessalonika, Greece (more below)

 

John Eric Saunderson

(The Rosary)

“Died in France”

CWGC

22/08/1916

Private 10999

24

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Commemorated

Thiepval Memorial to the British missing of the Somme.

 

Elias Hughes

(Rock Cottage)

“Died in France”

CWGC

06/02/1917

Private 37438

Age 28

South Lancashire Regiment

Son of Benjamin and Margaret Hughes of Rock Cottage, Glan Conwy

Commemorated

Sailly-au-bois Military Cemetery, between Arras and Amiens

 

Thomas Roberts

(6 Llewelyn Terrace)

“Died in France”

but is in fact commemorated at Ypres, in Belgium

CWGC

05/06/1916

Private 436913

Age 30

Canadian Infantry, 49th Btn

Commemorated

Menin Gate Memorial,Ypres, Belgium.

This is one of the memorials to those soldiers with no known grave in the Ypres sector or “salient”.  There is another memorial at Tyne Cot CWGC cemetery at Zonnebeke, not far away.

 

Robert Hughes

(Castle View)

“Died in Egypt”

CWGC

26/03/1917

L/Cpl 241902

Age 22

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Son of Mrs MJ Hughes of Castle View, Glan Conwy

Commemorated

Jerusalem Memorial, north of Jerusalem city, Israel (more below)

 

Ben Thomas Owens

(Bryn Rhys)

“Died in Salonica”

CWGC

18/09/1918

Company Sergeant Major

Age 42

Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Looks to have been killed in the attacks on Pip Ridge and the Grand-Couronne, 18th-19th September.  From his age and rank he would appear to have been a pre-war regular soldier.

Commemorated

Doiran Military Cemetery, northern Greece, near the frontier with FYROM (more below)

 

Idwal Ben Humphrey

(HendreWaelod)

“Died in Salonica”

Also commemorated on his parents’ headstone in the other section of the cemetery.

CWGC

14/09/1916

Second Lieutenant

Age 21

The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)

Son of William and Alice Humphrey Jones of Hendrewaelod, Glan Conwy

Presumably he served as "Humphrey" because of the number of Welsh in the regiment.

Commemorated

Buried at Karasouli Miliary Cemetery, Polikastro, Thessalonika, Greece (more below)

 

Frank Cecil Osborne

(Oak Villa)

“Marconi wireless officer, SS Cito, Lost in North Sea 17th May 1917”

CWGC

17/05/1917

Wireless operator, merchant marine

SS “Cito” (Hull)

Son of Frank Osborne of Oak Villa, Glan Conwy. Born at Manchester

The “Cito” was sunk off Holland by two German destroyers on 17th May 1917. One crewman is buried in Netherlands; all the others were lost at sea.

Commemoration

Tower Hill Memorial to the merchant navy, London (more below)

 

David Morris

(Bryn Coleu, Eglwysbach)

“Missing between 28th May and 14th June 1918”

CWGC

14/06/1918

Private 203719

Age 25

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Commemoration

Soissons Memorial (just NE of Paris)

 

Alfred Jones

(Pantsiclan)

“Died in France”

CWGC

30/12/1915

Private 14588

Age 24

Welsh Regiment

Commemoration

St Vaast Post Military Cemetery,

Richebourg-L’Avoue (NE of Bethune)

 

John Lloyd

(Cefn Carlleg)

“Died in France”

CWGC

18/09/1918

Private 87586

Age 25

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Brother of Miss D Lloyd of 86 Vale Road, Rhyl

Commemoration

 Vis-en-Artois memorial (SE of Arras)

 

William Robert McMath

(Ynis Fawr)

“Died in France”

CWGC

13/09/1918

Rifleman B/202071

Age 20

Rifle Brigade

Foster son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hughes of Bryn Popty, Glan Conwy

Commemoration

Vis-en-Artois memorial (SE of Arras)

 

Memorials and cemeteries

Information on some of the memorials and cemeteries for the Glan Conwy casualties, and how the casualties came to be commemorated there. The French and Belgian ones follow the more unusual ones. (This information all comes from the CWGC site)

Alexandria (Chatby) Memorial and War Cemetery, Egypt

Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery (originally the Garrison cemetery) was used for burials until April 1916, when a new cemetery was opened at Hadra. Thereafter, burials at Chatby were infrequent, although some graves were brought into the cemetery after the war from other burial grounds in the area. It is on the eastern side of the city of Alexandria.

The CHATBY MEMORIAL stands at the eastern end of the cemetery and commemorates almost 1,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War and have no other grave but the sea. Many of them were lost when hospital ships or transports were sunk in the Mediterranean, sailing to or from Alexandria. Others died of wounds or sickness while aboard such vessels and were buried at sea.

Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece

Doiran Military Cemetery is situated in the north of Greece close to the F.Y.R.O.M frontier and near the south-east shore of Lake Doiran. It is approximately 2 kilometres north west of Drossato village behind and to the west of Doirani village and is reached via a farm track after turning left in the village by a large taverna.

The Doiran Memorial, is on what was called Colonial Hill, it can be seen from a distance and is clearly signposted.

The cemetery (originally known as Colonial Hill Cemetery No.2) was formed at the end of 1916 as a cemetery for the Doiran front. The graves are almost entirely those of officers and men of the 22nd and 26th Divisions and largely reflect the fighting of April and May 1917 (the attacks on the Petit-Couronne), and 18-19 September 1918 (the attacks on Pip Ridge and the Grand-Couronne). In October and November 1918, after the final advance, a few burials took place from the 25th Casualty Clearing Station.

After the Armistice, graves were brought into the cemetery from the battlefields and from some small burial grounds, the most important of which was Strumnitza British Military Cemetery, north-west of Doiran, made by the 40th Casualty Clearing Station in October and November 1918.

The DOIRAN MEMORIAL, which stands near the cemetery, serves the dual purpose of Battle Memorial of the British Salonika Force (for which a large sum of money was subscribed by the officers and men of that force), and place of commemoration for more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died in Macedonia and whose graves are not known.

Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin

The cemetery was opened in 1876 and was used for the burial of British service personnel and their near relatives. It contains war graves from both world wars. Some of the graves were re-located to this site at a later date (nine from King George V Hospital grounds, two from Trinity College grounds, three from Portobello (Barracks) Cemetery, two from Drogheda (Little Calvary) Cemetery and one from Oranmore Old Graveyard). The "Leinster" graves are in several trenches in the different denominational plots.

A Screen Wall Memorial of a simple design standing nearly two metres high and fifteen metres long has been built of Irish limestone to commemorate the names of those war casualties whose graves lie elsewhere in Ireland and can no longer be maintained. Arranged before this memorial are the headstones of the war dead buried in Cork Military Cemetery but now commemorated here.

There are now 613 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war, 2 of which are unidentified, and 12 of the 1939-1945 war, 1 of which is unidentified, commemorated here.

Jerusalem Memorial, Israel

The Jerusalem Memorial stands in Jerusalem War Cemetery, 4.5 kilometres north of the walled city and is situated on the neck of land at the north end of the Mount of Olives, to the west of Mount Scopus. The cemetery is found on Churchill Blvd, sandwiched between Hadassah Hospital and the Hyatt Hotel. An Australian Memorial is opposite the cemetery entrance.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Palestine (now Israel) was part of the Turkish Empire and it was not entered by Allied forces until December 1916. The advance to Jerusalem took a further year, but from 1914 to December 1917, about 250 Commonwealth prisoners of war were buried in the German and Anglo-German cemeteries of the city.

By 21 November 1917, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force had gained a line about five kilometres west of Jerusalem, but the city was deliberately spared bombardment and direct attack. Very severe fighting followed, lasting until the evening of 8 December, when the 53rd (Welsh) Division on the south, and the 60th (London) and 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions on the west, had captured all the city's prepared defences. Turkish forces left Jerusalem throughout that night and in the morning of 9 December, the Mayor came to the Allied lines with the Turkish Governor's letter of surrender. Jerusalem was occupied that day and on 11 December, General Allenby formally entered the city, followed by representatives of France and Italy.

Meanwhile, the 60th Division pushed across the road to Nablus, and the 53rd across the eastern road. From 26 to 30 December, severe fighting took place to the north and east of the city but it remained in Allied hands.

JERUSALEM WAR CEMETERY was begun after the occupation of the city, with 270 burials. It was later enlarged to take graves from the battlefields and smaller cemeteries in the neighbourhood. There are now 2,514 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery, 100 of them unidentified.

Within the cemetery stands the JERUSALEM MEMORIAL, commemorating 3,300 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War in operations in Egypt or Palestine and who have no known grave.

Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece

Karasouli Military Cemetery is on the edge of the town of Polikastro (formerly Karasouli) which lies some 56 kilometres from Thessaloniki, between the River Axios (Vardas) and the south end of Lake Ardzan (now dry and replaced by a reservoir). The cemetery is behind the football stadium and is next to the Civil Cemetery.

The cemetery was begun in September 1916 for the use of casualty clearing stations on the Doiran front. At the Armistice, it contained about 500 burials but was greatly increased when graves were brought in from other cemeteries. It now contains 1421 Commonwealth burials.

Mikra Memorial, Thessaloniki, Greece

Mikra British Cemetery is situated approximately 8 kilometres south of Thessaloniki, in the municipality of Kalamaria (behind the army camp of Ntalipi). Access is via the main entrance on Vryoylon Street, directly opposite the communal cemetery of Kalamaria.

At the invitation of the Greek Prime Minister, M.Venizelos, Salonika (now Thessaloniki) was occupied by three French Divisions and the 10th (Irish) Division from Gallipoli in October 1915. Other French and Commonwealth forces landed during the year and in the summer of 1916, they were joined by Russian and Italian troops. In August 1916, a Greek revolution broke out at Salonika, with the result that the Greek national army came into the war on the Allied side. The town was the base of the British Salonika Force and it contained, from time to time, eighteen general and stationary hospitals. Three of these hospitals were Canadian, although there were no other Canadian units in the force.

The earliest Commonwealth burials took place in the local Protestant and Roman Catholic cemeteries, and the Anglo-French (now Lembet Road) Military Cemetery was used from November 1915 to October 1918. The British cemetery at Mikra was opened in April 1917, remaining in use until 1920. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from a number of burial grounds in the area. MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY now contains 1,810 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, as well as 147 war graves of other nationalities.

Within the cemetery will be found the MIKRA MEMORIAL, commemorating almost 500 nurses, officers and men of the Commonwealth forces who died when troop transports and hospital ships were lost in the Mediterranean, and who have no grave but the sea. They are commemorated here because others who went down in the same vessels were washed ashore and identified, and are now buried at Thessaloniki.

Plymouth Naval Memorial

The Memorial is situated centrally on The Hoe which looks directly towards Plymouth Sound. It is accessible at all times.

After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.

An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the Commission, with sculpture by Henry Poole. The Plymouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by HRH Prince George on 29 July 1924.

After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. The architect for the Second World War extension at Plymouth was Sir Edward Maufe (who also designed the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede) and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler and William McMillan. The Extension was unveiled by HRH Princess Margaret on 20 May 1954. A further unveiling took place on 11 November 1956, when panels honouring those who died on shore, but who had no known grave, were unveiled by Admiral Sir Mark Pizey.

In addition to commemorating seamen of the Royal Navy who sailed from Plymouth, the First World War panels also bears the names of sailors from Australia and South Africa. The governments of the other Commonwealth nations chose to commemorate their dead elsewhere, for the most part on memorials in their home ports. After the Second World War, Canada and New Zealand again chose commemoration at home, but the memorial at Plymouth commemorates sailors from all other parts of the Commonwealth.

Plymouth Naval Memorial commemorates 7,251 sailors of the First World War and 15,933 of the Second World War.

Tanga Memorial Cemetery, Tanzania

Tanga is on the coast of Tanzania, 56 kilometres south of the border with Kenya.

Tanga Memorial Cemetery is south-west of the town. A single track railway line within 50 metres of the cemetery may aid visitors as a reference point, and the cemetery is surrounded on three sides by buildings (one of which has remained half built for many years).

At the outbreak of the First World War Tanzania was the core of German East Africa. From the invasion of April 1915, Commonwealth forces fought a protracted and difficult campaign against a relatively small but highly skilled German force under the command of General von Lettow-Vorbeck. When the Germans finally surrendered on 23 November 1918, twelve days after the European armistice, their numbers had been reduced to 155 European and 1,168 African troops.

The Indian Expeditionary Force "B" arrived on the coast of German East Africa on 1 November 1914, and on the next morning they demanded the surrender of the Port of Tanga. They attacked it on the following night, but the German garrison, hastily reinforced, compelled them to retire. The renewed attack on 4 November was unsuccessful, and the force was re-embarked with 800 casualties. The 2nd Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, the 13th Rajputs, the 61st King George's Own Pioneers, the 63rd Palamcottah Light Infantry, the 98th Infantry and the 101st Grenadiers sustained most of the casualties; the 2nd and 3rd Kashmir Rifles and the Gwalior (Imperial Service) Infantry also took part in the operations.

Tanga was eventually occupied by a Commonwealth force almost without opposition on 7 July 1916, and the bodies of 270 officers and men who had been killed in the earlier attack were reburied in TANGA MEMORIAL CEMETERY. It was not possible to identify the bodies, and the graves are therefore recorded as those of 270 unidentified British and Indian soldiers. It is known, however, that these unidentified soldiers are among the 64 British and 330 Indian officers and men who died in the attack and whose graves are not known, and these 394 names are engraved on a screen wall in the cemetery.

The TANGA (JASIN) MEMORIAL, which occupies part of the screen wall, commemorates by name 62 Indian soldiers who died in or near Jasin in January and July 1915 and whose graves are not known. Jasin was a frontier town on the coast north of Tanga, taken from the Germans in January 1915. The Jind Infantry and Kashmir Rifles garrisoned the town, which was attacked and retaken by a German force of 2,000 on 18 January.

Tower Hill Memorial, London

The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave. It stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to The Tower of London.

In the First World War, the civilian navy's duty was to be the supply service of the Royal Navy, to transport troops and supplies to the armies, to transport raw materials to overseas munitions factories and munitions from those factories, to maintain, on a reduced scale, the ordinary import and export trade, to supply food to the home country and - in spite of greatly enlarged risks and responsibilities - to provide both personnel and ships to supplement the existing resources of the Royal Navy.

Losses of vessels were high from the outset, but had peaked in 1917 when in January the German government announced the adoption of "unrestricted submarine warfare". The subsequent preventative measures introduced by the Ministry of Shipping - including the setting up of the convoy system where warships were used to escort merchant vessels - led to a decrease in losses but by the end of the war: 3,305 merchant ships had been lost with a total of 17,000 lives.

The First World War section of the Tower Hill Memorial commemorates almost 12,000 Mercantile Marine casualties who have no grave but the sea. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick. It was unveiled by Queen Mary on 12 December 1928. There is also a WWII extension to the memorial.

France and Belgium

Menin Gate memorial, Ypres, Belgium

This commemorates 54,404 casualties from the Ypres sector who have no known grave. There is also the Tyne Cot memorial.

Tyne Cot CWGC cemetery and memorial

As well, as the cemetery, the memorial commemorates 34,949 casualties who have no known grave.