Raglan at War

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== The Great War Memorial == 1914 to 1919

Beginnings The idea for a memorial to those from the Raglan Parishes who fell in The Great War for the Defence of Civilization, later called World War One came from the Headteacher of Raglan (VC) Primary School, Mr Jeremy Piper, as part of the School’s contribution to the change of school site, the closing of the old infants and junior schools and the building of a new school in 2014.

Finding the names Dr Brinley Morgan volunteered to co-ordinate the project and to research the names of those who ought to be included on the new war memorial. Using the research material gathered for the “Raglan Wales UK Doomsday Site” by Dr Cheryl Morgan and Mr Steve Vesey’s searches of war dead from both world wars in Monmouthshire, a list of ten names from the Parishes of Raglan, Llandenny and Penyclawdd was compiled. Detailed information on the ten is included below.

The second memorial The new memorial is similar in size and content to the Raglan Memorial for World War Two. A suitable stone was found and donated by Mr Bob Watkins of Raglan. The Raglan Community Council gave their support, consent and permission to erect the memorial on the site of the current memorial. The children of the school decided to pay for the bronze plaque from their school fund as a gift to the community from the school. Morgan Sindal, the contractors who are building the new Raglan Primary School kindly agreed to put the new memorial in place.

Memorial Names

Raglan Parish

- Edmund Edwards - Jeremiah Jenkins - Alexander Logie, - Richard Pryce-Jenkins - Eric Saunders - William Williams

Llandenny Parish

- William Evans - Richard Griffiths - Hubert Reynolds

Penyclawdd - Edwin Crockett

These ten names closely correlates with the eleven names on the World War Two memorial that has eight names from Raglan, two names for Llandenny and one named from Penyclawdd. On both memorials Kingcoed is included within the Parish of Llandenny.

The Fallen Ten of The Great War (Brief synopsis) At the end of the war a commemoration to those who served in the Greta Wart was held in Raglan. At this gathering 32 men received monetary awards and it was recorded that 12 men were still serving. The report of the event mentioned that four men from Raglan were killed and that Dr Logie, the eldest to serve, died shortly after the war. All of the five fallen from Raglan were commemorated on plaques in St. Cadoc’s Church. There is also one grave to a Corporal of the Royal Engineers, who is a CWGC recorded casualty, in the churchyard. The latter dying of wounds received in the war. The fallen of Llandenny and Penyclawdd all have church and chapel memorials. Therefore all who fell in the Raglan Community were honoured but there was no public memorial to them.

Raglan - The tally of Raglan’s war dead is six 1914 2nd lieutenant Richard Douglas Pryce-Jenkin, 1st Bn South Wales Borderers (1/SWB) 2nd Lieutenant Pryce-Jenkin was born on 29 July 1894. At the start of the war he volunteered for the 6th Bn SWB, later being transferred to 1/SWB. He was the first of the Raglan fallen to losing his life, aged 20, on 31 December 1914 near Festubert in France. He is buried in Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert, Grave II.B.3. His is the only fatality recorded in that sector for the period around the New Year. Richard had been a pupil at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, Devon and is commemorated on the school’s memorial board to the fallen of World War One. He is commemorated also on a family plaque in St Mary the Virgin Church in St Briavels, Gloucestershire. Finally, he is commemorated on a plaque in St. Cadoc’s Church which reads: Son of Richard John and M. M. A. Pryce-Jenkin, of Willsbrook, Raglan, Mon.: Parish Church Raglan: In Everloving Memory of 2/Lieutenant Richard Douglas PRYCE-JENKIN, 1st Bn. South Wales Borderers, Born 29 July 1894, Killed in action at Festubert, France, 31 December 1914

1916 Private Jeremiah Jenkins (14471) Machine Gun Corps (MGC) Private Jeremiah Jenkins was the second man from Raglan to fall. He was a private in the newly created Machine Gun Corps, formed in October 1915. One third of this corps of 172,000 men was to become casualties in the war, and nearly 15% were killed, thus earning the title of “the suicide corps”. His company was 64/MGC, 64th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division. He died 15 July 1916 at the beginning of the third week of the Battle of the Somme, during the division’s attack on Bazentin Ridge (14-17 1916). In the long, four and a half month, Somme Battle (1 July-18 November 1916) over 1 million men, French, British and German, became casualties. Jeremiah Jenkins has no known grave, and therefore, he is commemorated on the huge Thiepval Memorial to those British soldiers who fought in the battle and who have no known grave (72,195 names). Pier and Face 5 C and 12 C. He is commemorated on a shared plaque in St. Cadoc’s Church which reads: In memory of Private JEREMIAH JENKINS, MGC and Gunner WILLIAM WILLIAMS RFA, who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, 1914 – 1919

1917 The two Raglan men to fall in 1917 both died in Flanders where the bitterest fighting in Belgium took place.

Pioneer Eric Stanley Saunders (182435) Royal Engineers (RE) Pioneer Eric Saunder was the third man from Raglan to fall. He was born 1 January 1885 and died aged 32 on 19 June 1917, being killed in action at Poperinghe, Flanders. Poperinge, or “Pops” as the British soldiers called it, was an important rail centre behind the front line and was used for the distribution of supplies, for billeting troops, for casualty clearing stations and for troops at rest from duty in the forward trench areas. Thousands of troops passed through this small town, a junction of five roads, at some time or other. So it was constantly bustling with military traffic. Because of its importance to the military behind the front Allied lines, the town was frequently targeted by long range German artillery. Eric Saunders was the organist at St Cadoc's Church. He was one of five children of Charles Saunders, Headmaster and also organist at St Cadoc’s. He had followed in his father's footsteps as organist before signing up. Eric Saunders had been a clerk in the County Council Offices, Monmouthshire. He served as a pioneer in the Royal Engineers being attached to XI Corps Signal Company. Pioneer Saunders died on the same day as another sapper from his unit and it is likely that they died together for they are buried next to each other in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, Poperinge/Poperingle, North Flanders, Belgium. Grave II.D.20. He is commemorated by a plaque in St Cadoc’s Church which reads: In the gory of GOD and in ever loving memory of ERIC STANLEY SAUNDERS who served this Church …..as organist … many years born 1 June 1885 and gave his life for his country June 19th 1917. Interred at Poperinge Flanders.

Gunner William Henry Williams (42863) Royal Field Artillery (RFA) Gunner W.H. Williams died 5 August 1917, serving in ‘A’ Bty, 108th Brigade RFA in Belgium. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge , West- Vlaanderen, Belgium, Grave XVII.G.7A. This is the second largest Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium with 9,901 graves. During the First World War, the village of Lijssenthoek was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations. He was the fourth Raglan man to fall. The Great War was very much an artillery war with the Royal Artillery being the largest regiment by far. There is no age or inscription on his grave. However, we know that he was born in late 1890 and was killed in his 28th year and that he lived with his grandmother in Primrose Hill. He was a miner and unmarried. CWGC documents do not indicate any other family information. He is commemorated on a shared plaque with Pte. J. Jenkins MGC in St. Cadoc’s Church (see above).

1919 The final two from Raglan Parish died after the armistice of 11 November 1918, when the fighting ceased but the dying did not!

Captain Alexander Graham Speirs Logie, Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Territorial Force (TF) Alexander Spiers Logie MD, MS was the Raglan Village doctor. He was also the medical officer and public vaccinator of Raglan District. Born on 12 March 1865, he died three weeks short of his 54th birthday on 1 February 1919, at the First Northern General Hospital, Newcastle-on-Tyne of pneumonia perhaps weakened by his medical duties in the Middle East and France. He was a middle-aged man and really too old for frontline duties. He was commissioned as a Captain in the RAMC (TF) on 19 October 1915. He served first in the South-Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance and then on 3 December 1915 he was transferred to the Highland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance. Alexander Logie seemed to have had an active war. His units were first in Gallipoli, then Egypt as part of the Western Frontier Force. He took part in the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns (1917) from Gaza to Jerusalem. Later, as part of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, his unit the 299th Field Ambulance RAMC transferred to the Western Front in France and played a part in the heavy fighting until the end of the war. Dr Logie is buried in Dirleton Parish Church, Haddingtonshire, East Lothian, Scotland in a private grave with CWGC headstone. Dr Logie is commemorated by a plaque in St. Cadoc’s Church which reads: In loving memory of ALEXANDER GRAHAM SPIERS LOGIE, M.B., M.S. who was 27 years Physician and Surgeon in this parish. He served as Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Great War. Born 12th March 1865, Died 1st Feb 1919

Corporal Edmund Stewart Butler Edwards (250092) Royal Engineers (RE) Corporal Edwards died at age 23 it is beleivd from wounds received in the war nearly five months after the Armistice on 31 March 1919. He was still serving as a soldier in A Signal Company based in Bedford. He is buried in the St. Cadoc’s Churchyard in a family vault and not with a military headstone. His grave (D18) lies on the north-eastern side of the church. He was originally from Merthyr Tydfil in Glamorganshire, being baptised on 12 February 1896. Edmund was the youngest of seven children born to George and Margaret Edwards. Although he was born in Merthyr Tydfil, his family was from Raglan. During his youth, Edmund often stayed with his grandfather William Davies, a retired farmer and Innkeeper of the Kings Head Inn. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission registered his grave as BG15128 Bristol Area on Report 1058 as type “D” in a P.P (Perm) Private family vault. Raglan (St Cadoc) Churchyard, Raglan United. 24/2/ 1926 with his mother, M. G. Edwards living at 6 Moy Road, Aberfan.

Llandennny Three men fell from Llandenny and Kingcoed. All are remembered in St. John’s Church, Llandenny and Kingcoed Baptist Chapel.

1916 Pte Richard Robert Griffiths (DM2/151505) Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) Private Richard Griffiths died at the age of 19 on 31 March 1916. He was serving in the 631st Motor Transport Company ASC which was the ammunition column for the 38th Royal Garrison Artillery sent to East Africa in 1916. He is buried in Mombasa (Mbaraki) Cemetery, Kenya. Grave IV.C.11. During the First World War, Mombasa was home to No.1 Base Hospital. The cemetery contains 51 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The only information from the cemetery records is that he was born in Llandenny, Usk and that his parents were living in Ivy Dale, Machen, Newport. Hid inscription reads: “Gone But Not Forgotten”.

Pte William Evans (39929) 2 Bn The Welch Regiment (2/Welch) Private William Evans died in the Battle of the Somme on 18 July 1916. He was aged 19 years. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thievpal memorial Pier Face 7 A and 10A. This massive memorial to those who fell in the Somme area and have no known grave contains a total of 72, 195 names. He is recorded as the son of Mrs Elizabeth Evans of Llandenny Walks, Mon.

1918 Pte Hubert Henry Reynolds (37633) 15th Cheshire Regiment (15/Cheshires) Private Hubert Reynolds died of wounds at age 25 on 1 October 1918. He is buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Grave II.H.2. There was desperate fighting around this area in October 1918. Of the 1.583 servicemen buried here in WWI only 448 are identified, including H.H. Reynolds. 15/Cheshires was a ‘bantam’ battalion, i.e. one made up of men under 5 foot three inches in height. Between 1916 and 1918 their casualties had been very high. He is recorded at the son of the late Amos Reynolds and Sarah Ann Reynolds being born in Llandenny, Mon. He has a memorial window in the parish church.


1917 Pte Edwin Henry Crockett (41263) 12 Bn South Wales Borderers (12/SWB) Private Edwin Crockett has no known grave. He is recorded as having died on 23 November 1917 in the famous Battle of Cambrai which began with the first large scale tank attack of WWI. The advance stopped on 22 November and there was then fierce fighting around Bourlon Wood. The 12/SWB was a ‘bantam’ battalion, with the average height of the soldiers being about five feet. These fighting regiments of small men earned an excellent reputation in the war. The battalion was part of the 40th Division. Supported by almost a hundred tanks and 430 guns, the 40th attacked into the woods of Bourlon Ridge on the morning of the 23rd. They made little progress. The Germans had put two divisions on the ridge with another two in reserve. The 40th Division reached the crest of the ridge but were held there and suffered over 4,000 casualties for their efforts in three days. The division was subsequently driven back in the German counter-attacks, suffering many more losses. He is commemorated on Panel 5 of the Cambrai Memorial, at Louverval, Nord-France, which has 7,058 names of Commonwealth soldiers that have no known grave. Grave records make no reference to his age or parents. However, he is commemorated also on an oak tablet in St. Martin’s Church, Penyclawdd.

[Note the link below gives info on two of Brinley’s relatives from The Narth, one Sapper Crum RE k.3 Nov. 1918 and the other Rifleman Vaughan 1/Bn Monmouthshire Regt. 22 November 1918.] (http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=389948). Buried in plot D18 at St Cadoc's churchyard. Image on The War Graves Photographic project) ]

Further Notes

RAGLAN AND THE GREAT WAR Incomplete records show that at least forty men from Raglan and its two associated parishes of Llandenny and Penyclawdd served, but the true total has to be a little higher. The proposed World War One memorial will contain 10 names, one less than those on the WWII memorial in Beaufort Square.

P C. Palmer was awarded two Military Medals and wounded three times. Willam J. Jones and Jack Jenkins were both recorded as disabled by wounds. The number of others wounded is not known. Neither is the number of horses removed for war duties and subsequently lost.

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