The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Emlyn Morgan Rees

Emlyn Morgan Rees served with the Royal Engineers on the Western Front and was killed in action in France in March 1918.

E M Rees appears on the Ystradgynlais War Memorial, for the First World War, under both Ystradgynlais and Cwmtwrch.

The information on Emlyn Morgan Rees has been compiled from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameEmlyn Morgan Rees
Date of Death26th March 1918
Place of DeathFrance
Age at Death25
Unit and RegimentRoyal Engineers; 252nd Tunnelling Coy.
Service Number146064
Additional InformationBorn in Victoria, Australia, on 9 August 1892. Former Coal miner (hewer). Lived 4 Cambrian Place Upper Cwmtwrch Swansea Valley. Enlisted 26th January 1916 in Royal Engineers. Killed by a shell.
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Cwmtwrch War Memorial, Ebenezer Chapel
Family DetailsSon of Mary Anne (born Carmarthen 1868) and the late Morgan Rees formerly from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia of Bryncelyn, Rhiwfawr, Lower Cwmtwrch
Known BrothersHerbert John (born Australia 1891) of Sunny Bank Rhiwfawr
William (born Australia 1901) of Glantawe Row Ystradgynlais
Known Sisters Florence Margaret (WATKINS) (born Australia 1890) of Brynawel New Road Cwmllynfell
Caroline Mary (JAMES) (born Australia 1895) lived nr Temperance Hall, Cwmtwrch
Catherine Alice (WHITLOCK) (born 1897) Glien House Cwmtwrch
Edith Doreen (REES) (born Rhiwfawr 1907) Glien House Cwmtwrch

Emlyn Morgan Rees
To the left is the article in The Labour Voice newspaper from April 6th 1918, reporting upon the death of Emlyn Rees.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 20th July 1916 :-

A reception meeting was held at the Temperance Hall on Wednesday evening to welcome Sergeant Emlyn M. Rees and Private Griff Thomas. Both men have seen a great deal of service since the outbreak of hostilities, especially Sergeant Rees who as reported in our last issue, is with the Royal Engineers and has been engaged in tunnelling work. He took part in the battles of the Big Push previous to coming home.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 22nd July 1916 :-

Leaving the front line trenches on Saturday last, it was Wednesday evening when Sergt. Emlyn M. Rees (son of the late Morgan Rees, Berrington, and Mrs. Rees, Tro’rgleien) reached his home at Upper Cwmtwrch. Sergt. Rees’ description of the awful bombardment at the beginning of the month, not only on the British side, but also on the part of the Germans, is graphic and impressive. He belongs to the Engineers, and has taken part in some sensational mining exploits. The appliances and devices of the Germans are, in his opinion, marvellous, but the British miner can do three yards of tunnelling to the German’s one yard, any time. And that is how the Germans are beaten every time in mining contests. Sergt. Rees has a week’s leave.

From the Cambrian Daily Leader newspaper, 2nd April 1918 :-

News has been received that Sergeant Emlyn M Rees of the Royal Engineers, has made the supreme sacrifice, having on the 25th inst. died of wounds at a Canadian base hospital in France. Sergeant Rees, who was 25 years of age, was previously employed at Pwllbach Ystalyfera. He was the sole support of his mother and two sisters, who reside near Tro’rgleien Council Schools, Lower Cwmtwrch.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 6th April 1918 :-

Intimation has arrived at Cwmtwrch of the death as the result of wounds of Sergt. Emlyn M. Rees (Tunnelling Co.), son of Mrs Rees near Tro'rgleien Schools. Rees passed away at a Canadian hospital behind the lines. He joined up in 1914, and had been in France for two years. Prior to his enlistement he was employed at the Pwllbach Colliery. He was 26 years of age. Much sympathy is felt with his bereaved mother in her sad loss.


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