The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Leonard Llewelyn

Leonard Llewelyn lost his life in 1948 when a liberty boat returning to the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious overturned in Portland Harbour with great loss of life.

The information on Leonard Llewelyn has been compiled from a number of sources, including the remembrance grave in Ty'nycoed chapelyard, and conversations with Leonard's surviving brother. Because his death was a post-war accident, he is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commmission website. Please note that although the War Memorial in Ystradgynlais spells the surname "Llewellyn" the correct spelling is actually "Llewelyn".

NameLeonard Llewelyn
Date of Death17th October 1948
Place of DeathPortland Bill, Dorset
Age at Death18
Unit and RegimentRoyal Navy
GraveTy Ny Coed Congregational Chapel, Abercrave 
Grave inscription: Lost his life on HMS Illustrious Oct 17th 1948.
In the midst of life we are in death.

Leonard was cremated in Weymouth and his ashes were buried in Ty'nycoed Chapelyard.
Local MemorialsMaesydderwen Roll of Honour
Ystradgynlais War Memorial
NotesSon of Evan and Dinah Llewelyn of Abercrave

Leonard Llewelyn
To the left is a photograph of Leonard Llewelyn.

Due to an accident in Portland Harbour, Dorset, when a liberty boat returning to HMS Illustrious sank close to the ship, 19 of the crew were drowned. They are buried in Portland Royal Navy Cemetery. A total of 51 sailors were in the liberty boat and 29 died in all.

Leonard Llewelyn
To the left is the newspaper article from the South Wales Voice, Saturday 23rd October 1948. Click on the article to view it full-sized in a new window.

Last Monday the news became known that Mr. and Mrs. Evan Llewelyn, 14 Tudor Street, Glanrhyd, Ystradgynlais, had received a telegram from the officer commanding the aircraft carrier "Illustrious" to the effect that their son, Naval Airman (2) Leonard Llewelyn, was missing, presumed drowned, in the Portland Harbour liberty boat disaster on Sunday night, when 29 young men, it is feared, lost their lives.
Naval Airman Llewelyn had always been anxious to join the Royal Navy, which he did early in August; he was last home for a week-end on his 18th birthday, 18th September, being then attached to H.M.S. Royal Arthur Naval Depot at Corsham; he had only been transferred to the Illustrious seven days before the disaster occurred.
Prior to volunteering for service he was employed as a milk roundsman with Mr. Tom Davies, Ynisglantawe Farm, and for some time had served in the same capacity with Mr Howells, Gellifowy House, Ynismeudwy; his genial disposition had made him a host of friends.
A former pupil of Maesydderwen County School, he was an active member of the Yniscedwyn Youth Club, and had played for Glanrhyd A.F.C.
We join the whole community in extending to Mr. and Mrs. Llewelyn and their family our deepest sympathy in their sad loss.

The funeral of Leonard Llewelyn was reported in the South Wales Voice on Saturday November 13th 1948:-


The cremation took place at Weymouth on Tuesday of Naval Airman (2) Leonard Llewelyn, son of Mr and Mrs Evan Llewelyn, 14 Tudor Street, Glanrhyd, who lost his life in the tragedy of the training ship Illustrious, during October. He was 18 years of age and had been in the navy only since August. The funeral takes place at Ty'nycoed, Abercrave, on Saturday, to leave the house at 1:30pm. Friends are kindly asked to meet at the churchyard.

Leonard Llewelyn's Grave, Tynycoed Chapel

National Memorial Arboretum - Post WW2

Because Leonard Llewelyn died in 1948, he is not counted among the Commonwealth War Dead, but the National Memorial Arboretum, between Tamworth and Lichfield in Staffordshire, has a large memorial for servicemen who died on duty after World War Two. Leonard is listed amongst the Royal Navy dead for 1948.

The Post-WW2 Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

The 1940s section of the memorial wall

The 1948 Royal Navy casualties including Leonard Llewellyn


Fallen - WW2 Memorial

Grave at Ty-Ny-Coed

Contact Ystradgynlais Wargraves
Telephone : Available on Request

Email Yeargroup:
Email Grey Wolf Web Design:
Ystradgynlais Wargraves
How To Write Alternate History

Click the cover to purchase the paperback

How To Write Alternate History is a series of articles by Grey Wolf, examining subjects such as the identity of man, whether man makes the weather, how the everyday in an alternate world is going to be changed and what names for music, vehicles, weapons etc would be different.

Wolfian Design

Penybont Sports Bar and Lounge

Penybont Sports Bar and Lounge