The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Remembering The Fallen of Ystradgynlais and District

This is a slightly edited version of the article that we wrote for the November 2011 edition of the Community Magazine (formerly 0639). ~

REMEMBRANCE DAY is a time to reflect on those who lost their lives in the conflicts of the 100 years. As we stand by our local memorials we can at least be grateful that these names etched on the tablets whether in stone or brass may be the only way we have of remembering the fallen.

Over the years many religious buildings have been demolished and the plaques raised by the congregation lost. Unfortunately these monuments gave far more information than most war memorials where many ranks and regiments have not been recorded, making the tasks of identifying the war dead sometimes impossible.

Following both World Wars, local parishioners made very special efforts to meet the costs of erecting various memorials to remember those who had died in the service of their country.

The pulpit in the Church of Coelbren, was presented by the congregation as a thank offering to Almighty God, for the blessing of peace and as a memorial to the 13 men lost in the Great War.

In 1922 the three stained glass windows above the altar in St. Margaret's Church Cwmllynfell were presented and unveiled by Mrs. Jones, Garth Cwmgorse in honour of the 14 fallen heroes of their parish.

When Ystalyfera unveiled its First World War Memorial, Mr. A. Elwyn Rees, manager of the Coliseum, Ystalyfera, arranged for an expert cameraman from one of the big London film studios to visit Ystalyfera for the purpose of filming the procession and the ceremony of unveiling the Memorial.

St. David's Church Abercrave, needed to raise £200 to meet the cost of an electronic carillon and a memorial tablet. The carillon was to be the first of its kind in Wales to be erected in the church tower. The article written in the Llais March 15th 1947 explains that delivery of said memorial has been promised by Easter.

Page 18-19 of The Maesydderwen School Magazine 1907-1957 tells the reader that Mr. W. Seth Owen B.A., the headmaster and President of the Hen Fes, was responsible for the idea of a memorial in the form of a pipe organ to the old boys of the school who had made the supreme sacrifice in the two World Wars. In a ceremony on January 17th 1952 the organ was unveiled to the school.

59 years on and Maesydderwen was again holding a ceremony of remembrance to one of its own. The Battle of Britain Plaque presented to the School on 27th September to Squadron Leader Cedric Watcyn Williams gave us another opportunity to remember that each one of those names transcribed on our war memorials were real people, with families and loved ones. (Val Trevallion YEARGROUP)


Val Trevallion has been researching the fallen of the Tawe Valley for many years, and in putting her work online, Ystradgynlais Info aims at remembering these fallen men and women. With photographs and extracts from the old Llais newspaper (archived at Ystradgynlais Library) we aim for a full record of the fallen and have, where possible, linked the names on the memorials to war graves and remembrance graves in local cemeteries.

We have already received much welcomed help from some family members, with photographs and personal letters but more help would be much appreciated, especially for those names upon the war memorial for whom we have not been able to find a match in service records or in local cemeteries. We appreciate many of the families have moved away over the years but anyone with any connections or memories with fallen servicemen and who would be willing to allow the information to be used online, we would be most grateful to hear from you.

  (Jon, Wolfian Design)

The war graves and remembrance graves of Ystradgynlais and district can be found at
Val Trevallion can be contacted by email at

Ystradgynlais - South Wales

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