The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan served with the Welsh Regiment on the Western Front and was killed in action in February 1916.

Richard Morgan appears in both the Ystradgynlais and Coelbren sections of the Ystradgynlais War Memorial.

The information on Richard Morgan 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).

NameRichard Morgan
Date of Death21st February 1916
Place of DeathFrance
Age at Death24
Unit and RegimentWelsh Regiment; 14th Bn.
Service Number17887
Additional InformationBorn and Lived in Ystradgynlais. Enlisted in Swansea. Sailed for France December 1915. Died of Wounds.
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Coelbren Roll of Honour, Miners Welfare Hall
Coelbren Church Plaque and Pulpit Memorial
Family DetailsSon of late Mr. and Mrs. John Richard Morgan and Ann Morgan of Coelbren.
Known BrothersWillie (Morgan) in America
Half brother was Thomas John Morgan who also died in the First World War
Known SistersMiss Gwennie Morgan (Next of kin) of Miners Arms Ystradgynlais

Richard Morgan
To the left is a photograph of Richard Morgan from the Llais newspaper.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 4th March 1916:-

The following letter has been received from Signaller R. A. Phillips of Ystradgynlais at present in action in France with the 14th Welsh regiment (Swansea Battalion).
To the Editor
Sir, Will you kindly allow me a small space in your paper to perform a very sad duty as a comrade to the late Private R. Morgans. He was a native of Colbren, but had resided for a number of years with Mr. T. Thomas, Miners Arms, and I desire to inform his many friends, that he was killed in Action on February 21st. His death was instantaneous, and he suffered no pain, and that is our only consolation. Morgan and I were pals in civil life at Ystradgynlais, and in November, 1914, we joined the Swansea Battalion together were billetted together in Rhyl, and came to France together. We were even together when we were back having a rest from the trenches, so you will understand how his death has affected me. I feel as if I had lost my best friend, and I wish to extend my deep sympathy to all his relatives. I am glad to say the rest of the Ystradgynlais boys in this battalion are all safe so far. We are having a rough time just now it is snowing by day and freezing by night Fancy two inches of ice in a shell hole to have a morning dip! The boys all wish to be remembered to the friends at home.

Notice of Richard Morgan's death appeared in The Labour Voice of 11th March 1916:-

Last week the sad news reached Colbren that Richard Morgan, a native of this place, a very kind and quiet young man, and a great favourite, had sacrificed his life for his country. Information was received from the War Office that he had died of wounds. He was the first of the old boys from Colbren Council School to make the full sacrifice. The sympathy of the whole village goes out to his sisters and other relatives in their sad bereavement

An obituary of Richard Morgan appeared in Welsh,, and is here rendered both as printed, and in translation into English. From the Labour Voice newspaper, 25th March 1916 :-

neu fel yr adnabyddid of oreu yn Ystradgynlais, 'Dick Morgan y Miners'. Ychydig amser yn ol ymddangosodd hanes am farwolaeth yr anwyl gyfaill uehod yn y Llais. Blin gan bawb, ac yn enwedig ei luosog gyfeillion orfod sylweddoli fod 'Dick' wedi colli ei fywyd ar faes y frwydr yn Ffrainc, Chwefror 21, 1916. Bachgen ieuanc, hoew a glan ydoedd, mwynaidd a thawel ei anian, prydferth ei gymeriad, caredig a thyner o galon, boneddigaidd ei arddull, fel ag i beri i bawb ei edmygu a'i garu. Mab ydoedd i'r diweddar Mr a Mrs John Richard Morgan, Colbren, ac wyr i'r adnabyddus a'r diweddar Hen Richard Morgan y Teiliwr. Claddwyd ei rieni er's rhai blynyddau, gan adael pedwar o blant i frwydro ag amgylchiadau bywyd.

Bu 'Dick' yn ymgartrefi gyda Mr Thos. Thomas, y Miners' Arms, Ystradgynlais, am chwe mlynedd, ac ystrid ef fel un o'r plant. Ei eiriau olaf iddynt wrth ymadael wedi bod ar ymweliad cyn gwynebu y gelyn ydoedd 'Goodbye; nid wyf yn creddu caf eich gweled byth mwy'; ar er loes calon gwareddwyd ei ddywed iad.

Mae ei ddwy chwaer sef Margaret a Gwen, yn byw yn Colbren, a Willie ei unig frawd wedi ymfudo i'r America; a'r anwyl Dick, weithian, yn 24 oed yn huno yn mhriddellau gwlad estronol. Heddwch i'w lwch.

Gwladgarwch fu yn enyn
Ei galon bur yn fflam
Ymunodd i amddiffyn

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 25th March 1916 :-

best known as "Dick Morgan, the Miners". A short while ago, news appeared in the Llais of the death of our dear friend. Everyone is sorry that Dick has lost his life, having fallen in the fields of France on February 21st 1916. As a young lad he was fine and quiet in the way he was, and a wonderful friend, kind and gentle of heart. He was so nice that everybody loved him. He was the son of the late Mr and Mrs T R Morgan of Coelbren, and grandson of the well-known and late Old Richard Morgan the Taylor. His parents were buried many years ago, leaving four children to live their lives.

He lived with Thomas Thomas of The Miners Arms, Ystradgynlais and had been living there for six years, and counted as one of their own children. His last words to them were "Goodbye; I don't think I'll ever see you again". His sisters Margaret and Gwen live in Coelbren, but Willie, his only brother, went to America when he was 24.

Peace is the dust.


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From 'The Labour Voice'
25th March 1916