The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Thomas Howell Davies

Thomas Howell Davies from Ystradgynlais had served with various units in France, and attained the rank of Captain, and acting Major. He died at home in 1919 of the effects of having been gassed.

The information on Thomas Howell Davies 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).

NameThomas Howell Davies
Date of Death6th October 1919
Place of DeathYstradgynlais
Age at Death33
Unit and RegimentSouth Wales Borderers; 11th Bn.
Service NumberNUMBER
Additional InformationBorn at St. Clears, Carmarthen
Grave  St Cynog's churchyard, Ystradgynlais  
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Family DetailsSon of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Davies of Llain-Y-Gors, Ystradgynlais.
Husband of Edith Newman (formerly Davies).

Thomas Howell Davies
To the left is the grave in St. Cynog's, located South-West of the church.
T.H. Davies
South Wales Borderers
6th October 1919 Age 33

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 11th October 1919 :-

Deep sympathy was evinced at the funeral of Capt. T H Davies, Penrhos, on Thursday, which took place at the Ystradgynlais Churchyard. Deceased was 33 years of age, and enlisted as a volunteer in August 1914 into the London Rifles (Royal Fusiliers) and was drafted out to France in December of that year. He remained in France till Nov. 1917, when he was sent home for six months training for his commission. On being re-drafted to France he soon worked his way up to the rank of Captain and Acting Major with the Middlesex regiment. He was gassed in France and this undoubtedly caused his death. Prior to the war, he was a schoolmaster at Llanybyther.

Deceased was home with his father at the time of his demise, which took place on Monday. He had been ailing for some time, as the result of being gassed in France.

Deep sympathy is felt with family, particularly with the widow and one child.

Thousands of people attended the funeral and lined the route from the home of the deceased to the Churchyard. The cortege was headed by the band of the composite battalion of the S.W.B. stationed at Brecon, who played the "Dead March" en route. This was followed by a firing party marching with arms reversed. The local branch of the Discharged and Demobilised S. and S. followed and acted as bearers. The ministers were the Revds. J Emlyn Jones (pastor); B Jones (B) Trehafod; Dr. Dan Evans (Hawen); D J Davies and Daniel Aubrey.

At the church, the troops and discharged men formed a guard of honour. At the graveside the firing party stood with arms reversed, and afterwards fired three volleys. Bayonets were then fixed and with arms at the "present", the "Last Post" was sounded by buglers of the SWB.

The military arrangements were admirably carried out and were in the hands of Captain W. L. Hoskins and Captain I. B. Rees on behalf of the D. and D. S. and S.

The coffin was of unpolished oak with massive silver fittings, and bore the inscription: "Capt. Thomas H. Davies. Died 6th October 1919. Aged 33 years" and was draped with the Union Jack.

The mourners were: Mrs. T. H. Davies (Widow); Miss Newman, Mr. Thomas Davies, Mr. and Mrs. Williams Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Gibbs, Messrs. B. R. Davies, Gladstone Davies, Willie Davies, Mr. Newman, Mr. David Davies, Mrs. Davies, Revd. D. Evans, Revd. B. Jones, Mr. B. T. Davies, Mr. J. S. Davies, Mr. Howell Davies, Mr.Will Davies, Swansea; Mr. Thomas Williams, Glynneath; Mr. Owen Williams, Mrs. Francis, Mr. Wilfred Davies, Mr. Jack Jones, Mr. John Jones, Aberdare; Mrs. James, Whitland; Miss Davies, Whitland; Mrs. Richards, Crynant; Mrs. A Jones, Aberdare, Mrs. Francis, Swansea; Mrs. Davies, Tylorstown.

Floral tributes were received from: His dear wife, Little Newman (son); Father and Family, Fellow officers and men of the Ystradgynlais branch of D. and D. S. and S.; With deep sympathy from Aberdare, Father, Mother and all the family at Yeldham; from his intimate comrade Mac, and cousins J. and R. Collecton. The funeral arrangements were in hands of Mr. Edgar O. Morgan, undertaker.

From the Llais 18th October 1918:-


We have this week been supplied with further particulars regarding the record of service of Captain Thomas H Davies, whose funeral we reported in our last issue.
Captain Davies enlisted in the Civil Service Rifles (15th London Rifles) in August 1914 and went to France in March 1915. He received 6 weeks instruction at St Omer prior to obtaining a commission into the 11th SWB. He then rose to the rank of Captain by the end of 1917 and returned for 6 months to this country, serving with the Second 5th RWF at Yarmouth. He returned to France in April 1919 to the 6th SWB,
He was demobilised in June of this year. Prior to the war he was an assistant master at Southall.
One of the floral tributes at the funeral was from Miss K B Rogers, Tir Roger.

D. and D. S. and S. stood for Discharged and Demobilised Soldiers and Sailors and its National Federation was one of the organisations that joined with others to form the British Legion in the 1920s.



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