PRIVATE EMRYS CADIVOR RICHARDS
DIED 10TH JULY 1920
Machine Gun Corps
Service No 132699
Emrys was born in Nantymoel early in 1899,one of two children born to William and Mary Richards of 34,Dinam Street, Nantymoel. His sister, Ogwen Myfanwy, had been born 4 years earlier, in 1895. In 1911 his father, William, was a timber man in the local Ocean Colliery, whilst his mother Mary was working as a “fancy draper;” the extra income from which enabled the family to employ a servant Maggie Morgans and send Ogwen to a “Dame School” near Newport. Emrys at this time attended the local school.
When war broke out, Emrys was a boarder at Abergele Grammar School under the headship of Mr Jeremiah Williams.
In 1917, six weeks before his eighteenth birthday Emrys joined the Civil Service Rifles without his parent’s permission. On visiting Porthcawl, before he left for his six week training, his mother was devastated with this news and applied to overturn his enlistment, due to the lack of parental permission on his attestation paper. However, as every man was needed her appeal was turned down. Later in 1917 Emrys was drafted for service in France with the Machine Gun Corps, with whom he spent 11 months at the front. Due to being gassed and badly wounded he was discharged from the army in 1918. In 1919 he returned to his studies and entered Cardiff University as a medical student. However, he was forced to abandon his studies due to failing health.
He suffered constantly from internal pain due to his wounds. Despite Dr Morley Thomas, of Victorian Avenue, doing all he could, Emrys needed an operation on his stomach, which was carried out at Cardiff Infirmary. He returned home but remained bed-ridden for many weeks and, sadly, died at his parent’s home; “Kenarth”, Esplanade Avenue, Porthcawl. His parents had moved here in 1912 due to his mother’s failing health. Emrys was 21years old when he died and was buried in St John’s Churchyard, Newton. It was witnessed at the funeral that his friends at both Cardiff University and Porthcawl paid tribute “to his wide popularity and personal charm.”
Very soon after his death his parents moved to the newly built houses in Picton Avenue, whilst they were having a house built on West Road; into which they moved in 1926. His mother, Mary, was too heartbroken to stay in Esplanade Avenue.
His sister, Ogwen, married William Towyn Jones in 1918 and gave birth to a girl, Cecile, six months before Emrys died. His father, who had continued to work in Ocean Colliery, lodging with his sisters during the week in Nantymoel, finally retired in c1930. He died on 29th April 1947. His mother, Mary, died on 18th March 1954 .
*Extra information and the photograph of Emrys was given by his niece,Cecile.
Private Emrys Cadivor Richards is remembered on the Porthcawl Memorial.