The Porthcawl Memorial stands in the grounds of
All Saints Church,Porthcawl.
Although there are actually 77 WW1 names remembered on the memorial, one of these is a duplicate.
Therefore, 76 names are recorded on this page.
The Building of War Memorials after the First World War.
In 1914 men eagerly rallied to fight for King and Country. The war would be over by Christmas, so many naively believed. Encouraged by politicians, the press and poets alike, 280,000 Welshmen served in the Armed Forces.
Men enlisted together. Friends , brothers and sometimes complete local groups “The Pals” Battalions. September 7th 1914 proved an enthusiastic enlistment day in Bridgend whilst Porthcawl witnessed the formation of the 16th (Service) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment, better known as the “Cardiff City Battalion” in November 1914; the 17th (Service) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment – The First Glamorgan Bantams; and the 18th (Service) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment – The Second Glamorgan Bantams. Within a fortnight of its conception on 29th December 1914, 1,044 men had joined the 17th Welsh Regiment, from all over England and Wales. By March 1915, Porthcawl had 3,244 soldiers billeted within the town. Regiments then departed to North Wales for fitness and weaponry training. Eventually they moved to camps in England for trench warfare training before being posted abroad.
Patriotism and heroism at home was totally at odds with the brutal reality of warfare. In the theatres of war men fought and died in their thousands whilst at home families waited, grieved and consoled each other.
As the war progressed reading the list of the fallen became a daily ritual for many families. When the feared telegram came telling of their loved one’s death it offered little explanation as the vast number of casualties at many battles made it almost impossible to note each soldier’s death.
However, the ever growing lists of casualties reported in the newspapers began to tell their own story. Eventually, the families at home were becoming only too aware of the grim reality of the war. The increasingly common sight of shell-shocked and maimed soldiers returning home further fuelled a desperate demand for the war to end.
The loss experienced at home was made worse as families had no corpse to grieve over, no funeral to arrange and no grave to visit.
Although some officers had sent further letters telling of the soldier’s resting place, some families were denied even that modicum of solace, as many of the fallen had no known grave. Their names would later appear on the Theipval Memorial on the Somme or The Menin Gate in Ypres. In 1915 the decision was taken to ban repatriation of bodies from the Theatres of War. The Imperial War Graves Commission took over the burials and families were allowed a personal inscription for a small fee. Quite a few families couldn’t afford this consideration. The tumult of emotion from the enthusiastic expectancy of victory in 1914 to the utter despair of loss felt by 1918 as the war stumbled to its end, evoked in the bereaved an urgent need for something onto which they could focus their grief. Wayside shrines had begun to emerge in towns and villages throughout Britain since 1915. The need for the building of War memorials after the war was becoming ever urgent.
By the time the guns fell silent in November 1918 over 9 million men had lost their lives; 700,000 British of which 35,000 were Welshmen. An estimated 3 million Britons lost a close relative. This impact of grief on British communities evoked the need for a lasting tribute to those who had died. The decade following the end of the war witnessed War Memorials being erected in most villages and towns throughout the British Isles. “Thankful villages” were, sadly, very few; Colwinston being one of only six in Wales. Communities planned, financed, built and unveiled their respective memorials. In Porthcawl , the War Memorial was unveiled in 1921 at a cost of £500 donated by local people. Those who donated had their loved one’s name inscribed onto the Roll of Honour. 77 First World War names were inscribed onto the Porthcawl Memorial. Research has revealed that they are not all Porthcawl soldiers. Research has, also, revealed that not all the names of Porthcawl soldiers are recorded.
SOLDIERS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Lt J.M ALDANA Cpl P.H BROOKE Cpl. R.W. BURNELL Pte. C.N. CHAMBERS
Pte. W.T. CHURCHILL P.O. H.M. CLEMENTS Sub/Lt. R.V. CLEVES A.B. J.T. CLOKE
Pte. A. COOK Capt. R.P. DANIEL Pte. D.H. DAVIES Pte. E. DAVIES
Gnr. W.J. DAVIES Gnr. W.J. DEEBLE Cpl. E. DUNSTER Lt. J.T. EDWARDS
L/Cpl. W.J. EDWARDS Gnr. A. EVANS Pte. A.E. FARROW Lt.Col. F.H. GASKELL
Tpr. F.E. GIDDY Pte. P.T. GOULD P.O. A. GRANT P.O. W. HODGSON
L/Cpl. J. HUGHES Lt. S.R. JENKINS Pte. B. JOHN Cpl. R.T. JOHN
Lt. T.B. JONES Pte. R.A. KINGDON Maj. J.L. LAMBERT Sgt. C.M. LEWIS
Spr. Ll.J. LEWIS Eng. W.R. LEWIS Sgt. E.J. LEYSHON Cpl. J. MACLAUGHLIN
Pte. L. MACLAUGHLIN Cpl. H.J. MAXWELL Lt. W.S. MERTZ Pte. C.T. MORGAN
Capt. C.A.S. MORRIS S/Lt. R.M. NICHOLLS Stkr. D.R. OCKWELL Pte. T.G. OWEN
L/Cpl. J.I. PASSMORE Stkr. J. PEARCE Pte. T.F. PERCY Pte. G.S. PERRY
Sgnlr. R.G. POPKIN C.P.O. R. POWER Pte. E.C. RICHARDS Sgt. J.W. RIDALL
C.S.M. A.T. ROBERTS Sgt. E.T. ROGERS Pte. E.J. ROWE Cpl. J.O. ROWE
Pte. V.D. ROWE S/Lt. F.T. ROWLAND-ROWLANDS Capt. G.D. SCALE Pte. E.J. SMART
L/Cpl. F.P. STRADLING Sgt. C. THOMAS Pte. D.R. THOMAS Pte. R. THOMAS
Pte. T.A. THOMAS Spr. T.H. THOMAS Sgt. F. TROTT Spr. T.H. TURNER
Pte. H. UPHAM Pte. E.B. WILKINS Gnr. C.J. WILLIAMS Pte. C. WILLIAMS
Pte. E.J. WILLIAMS R.S.M. I.R. WILLIAMS Sgt. R. WILLIAMS S/Lt. W.J. WILLIAMS
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Over the last 18months members of Porthcawl Museum have been carrying out intensive research on all men and women who served their country in the First World War. During the next five years, as part of the Porthcawl and the Great War Centenary Commemorations, this information will be available on this site , at the museum or eventually presented in a commemorative book to be published in 2018.
Evidence shows that men born in Porthcawl fought for Canadian, Australian, South African, West African and American as well as for British Regiments.
In particular the story of the Lewis brothers from Porthcawl, epitomises the global effect of the war on Porthcawl. Samuel John and Clifford Prosser Lewis were born in Porthcawl in 1892 and 1895 respectively whilst their family lived in New Road. Their father, Samuel Lewis, seemed to run a very successful grocer’s business in the town as the family employed a servant. However, by 1901 the family had moved to Penrhiwceiber and within a year their father Samuel had emigrated to America. In 1911 both young Samuel and Clifford were boarding and working in Aberfan. Samuel as a clerk in the coalmine and Clifford as a coalminer. It would seem that Clifford did not take to life in the mines as he too emigrated to America on the “Campania” in March 1912 to join his father in California.
During the First World War, Samuel was called up to the Yorkshire Regiment and, sadly, was killed in 1st August 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele. Later that year, Clifford enlisted into the 58th Infantry Regiment 4th Division, US Army. He, too, was killed on 18th July 1918 at the 2nd Battle of the Marne. Their father, Samuel , died in America in 1919 and their mother, Margaret, in 1921 in Porthcawl. The family are commemorated on a grave in St John’s Churchyard, Newton .