1919 onwards

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January 4th, 1919

Military medal - Private Jack Walters, Welsh Guards, son of the late Mr Dan Walters and Mrs C Walters, 66 High Street, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action. Much satisfaction is expressed locally at the award. Private Walters is extremely well known.

Private Lewis Morgan, Liverpool Regiment, of the Royal Oak Hotel is home on leave. Private W.J. Osborne, Monmouthshire Regiment, of High Street received his discharge on Monday. Prior to enlisting Private Osborne, who is a Welsh University B.A., was assistant master at Abertillery County School

Home from Germany - We are pleased to announce the arrival home from Germany where he was a prisoner of war, Lance Corporal Lyn Austin, D.C.M., London Regiment, only son of Mr Gwilym Austin, grocer, High Street. Lance Corporal Austin was captured by the Germans after being severely wounded in one of the big battles on the Western Front, and on his recovery, was employed in farmwork. Readers will remember that he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and two certificates for bravery in action in 1916, accounts of which appeared in this journal at the time. Prior to enlisting he was engaged on the clerical staff of one of the large London banks at Caterham. He reached Nelson from Ripon late on Friday evening and since his arrival has been warmly welcomed by his numerous friends. He appears to be in the best of health and spirits.

Wedding - The wedding took place on Christmas Day 1918 at St John’s Church of Mr Cyril Henry Portlock (Jack), son of Mr and Mrs W.F. Portlock, 27 Commercial Street, Nelson and Miss Ada Speight of Normanton, Yorkshire. The bridegroom who has recently been discharged from the forces, served throughout the war in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and has been twice wounded in action. Private Sidney Portlock, Trench Mortar Battery, brother of the bridegroom was best man.
Mr and Mrs Portlock are making their new home in Abercynon.

Mr and Mrs W.F. Portlock, 27, Commercial Street are anxiously awaiting news of their son, Private Charles Portlock, 2nd Gloucester Regiment who is a prisoner of war at Hanover, Germany.

Amongst the many local soldiers now arriving from France on rest leave or discharge, we have noticed during the past week , Sergeant Edgar Lewis, R.F.A., of Dynevor Terrace, who was promoted on the field for bravery. Sapper Harry Daunton, R.E. of Thomas Street, Private D.J. Thomas, Welsh Regiment, of Donald Street, Private E.J. Davies, R.S.L.I., of Heol Fawr and Private J. Burley, Welsh Regiment, The Square, all of whom have been several times wounded in action. Sergeant W. Edwards, R.W.F. of Thomas Street is also home on leave. This gallant soldier has seen over 12 years military service and has been wounded four times in France. Other soldiers home are: Lance Corporal Fred Eveleigh, R.E., Signaller W. Kelland, R.E., Private W. Jones and Bert Thomas, Drivers Jack Havelot and Jack Hadley, R.F.A. and Lieutenant Fred Whiteman, R.W.F. of 39 Shingrig Road. Last weekend a number of local men received their discharge at Liverpool and have now resumed work at the mines. Private R Huckle, D.C.L.I. of Commercial Street is the only Nelson soldier still a prisoner of war in Germany. Private Gilbert Phillips, Gloucester Regiment, is home from France.

January 11th, 1919

Driver Ernest Pitt ,Royal Garrison Artillery, of 77 Shingrig Road, arrived home on Monday from the army in Germany, and Trooper Sid Renfrew, Welsh Horse, 90, Shingrig Road, has also arrived home, both having been discharged for work in the mines, also driver Charlie Davies, Royal Field Artillery, of Donald Street.
All the local returned POW’s will be presented with a special token of esteem by the reception committee at a concert held shortly.
Corporal D Evans, Army Service Corps, and Private E.D. Powell, Welsh Regiment, both of Llwyncelyn Terrace, and Driver J Haskell, Royal Field Artillery, of Wern Crescent, have received their discharge from the army to resume colliery work.
Other soldiers home on leave - Private William Blake, Royal Marines, Private W.J. Bevan and Private Harry Bates, Welsh Regiment.

January 18th, 1919

Private Gertie Jenkins, W.A.A.C. of 8, Caiach Terrace, Trelewis and Private Olive Blake W.A.A.C., of 75, Shingrig Road have been home on leave. Trooper Arthur Bickham, Lancers, of Shingrig Road has been discharged.

To India by Air - Readers will be interested to learn that Sergeant Will Crockett, Royal Air Force, was a member of the crew of the Handley-Page bi-plane which recently made the successful flight from England to Delhi, India.

After being a prisoner of war in Germany for over four years, Private Richard Huckle, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, of Commercial Street, arrived home on Tuesday last. He was the first Nelson man to be captured.

February 1st, 1919

Jottings - Private Arthur Collier, Cheshire Regiment and George Powell, Welsh Regiment, both of Hollybush Terrace, have been home on leave. Private Tom Bickham , Shingrig Road has been discharged for work in the mines.

From France - Private Morgan Bevan, Welsh Regiment of Heol Fawr, arrived home from France on Thursday evening. Private Bevan enlisted in November 1914 and has seen much service, having been wounded on two occasions. Private Will Smith, Welsh Regiment, High Street, arrived home last week from hospital. Pte Smith was wounded in the hand during the fighting preceding the armistice. Pte Percy Evans, son of Mr and Mrs W.J. Evans, Woodville House, arrived home from France on Monday morning. Corporal Harry Jones, R.F.C. of Pentwyn, is also home. All the soldiers were accorded a hearty welcome by the inhabitants.

Soldiers welcomed at Nelson - A welcome home ‘social’ in the form of an excellent tea and entertainment was given at Penuel Congregational Church vestry on Thursday week to nine soldiers, one on leave and the others discharged, viz., Will Phillips, W.J. Fowler, R Jones (who have been three years in France), Harry Price and Robert Hughes (who were a few months in France), Willie Davies, W.J. Osborne, Gwynfi Rees and Emlyn Morgan. The vestry was crowded with enthusiastic friends and the splendid tea provided by the ladies was much appreciated.
On Tuesday evening the members of the Primitive Methodist Church held a welcome home ‘social’ at the schoolroom, for the purpose of welcoming home from France Pte Percy Barnes, M.G.C., Pte Morgan Bevan and Pte Will Smith, Welsh Regiment and Signaller Percy Evans, Cheshire Regiment. Other soldiers present were John Williams, Charles Davies, E.J. Davies, W.A. Williams and F Sawday, who have now been discharged.

February 22nd, 1919

Prisoners of War Honoured at Nelson - Under the auspices of the Nelson Sailors and Soldiers Welcome Home Committee, a grand concert was given at the Palace Cinema on Wednesday evening last week, to celebrate the home-coming of several Nelson soldiers who have been prisoners of war in Germany. Mr A Moore, manager of the Penallta Colliery, presided and there was a crowd attendance, the spacious hall being packed to its utmost capacity... Private Fred Huckle was presented with a silver watch and chain and cheque, and a silver watch, wallet and cheque were presented to Lance Corporal Lyn Austin, D.C.M., Private Robert Williams, Private Robert Jones, Private Alf Lambert, Private Eddie Bevan, Private Richard Addis and Private David Evans . The watches were suitably inscribed, and the presentations were made by the chairman, in the unavoidable absence of Major James German, J.P., O.B.E., Cardiff. Private Evans responded on behalf of his comrades and thanked the people of Nelson for their kind welcome.

September 6th, 1919

Sapper Wallace Evans , R.E., son of Mr and Mrs W.J. Evans, Woodville House, is home on rest leave once more. Sapper Evans is at present with the army of occupation in Germany, being stationed at Cologne.
Private Monty Blake, R.M.L.I., son of Mr and Mrs G Blake, 75, Shingrig Road, is also home on leave from his ship.
Mr James McFadzean, the well known horse breaker and trainer, of 10, Dynevor Terrace has now been demobilised. He has served three and a half years in France with the Army Veterinary Corps, where his valuable knowledge of horses proved a great asset. He has now restarted in his former business at the Llwyncelyn Stables.

September 13th, 1919

Mentioned in ‘The Gazette’ - In last week’s “London Gazette”, the story is told of how ex-Serjeant Edgar Lewis, Royal Field Artillery, of Dynevor Terrace, Nelson, won the D.C.M., and the official notification of the award of the Belgian Croix De Guerre to ex Sapper Eddie Spiller, Royal Engineers, is also given. The announcement of Sgt Lewis’ gallant deeds reads as follows:

    Consistent good work and repeated gallant conduct. On the night of August 26th 1918, when going into action west of Pozieres, the battery came under very heavy shell fire on the Albert-Pozieres Road. One team sustained a direct hit, the No 1 driver being killed and the other driver badly wounded. He at once went back, removed the wounded driver, and got the road cleared of dead horses, though the place was still being heavily shelled. He showed great courage and coolness and showed a very fine example to the men.

Our readers will probably remember that the D.C.M. was presented to Serjeant Lewis by the Reverend Hugh Williams, M.A., Rector of Llanfabon, this being the only occasion on which a medal has been presented in the village.

October 25th, 1919

Private Wallace Evans, R.E. arrived home from Germany on Tuesday evening, having been demobilised after three years service.

January 3rd, 1920

On Furlough - Only a few of the local boys still serving with the forces had the good fortune to spend their Christmas at home, but amongst them were Pte Emlyn Andrews and Pte Monty Blake of Shingrig Road and Pte Ira Meredith of Bryn Glas.

From India - Private Tom Lowe, South Wales Borderers, son of Mr and Mrs William Lowe, 48, Shingrig Road, arrived home from India on Tuesday morning, and was heartily welcomed by his relatives and friends. Private Lowe enlisted in 1917 and has been on active service in India for two and a half years.

March 6th, 1920

Home from India - On Monday evening Private Ernest Bonney, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, arrived home after being on active service in India for over three years. It was a refreshing sight to see the neighbours’ houses decorated with flags in honour of the occasion, and the returned hero was accorded a warm welcome by his relatives and friends.

Memorial Service at Nelson - At Penuel Welsh Chapel, Nelson on Monday evening (St David’s Day), a solemn memorial service was held in memory of David Myrddin Price, Durham Light Infantry and William Edmund Hughes, King’s Own Scottish Borderers who died fighting for King and Country during the Great European War. Advantage was taken of the occasion by the members, and the young people’s society, to unveil two marble tablets commemorating the great sacrifice made by these two young men. There was a large congregation and the service was conducted by the Senior Deacon, Mr James Date.

March 20th, 1920

Memorial Service - In memory of the members of the Church and congregation who fell in France and elsewhere, a memorial service was held at the Salem Chapel on Thursday evening. During the service a marble tablet in memory of the fallen was unveiled by Mrs W.W. Leigh, Cowbridge. This tablet is erected by the members of the Church and Christian endeavour Society to the glorious memory of Drummer William C Gardner, Private John Parkins, Private William E Slade, Private William Steers, Private Wilfred Cook, Private James Fowler, Driver Emlyn Edwards, who died for their King and Country during the Great War, 1914-1919. Their name liveth evermore.

Air force medal - Our readers will be interested to learn that Sergeant Will Crockett, R.A.F., has been awarded the Air Force Medal for distinguished service. This gallant soldier, who is well known in Nelson and Treharris district, was a member of the crew of the giant Handley-Page which made the first aerial flight from England to India, and he later took part in the suppression of the fighting in Afghanistan, being deputed to bomb the Amir’s palace in the capital. Sergeant Crockett carried on a hairdressing business in Commercial Street prior to enlisting, and is married to the daughter of the late Charles Highnam. On March 4th Sgt Crockett and the other members of the crew of the Handley-Page were entertained to luncheon at the House of Commons by General Seely and Mr Clement Edwards, M.P.

May 8th, 1920

Five years ago this week, the first Nelson soldier was killed in The Great War. He was Drummer W.C. Gardner, 2nd Welsh Regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs Harry Gardner, 42, High Street, Nelson, and readers will remember that he died bravely whilst acting as a stretcher bearer. Drummer Gardner was one of the ‘Old Contemptibles’, but his memory will always be fragrant in the hearts of the people of Nelson.

June 20th, 1920

Memorial service at Berthlwyd Welsh Baptist Church for the soldiers connected with the Church who had fallen in action during the Great War. A marble tablet was unveiled to perpetuate their memory. The tablet reads:

    This tablet has been erected jointly by the Berthlwyd Church and Pentwyn Debating Club in memory of the following: Edgar Jones, R.W. Jones, Garfield Evans, John Powell and Emlyn Edwards, who were members of the Church and Club. They died that we might live.

April 8th, 1922

Death in Cardiff on Friday evening of Percy Rees, son of Mrs Rees, 69, Shingrig Road. Deceased who was extremely well known in Nelson, was an architect and surveyor and saw much service during the war. He was only ill a few days.

May 6th, 1922

Death in Aberdare of Bert Tucker, 30 years of age. He was a school teacher at Aberdare County School, previously taught at Hengoed, GraigBerthlwyd, Nelson and Industrial School, Quaker’s yard. He was a native of Nelson, being the only son of MR W.T. Tucker and grandson of the late Thomas Tucker. During the war he served in the Welsh Regiment. He was buried at Aberdare Cemetery. He married Miss Margaret Davies, North Street, Abercynon in August last year.

May 17th, 1924

Nelson Man’s Death at Huddersfield - The death took place at Huddersfield on March 10th last of Mr William Coles, 41yrs, late of the Colliers, Nelson. The deceased who was staying with his brother at Huddersfield, was an army pensioner, and saw service in The Great War, having been wounded twice and gassed. His widow received notice of his death from the Ministry of Pensions in the middle of April. The internment took place at Huddersfield.

[1919 onwards]