T. Pollard

POLLARD, Thomas John
Private 29655, 2nd Battalion,
Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment)
Formerly 8243, Dorsetshire Regiment

Born - Glynneath, Glam
Enlisted - Pontypridd, Glam
Residence - Nelson, Glam
Died - 21st March 1918 Western Front
Killed in action - aged 33yrs

Son of the late John and Anne Pollard, of Ynyslas, Glyn-Neath, South Wales.

Buried at Savy Military Cemetery, St Quentin, France

Originally buried at Roupy Road German Cemetery, St Quentin, France

Photo of Savy Military Cemetery

Thomas Pollard headstone

To the left is a photo of Thomas Pollard’s headstone at Savy Military Cemetery. However, information shows that his original burial place was at Roupy Road cemetery some miles away in St Quentin.

The headstone is actually one of a row of headstones commemorating 68 soldiers that were killed in March, 1918 and were originally buried at Roupy Road German cemetery, but whose graves were lost in later fighting.
The photo to the right is a memorial to all 68 of those men whose original graves were lost.

Savy Road memorial

Thomas John Pollard was one of three children that were born to John and Anne Pollard.
John was born around 1851 in Exmouth, Devon. Anne was born in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire in about 1851.

In the early 1890’s they were living at Ynyslas Lodge, Blaengwrach, Glynneath where John was a coachman and gardener. While they were there their children were born:

Julia Jane - was born in 1881
Mary E - was born in 1883 and
Thomas John - was born in 1884.

Some time after this Anne died and John took his remaining family to the Pontypridd area of Glamorgan. It seems that they were destined not to be together much longer.

Thomas John moved to Nelson where he was listed as a boarder with William and Mary Smith, along with their four children. The address was:

3, The Square, Nelson. I believe that this address was one of a row of very small cottages that were adjacent to the handball court and have since been demolished.

Thomas was listed as a coal miner.

By 1901, Thomas’ sister Mary had gone back to the Neath Valley and was working as a domestic servant for Claudia Griffiths who lived at Dylais Fach House, Neath.

There is a strong possibility that with Thomas’ death during the First World War, this branch of the Pollard name came to an end. I can find no record of Thomas ever marrying.


January 18th 1919.

His many friends will regret to learn of the death in action of Private Tom Pollard, Wiltshire Regiment, of 8, Ashgrove Terrace, Nelson. Deceased has been officially posted as missing since last March and since that time constant enquiries have been made about him. Last week a card was received from the Red Cross stating that he was killed and this was followed a few days later by a letter from a returned prisoner of war who was a chum of Pte Pollard’s, which read:

Dear Mrs Smith
I have received a letter from you concerning Private T Pollard. I am very sorry to have to confirm my statement given to the Red Cross Society. I was myself wounded at St Quentin on 21st March, and taken prisoner, but after some hardship I arrived home last week.
The photo you enclosed is the same man I knew. He was transferred to the Wiltshire Regiment from the Dorsets about July 1916 and I was in the same company and same platoon. We went into the trenches on March 17th and poor Tom was hit just before I got wounded myself, and he died a few minutes afterwards.
I am very sorry to have to tell you the sad news, and you have my deepest sympathy.
I remain yours, truly,
J Barnett.
late of the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment.

Private Pollard enlisted in the Dorset Regiment in January 1915 and went to France the following summer. He was wounded and gassed at Hill 60. He was 35 years old and prior to enlisting, worked at Penallta Colliery.

[Source: Merthyr Express]

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