The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Gwilym Iowerth Hopton

Gwilym Iowerth Hopton had been a ticket inspector on the London Underground before the war. He served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and survived the war. He died a few days after Germany's surrender in a bathing accident.

The information on Gwilym Iowerth Hopton has been compiled from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the South Wales Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameGwilym Iowerth Hopton
Date of Death13th May 1945
Place of DeathGermany
Age at Death30
Unit and RegimentRoyal Artillery, 93 Lt. A.A. Regt.
Service Number6404426
Remembrance Grave  St Cynog's churchyard, Ystradgynlais  
Local Memorials Ystradgynlais War Memorial
Scouts Memorial Trophy, Penrhiwvarteg
NotesSon of William and Anne Hopton
of Bryn Celyn, Neath Road, Ystradgynlais.

Gwilym Iowerth Hopton
To the left is Gunner Hopton's remembrance grave in St. Cynog's cemetery.
Gwilym Iowerth Hopton
To the left is a photograph of G I Hopton from the South Wales Voice.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 2nd June 1945 :-

The sad news was received by Mrs. W. Hopton, Bryn Celyn, Neath Road, Ystradgynlais, on Thursday last that her son, Gunner Gwilym Hopton R.A. had been drowned while taking part in an organised bathing party in Germany on May 13. Gunner Hopton was 30, and joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war. He was home on leave five weeks prior to his death. In pre-war days he was employed by the London Passenger Transport Board and when called up was a ticket inspector on the underground Railway. He was one of ten children - seven sons and three daughters of Mrs. Hopton whose husband, Mr. William Hopton, passed away 14 months ago. Gunner Hopton was a grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Thomas, Miners Arms, Ystradgynlais, and a grand nephew of Mr. William Thomas (Isynys).

News of the tragedy was conveyed in a letter from the deceased's superior officer, Lt. W. Reid, who wrote:
"My dear Mrs. Hopton - It is with the deepest regret that I must write you to tell you of the untimely death of your son, Gwilym. He died during the evening of Sunday, May 13, about 6.30, as a result of what appeared to be a seizure while he was bathing. I was myself a member of the bathing party and brought Gwilym ashore. We carried on artificial respiration until such time as we managed to get him to hospital but it was of no avail. Everything, I assure you, that could have been done for him was done. No time or trouble was spared in our efforts to revive him and it was with the utmost reluctance that we accepted the doctor's verdict when we arrived at the hospital. It is very hard to think that he should have carried on for more than 5 years of war, only to meet his death in such a manner after the peace had been declared. To you, on behalf of myself and all the members of his troop, I extend our very deepest sympathy at the loss of your son, and our regret of our loss of a cheerful, willing and fine comrade.
The men of the troop have made a cross, which has been put on his grave. We have taken several photographs of same and if they are successful we shall send to you both the photographs and negatives. Gwilym is buried in grave No. 5 row 5, in the Canadian temporary cemetery at Bed Burg, near Cleves, in Germany. Once again I would express my deepest sympathy with you in your grievous loss, and assure you of my immediate assistance if there should be anyway at all in which I could aid you. Very sincerely, William Reid, Lt. R.A."

The following letter was written to Mrs. Hopton by the padre, Captain Rev. O.T. Smith from the 77th British General Hospital, B L A:
" Dear Mrs. Hopton - I do want to express my very real sympathy with you in the tragic loss of your son, Gunner G. Hopton. Coming as it did after V.E. Day celebrations, I am sure the blow was doubly heavy. Your son was brought into this hospital and I laid him to rest in the nearby military cemetery. Officers and comrades of his unit came to pay their last tributes of respect at the burial and they are making a cross for the grave. While we are here, you can depend on our looking after the grave. Yours, very sincerely, O. T. Smith. Chaplain. "

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 4th October 1957 came a story about the brothers of Gwilym Hopton travelling to see his grave in Germany :-

Mr G M Hopton of Ivernia Commercial Street Ystradgynlais and Mr D Hopton 27 Gurnosia, Gurnos Cwmtwrch were among a group of relatives who travelled on a British Legion organised pilgrimage to British War Graves in Germany. They travelled to see the grave of their brother Gunner Gwilym Iorwerth Hopton, who is buried at the Reichswald Cemetery near Cleves.


The Fallen of World War Two

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