The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Godrergraig Chapel, Ystalyfera

Godrergraig Chapel was, as seen in the photograph to the left, a capel Annibynnol or Independent Chapel. It was built in 1900, and sold in 1996.

During 1947 funds were raised to commission a memorial tablet to the fallen who had died during the 1939-1945 war. This was unveiled in a ceremony in January 1948. The excerpts from newspapers below cover these events in detail.

One interesting thing to note is that the newspaper article does not mention the last name on the tablet, that of Able Seaman (AB) Raymond Wesson. If you look at the tablet, it is in alphabetical order, except for A.B. Wesson, whose name is also slightly larger, indicating it was added later. However, if you look at the Order of Service reproduced below, then Raymond Wesson's name is included, albeit out of alphabetical order. What seems most likely, therefore, is that his name was added at the last minute to the tablet, in time for it to be included on the Order of Service, but after a press release had been sent to the newspaper outlining the names to be commemorated.

From the South Wales Voice, Saturday 20th December 1947:-

A memorial service will be held at Godre'rgraig Welsh Congregational Chapel at 7.45 pm., on the first Sunday of the New Year, when a memorial tablet to the men of Godre'rgraig who paid the supreme sacrifice in the 1939-45 war will be unveiled. The service is being arranged by the local Comforts Committee

Order of Service

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, Saturday 3rd January 1948:-

UNVEILING OF MEMORIAL TABLET
On Sunday evening next an unveiling and memorial service will be held in Godre'rgraig Chapel. The tablet, erected by the local comforts committee, to the memory of the men of Godre'rgraig who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War will be unveiled by Mr. Joseph Thomas J.P. The Revs B Llewelyn Evans, R M Thomas and D E Clement will officiate.

Translation
They will not be forgotten

In memory of
those from this area who sacrificed
lives in the Great War 1939-1945

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, Saturday 10th January 1948:-

IMPRESSIVE MEMORIAL SERVICE AT GODRE'RGRAIG
The unveiling service held at Godre'rgraig Congregational Chapel after the usual evening service on Sunday last will long be remembered by those present, and especially by the relatives of the heroes whose names are engraved on the tablet which has been erected by the local comforts committee to the memory of the 10 Godre'rgraig boys who laid down their lives in supreme sacrifice in the last Great War.

The unveiling of the tablet was the culminating event in the history of the Godre'rgraig Comforts Committee, which had been so loyal and assiduous in its efforts on behalf of the soldiers, sailors and airmen from the district who saw service in the war. The committee did everything possible for those who returned. It has now crowned its valuable service by doing its duty to those who failed to do so.

There was one unfortunate feature that marred in a measure the expectations of the committee and the public of Godre'rgraig on the occasion. It was the inability of the president of the Comforts Committee, Mr. Joseph Thomas J.P., through illness to be present. Mr. Thomas was to have performed the act of unveiling. His absence was keenly felt. The duty, therefore, was carried out by Mr. Evan Thomas Lewis, who has been the chairman of the committee since its inception.

The service which was bilingual was, necessarily of a solemn and religious character. The Rev B Llewelyn Evans offered the invocation prayer at the commencement; Revs D E Clement and R M Thomas led the devotions and the memorial sermon was preached by the Rev B Llewelyn Evans. Mr. Evans gave an eloquent and impressive discourse based on Joshua IV, 6. "What mean ye by these stones?" After which the tablet was unveiled by Mr. Lewis, followed by two minutes silence. The singing of "Nao wyled teulu Duw ar ol y saint," and the pronouncement of the Benediction, brought a devout and unforgettable service to a fitting close.

The men whose sacrifice is thus commemorated are:

Sgt Dewi Davies R A F
Pte T Victor Davies R E M E
Pte Ieuan T Evans R W F
Sgt Ronald James 3rd Mons
M S Gordon Jenkins M N
Gnr Thomas Lewis R H A
Stkr Phillip Pritchard R N
Sgt A Lionel Roberts R A F V R
Sgt Ieuan H Williams R A F V R
AB Raymond Wesson R N

The singing at the service was led by Mr Lewis Williams A.T.S.C., and the organist was Mr. J Bryn Thomas A. V. CV. M.

Godrergraig School
Godrergraig Primary School which now houses the memorial plaque which used to be in Godrergraig independent chapel.


Paid the Supreme Sacrifice
1939-45

Dewi Davies
T Victor Davies
Ieuan T Evans
Ronald James
C. Gordon Jenkins
Thomas Lewis
Phillip Pritchard
A Lionel Roberts
Ieuan Heddwyn Williams
Raymond Wesson


 

Ystalyfera Memorials

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