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TOPIC: Caernarvonshire

Caernarvonshire 5 months 3 weeks ago #53132

  • BereniceUK
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I walked up Twthill, overlooking Caernarfon, early one morning to photograph the county memorial. It was the work of a local mason, Hugh Jones, and was unveiled and dedicated on 2nd July, 1904.

Corporal O. Roberts Denbighshire Hussars Killed in action on 13th November 1900
Shoeing Smith J. V. Griffith Denbighshire Hussars Died of wounds, December 1900
Trooper George C. Goodwin Denbighshire Hussars Died from pneumonia, in South Africa, on 27th July 1900
Trooper J. B. K. Long Norfolk Yeomanry
Corporal John Metcalfe 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards Killed at Modder River, November 28th 1899
Private E. Dawes 2nd Battalion Scotts Guards
Private W. Joyce 1st Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment
Second Lieutenant Roger Williams-Ellis 2nd Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers

Private E. Roberts 1st Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Private W. Evans 4th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Private J. T. Jones 4th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Private W. Kelly 4th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Private T. Mailen 4th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Private W. H. Williams 4th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers
Sergeant C. Jones 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers Died in South Africa on 5th May 1900
Private H. Deverell 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers

Private J. Roberts 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers
Lance Corporal G. Soper 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders Killed at Magersfontein
Private A. Soper 2nd Royal West Kent Regiment
Sergeant J. Graham 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers
Trooper J. Rowlands Brabant's Horse
Trooper D. E. Roberts Kimberley Light Horse
Trooper G. D. Cameron Natal Mounted Police
Dresser T. R. Eames Welsh Hospital

Roll of Honour has additional information on some of the men, but also differences in the spelling of some of the names. www.roll-of-honour.com/Caernarvonshire/CaernarfonBoer.html

Anglesey in the distance.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Brett Hendey, Elmarie

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Caernarvonshire 5 months 3 weeks ago #53141

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Thank you for posting this imposing monument. Its position high on a hill certainly adds to its splendour.

There is a common error made in the record of Trooper G D Cameron. Although the men of the Natal Police who participated in the Boer War were all mounted troops, their unit was the 'Natal Police'. The Natal Mounted Police had ceased to exist in 1894.

Cameron enlisted in the NP on 16/11/1896 (No.1779), and was killed in action on 28/4/1901 in the heroic action at Mahlabatini in Zululand. Four Natal Policemen were killed in this action, and another two were mortally wounded. Later two men were awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.


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Caernarvonshire 5 months 3 weeks ago #53146

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Thanks Berenice......

You can see the side that faces the sea is the most worn........

Thanks for your transcription......


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Caernarvonshire 5 months 2 weeks ago #53255

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KILLED AT MODDER RIVER. - The "3185 Private John Metcalfe," of the 3rd Batt. Grenadier Guards, reported killed at the Modder River battle, November 28th, had for years spent his furlough in this town, where he was well-known. His mother, who lives at Glangwna Cottages, Caeathraw, kept a home for him and his soldier brother William, who was with the Leicesters, and is missing ever since the battle at Glencoe. Another brother, Mr. James Metcalfe, Tryweryn House, Victoria-road, is in the employ of Messrs. Morgan Lloyd and Son, wine merchants, Castle-square. They are the sons of the late Police-sergeant James Metcalfe, stationed at different periods in Penrhyndeudraeth, Festiniog, and other places in Merionethshire; he being a native of Aberangell, Dinas Mawddwy. The deceased Grenadier, who was aged 26, after seven years' service in the army, joined the reserves, and when called upon to rejoin the colours was engaged as a signalman on the railway at Wigan, and only left Carnarvon ten weeks before the battle at Modder River. The bereaved widowed mother is 68 years of age.

(Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, December 8th, 1899)

* Caeathraw is now known as Caeathro, about 1½ miles south-east of Caernarfon.


The news of the death of Sergeant Charles Jones, from dysentery, at Cape Town, reached Llandudno too late to be chronicled in our last issue. It is about two months since Sergeant Jones left for the front, and like other local volunteers, he retained his rank in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. When the deceased announced his intention to go to the front, he was the recipient of a presentation at the hands of the council - and other friends - of which he was an official, being its water inspector. Sergeant Jones was also insured for £200, while the council, in addition to that, not only decided to keep his place open for him, but also to allow his wife half-pay during his absence. He was also insured by Colonel Rees for another £100.

The deceased was a native of Bangor, and 14 years ago came to Llandudno. Sergeant Jones was very much esteemed by his comrades in the Conway and Llandudno Company of the 3rd V.B. Royal Welch Fusiliers. He held the record, no doubt, in this district, for long service, having joined the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey Artillery Volunteers 20 years ago. He had sent in his application for the Long Service Medal. Mr. Charles Jones was a bell-ringer at Holy Trinity Church, and was a member of Llandudno's corps of firemen.


The following letter was received on Sunday morning by Mr. John Owen (Avallon): - "Hawarden Castle, Table Bay, Tuesday, April 23rd, 1900. Dear sir, - A letter of yours which has appeared in the local paper, in which you appeal for further support for my wife, and that of Private Mercey, has been sent out to me. On his behalf and mine, I beg to thank you most sincerely and gratefully for your letter, and to say we appreciate your kindness very much. We have seen a lot since we left the shores of old England, but have not done any fighting as yet, though we have been very near where some has been going on. We left Cape Town on the 10th of March for Ladysmith, to join our regiment, and we were the first volunteer company from England to go up country. We went by train from Durban, and were 24 hours doing it. We have been with them for nearly seven weeks ago and left Ladysmith a week ago for this port. We have been in the bay since Wednesday evening last, and still on board waiting for orders, for we know not where we are going nor what we are going to do. I am most pleased to say that all the men are well, but eagerly looking forward to the home coming. Trusting that all Llandudno is alive and well. Also hoping you and Mrs. Owen are in good health. - I am, sir, yours very faithfully, No. 7417, Charles Jones, sergeant.

Mr. A. Doyly Watkin, Neville-crescent, chief of the bellringers at Trinity Church, also received a long letter from the deceased, from which the following are extracts: - "Modders Spruit Camp, March 30th, 1900. Lieutenant Colonel D'Oyly Watkins. Dear sir, - I now take the pleasure of writing a few lines to you and the bellringers. We are on outpost duty, about four miles from camp. This is the first time for me to be sergeant of the picket alone. Up to this we have been with the linesmen. I have got all my men, and Leonard Griffiths, in our ration carrier, and he is growling because he is so hot and so far to camp. Well, we arrived at Durban by the "Majestic" from Cape Town, on the 13th inst., and early in the morning, about five o'clock, we disembarked by means of a lighter tugboat, and great fun we had. We were about an hour getting ashore, for the sea was terribly rough. Unfortunately, we lost a Kaffir boy, who was swept overboard and drowned. We started from Durban about 8.30 p.m., from the quay side, and stopped at the railway station for a few minutes. During the whole of that time the platform was crowded with people, who heartily cheered and welcomed us. Of course, it was dark all the while. We travelled the greater part of Natal at night. A severe thunderstorm was raging, the roar of thunder and the glare of the lightning was such as we never saw in dear old Wales, the lightning being specially vivid, beautiful, and terrifying. We stopped at a station a while to have hot coffee and biscuits, and from there, we slept the sleep of the just, or tried to, until Mooi River was reached. There we stayed a little while, and then on to Estcourt, where we had breakfast. From Estcourt and on, we saw much evidence of the art of war, and graves were plentiful on both sides of the railway. We also saw the wrecked armoured train, in which Winston Churchill played such a prominent part. The next place we got to was Chieveley, where our troops were encamped for several months. I went to see the grave of Lord Roberts' son. It is not far from the railway. Then we got on the move again, and the next stopping place was Colenso. No wonder Buller was repulsed and driven back, for the hills on the north side of the river were simply one mass of entrenchments and fortifications. They were like a cobweb, running here, there, and everywhere, and the wonder is that he ever took it at all. It appeared to me to be simply impossible to be taken. We had to cross the Tugela by means of a temporary footbridge, and had to carry everything over ourselves. From Colenso to Ladysmith were to be seen evidence on all sides of the flight of the Boers. Ladysmith was reached about six p.m., making 26 hours in cattle trucks - quite enough for us. After detraining, we put up for the night at the 'Hotel De Railway,' otherwise a good shed, where our beds consisted of the floor of the warehouse, and some empty waggons. While here, we had another terrific storm of rain and thunder. Although our beds were hard, our hearts were light, and we slept without turning until the reveille next morning. We left Ladysmith at 5 p.m. on the 15th, and got to our regiment about 7 p.m. A heartier welcome no company ever had, and so here we are amongst our own men, but I can tell you that we have to do our share of duty and drills.....I hope and trust that all the bellringers are all well, and will be able to ring us a peal when we get home. I enclose some poetry made while out on outpost duty. Please do not make fun of it. Hoping to see you all before long, so good-night, and God bless you all, and remember us who are so far away. Please let us have a line for we have not had a letter from anyone."

The bellringers did ring a peal on Thursday and Friday night, but not to welcome Sergeant Jones home, but a muffled one to his and Private Devrell's memory.

(Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, Friday, May 25th, 1900)

Death of Mr. F. R. Eames. - The death is announced of Mr. F. R. Eames, a native of Llanfairfechan, and a medical student at the Owens College, Manchester, who joined the Welsh Military Hospital staff in South Africa. Mr. Eames died at Bloemfontein on Sunday last.

(The Welsh Coast Pioneer and Review for North Cambria, June 8, 1900)

[His correct name was Thomas Richard Eames]


It is with sincere regret that we record the death from pneumonia of Private George Goodwin, a member of the Llandudno contingent of the Imperial Yeomanry, and son of Mr. Goodwin, of the Regent Hotel, which occurred in hospital at Jagersfontein on Friday, July 27. "Georgie" was of a kindly and lively disposition, and his demise at the early age of 25 years will be greatly mourned by his large circle of friends, although the grief may be somewhat assuaged by the knowledge that he died in the service of his country. No official confirmation of the news has yet been received from the War Office, but the letter from Sergeant Major Bruton, which is appended, leaves no room to doubt the accuracy of the information.

In reply to a telegram of enquiry from Mr. Goodwin, the War Office authorities state that "Private Goodwin was seriously ill on the 25th," but evidently have no news of later date."

The greatest sympathy is felt with the parents in their sad bereavement.

The following is the letter from Sergeant-Major Bruton: -
28th July, 1900.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin, - I suppose by now you will have received notice from the War Office of your son George's death. I am sincerely sorry such sad news should have to be conveyed to you, and how hard it must be for you to believe it true, but, alas, it is only too true. He said he did not feel well last Sunday, so he went to hospital, where he remained as an outdoor patient, his disease being pneumonia, and unfortunately died on Friday morning at 3 30. I am sure you will be thankful to know that everything possible was done to alleviate his sufferings and preserve life. Corpl. R. Dunphy was with him till the last, but the doctor said when he saw him that his left lung had completely gone, and that it would be very hard for him to pull through, but he did not at the same time think his time would be so short. He was buried with military honours on Friday afternoon. I may say the Chaplain attended him several times before his death, and he died brave to the last as a soldier and a man. Sergt. Tom Davies and Corpl. Dunphy are looking after his things. All the company and myself sincerely sympathise with you in your sad bereavement.
I remain, yours truly,
Sergt. Major E. BRUTON,
29th Company, Imperial Yeo.

The appended is an extract from a letter received by Mr. John Meredith, a member of the Pier Company's staff: - "July 28th. - Since I wrote the above letter poor George died 3 30 a.m., and was buried with full military honours at 4 30 p.m. He was a great favourite in the company, and we all felt very much by losing him. He was buried in a beautiful cemetery.

We are informed by Mr. J. W. Rogers that Private Riley, in a letter written to his wife who lives at Colwyn Bay, stated: "George Goodwin died in my arms, during the temporary absence of the nurse."

(Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors, Friday, August 24, 1900)

Second-Lieutenant J. R. Williams-Ellis, reported as killed in an ambuscade in South Africa, is the son of the Rev. Williams-Ellis, Glasfryn, near Chwilog, and a nephew of the Lord-Lieutenant (Mr. Greaves). He was only about 20 years of age, and went to South Africa practically straight from school.

The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, October 13, 1900)


Early on Saturday afternoon intelligence was received from the War Office that Corporal Owen Roberts, the son of Mrs. Roberts, Queen's Buildings, had been killed in action. In his official despatch, and which was published by the War Office on Saturday night, Lord Roberts states: - "Hunter, who has relieved Kelly-Kenny in command of Bloemfontein, reports that Lieutenant-Colonel White's advance party met some of the enemy near Abraham's Kraal on the 13th inst. Lieutenant Mainwaring, 29th Company Imperial Yeomanry, was wounded in the thigh and chest, severe. One man of the same company was killed, and one wounded." Unfortunately, our amiable and popular townsman - Corporal O. Roberts - was the "one man" referred to as killed.

The deceased, if we remember correctly, was one of the few Llandudno Yeomen who first volunteered their services in South Africa, and in this particular, perhaps it would not be uninteresting to add, that it was the Llandudno contingent who were the first in the country to offer their services for active service. However, the little contingent has suffered severely. First of all comes the news about the death of Sergt. Charles Jones, then of Private Deverell, subsequently of Trooper Goodwin, and on Saturday of Corporal Owen Roberts. Troopers G. O. Williams, Oliver Jones, and H. Baugh have been sent home invalided, and we are glad to note that the three are convalescents. Of those remaining, we are glad to learn - from latest intelligence - that they are doing well.

The deceased - Corporal O. Roberts - was exceedingly popular and deservedly respected. Before his departure for the front he managed a branch establishment at Craigydon for Messrs. J. Jones and Sons, Limited. His services as a member of the local Male Voice Choir will be sadly missed. The deceased took a keen interest in literary matters, and as a member of the Welsh Calvinistic Debating Society, he accomplished some good work by taking an active part in its proceedings. Charitable movements, whatever their character or nature, always found in Mr. Roberts a helping hand. His bereaved mother and brothers have the sincerest sympathy of the whole town in their sorrow.
[div align="center"]HIS LAST LETTER.[/div]
Writing to his family from Bethulie, O.R.C., on October 19th, 1900, the deceased says: -
"I received your last letter last week at Rouxville. We arrived here last Saturday night after a small commando who were trying to invest the place with the intention of controlling the bridge. We came in double quick time a distance of 50 miles; we had a few shots fired on our scouts about five miles from here. Most of our column have gone since Monday morning to a place west of Rouxville; I am left behind with 20 men in charge of sick horses, the column will be back next Tuesday if all is well. Big gun fire was heard this morning west of here, supposed to be in the direction where they are. I got three lots of papers last week, and, like the tobacco, are very acceptable. I have sent, per registered package, a few Kruger coins. Don't part at any price with the threepenny bits or the pennies, they are very scarce. I would send some sovereigns and half-sovereigns only I am jolly near stoney. I have had a lot of gold all in Kruger coin, but we have not been paid for three months, and during that time we have been on this column; our rations were only biscuits and coffee, and very often we had that about six o'clock in the morning and no more that day, so we had to buy what we could get, and that at very exorbitant prices, and 1s 5d per day does not go very far when one pays 6d for a cup of coffee. I am not sure whether I told you in my last letter that I had met Jones, Colwyn Bay. I received a letter from him yesterday, he is allright. He gave me a pair of breeches, a coat, and socks, because I, in common with the rest of the company, was in rags when we reached Springfontein. The authorities at Bloemfontein have refused to send us any clothes or horses, so it looks like mobilising soon. I may tell you that one of the officers, as soon as he saw me in my new togs, got 20 fellows together and took their photo. They had no knees to their breeches, and the photo is known as the ragged brigade. He says he is going to publish it."

Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, November 23, 1900)

Mr. Griffith, the Forge, Aber, near Bangor, has received a telegram announcing the death of his only son, a member of the Denbighshire Yeomanry, from wounds in an engagement near Freiburg. Another man from Aber in the same contingent, a son of Mr. Thomas Roberts, a Carnarvonshire magistrate, was badly wounded in the same engagement.

(Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, Friday, December 21, 1900)

LORD PENRHYN'S GENEROSITY. - In March last Lord Penrhyn, through Mr. Charles A. Jones, insured at his own expense the lives of 53 of the militia reserves, who were then leaving for South Africa, to £100 each in the Prudential Assurance Office. One of the men - Thomas Mailen, of Carnarvon - unfortunately died of enteric fever, and his widow has just received a cheque for the £100.

(North Wales Observer and Express, Friday, December 21, 1900)

The Mayor referred to the death of Trooper Cameron, son of Mr. Donald Cameron, who, he said, had suffered a great loss. It was not long ago that the attention of the Council was called to the loss which Mr. Cameron had sustained by the death of another son, and now the sad news had arrived that his eldest son had lost his life in South Africa. He moved a vote of condolence with Mr. and Mrs. Cameron.

This was briefly seconded by Mr. T. Lewis, who remarked that every parent must feel the utmost sympathy with Mr. Cameron.

The motion was agreed to in silence.

(North Wales Observer and Express, Friday, May 10, 1901)

DANGEROUSLY ILL. - Private William Kelly (2554), a son of John Kelly, Crown-street, Carnarvon, is reported to be dangerously ill at Elandsfontein Hospital.

(Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, Friday, May 30th, 1902)

DIED IN THE TRANSVAAL. - Private William Kelly, of the 1st R.W.F., a native of Carnarvon, whom we reported to be dangerously ill, is now reported to have died in the hospital at Germiston.

(Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, Friday, June 13, 1902)
3rd V.B.R.W.F.

Next Saturday there will be a field day and sham fight at Conway. The battalion will be conveyed by special train to Conway, arriving there at 3 p.m. The Lord Lieutenant of the county, honorary colonel of the battalion, will present clasps to the 1st Volunteer Service Company, and medals and Cape Colony clasps to the 2nd Volunteer Service Company. He will present a silver challenge cup in memory of the late Second Lieutenant Williams Ellis (son of Mr. Williams Ellis, Glasfryn) who was killed in action in South Africa in October, 1900. The presentation will take place at Conway Castle at 6 p.m.

(North Wales Observer and Express, Friday, July 4, 1902)

At the Barracks last week, Captain Berners presented the children of the late Privates W. Evans and T. Mailen, of this town, with medals earned by their fathers in the South African War. Their fathers died in South Africa.

(North Wales Observer and Express, Friday, December 12, 1902)

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