BRITHDIR 1914-18             BRITHDIR 1939-45             BRITHDIR MEMORIAL

Brithdir War Memorial 1939-45


Names on Memorial Additional Information
Baker G.  Pte. Bertie William George Baker
Private  14767330  Durham Light Infantry, 9th Battalion.
Died April 4 1945, aged 29.
Buried Grave 55. B. 13., Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
Brewer E.  Pte. Edward Brewer
Fusilier  4204990  Royal Welch Fusiliers, 12th Battalion.
Died April 12 1941, aged 27.
Buried Section O, Grave 12, Llandudno (Great Orme's Head) Cemetery, Caernarvonshire.
Son of Sylvanus and Margaret Brewer; husband of Winifred Brewer, of Llandudno.
Butts T.  Pte. Trevor Butts
Gunner  1492701  Royal Artillery.
Died December 18 1941, aged 23.
Commemorated Column 3., Sai Wan Memorial, China (including Hong Kong).
Son of Herbert James Butts and Ethel Butts, of Brithdir.
Fergusson J.  Cpl. John Thomas Ferguson
Corporal  3954925  Welch Regiment, 1/5th Battalion.
Died August 12 1944, aged 37.
Buried Grave V. C. 26., Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
[Brother of Thomas Henry below]
Fergusson T.  Pte. Thomas Henry Ferguson
Private  3959703  Welch Regiment, 1st Battalion.
Died May 27 1941, aged 23.
Buried Grave 3. A. 16. Suda Bay War Cemetery, Greece.
Son of Emily Cooper, of Brithdir. [Brother of John Thomas above]
Hill W.T.  P.O. William Thomas Hill
Petty Officer Stoker  D/KX 83585  Royal Navy H.M.S. Dragonfly.
Died February 14 1942.
Commemorated Panel 69, Column 1, Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.
Howells J.  Pte.  
Jones E.T.  F/Sgt. Ernest Thomas Jones
Flight Sergeant (Pilot)  570004  Royal Air Force, 15 Sqadron.
Died May 12 1944, aged 24.
Buried Row A. Grave 1., Leuven Communal Cemetery, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium.
Son of Joseph and Margaret Jones; husband of Sylvia Jones, of Brithdir.
Southam E.  Cpl. Ernest Southam
Corporal  7012844  Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st (Airborne) Battalion.
Died August 23 1944, aged 24.
Buried Grave 7. G. 5., Tourgeville Military Cemetery, Calvados, France.
Son of Richard and May Southam; husband of Amelia Elizabeth Southam, of Brithdir.
Jenkins J.C.  F/Lieut. John Griffiths Jenkins
Flight Lieutenant (Pilot)  124463  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died April 24 1945, aged 23.
Buried Section B. Grave 3836., Gwaelod-y-Brithdir Cemetery.
Son of Lewis J. Jenkins and Sarah Jenkins, of Brithdir.
Jones C.I.  Pte. Clement Idris Jones
Private  3912662  South Wales Borderers, 1st Battalion.
Died June 19 1942, aged 28.
Commemorated Column 62., Alamein Memorial, Egypt.
Son of Charles and Harriet Jones; husband of Amelia Jones, of Brithdir.
McDonald W.  Pte. William McDonald
Private  2182010  Pioneer Corps, Aux. Mil.
Died June 17 1940, aged 38.
Buried Section 18, Plot 1, Row A, Grave 48, Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, Ille-et-Vilaine, France.
Son of William McDonald, and of Mary Ann McDonald, of Brithdir. 
Phillips R.  L/Ac. Ronald Phillips
Leading Aircraftman  1313723  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died November 20 1944, aged 28.
Buried Section B. Grave 3583., Gwaelod-y-Brithdir Cemetery.
Son of Ritchard and Claudia Phillips; husband of Gwyneth Phillips, of Bargoed.
Willetts V.  F/Sgt. Vivian Alquin Willetts
Flight Sergeant  970524  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 23 Sqadron.
Died April 27 1942, aged 24.
Commemorated Panel 76., Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
Son of Phillip L. and Margaret Willetts, of Brithdir.
Williams W.C.  Pte.   



John Griffiths Jenkins

Brithdir WW2 JenkinsJG MIJohn Griffiths Jenkins, son of Lewis and Sarah Jenkins of Brithdir, was killed 24 April 1945 when his Spitfire, aircraft EN666, crashed near to the Corner Piece Inn, on the Fishguard Road three miles north of Haverfordwest, whilst serving with 8 Coastal Operation Training Unit. He was buried Gwaelod y Brithdir Cemetery, as later was his mother.

[Research by Roy Smith]

Bertie William George Baker

Bertie William George Baker
Brithdir-WW2-BakerG-MIenlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment, but died while serving with the Durham Light Infantry 9th Battalion. He was the son of Bertie George & Bertha Baker of Gloucestershire and husband of Lorraine Baker, nee Bevan, of Brithdir.

[Research by Roy Smith]


Edward Brewer

Edward BrewerBrithdir-WW2-BrewerE-MI, a despatch rider, was accidently killed when he lost control of his motorcycle. He was riding from Staithes to Whitby in Yorkshire, carrying despatches when the accident occurred. He is buried at Llandudno where his wife lived. His parents were from Brithdir.

[Research by Roy Smith]

Trevor Butts

Brithdir WW2 ButtsTTrevor Butts, son of Herbert James and Ethel Butts, was defending Hong Kong from the Japanese when his battery position at Pak Sha Wan was hit by an enemy shell. As well as being commemorated on Sai Wan Memorial in Hong Kong he is also remembered on his parents grave in Gwalod y Brithdir cemetery.Brithdir WW2 Butts MI
See also Brithdir, Yesteryear in an upper Rhymney Valley Community by Royston Smith pp 238-239.


John Thomas Ferguson

Corporal John Thomas FergusonBrithdir-WW2-FergusonJ was killed in action August 12 1944. He had successfully attacked a machine-gun post and was returning with a prisoner when they were both killed by enemy fire. A letter from his officer states: he was a good NCO, excellent in battle and a soldier that his family may be proud of.
During 19 years service he had been in India, Singapore, Shanghai and other parts of the Far & Middle East and had been recalled to his unit a few days prior to the war. His wife Mrs L Ferguson lived with their four children at 1 Milton Terrace in Brithdir and his mother, Emilie Cooper (she had remarried), at 4 Nelson Terrace. His younger brother Thomas Henry had been killed earlier in the war. 
For the most part, the men buried at Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery were killed in the fighting from the second week of July 1944, when Caen was captured, to the last week in August, when the Falaise Gap had been closed and the Allied forces were preparing their advance beyond the Seine.

[Research by Roy Smith]

William Thomas Hill

Petty Officer William Thomas HillBrithdir-WW2-HillWT-Dragonfly had nine years service, with time on the aircraft carriers Eagle and Furious before going to the Far East in 1939 on H.M.S. Dragonfly - a Locust Class river gunboat. During the Second World War, Dragonfly with its sister ships Scorpion and Grasshopper was tasked with securing the Chinese rivers as part of the gunboat squadron operating from Shanghai, China. They were withdrawn and sent to Singapore after the Japanese forces invaded China. Japanese forces invaded Malaya just after midnight on December 8 1941 (local time, just prior to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour). Completely taken by surprise, British forces along the length of the Malay Peninsula were overrun. On January 31, the three ships successfully evacuated the 1,500 men of the brigade to Singapore. However, Singapore itself was soon to fall and Dragonfly and Grasshopper left Keppel Harbour, Singapore, on February 14 1942 bound for Batavia in Java. They were immediately attacked by waves of Japanese torpedo and dive bomber aircraft in the shallow waters of Rusuk Buaja Island east of Sumatra. Both ships were lost in the action. Dragonfly, having been heavily damaged, sank with a loss of 40 lives including that of Petty Officer Hill.
  He was the son of Mr Benjamin Hill and the late Mrs Rose Hill of Rock House, Brithdir. His wife, a native of Plymouth, also resided at Brithdir.

[Research by Roy Smith (the picture shows Dragonfly off Hong Kong October 10 1939)]

Ernest Thomas Jones

Brithdir WW2 JonesET MI LeuvenFlight Sergeant Pilot Ernest Thomas Jones of Brithdir was an extra crew member on Lancaster LL752 as Second pilot accompanying an experienced crew on a mission to see how they worked together, before starting operations with his own crew. The bomber took off on the night of May 11 1944, from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk for a raid on the railway yards at Leuven [Louvain] in Belgium. This aircraft was one of a force of 110 aircraft [105 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitoes] as part of the extensive operations carried out to destroy and disrupt German supply and transport facilities in preparation for D-Day.
  Four Lancasters were lost including LL752 which was shot down by a Luftwaffe night-fighter, piloted by Oberleutnant, Hans-Heinz Augenstein whilst outbound and crashed after midnight at 00.30 hours onto the Brouwerstraat, to the northwest of Leuven. All the crew were killed and all were buried there in the Leuven Communal Cemetery.

[Research by Roy Smith]

Ernest Southam

Brithdir WW2 SouthamEBrithdir WW2 SouthamE MIErnest Southam married Amelia Elizabeth Williams on 2 September 1943.  Ernest’s address was given as Bulford, a military camp on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, but his home address was 6 Greenville Road, Bloomfield, Belfast. Amelia’s address was 18 Herbert Street, Brithdir, age 19, father Evan John Williams a Colliery Surface Contractor. Less than a year after their marriage, on 23 August 1944 Ernest was killed.
The 6th Airborne Division and the Belgian brigade of Colonel Jean Piron liberated Deauville 22 August 1944. However a German battery located at Mont-Canisy bombed Deauville and blew up that bridge. During the battle, 2 Belgians and 3 Britons died. Ernest was killed, hit by a mortar shell when his Company was attacked by the Germans. The Regiment War Diary states it was a very hot day deteriorating to rain, Ernest was killed between the hours of 16.40 and 17.43.
Brithdir WW2 SouthamE plaqueThe bridge connecting Deauville to Trouville was rebuilt and renamed Pont des Belges in their honour. This plaque at the entrance of the Touques bridge, west bank, is in honour of the three fighters of the 6th British Airborne Division 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles: Major Eric Francis Johnston, Cpl Ernest Southam and Rifleman Brendon John Scanlon who died.  There is a similar plaque to the two Belgiums who died.



John Griffiths Jenkins

Brithdir WW2 JenkinsJG MIJohn Griffiths Jenkins, son of Lewis and Sarah Jenkins of Brithdir, was killed 24 April 1945 when his Spitfire, aircraft EN666, crashed near to the Corner Piece Inn, on the Fishguard Road three miles north of Haverfordwest, whilst serving with 8 Coastal Operation Training Unit. He was buried Gwaelod y Brithdir Cemetery, as later was his mother.

[Research by Roy Smith]

William McDonald

Brithdir WW2 McDonaldWBrithdir WW2 McDonaldW ME19410208William McDonald, son of William and Mary Ann McDonald of Brithdir, died June 17 1940 and was buried in Rennes.


Vivian Alquin Willetts

Brithdir WW2 WilettsVABrithdir WW2 WilettsVA MIVivian Alquin Willetts, was born 24 April 1918 at 15 Station Terrace, Brithdir, the eldest son of Phillip and Margaret Willets. He joined RAF 28 October 1939 becoming an Air Observer (navigator). On the night of 26-27 April 1942 the aircraft he was in was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Pilot Sgt John Millard survived and was taken prisoner, Wireless Operator Robert Moore was killed and buried in Bayeaux War Cemetery, but Flt/Sgt Willetts' body was never recovered and he is commemorated on Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered on his parents grave in Gwaelod y Brithdir cemetery.
 Brithdir WW2 WilettsVA PlaqueFor the story of how the plane was discovered in 1966 and the memorial was placed close by see Brithdir, Yesteryear in an upper Rhymney Valley Community by Royston Smith pp 239-242.

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