Photo of the Week
The Busy Bees photo is with kind permission of Desna Thomas, daughter of 48196 LCpl/Bugler William G Thomas. Written of the back of the photograph are the names and of each man along with the characters they were playing demonstrating the great importance of checking the reverse of these old photographs for the additional information often annotated there.
Rear row (left to right), Sanitary - 48107 Pte W J Davies, Nurse - Pte J Williams (?48210), Police - 48078 Pte G Ashman, Pioneer - 48154 Pte George Lippit
Middle row, Lamp Oil - 48193 Pte Charles Taylor, Sgt Pull Through - 48089 Pte Alfred E Burgess, White Wash - 48190 Pte William H Smith,
Front row, Chloride of Lime - 48596 Pte George Irwen, Labourer - 48258 Gilbert T Pepperell
The photograph above of the 38th (Welsh) Division Rugby Team is portrayed here by kind permission of the Pontyclun Rugby Club. The photograph was presented to the club in 2009 by Malcolm Batchelor, grandson of 48086 Pte William (Bill) Batchelor.
Although the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance was only a tiny Unit of only 232 all ranks in a Division of approximately 18,000, they acquitted themselves very well both on the field of battle as well as the sports field. The 38th (Welsh) Division Rugby Team that toured after the end of the war comprised two men from the Unit. 1. 48086 Pte William Batchelor who went on to captain the Pontyclun RFC in 1919 and 2. 48559 L/Cpl Trevor Nicholas M.M. who went on to be Caped for Wales.
The legend below the photograph describes the team as I have outlined below. If anyone can provide further information about the other men of the team and their Units, we would be delighted to hear for them.
Tope row - left to right
? from Neath. Freathy from Penarth, Lt A Normand from Abertillery, A Jenkins from Llanelli, E Garn from Swansea, W Sims from Penarth, W Atheffy from Cardiff, W B Thomas from Ynysybuf, T Jomes from Pontypridd, W Batchelor from Pontyclun and L Stoddard from Penygraig
F Balch - Trainer, T J Nicolas from Cardiff, B Beynon from Swansea, B Duncan from Cardiff, B Palmer (Captain) from Swansea, F Palmer from Swansea, J Davies from Swansea, W West from Swansea and G Taylor from Cardiff.
E Jenkins from Cardiff, J Hopsey from Swansea and W Griffiths.
If anyone can provide more information, please do be in contact with us.
The Welsh at Mametz Wood 1916 - The National Service of Remembrance 2016
The National Service of Remembrance held at Mametz Wood on the 7th July 2016 to commemorate the 38th (Welsh) Division's sacrifice at Mametz Wood in 1916 was a truly moving event; well attended and very well organised. This and the subsequent remembrance parades at the various military cemeteries where the fallen of the Division from this great battle are buried/remembered were all equally moving. The entire Centenary Remembrance was both truly memorable and a fitting tribute to the Officers and men of the Division. Well done the South Wales branch of the Western Front Association and especially Phil Davies, the secretary for all the effort put in to organise everything so well.
A service to commemorate the work of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance in World War One and to rededicate the memorial plaque to the Unit was held in the St John the Baptist Church, Cardiff on Friday 24th April 2015 in the presence of HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO,
Relatives of men who served in the Unit with David (sitting centre front) and Stephen (standing right, rear holding bugle) of the research group.
What an extraordinary day we shared along with 38 relatives of 11 of the men who served in the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance, gathered with all the dignitaries for a wonderful and moving service of remembrance and the rededication of the memorial plaque. After the service we gathered for a reception in the pub next door to swap histories and pour over the photo album. The Prior for Wales, Dan Clayton Jones, came to address our group and chat with the relatives. A very memorable day for us all and a fitting tribute to the Unit and the men who served in it.