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The Penmaenmawr Quarry Boys

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CRICHTONSTU2730 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 23:38
Remembering the Pen Quarry Boys on the centenary of their Suvla Bay action.
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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2012 at 19:49
Thanks for posting this valuable information. Over the next few weeks I will post each of the fallen in their own individual Roll of Honour entry.
 
I have made this post a "Sticky" in order to keep it at the top of any further posts in this subforum so that it may be easily accessed for reference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRICHTONSTU2730 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2012 at 09:17

“F” was the Penmaenmawr Company  of the 1st/ 6th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 158th (North Wales) Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division.

At the outbreak of the Great War Penmaenmawr was a granite quarrying town on the north Wales coast near Conwy.  A largely Welsh speaking community, nearly a thousand men worked in the quarry and its workshops.  Pen was also a seaside resort which had been a great favourite of the Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

The Territorials had been set up in Penmaenmawr in the 1890s by Charles Henry Darbishire the proprietor of the Penmawnmawr & Welsh Granite Company (the largest local employer).

In mid summer 1914 the Pen company of the 6th RWF had gone to their annual summer camp at Aberystwyth. The camp was unsettled due to rumours of war and on 3 August the CO ordered the camp to be struck and the men to return to their homes in readiness to be called up if needed.  They arrived back in Pen between 6 and 7am on Tuesday 4 August.

The call came and by 22 August, 4500 men of the North Wales Infantry Brigade (Territorials) had assembled at Conwy Morfa camp.  They marched to Llandudno Junction, boarded trains and were then dispersed to various parts of the country for training.  The 6th battalion first went to Northampton. At this point Territorials were required to sign on for foreign service and 113 of the Pen Company did so. As there was no information as to where they would be posted, these men were all innoculated against typhoid.

The 6th then moved to the Northamptonshire villages of Rushden and Higham Ferrers.  In November the 6th were moved to Coddenham, near Ipswich for further training and in early 1915 they returned to Rushden to complete their training. 

The Welsh Division was to be sent to the Dardanelles. Just before leaving, the Pen Company paraded in the market square of Higham Ferrers where the locals all turned out to see off more than 500 men.  Penmaenmawr residents among the company were Captain (temporary Major) Augustus Wheeler, manager of the Pen Quarry, Captain HT Jenkins the quarry doctor, young 2nd Lieutenant Harold Owen Owen of Tany-y-Foel, 19 year old Edward Dowell of Gilfach Road and the Williams brothers, Richard and Robert, of Tany-y-Clogwen, Dwygyfylchi. Their commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel TW Jones, the Lieutenant and Adjutant JD Porter and the Major and Quartermaster T Armstrong.

On 14 July they entrained at Rusden and Irchester for Devonport.  They set sail that day on SS Caledonia, calling at Malta and Alexandria and reached Lemnos on 28 July where they stayed for nearly two weeks.  

At 6am on 9 August they landed on “C” Beach, Purnam/ Kuchuk Kemikli, the south west point of  Suvla Bay (and remarked that it looked like Penmaenmawr Bay).  They bivouacked that night to the west of  Lala Baba. They were issued with 200 rounds per man and 1 day’s rations.

At 3am on the 10th they were given hot tea and at 4.30am moved forward with the 158th North Wales Brigade which was composed of the 5th, 6th (including the Penmaenmawr company) and 7th Battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the Middlesex. They crossed the Salt Lake and advanced in an easterly direction in open formation, heading for Scimitar Hill which lies between the Salt Lake and the Anafarta Ridge. They then moved forward in a south easterly direction and the 159th Infantry Brigade passed through.  At 10am there was a note to the commander of the 6th to bring up men to rush Scimitar Hill, by 11am they were about 200 yards away in oak scrub.  At noon the 5th RWF charged up the hill 200 yards in advance of the 159th’s trenches, while the 6th reinforced them. They met Turkish shrapnel and machine gun fire, when they took the hill Lt Colonel Basil Philips of the 5th was hit in the neck and died instantly. By the end of the day, the company of men that worked together at the Pen slate quarry no longer existed.  The casualties were:

Edward Oswald Dowell

Aged 19

Private

6th Battalion RWF, D Coy

Son of Jane and the late Thomas Dowell of 3 Gilfach Road, Penmaenmawr

Died 10 August 1915, Gallipoli

Helles Memorial, panel 77-80

 

David John Roberts

Aged 23

A/Corporal

6th Battalion RWF

22 Water Street, Penmaenmawr

Died 23 August 1915 in Malta Military Hospital of wounds received at Gallipoli

Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta

 

John Thomas

Age not known

Lance Serjeant

6th Battalion RWF

Mount Pleasant, Penmaenmawr

Husband of Catherine Thomas of 1 Hawarden Buildings, Landore, Swansea

Died 10 August 1915, Gallipoli

Helles Memorial, panel 77-80

 
Augustus Henry Wheeler

Age not known

Major

6th Battalion RWF

Graiglwyd Hall, Penmaenmawr

Manager of the Penmaenmawr Granite Company

Died 10 August 1915, Gallipoli

Helles Memorial, panel 77-80

 

David Robert Williams

Aged 24

Private

6th Battalion RWF

Post Office House, Penmaenmawr

Son of Robert and Hannall Williams of 3 Bryn Tirion Terrace, Llandudno Junction

Died 3 September 1915

Portianos Military Cemetery, Lemnos

 

Richard Ellis Williams

Aged 20

Private

6th Battalion RWF

Tan-y-Clogwyn, Dwygyfylchi

Son of Hugh P and Jane Williams of Waen Post Office, Conway

Brother of Lance Corporal Robert W Williams, 6th Bn RWF

Died 11 August 1915

East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos

 

Robert W Williams

Aged 24

Lance Corporal

6th Battalion RWF

Tan-y-Clogwyn, Dwygyfylchi

Son of Hugh P and Jane Williams of Waen Post Office, Conway

Brother of Private Richard Ellis Williams, 6th Bn RWF

Died 12 November 1915

Helles Memorial, panel 77-80

 

William Hugh Williams

Aged 20

Private

6th Battalion RWF, D Coy

Son of Robert and Susannah Williams of 4 High Street, Penmaenmawr

Died 13 August 1915

Helles Memorial, panel 77-80

 

There are 268 soldiers of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers commemorated on the Helles Memorial

 

There are 62 names on the Penmaenmawr War Memorial, Conwy, North Wales and a further 20 on the one outside St Gwynin’s Church,  Dwygyfylchi. Nearly a quarter of all names recorded on these two memorials lost their lives at Gallipoli.



Edited by Mal Murray - 06 Sep 2012 at 19:46
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