Pte. Dan Leiws 3446 1st Batt. Welsh Guards

Discussion in 'Looking for someone' started by Huw Davies, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Huw Davies

    Huw Davies New Member

    I've drawn a bit of a blank researching Pte. Dan Lewis, 3446, Welsh Guards for his great niece. Apparently all the family papers were destroyed when his mother died, but here is what is known.

    Dan was one of seven children of the farm Parcau (Parkau or Parke), Penrhiwllan, Llandysul. Three of the brothers joined in the War.

    Tom it seems joined the SWB and judging by his cap badge in the photo moved to the Machine Gun Corps when that was formed. He survived.

    John, a wonderfully mustached fellow. The pouched bandolier he wears in the photo suggests to me one of the artillery battalions. At least I've only seen those on photos of artillerymen. He also survived.

    Now Dan, was relativley old when he joined. Assuming he joined at the outbeark of war, he would have been 32 -33. (He was 36 when he died) The family story is that on the 11th. November 1918 the local church bells were ringing declaring Armistice, the war was over! His parents and sisters were intent in joining in the celebrations when the telegram arrived informing them that Dan had been killed on the 2nd. of November. The Cambrian News on the 17th. January 1919 reporting on his memorial service said:

    "The news of his death reached the parents on the morning when the church bells announced the signing of the Armistice." (Cambrian News. 17/01/1919)

    In keeping with Welsh bardic tradition a 'Marwnad' ( Poetic Elegy) was written for him by his friend Howell Thomas, this is a loose translation of the first verse:
    Daniel Lewis Pic-2(s).jpg
    "Now the war is over,
    The world as one rejoices.
    But on the hearth of thousands
    The heartbreak never ends.
    Daniel Lewis, late of Parke,
    A great sadness to all his friends
    Is to think that Dan, as the others
    Joined the fallen at the end."

    Eventhough he didn't survive the war medal records show that he was awarded a Victory Medal. Apart from that, and the fact that he is buried at the Poix-du-Nord Communal Cemetery Extension we know nothing else about him.

    In the History of the Welsh Guards he is listed as KIA on the 2/11/1918, but on that day the battalion were marching towards the front in high spirits and no contact was made with the enemy.

    Perhaps we are lucky to know this much about a private soldier, but we would love to know more about his military career and especially how, why and where he died but all of my efforts have come to nothing. Even the NA have no War Diaries for the Welsh Guards of the period.

    We hope to visit his grave this summer, but it would be nice to know more about him and perhaps visit the location where he met his end.

    If any one could help I would very grateful.
  2. forester

    forester New Member

    Hello Huw,

    The war diary for the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards is in WO 95/1224 and covers the period from August 1915 to February 1919. It is possible that it is being digitised at the moment as I notice that it has currently been withdrawn due to "being in use by another".

    He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. He did not go overseas before the beginning of 1916 (no Star on his medal index card).


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