War ends

When the war had ended those who had survived could return home, at some point, or to wherever they were then to live.

The Carmarthen Journal of 3 October 1919 reported the civic welcome given to the local detachments of the 1st Welsh Field Company, Royal Engineers, and the 4th Welsh Regiment. Those two Territorial units drew their strength principally from the three counties of West Wales, and in them Carmarthen took a special interest by reason of the fact that most of its soldier sons belonged to them.

Her Highness Princess Marie Louise was there to present medals to a number of local men. Major J F de Rees, commanding the 4th Welsh, responding to the welcoming comments to the troops, gave a record of the 4th Welsh in war, including their move to Bedford in April 1915 to join the 53rd Division, from where after hard training they departed to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. They saw action in the Dardanelles and suffered such heavy losses, with no senior officers left, that  the Battalion was attached to the 2nd South Wales Borderers for a period. Afterwards, followed action in Egypt, Gaza and Palestine, the Battalion taking part in all the actions up to the period of the Armistice. He listed the honours won by the Battalion.

A memorial service followed the civic welcome  during which it was said in respect of those who had fallen: ‘You may search their names in vain on the pages of your country’s history. Honours perchance have not fallen to their lot, but we who knew them and who, alas, can see them no more with the naked eye, can realise that their memory is something unperishable.’

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Today we remember not only those who died during the course of the war but also those who survived but who now, through the passage of time, are once more united with their fallen comrades from so many years before.

Each one had a story to tell, although some were only able to tell it many years later and some never felt able to talk about their experiences of war. We have recounted some of their stories here, but there are still many more to shine a light on yet.

The Great War