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William Jones Back to War Memorial David William Lloyd
Richard Lewis’ brothers Thomas and William are both commemorated here on our Memorial Plaque, but Richard is not. He is, however, commemorated on an official British Commonwealth War Graves Headstone, in the churchyard of St. Melangell.
Richard was born in 1882, the eldest son of Richard and Margaret. He was two years older than William and nine years older than Thomas. In the 1911 census, Richard is recorded as married to an Ellen Jane Lewis and had two children one aged two and one aged 7 months. They lived at Ivy Cottage, Llangynog, and his father was living there with them. At this time he was working in the Llangynog Granite Quarries as a waggoner. However, his mother is recorded as staying with her married daughter, grandchildren, and other family members at Little Nut Tree, Llynclys.
Richard joined the 10th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, which wasn’t formed until June 1918 in France. It took part in the following operations of the 100 days offensive leading to final victory: The final advance in Flanders and the fifth Battle of Ypres. After Armistice, the Battalion was engaged in road repair and refresher courses for men returning to civilian trades. Demobilisation proceeded rapidly during January and February 1919, and his battalion ended the war in Belgium.
Tragically, Richard Lewis passed away on 8th December, 1919 at the Cottage Hospital, Oswestry. He presumably had returned to quarry work and died from, according to the death certificate “the effects of a fall of stone, causing bruises of skull and vertebra and paralysis which was accelerated by a condition of tuberculosis. He lived just 13 weeks and 2 days.” Private Richard Lewis was 37 years old when he died, and is commemorated with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.
Statistics of the time show us that after the war was over many were left with considerable scar tissue on their lungs due to the effects of gas. Gas was used liberally by both sides and unfortunately, this scarred tissue was particularly susceptible to tuberculosis attack.
We believe that this is what happened to both Edward Evans and Richard Lewis. This is why they are both quite rightly recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and are included in their list of war dead, even though they died over a year after the Armistice was signed.