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Thomas E Jones Back to War Memorial William Lewis
Thomas was born in 1891 to Richard and Margaret Lewis. The 1891 census was taken when he was just a few months old and he is recorded as living with his parents, his seven year old brother William (also commemorated on the Llangynog War Memorial), and three other siblings – including Richard, who died in 1918 but is not listed on the War Memorial. A link under the picture of the War Memorial gives information about him.
They were all living at Buarth Glas, Llangynog. By 1901 the family had moved to Pen-y-Buarth, a property very close-by, and now there were eight children in total. In 1911 we know that the 20 year old Thomas was working as a collier’s haulier and living with his uncle, Griffith Lewis, in Treorchy, Rhondda. It was in Treorchy that Thomas enlisted into the East Yorkshire Regiment.
In 1915, the battalion was operating in the Ypres area of France when the Germans used poisoned gas for the first time. From 1915 to 1917 they were engaged in a number of battles, and in 1918 they fought on the Somme in the Battles of the Lys and the Aisne. This left the troops exhausted. In August they were involved in training newly-arrived American troops.
Presumably, some time before the end of the war, Thomas was sent to do duty on Bere Island, near Cork, in Ireland. We simply don’t know why he was sent to Bere Island, maybe to recuperate from the effects of the war. However, we do know he tragically died there, at the age of 28, of influenza, on the 11th November 1918, on the last day of hostilities - Armistice Day.
Thomas is commemorated with his brother William, on a headstone in the churchyard of St. Melangell. Because he was still in military service at the time of his death, his grave is recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having war grave status.