Names on the Sketty Methodist Church War Memorial

  1. George Beynon aged 26, 1892-1918
  2. George Collins aged 25, 1893-1918
  3. Clifford Laurence Cornelius aged 22, 1896-1918
  4. Sydney Critchley aged 23, 1894-1917
  5. Richard Evans aged 29, 1889-1919
  6. William Gordon aged 26, 1889-1915
  7. David George Gunston aged 22, 1892-1917
  8. Stephen Lamont aged 19, 1899-1918
  9. Harry Thomas aged 25, 1891-1917
  10. John Wheaton aged 28, 1890-1918

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Surviving Soldiers of the First World War Commemorated on Sketty Wesley Church Memorial

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Some Newspaper articles showing Wartime feelings in Sketty

Cambrian Daily Leader August 31st 1914

Sketty Chapel Scenes

Public Protests

Dr. Rawlings and German Militarism – His Explanation

There were extraordinary scenes at Sketty Brotherhood on Sunday afternoon arising out of an attempt by Dr. J.H. Rawlings JP to speak on “The World’s Debt to Germany.” In view of the present position of international affairs, it was expected that there would be protests, and the chapel was packed to its utmost.

Dr. Rawlings himself conducted the service, and everything went well until he rose to speak.

Then Mr. Charles Eden stood up from just under the pulpit and got as far as “May I have one word?” when Dr. Rawlings interrupted with “This is a place of worship and if you want to say anything when I have done.”

Mr. Eden said “I wish, Dr. Rawlings, to make a solemn protest against any lecture on ‘The World’s Debt to Germany’ (loud applause in which Dr. Rawlings reply was inaudible).

The speaker endeavoured to proceed, but Mr. Eden again said he protested against such a lecture at the present time. It was unthinkable (cries of ‘sit down’ and ‘speak up’). Those who are loyal citizens of the King and country will follow me out of this hall.

A dozen or so around Mr. Eden then filed down through the congregation to be joined by others as they went. Dr. Rawlings was understood to say this was an impolite way of doing things. He would not have so interrupted in a church.

The interrupters commenced singing the National Anthem as they reached the door, and the organ and congregation joined in. Someone at the door wanted to ask a question, and the doctor was advised to change the subject.

“If those who are returning will listen two minutes they will find that this objection was a most ill-considered and unreasonable one” said Dr. Rawlings, amid loud applause. Proceeding amid constant interruption from the back and outside, Dr. Rawlings said the unthinkable had become a terrible, sorrowful fact, and today Germany stood at the bar of the nations. Most men would pronounce her guilty, and she was just waiting her sentence-it would be solemn and terrible.

There being more disturbance, the speaker said if they thought he was going to say a single word to paliate the greatness of the appalling crime of Germany they were greatly mistaken. (Loud applause) The whole sorrow and shame of it lay too heavily on his heart for him to stand there or anywhere else, to defend the action of the Kaiser and Germany, although he wished to distinguish between the Kaiser and the German nation (Hear, hear). Every man who thought he came there for such a purpose was grievously mistaken, and did not know him. No, Germany was guilty, and he would hold up his hand for any righteous sentence, but it must be a sentence cast in view of Germany’s past history.

When a prisoner was found guilty, before sentence was pronounced they ought to ask what was known against him. A fair-minded judge, a generous-(A voice: “Or a German”) — or a Christian judge, would be influenced in pronouncing sentence.

More interruption in which there were cries of “Get outside” and “Put him out’ directed against an interrupter.

Heard with great difficulty, Dr. Rawlings went on to say that he wanted his audience to think of Germany’s long history, not the history of the Kaiser and the military group. Thinking of that, there was no fair minded man but would be bound to say that not only Britain, but the whole world, owed a debt that could never be repaid to the German nation, as distinct from the German rulers. They all knew very much of what we owed to the science, art, philosophy, music and the theology of Germany.

Dr. Rawlings was going into detail when someone at the rear shouted “Let’s have God Save the King lads”. The National Anthem was sung, there were ‘hurrahs’. Dr. Rawlings tried unsuccessfully to make himself heard, and “Rule Britannia” followed.

Dr. Rawlings said something about the issue of summonses, and said he would be glad if those who knew the interrupters would take their names. “Rule Britannia” continued, and portions of the audience left the building. Dr. Rawlings warned interrupters that if there were further disturbances he should ask that names be taken, and they would be summoned. If they would listen a few minutes they would find he was not going to say a word against their feelings.

Dr. Rawlings touched on the German invention of printing, and there being more disorder, left the pulpit. Until his return the audience sang. The doctor said he had instructed the police, and it was their duty to remove their disturbers. He was greatly grieved, he added, that the first interruption should have come from such a man as Mr. Charles Eden (loud applause)whom he begged in the vestry not to make any protest.

There were more interruptions at the back, and one of those responsible was quickly removed.

There was comparative quietness again and Dr. Rawlings said that he had better tell the audience in outline what he had meant to say. The audience was excited and disturbed, and he could not stand too much excitement. He was very sorry that this utter misconception had occurred. It had been fostered by a number of people who were obsessed with the idea that no one could think correctly unless they thought as they did, and the general impression caused was that he was to speak in favour of the Kaiser. He had never dreamt of doing so (applause). Dr. Rawlings went on to speak briefly of Germany’s contribution to invention, science, etc. and its share in the Reformation. After some minutes he was prevented from continuing, and eventually he remarked that he certainly thought the police were not doing their duty with the disturbers. Ultimately, the doctor said he had intended to finish with a solemn word-that they owed a debt to Germany and to the world in that German militarism should be destroyed.

There were cries of “What about the Germans treatment of the Belgians?” and a big disturbance in the gallery held up the meeting completely. There was more of the National Anthem, and someone in the gallery was reminded by the doctor that “This is the House of God, not a house of pleasure”.

The service was then closed with Kipling’s Recessional, “Lest We Forget”. There was an interruption in the closing prayer, and someone was told to “Be a gentleman”.

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Impressive Services at the Dedication. Impressive open-air services were held at Sketty on Sunday afternoon, the occasion being the dedication of the four shrines which have been erected in honour of local lads who have joined the Colours. A fifth is to be erected outside Sketty Church in honour of friends who live outside the parish. The procession lined up at Sketty Cross in the following order: The Chaplain (Rev. H. J. Stewart, Vicar of Sketty), 3rd Glamorgan Volunteers, C.LB., V.A.D., and a splendid muster of the general public.

The shrine at Dillwyn Road was first visited. The Vicar said the Cross was an emblem of sacrifice, and he hoped the shrine would remind everybody of the noble sacrifice of the lads whose names were included in the Roll of Honour and who had given up everything to go and fight for the safety of those at home. Mr. Charles Eden said he honoured the Sketty lads who had gone voluntarily: combing-out was not necessary at Skettv. The shrine was tastlully decorated with wreaths and flowers. On this scroll were 95 names, the following having fallen: William Gordon, John Morris, Wm. H. Rees, W. C. Jerram and Michael Connors.

The second shrine was at Tycoch Road, and this again was beautifully adorned. After the Vicar had read the names and prayed, a hymn was sung. On this scroll there were 88 names, the following having died for their country: Harry Isaac, Harold Cope, Brinley Davies, John Sergeant and Hart E. Jenkins.

The Kimberley Road shrine contained 94 names, the following having been killed: Aubrey Smale, Tom Carpenter and David John.

At the shrine at Sketty Avehue, the Vicar read a letter from Mr. C. E. Cleeves, who regretted his inability to attend. Reading out the scroll, the Vicar referred to Miss Ethel Hodgens, the only Sketty lady who was in France on active service. The scroll here disclosed 96 names, the following having made the supreme sacrifice: Dd. mo. Allis, John Mackay, Harry Wallis, Donald Burnie, and Jones.

Concluding, the Vicar, after a brief speech by Mr. A. E. Andrews, said he was about the proudest Vicar in the kingdom. When they had completed the lists he thought they would find that nearly a quarter of the population had joined the Colours. He hoped they would all think of their friends when they saw the shrines and murmur a fervent God bless them as they passed by. The function ended with the singing of God Save the King at the Sketty Cross.

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South Wales Weekly Post 4th January 1919


WAR MEMORIAL FOR SKETTY. Mr. E. H. Griffiths. Picton Villa, Sketty, writes:—As every town, village and hamlet is now considering the best method to show our respect to the heroes who have fallen in this terrible war, may I approach the inhabitants of Sketty to have a general meeting called to discuss the matter of a suggested large hall and library to be erected and to be called the Memorial Hall. I do not think anything can stand in our way to make it a memorial worthy of the sacrifice the boys have made for us. To secure a real success and raise the funds, the hall should be undenominational and be governed by a committee representative of all the churches in the neighbourhood.

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South Wales Weekly Post 1st  March 1919


SKETIY’S WAR MEMORIAL At. Swansea Parks committee on Tuesday Mr. A. Perkins, secretary of the committee appointed for the purpose of erecting a Sketty war memorial, waited upon the committee and asked if the Corporation would be prepared to take over and maintain the woodland opposite the Sketty Church, providing the Sketty people purchased the freehold and presented it to the town. The idea, was to erect on the open space a monument containing the names (64) of the Sketty boys who had fallen in the war.

The committee received the proposal sympathetically but decided to defer the consideration of the matter for a report from the Borough Surveyor.

Note: nothing further came of this proposal but it is believed that the small park and children’s playground on the corner of Park Terrace and Cory Street was built as Sketty’s Memorial Park.

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South Wales Weekly Post 14th June 1919

DEMOBBED: West Wales Welcomes to Returned Fighters

Sketty was en fete on Tuesday with bunting to welcome the demobbed soldiers and sailors of the parish back, and a reunion on a generous scale was held in the decorated Church Hall. The building, being too small to accommodate the whole of the gallant boys on one evening, half were invited that evening and the remainder tonight (Wednesday). Refreshments were served in the buffet in the Minor Hall.

Rev. H. J. Stewart (vicar) presided and said no less than 550 men from Sketty had answered the call, of whom 425 had come back, 65 were still serving, and he was sorry, yet proud, to say that 67 had given their lives in the cause they had fought for: (Cheers) It was a wonderful and noble record for a comparatively small place like Sketty. (Applause.) He wished all a hearty welcome to the old parish.

Rev. Ivor H. James, pastor of Sketty Baptist Church, said they naturally sympathised with those of their friends, whose joy and pleasure it was not at that time to receive their loved ones back again; but it was their satisfaction and that of his audience to know that they gave themselves in the cause of liberty, and “because they died we live today”.

Mr. C. E. Cleeves spoke some cheery words, and Mr. H.S. Cook said that, speaking not only for himself, but for the inhabitants of that village and the town of Swansea, if there was anything they could do for them they would do it. They must not hesitate to come to them, and it would be their privilege to help them (Applause).

Mrs. Charles Eden added a few kindly words.

The musical programme that followed, arranged by Mr. Lawson Evans, was, as usual, versatile and first class. Miss Dorothy Davies played the accompaniments, and the other artistes were Miss Townsend, little Miss Doris Francis, Miss Mary Lewis, Mr. Val. Raymond (illusionist), Mr. Nixy O’Roy (impersonator and dancer), Mr. A. Lyons (comique), all being encored. Mr. Evans received warm thanks for the treat.

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South Wales Weekly Post 20th September 1919


Sketty Chapel’s Memorial to Fighters.

An interesting and impressive function took place at Sketty Welsh Chapel on Wednesday evening, when two handsome Sicilian marble tablets (5ft. 6in. by 3ft. 9in.), with red marble columns and slate backs, and also a white marble commemoration stone, the work of Mr. W. Brown, sculptor, Gower Street. Swansea, were unveiled. The Rev. J. T. Gregory presided, and after paying eloquent testimony to his predecessor (the late Rev. D. 0. Rees) and referring to the high esteem in which he was I held by all his colleagues, asked Miss Ann Davies, one of the oldest members, to unveil the tablet to his memory, which she did with emotion and in eloquent silence.

Then he invited Mr. Bernard Rees, son of their late pastor to do a similar service with regard to the tablet to the following seven heroes who had fallen in battle:—Henry Harris, Lewis John, D.J. Morris, Edgar Jones, Walter Malt, Willie Sargeant and Harry Thomas. Mr. Rees, after doing delivered a fine address on the patriotism and bravery of the lads.

Mrs. Llewellyn John, chairman and treasurer of the committee for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Fund of the church and corresponding secretary, was then invited to unveil the stone containing the following’ names of those who had served in the naval and military forces from that church: W. W. Jones, A. E. Lake, David Waters, Jack Thomas, B. H. Rosser, W. H. Rosser, Trevor Walters, W. L Mitchell. R. Ellis, J. Ellis, J. Griffiths, Walter Malt, Willie Sargeant, Harry Thomas, Isaac. Evans, Albert Jones Morgan Williams, David Rees, Willie Bevan, Ivor Thomas, David Price, B. G. Winch, Lewis James, F. Nicholas, Leonard Lloyd, Sam Rees. Lewis Johns, Walter Longdon. Harry Harris, Lewis Jones, Geo. Davies, D. J. Morris, F. B. Williams, S. Morgans, David Davies, Llewellyn Jenkins, Edgar Jones, John Lloyd, Ivor Watkins, James John, W. J. Davies, Rees Warren, David Roberts, Evan Hugh Jones, Trevor Jenkins, Willie E. Davies, Herbert G. Morgans, Phillip Bevan, Willie Williams and Rees Evans.

Mrs. Jones gave an inspiring address and also recited, with rare effect, Kipling’s Recessional. Mr. Isaac Johns, having made feeling reference to the late pastor, thanked the workers who had collected for the tablets, including their esteemed secretary, Mr. A. B. Davies, and the meeting closed the singing of “Lead Kindly Light.”

The Sketty Wesleyan Church memorial was unveiled in 1921 by Thomas Edwards, whom I think was the father of Ivor Edwards, brotherhood secretary, for whom Dick Evans was cousin and best man – so presumably his uncle.

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