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George Thomas Langford

  • 18543, Corporal, 16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 22 April 1918, aged 20
  • Buried at Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert, France
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

George Thomas Langford, the son of a coal miner William Langford and his wife Susan Maud Langford (née Berryman) was born in Llantrisant on 7 June 1897. In 1911, the family lived at 87 Jones Street, Blaenclydach, near Tonypandy; William was as a colliery foreman and his son George a hewer assistant.

George was one of several who enlisted at Tonypandy on 28 November 1914, joining the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Llandudno the following day, his service number being 18543. George was six months underage.  The 16th RWF had formed at Llandudno earlier that month with volunteers surplus to the 13th RWF. By August 1915, the battalion had moved to Winchester though that autumn George returned to Llandudno to marry Hannah Elizabeth Owen of Penrhynside. The 16th RWF disembarked in France on 2 December 1915 at which time George was a lance corporal and six months underage. He was later promoted to corporal. At a date and place unknown, George Langford was wounded and spent some time back in the UK, enjoying a period of leave with his wife and daughter Laura (b 11 December 1915). George later served for a time as a non-combatant before rejoining his battalion.

The 38th (Welsh) Division had been held in reserve during the early part of the German Spring Offensive until 11 April when it joined the front near Bouzincourt. Elements of the division attacked the German positions on 22 April in an attempt to retake some lost territory. George Roberts was listed as missing and later as being killed in action on or after 22 April 1918 aged 20. He was buried at Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert, France. Also killed in that action were Corporal William Matthew Hughes of the 16th RWF and Private Owen Roberts of the 13th (both qv).

Hannah Elizabeth Langford married William Roberts in 1924. She died in 1943.

 

James P Law

  • 22900, Lance Corporal, 7th East Lancashire Regiment
  • Killed in action, 26 October 1916, aged 37
  • Buried at Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of John Joseph and Mary Ellen Law, of 39, Harris St, St. Helens, Lancs; husband of Emily Ellen Law, of 19 Dryden St, Padiham, Burnley)

James Law was the son of John Joseph Law, a stonemason, and his wife Mary Ellen Law (née Helsby) of 2 Newton Street, Pendleton. He was born on 22 March 1879. In 1891, the family lived with Mary Ellen Law’s widowed mother at St. Helens, James being described as a scholar. The Marriage Index for Prescot in Lancashire for 1901 records the marriage of James to Emily Ellen Sims. In 1911, the couple plus three children, Clara, Violet Ellen and Alice, lived at 8 Victoria Avenue, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno, James being described as a bricklayer.

Sadly, James Law’s service record no longer exists. Soldiers Died in the Great War tells us that he enlisted at Llandudno, that his service number was 22900 and that he was in the East Lancashire Regiment. His service number indicates that he joined the regiment in July or August 1915 and it was almost certainly to the 10th (Reserve) Battalion. The 10th ELR started life at Plymouth in October 1914 as a Service Battalion in K4 but became a Reserve Battalion in April 1915, training subalterns and men for the front line battalions. James Law disembarked in France on 17 December 1915 and joined the 7th (Service) Battalion ELR.

James Law was killed in action on 26 October 1916 aged 37. On that day, the battalion had repulsed a strong German attack near Thiepval. A newspaper report of the time tells that he was a member of a patrol sent out to locate the German line. He was shot in the neck helping a wounded man. He was buried near where he fell 1 km north of Thiepval but now rests at the nearby Mill Road Cemetery.

Emily Law married Samuel Basnett in 1935 and died in 1975.

 

Philip Hebdon Lecomber

  • Lieutenant, 2/7th Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 27 March 1918, aged 21
  • No known grave (Pozières Memorial, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of WG and Margaret S Lecomber, of “Phildene”, Prestatyn, Flint)
  • Not a local casualty
    • Memorial in St. Tudno’s Churchyard`

Philip Lecomber (or LeComber) and his twin brother George Walteling Lecomber were born on 3 November 1896 at Brooklands, Cheshire. The boys were the sons of William Godfrey Lecomber and his wife Margaret Speakman Lecomber (née Pendlebury). The twins had an elder brother William Eric and were joined by a sister Margaret Frieda in 1900. In 1901, the family lived at “Marsland”, Marsland Road, Sale, William Lecomber being described as a mechanical engineer and coppersmith. A newspaper report of visitors to Colwyn Bay dated 1901 records the family as holidaying in the resort.

The London Gazette in 1908 recorded the dissolving of the partnership of William Godfrey Lecomber and his father William Webster Lecomber, brewers’ engineers, coppersmiths, brass and iron founders &c, by mutual consent on the latter’s retirement. The Census for 1911 recorded the family as being boarders at “Clywd Dale”, Pwllglas, near Ruthin, having been joined by Edna Webster Lecomber though Philip and George were recorded as being boarders at Denstone College in Staffordshire. The now-retired William Webster Lecomber lived at “Red Court”, Church Walks, Llandudno.

On the outbreak of the First World War, William Eric Lecomber joined the Lancashire Fusiliers, George Lecomber joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (later attached to the Royal Flying Corps) and Philip Lecomber joined the Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force). Philip may have joined the TF because on the outbreak of war, he was too young to join the New Armies which were forming at the time. It is likely that he joined the 2/7th Battalion which formed at Manchester in August 1914 as a second-line unit. On Christmas Day 1915, Philip was commissioned as a second lieutenant. The 2/7th MR landed at Boulogne on 7 March 1917 and Philip was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1917.

Philip Hebdon Lecomber was killed in action aged 21 near Framerville, France on 27 March 1918 during a German advance now known as the Battle of Rosières. According to the war diary for the battalion, the total casualties from 21 March 1918 to 30 March 1918 were 37 killed, 214 wounded in action and 321 missing. This action was effectively the end of the 2/7th Manchester’s – it was reduced to cadre strength (administrators and instructors) and was disbanded in July 1918.

The previous year, Philip’s father William Godfrey Lecomber had been elected as the Mayor of Ruthin and it was in this capacity when he and his wife received the news of their son’s death. There were reports in the local press that Philip had been recommended for a Victoria Cross. The probate calendar records that Philip Lecomber of “Dedwyddfa”, Ruthin left his effects of £192 5s 1d to his father.

Both of Philip’s brothers survived the war, as did his uncle Harold Rogers Lecomber OBE, a major in the Royal Air Force, who had previously managed a Ford dealership in Llandudno.

 

John Stanley Levis

  • Wireless Operator, SS Mahana, Merchant Marine
  • Died of illness, 8 October 1918, aged 20
  • Buried at Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

John Stanley Levis was born at Llandudno on 13 September 1898. He was the son of John William Levis, a bath attendant, and his wife Annie Sofia Levis (née Lyne). When Stanley was baptised at St. Paul’s Church, Craig-y-Don on 23 October 1898, the family’s address was 6 Pleasant Street, Craig-y-Don. Stanley had an elder brother George and in 1901, the family lived at 7 Woodland Terrace, Llandudno. In 1904, Stanley was recorded as a pupil at Lloyd Street School, his address being “Camscot”, Winllan Avenue. The same year, his sister Evelyn was born. The school records indicate that Stanley left Lloyd Street School for the new Dyffryn Road School in September 1905. It was recorded that he left to join John Bright County School. In 1911, Stanley Levis was described as a scholar. The family now lived at “Islwyn”, Trinity Street.

In 1916, Stanley was certified as a wireless operator by the General Post Office and by 1918 was serving on the SS Mahana. The Mahana, completed in 1917 and operated by the Shaw, Savill & Albion line, had been chartered to carry Australian troops between Australia and Egypt.

Stanley Levis died of fever whilst at sea in the Suez Roads on 8 October 1918 aged 20 and he was buried at Suez War Memorial Cemetery.

 

Edward Samuel Lloyd

  • J/39238, Able Seaman, HMS Bombala, Royal Navy
  • Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action, 3 May 1918, aged 19
  • Buried on beach on coast of Mauritania, NW Africa (Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Edward Samuel Lloyd was born on 28 September 1898 at Llandudno. His parents were Llewelyn Lloyd and Ellen Lloyd (née Williams). The family lived at Penrhynside before moving to 18 David Street, Penmaenmawr; Llewelyn Lloyd was a workman at Derbishire Quarries. There were three children to the marriage: Margaret, Edward and [unknown]. Llewelyn Lloyd died in 1905 and Ellen Lloyd married Hugh Hughes in 1908. The Census for 1911 records Hugh and Ellen Hughes and Edward S Lloyd living at “Pant y wenol”, Bodafon Road, Llandudno.

Edward Samuel Lloyd volunteered to join the Royal Navy in 1915. He had previously been an agricultural labourer. His date of engagement was from his future 18th birthday on 28 September 1916. The engagement was for a period of 12 years from that date. He joined HMS Powerful, a training establishment at Devonport as a boy 2 on 1 May 1915. As a boy 1, he was posted to HMS Africa on 26 August 1915 and as an ordinary seaman to HMS King Alfred on 23 April 1917. On 1 July 1917, he was posted to HMS Bombala. Built as Willow Branch, HMS Bombala was a Q-ship – a heavily armed merchant ship designed to lure U-boats into making surfaces attacks.

On 25 April 1918, HMS Bombala encountered U-153 and U-154 off the Cape Verde Islands. A gun battle resulted in casualties on both sides and the crew of Bombala escaped in two lifeboats before it sank. One of the lifeboats was never seen again, but the other reached the coast of Mauritania on 2 May 198. Half of the original survivors had died at sea and the two strongest to make landfall set off in search of water. They returned to find their shipmates, including Edward, aged 19, had died. He was buried on the beach and the two survivors were rescued by friendly Arabs. Edward’s date of death was officially recorded as 3 May 1917. Recovering the bodies of those who are buried on the beach was deemed impossible or impractical and he is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton.

 

William Edward Lloyd

  • 678619, Private, 116th Canadian Infantry
  • Killed in action, 28 August 1917, aged 33
  • Buried at Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, France
  • CWGC registered (Eldest son of Peter Lloyd, of “Seabright”, Deganwy Avenue, Llandudno, North Wales; husband of Helen Lloyd, of 833 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, Canada)

William Edward Lloyd, the son of Peter Lloyd and Sarah Elizabeth Lloyd (née Jones) was born in Manchester on 11 December 1883. At the time of his parents’ wedding in Manchester on 2 March 1883, his father was described as a collier but by 1891, his father was a general labourer and the family lived at “Penbellan”, close to Gloddaeth Hall, the home of Lady Augusta Mostyn. In 1901 the family lived at 9 Mostyn Street, Llandudno – William was described as a stone cutter. William had three younger brothers: David Jones Lloyd,  John Lloyd and James Thomas Lloyd. Ten years later the family lived at “Seabright”, Deganwy Avenue, Llandudno – William was then described as a stonemason.

On 28 April 1912, William disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia having sailed from Liverpool. Four days later in Toronto he married Ellen (Nelly) Anderson though on his affidavit he stated that he had lived in the city since 16 April. There was good reason for this urgency for their daughter Margaret Ann was born on 18 May. William Edward Ronald Lloyd was born in 1913 and Elizabeth Helen Lloyd was born in 1915.

On 24 January 1916, William volunteered to join the Canadian Army. He gave his address as 14 Greary Avenue, Toronto and stated that he had served in the 109th Regiment of the Active Militia for three months. It was the 109th Regiment that recruited men for the 169th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the winter of 1915/1916 in Toronto. The 169th sailed to England in October 1916 but it was absorbed into the 5th Canadian Reserve Battalion (Central Ontario) on 5 January 1917. At a date unknown, William was transferred to the 116th Canadian Infantry. The 116th Battalion (Ontario County) CEF had formed in December 1915 and embarked for England in July 1916. Some troops were used to reinforce other units but on 11 February 1917 it disembarked in France fighting with the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division.

William Edward Lloyd was killed in action on 28 August 1917 aged 33. The battalion’s war diary for that day records the battalion being near Lens, supplying working parties for trench digging and carrying water and ammunition to the front-line; four soldiers were killed that day.

The Toronto press noted that William’s wife and three children lived at 247 Bartlett Avenue and that one of his brothers (John) had recently returned to London, Ontario after being twice wounded and that his brothers David and James were serving in France with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Ellen Lloyd died of appendicitis and bowel obstruction in 1926.

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