Wynne, John

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John Wynne

27226, Private, 8th Welsh Regiment
Killed in action, 8 August 1915, aged 37
No known grave (Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey)

CWGC registered (no family details recorded)

John Wynne was born at Llansantffraid Glan Conwy in 1877 to David Wynne and his wife Margaret Wynne (née [probably] Davies). David Wynne was a sawyer and later a stonemason from Eglwysbach and he married Margaret in 1869. They had at least 10 children: Margaret Jane (1869-1874), William (1871-1874), Annie (1873-1949), Catherine Jane (Kate) (1875-?), John, Elizabeth (1879-?), David (qv) (1881-1915), William (1884-?), Hugh Edward (1887-1957) and Thomas (1889-1966). They also brought up Annie’s illegitimate son Llewelyn Ewart Wynne (1892-1969). In 1881 the family lived at Glan Conwy (address not identified); John Wynne (3) was recorded as a scholar. Ten years later, the family lived at “Brickfield Cottage”, Llanrhos.

In 1900, John Wynne married Mariana Roberts and they lived in Llandudno at 2 Pant-y-Wenol, John being described as a bricklayer in the 1901 Census. A son David Richard Wynne was born in Llandudno on 12 May 1903 after which the family moved to South Wales. A daughter Margaret Jane Wynne was born in Porth, Glamorganshire on 6 January 1906. The 1911 Census records the family plus John’s brother, Hugh Edward Wynne, living at Llanhilleth in Monmouthshire. John was employed by a colliery as a stonemason and Hugh a hewer. Mariana Wynne died in 1913 and school records indicate that at about this time, the family returned to Llandudno living in “Drummond Cottage”.

At the end of August 1914, John Wynne volunteered at Llandudno to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. John’s regimental number was 12510 and he probably joined the 8th (Service) Battalion RWF at Wrexham. An early solution to the shortage of labour within the army was to designate a number of infantry battalions as Pioneer Battalions. Though trained as infantry, these battalions’ primary task was as heavy labour: making roads and digging trenches for example. The average volunteer infantrymen of the time was not particularly robust and men with a background in strong physical work were required for the Pioneer Battalions. Consequently, on the restructuring of these battalions in January 1915, many men were transferred out and many men were transferred in. As a stonemason, John Wynne was an ideal candidate for a Pioneer Battalion and he was transferred to the  the 8th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers), of the Welsh Regiment in January 1915 with a regimental number of 27226.

The 8th Battalion Welsh Regiment had formed in Cardiff in August 1914 as part of K1, Kitchener’s first new army and embarked at Avonmouth in June 1915. It landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 5 August 1915. On 8 August 1915, the Allied forces began an offensive now known as the Battle of Chunuk Bair. Though initially successful, there were many casualties: the war diary of the 8th Welsh Regiment recorded that four other ranks were killed, 154 were wounded, and 266 were missing. John Wynne was presumably amongst the missing for he was listed as being killed in action and had no known grave. He was aged 37 when he was killed. His effects became the property of his children whose guardian was John’s sister, Mrs Kate Roberts.

John Wynne’s nephew Llewelyn Wynne also served at Gallipoli but survived the war.

Known memorials:

  • Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno

2 comments to Wynne, John

  • Tracy DANE

    Thank you so much for this information, it compliments the research I had already done. John Wynne was my great great uncle, my great grandmother’s brother. My great grandmother had an illegitimate son, Llewelyn, who was brought up by her wider family whilst she left Llandudno for London, which I think would have made Lewelyn a special nephew for John Wynne. Llewelyn signed up and was also sent to Gallipoli, he landed just after John Wynne was killed (I would have to check my research, but it was something like the day after John died) – I like to think that John was watching over him, as the young Llewelyn did come home.
    If you are interested I can send you some of my research, including the War diary for the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment for the month of August 1915, covering the landings and when John died, and a photo of him.

    • admin

      Thank you Tracy for your comments. I have taken the opportunity to review your great great uncle and have sorted out the mystery of his previous service with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Please read the revised narrative.
      I do have access to the war diary which I have consulted and I do have an image on file.By all means add an image to the Facebook page as I be updating that in a a few minutes.
      Thank you once again. Andy

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