Aber Valley Heritage Museum
Gwern Avenue
CF83 4HA
Tel: 02920 830445


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Private Williams Howells

Private Williams Howells (20526) 3rd Welsh

Died of wounds on 28th September 1918, aged 42. Commemorated: Memorial Clock, Senghenydd. Buried Penyrheol Cemetery.

This is a photograph of my husband’s Grandfather William Howells pictured with his wife, daughter Miriam and his son also called William.

William Howells Snr. was born in Cefn-Coed, Merthyr and came to work in Senghenydd in the Universal Colliery. He lived in High Street Abertridwr. 

He was working in the pit at the time of the explosion but survived, we are not sure if he was not working that day or if he was on the other side of the pit.

He joined the army in 1915 and fought in WW1.  He died of injuries in France on 28 September 1918 not long before the end of the war and left a wife and two young children.

His name is on the war memorial in Senghenydd but for many years we did not know where he had been buried. 

After a lot of research we found that he had been brought back from France to a hospital in Newcastle and pronounced dead on arrival. 

He was returned home to the Aber Valley and is buried in Penyrheol Cemetery surrounded by victims of the pit disaster.

Information Source: Ceinwen & David Howells, David is the Grandson of Pte. Howells


A typical act of bravery took place on 17th August 1917 when Sgt Gilbert Lloyd, (Senghenydd), South Wales Borderers who, together with five others soldiers, held an isolated position until his battalion had been relieved and then brought out their wounded whilst still under fire.

He was awarded the MM at a local ceremony held on “The Rec” in August 19, 1919.  At this same ceremony where the villagers turned out in their thousands to see Colonel H E Morgan Lindsay, CB, DSO award the decorations to Sgt Lloyd and the men and also to the families of those Killed in Action (KIA). All listed below.

Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)   Military Medal (MM)

Cpl. Tom Locke Sapper Robert Jackson

Pte. William Higgs Bdr. H C Fleet

Dvr. R G Taylor

Gnr. David Davies

Sgt. King Humphries

Pte. Syd Edwards


Distinguished Conduct Medal Military Cross (MC)

Sgt. T H Brown (KIA) Lt. J A Roberts(KIA)

(accepted by his wife) (accepted by his father)

Photo of Sgt Gilbert Lloyd


Wounded on three occasions before winning the MM in 1917.  Became a


Lieutenant in Home Guard, Aber and

and Senghenydd Platoon 1940-46.

Secretary of local Ex-Servicemen’s

Club for over 50 years.