Ystalyfera Fallen

War Graves & Remembrance Graves


This is the memorial page for William Henwood, native of Ystalyfera, killed during the First World War. He appears to have been known by his middle name of Tom.

The information on Tom Henwood comes principally from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameWilliam Thomas Henwood
Date of Death27th September 1915
Place of DeathFrance
Age at Death17
Unit and RegimentWelsh Guards; 1st Bn.
Service Number886
Additional InformationBorn Ystalyfera. Lived 7 Clare Road, Ystalyfera.
Remembrance Grave  
MemorialLOOS MEMORIAL - FRANCE; Panel 10.
Local MemorialsYstalyfera War Memorial
Marble Plaque - English Congregational Church Ystalyfera (Demolished 2005) Plaque now housed in Royal British Legion.
Swansea Cenotaph - Panel Army WWI under Welsh Guards
Family DetailsSon of William Henwood (Born Ystalyfera 1874) Tin Man, and Eleanor (Born Ystalyfera 1875-1919)* Married 1894
Known BrothersHenry Percival Henwood (Born Ystalyfera 1901-1941)
Lionel Gwyn Henwood (Born Ystalyfera 1902-1959)
Known SistersMary Lavina Henwood (Born Ystalyfera 1897-1940); Married David Thomas
Iris Maud Henwood (Born Ystalyfera 1904, died Rochford, Essex in March 1982) married Cecil Hume

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 9th October 1915 :-

Several Ystalyfera soldiers, including Private Leslie Thomas, Sid. Edwards (Pantteg), Horace Yorke (late of Messrs. D. Lloyd and Sons), and Tom Henwood (Clare Road), took part with their regiment (the Welsh Guards) in a battle on the western front about a fortnight ago. And we regret to learn that Private Yorke was wounded in the encounter and has since been brought to hospital in England. Private Leslie Thomas in a graphic letter to his parents (Mr. William Thomas, grocer Pantteg and Mrs. Thomas) stated that Private Henwood had fallen in the battle, but the War Office states that Private Henwood's name does not appear in the casualty list. It is possible he has been taken prisoner.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 16th October 1915 :-

With deep regret we have to announce the sad news of the death in action in France of Private Tom Henwood, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Henwood of Clare Road, Ystalyfera. Readers will remember that in our columns last week we referred to the fact that letters had been received from the gallant soldier's local friends in his regiment, stating that he had fallen in the fight, but as no confirmation of an official nature was received, it was thought that possibly Private Henwood had been wounded and taken prisoner. All doubts were set at rest on Tuesday, however, when the distressed parents received official notice from the War Office stating that Private Henwood was killed at the end of last month in the fighting around Loos. It is safe to say that no Valley casualty occurring since the commencement of the war has aroused deeper or more widespread sympathy and regret than the news of Private Henwood's death. He was the son of well-known Ystalyfera parents and was a lad of a particularly happy and genial disposition. For two or three years he had been employed at the offices of the Pearl Insurance Co. in Ystalyfera and Pontardawe and was greatly liked by all who came in contact with him. He was a regular attendee at the English Congregational Church, Ystalyfera and was greatly esteemed there.
There is no a pathetic interest in the fact that at his special request he was received into membership of the Church on the last Sunday evening of his last home leave.
Private Henwood joined the Welsh Guards almost immediately after its formation in April last and had the distinction of being the youngest member. He was only 16 years of age when he joined but celebrated his 17th birthday afterwards. He was exceedingly popular with his fellow soldiers many of whom have expressed their deep regret at his untimely death.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 23rd October 1915 :-

There was a very large attendance at the English Congregational Church on Sunday evening, when a memorial service for the late Pte. Wm. Thomas Henwood, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Henwood, Clare Road, was held. As reported in our last issue, Pte. Henwood was recently killed in action with his regiment, the Welsh Guards, in France. He had been a faithful attendant at the church and Sunday school, and was made a member of the Church shortly before proceeding to the front. The service on Sunday evening was of a very impressive character, and the congregation was deeply moved. Speaking under obvious emotion, the pastor, (the Rev. R. G. James), paid a high tribute to the late young soldier's bravery, devotion to duty, and lofty character, and said that he hoped such a life would be a clear example to the young people of the neighbourhood. The organist (Mr. Hedges) played the "Dead March in Saul," the congregation standing and suitable hymns were sung. A massive floral cross of white, sent by the Sunday school scholars as a tribute to their friend, hung from the pulpit.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 25th January 1941 :-

The death has taken place of Mr. Henry Percival Henwood, son of Mr. William Henwood and the late Mrs. Henwood, Clare Road, which took place at Wickford Essex on Saturday, 11th January, after a short and severe illness. He was 41 years of age, and previous to leaving the district some 10 years ago had worked as a miner in Tirbach Colliery. He was last in the district on the occasion of the funeral of his sister, Mrs. David Thomas, Heol Varteg, which occurred exactly three months to the day that he himself was buried. He leaves a widow. The funeral took place the following Tuesday, burial being at Wickford cemetery.
The mourners were: Mrs. Henwood widow; Mr. Gwyn Henwood brother; Mrs. David Thomas brother in law; Mrs. C. Hulme sister; ...

Lionel Gwyn Henwood
To the left is the recently-erected grave of Lionel Gwyn Henwood in Holy Trinity churchyard. Lionel was the brother of (William) Tom Henwood, killed in action in the First World War.
Family Notes
Mother (no 75) Eleanor HENWOOD died 1919 Buried Holy Trinity Plot Unknown
Sister (no 1105) Mary Lavina THOMAS died 1940 Buried Alltygrug with her husband David Plot D96
Brother (no 333) Lionel Gwyn HENWOOD died in1959 Buried Holy Trinity Plot 3C G 27

As a member of the English Congregational Church, Ystalyfera, as well as being remembered on the memorial plaque that was erected there, William Henwood was one of the men mentioned in The Fallen of the English Congregational Church in World War One, a speech given in 1935 by John Bell, for 28 years Treasurer of the English Congregational Church.


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