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Welsh Students Company RAMC


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Will (& Julie):

Another good newspaper to look up at Wrexham Archives is the North Wales Guardian - lots of information on local men, soldiers' letters and battalions , - and from further afield (usually under the heading "War Items"), but be warned - the print size is pretty small!.


Thanks for the heads up!


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Examples from the North Wales Guardian:

1). NWG 4Feb1916 p.5: "Welsh Students for the Army"

2). NWG 25Feb1916 p.7: "RAMC at Llandrindod"



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  • 6 months later...

(81959) pte FALSIDE William James (R&F) comm: 18/12/1917 (possibly (if same person): (CWGC)- Rev WJ Falside ACD, Chaplain 4th class, d.7/10/1918 bur. Faenza, commem:- Lockerbie War Memorial: Rev WJF CF w/KOSB )

You've certainly the right man.

There's a fair bit of research on him and his family on the SWMP.

When all three of the Reverends sons were killed in the war the Falside surname in Scotland died with him.

picture from the Glasgow University Roll of honour.- http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/ww1-biography/?id=2038


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  • 2 months later...

Derek: - many thanks for the info on WJ Falside - will update his entry soon, still trying to figure out how the RAMC numbers were allocated between 81945 and 81954 - and the enlistments are not always in chronological order!. Still convinced though, that this particular grouping weren't part of the Welsh Students' Company

Lots of interesting new info. now coming to light: e.g. from Y Cymro 5 April 1916 p.6 : (in Welsh) (see: http://papuraunewydd...ew/3446715/ART9 (bottom of col.1) )

- a new batch of recruits to the unit (therefore don't appear on the original Cymro list (http://papuraunewydd... fyddin gymreig NB: some (minor) differences to Bangor archives copy previously mentioned - different imprint/edition?):

"Those named below have joined the RAMC and are on their way to Llandrindod:-" [RAMC number in square brackets as they appear on the MIC list, plus other notes ]

JD Davies student Bapt [81971, enl. at Abergele]

TJ Jones '' CM [poss. gap?]

WH Parry '' CofE [81969]

Dd.Jones '' CM [81975, enl. at Abergele]

John Davies '' CM [gap?]

Lemuel Thomas Lay Reader CofE [not Samuel as shown on MIC! - 81970 (could be the "Thomas" who travelled from Abergele to Sheffield with DJ and JDD for kitting out)]

WG Jones student Congr. [81965]

JE Williams '' CM [81966, enl. 29/3/16 at Abergele]

J Ll Williams '' CM [81972, enl. 29/3/16]

VR Eden '' CofE [81974]

Eb. Thomas '' Congr. [81973, enl. 29/3/16]

TJ Morgan '' Congr. [gap?]

RJ Sims '' CofE [gap?]

(seem to correspond closely with the MIC's, but one too many gaps, - David Jones [81975] mentions that 18 joined at Abergele (including himself and JDD)

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  • 5 weeks later...

Photo of the Welsh Ministers' Company arriving in Sheffield (published in Sheffield Daily Telegraph 31Jan1916 - via "Picture Sheffield" (Sheffield City Council website)):


[photo of Hillsborough Barracks also on "Picture Sheffield" website: http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?action=printdetails&keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s02541&prevUrl= ]

Photos of some of the unit at Sheffield Feb 1916 [Khaki issued 31 Jan 1916; cap badges issued ca. 7th Feb; Red Cross badges issued ca. 11th Feb 1916] - before being sent to Llandrindod 14thFeb:


http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/391697 (RG Jones [81878], OW Owen [81936], J Ll Hughes [81879] and others)

http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/433807 (David Ellis [81871], Cynan [81725], Lewis Valentine [81908] and others photographed at the exact same location)

Group photos of the unit taken ca.11 May 1916 at entrance to the (New) Grand Pavilion, Llandrindod Wells [unit was in training at Llandrindod 14 Feb-19 May 1916 (returned to Sheffield on this date)]

(A Section ): http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/45011

(B Section ): http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/45010

[for comparison: photos of Pavilion at: http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/35789 and http://www.casgliadywerin.cymru/items/35012 (sourced from NLW collection)]

[see also: St.Andrews Univ. Photographic Collection: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/imu/imu.php?request=display&port=45175&id=8ef5&flag=ecatalogue&offset=6&count=default&view=details&listcount=10 ]

Postcard showing HMHS Essequibo - the hospital ship on which about 150 of the unit sailed from Southampton on 11 Sept 1916, (at Valetta, Malta 18-19th) - arriving at Salonika 21st Sept.:


related material at the People's Collection website :-

photo of Welsh RAMC choir on board ship (TBC! - possibly HMHS Essequibo - concerts were held during the voyage out to Salonika - on 16th and 20th Sept 1916):


Poem to fallen soldier (David Jones of Llwyn Cwbl, Llangwm) by David Ellis [RAMC 81871 - q.v.] of nearby Penyfed, Ty Nant:


[web links edited: 29Jun2015]

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  • 2 months later...

Dear Sion,

I have some information that may be of interest to you. Last year, I went to the Imperial War Museum to read the original 4-volume diariy of William Knott of the 32nd Field Ambulance. William was from London and joined the RAMC in early 1915. The diaries cover the period April 1915 to May 1919.

I did not make comprehensive notes of all the people mentioned in William Knott's diary but did note at least two names from your Welsh Students list:-

  • 81767 Evan John Jones
  • 81771 William George Jones of "2 Bryn Hyfryd, Nant, Coedpoeth, nr Wrexham, N. Wales"

William Knott was a committed Christian and associated with others who shared his faith including Evan and William Jones.

December 16th, 1917,: "In the evening, we had the usual service conducted by E J Jones one of the Welsh Boys, in fact there is[are] only 2 left out of the 23 which joined us some 18 months ago". I can only assume that the 23 referred to were from the Welsh Students Company.

Sunday June 27th, 1918.: "The service was conducted by W G Jones". William Jones is mentioned several times in the diary including a red-letter day visit to Jerusalem on March 24th 1918. William Jones' address is listed in full in the back of the diary which suggests that they kept in touch.

What was very interesting from the diaries was the harsh attempts by the Military Authorities to try to force men from the 32nd Field Ambulance (then at base in Kantara 'the Aldershot of the Desert') to transfer to the regular infantry to meet the manpower gap following the German offensives in France. One diary entry(June 24th 1918) refers to 'conscientious objectors' from the RAMC being forced to participate in road-making alongside Turkish prisoners of war. William Knott was one of a group of "Conscientious Objectors" who eventually went before a military tribunal in July 1918 (16 men had their objections to joining the infantry upheld, 37 had their objections disallowed and were transferred to the infantry). Knott was transferred to the 1/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance along with 5 others in August 1918. In parallel, with this some of the other men (other than the" Conscies") including the "St John's Men" and other [volunteers] were sent 'as ambulancemen to France' leaving Knott in July to muse about "what the boys will think who have been duped and sent into the infantry when they hear the remainder have been sent as ambulancemen to France."

This happened after your Grandfather transferred from 32FA Salonika to Italy. I did not note make notes of the fates of the "Welsh Students" caught up in this unfortunate sate of affairs at Kantara.

Mt interest in Knott's diary was trying to identify which unit or units of the RAMC my Grandfather (Taid) served in between 1915 and 1919. My Grandfather William Stanley Jones, of Adwy'r Clawdd, Coedpoeth, nr Wrexham, joined the RAMC as number 49170 in January 1915. He was recruited in Wrexham before being sent to Llandrindod fro training. From there he went to Gallipoli (November 1915) before going onto Salonika (where he was wounded and also contracted malaria), Egypt, Palestine and possibly France (1918). My suspicion is that he served with the 30th, 31st or 32nd Field Ambulance but I have no proof. I have found mention of him in the newspaper archives in Wrexham Museum but there is no mention of his Field Ambulance.

If you are interested in Knott's diary (it is very possible that other members of the Welsh Students Company are mentioned and it certainly gives a very human insight into the 32 FA), the following link gives an excellent oversight of what's contained in the diaries: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=062-wk&cid=-1#-1 (apologies - I haven't mastered the link function yet!).



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  • 1 month later...

Further to a previous posting (#15 - Myrtle) regarding information about this unit's stay at Llandrindod,

the Brecon and Radnor Express is now online, courtesy of the National Library of Wales at: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/publisher/4093082?&off=100

The unit was at Llandrindod from 14 Feb 1916 to 19 May 1916

Weekly articles in the B&RE issues concerning the unit can be found here (some quite lengthy) - mentioning (and confirming!) several names and events/activities (including some promotions), and naming some of the officers:[issue dates]:

3Feb: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094004/5 (unit due to arrive)

10Feb: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094013/7 (unit mentioned under Llandrindod news)

17Feb: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094022/6 RAMC Arrive

24Feb: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094031/4 RAMC at Llandrindod, plus other snippets under Llandrindod news

2Mar: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094040/6 RAMC at Llandrindod -2 articles, plus item in Llandrindod news column on following page

9Mar: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094049/6 RAMC at Llandrindod

16Mar: Dydd Gwyl Dewi 1916 yn Llandrindod/St.David's Day Soiree: http://papuraunewydd.llyfrgell.cymru/view/4094058/4094061/36/ - barddoniaeth gan David Ellis [81871], Cynan [81725], HD Owen [81892] ac RR Thomas[81926] - (gweler hefyd "Y Goleuad": http://papuraunewydd.llyfrgell.cymru/view/3494151/3494158/32/cynan )

16Mar: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094058/6 RAMC at Llandrindod

23Mar: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094067/6 2 articles: Children's Eisteddfod / RAMC at Llandrindod (same page)

30Mar: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094076/6 RAMC at Llandrindod, 2 Catholic RAMC men mentioned in Llandrindod news on following page

6Apr: http://cymru1914.org/en/view/newspaper/4094085/2/ART18 Regimental Concert; http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094085/6 RAMC at Llandrindod (incl. helping to dig sheep out of snowdrifts), RAMC concert mentioned on the following page (Llandrindod news)

13Apr: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094094/6 RAMC entertained/other news, plus mention of concert in Llandrindod news on following page

20Apr: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094103/1 Llandrindod Wells concert (by RAMC)

27Apr: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094112/6 RAMC Athletic Sports, Llandrindod news on next page mentions 2 RAMC men at Communion at Holy Trinity Ch.

4May: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094121/1 : football match, 2 ramc men mentioned under Llandrindod news on last page

11May: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094130/7 unit not mentioned, other than one of the RAMC men preached at Llanwrtyd Wells

18May: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094139/7 (Llandrindod news): Unit due to leave

25May: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4094148/6 Soldiers' Farewell (Concert)

- many other WW1-era Welsh newspapers available at the same website (see : http://cymru1914.org/en/home )

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Welsh Students' Coy RAMC - another man confirmed... ...at last! .. just need to confirm his original RAMC number (one of the "gaps" in the sequence)

From the NLW's collection of WW1 Welsh newspapers ( http://cymru1914.org/en/ ):

Y Brython (Lpl): 19Dec1918 p.2 col.3: http://cymru1914.org/en/view/newspaper/4019176/1/ART14

(article/tribute written (in Welsh) by Rev T Jones-Parry, Chaplain to the Forces, Limerick [formerly RAMC 81944 of the same unit (q.v)])

(brief summary):

John Davies BSc - died at the end of November [27/11/1918] at a hospital in London [other records say Nottingham- see below]

Born and raised in a religious household in Rhosddu, Wrexham - the only son of Mr & Mrs Edward Davies

His father is a deacon at Rhosddu chapel, and his grandfather was one of the oldest deacons at Rhuddlan...

Both his father and grandfather were blacksmiths.

..He left Grove Park School [Wxm] with an Entrance scholarship for Bangor University where he graduated with a BSc degree

He was a science teacher at Blandford High School, and later at Brecon College

He joined the Welsh Students' Company RAMC and trained at Llandrindod and Sheffield where he was last seen by the author of the piece [TJ-P]

It appears that the authorities had posted him without warning to the RAMC College in London because of his skills and scientific knowledge.

He was made a Sergeant, and soon became an Inspector of Gas Masks at an important factory..

Condolences/deepest sympathy to his parents and only sister.... etc.

See also: Brecon & Radnor Express 12 Dec 1918 p8 col.3: http://cymru1914.org/cy/view/newspaper/4095353/7/ART57

(Brecon News) -states he was formerly asst. master at the Brecon County Schools and that he had worked in the anti-gas dept.

see also: Y Brython 12Dec1918 p.4.col.4 (http://cymru1914.org/en/view/newspaper/4019169/3/ART29)

-states he was a Lieutenant, and had a BA degree

UoW Roll of Service (1921 revised edition): BANGOR p.18: (year of entry) 1901 Davies, John (Wrexham ) Sergt. R.E (name in bold indicating his death)

His name also appears on the Memorial Plaques outside the Pritchard-Jones Hall at Bangor University (thanks Clive)

[bangor MS 16446]: UCNW Bangor Admissions Register 1897-1901 (Vol.4): Entry 478:

John Davies

dob: 27Jul1883

educ: Grove Pk.Schl, Wxm

Fr: Edward Davies Blacksmith

addr: 40 Cunliffe St., (prev entry crossed out: 3 Spring Rd.), Rhosddu, Wxm

ent: Oct.1901; terms: Aut.'01--->Summ.'05

Entrance Exhib. £50 Sep 1901, Half RA Jones Prize Session 1904-05

Welsh Univ 1st yr 1902, 2nd yr 1903

BA (Second Class Honours in Pure and Applied Mathematics) 1905

London Int. Sc. 1910

Math Master. Co.Schl for Boys Brecon

Sergt R.E. (Died from gas poisoning Nov 1918)

[N.B.: - written diagonally across page: Deceased ]

Wrexham Borough Council Burial records: (http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/community/genealogy/cemeteries_search/CemeteriesIndexSearchForm.cfm)

(Wrexham Cemetery): DAVIES JOHN 1918 35 MILITARY HOSPITAL NOTTINGHAM 10813 (bur. date): 04/12/1918 03689

CWGC record:


War Graves Photographic Project: (headstone shows he died at Nottingham and had a BA):


see also:http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=165618&hl=anti-gas

(Re: Anti-Gas Establishment, London)

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If you'd like a photo of John Davies' headstone at Wrexham, I have one I took myself which you can use without restriction. Just send me a PM.



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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 years later...


I have recently purchased the BWM to 81777 Sgt C.Smith.  I am a former serving SNCO with the RAMC & I collect medals to my Corps... I was wondering if somebody could assist me with my research please?

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Hi John Tate,

see info against his number in post #42.  You may also be able to send a PM (Private message) to sionyn: click on his user name and follow the links.  



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Hi John,

Cyril Lawrence Smith (medal award roll) also Reverend Cyril Laurence Smith, probate, died 22nd Nov, 1984, Throwleigh Lodge, Ridgeway, Horsell, Woking. B.10.8.1893. as per post 42.MIC BWM and Vic. Sjt 81777 RAMC. 1901 census his father was a solicitor, he was the youngest of 5 children...looking

Birth recorded as Cyril Laurence., 2a, 584.Medway, Kent.

He is buried 890, J88 West Side, St. Margaret's Cemetery, Rochester, Reverend Cyril Lawrence Smith. 

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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On 6/6/2017 at 21:52, clive_hughes said:

Hi John Tate,

see info against his number in post #42.  You may also be able to send a PM (Private message) to sionyn: click on his user name and follow the links.  



Thank You..

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