Abercarn War Memorial

Abercarn War Memorial

The war memorial in Market Square, Abercarn, was designed by the local architect, J. H. Highley and unveiled in 1923.

Abercarn War Memorial in Market Square, Abercarn.

Abercarn War Memorial, Market Square | Front Face

The tall, ashlar-faced memorial supports a bronze female figure, holding a wreath of laurel leaves and blowing a trumpet.

Abercarn war memorial "Gwell Angau Na Chywilydd" - "Better Death Than Dishonour"

Abercarn War Memorial | Gwell Angau Na Chywilydd

Beneath the north-facing figure, the following words in Welsh are carved in the stonework:-

GWELL
ANGAU NA
CHYWILYDD

Translated: “Better Death Than Dishonour”

A bronze cast of laurel leaves is attached to the pedestal beneath these words.

And, at the base of the memorial, an attached bronze panel records the names of 59 local men who made the supreme sacrifice for King and Country during the First World War. Their names are tabulated in three columns without rank or regiment beneath the heading:

TO THE MEMORY OF OUR GLORIOUS DEAD

The Great War Roll of Honour on the Abercarn War Memorial, Market Square.

Abercarn War Memorial | First World War Plaque

1st Column: –

A. Alcott, J. G. Burnett, T. Bowen, J. Coles, D. B. Dart, W. C. Davies, W. C. Davies, F. Ellaway, T. C. Evans, A. Fleetwood, B. Fletcher, T. Fletcher, W. Ford, R. P. Furber, L. Harley, W. Harper, E. B. Harris, S. G. Hewlitt, F. Hobbs, L. Humphries.

2nd Column:-

D. James, R. James, W. J. Jenkins, A. W. S. Jones, F. Jones, T. Jones, W. F. Jones, A. Lewis, N. Lewis, A. R. Lovell, W. Maidment, T. March, R. Milton, W. R. Morgan, M. Moseley, F. F. Pierce, S. Phillips, W. Price, E. Prince.

3rd Column:-

J. Rawson, A. Richardson, J. H. Saunders, J. H. Selby, W. Simpkins, A. J. Smart, T. Smith, P. J. Stephens, E. Thomas, J. Thomas,J. T. Thomas, W. H. Thomas, B. E. Trayhern, A. Veysey, J. Whitley, F. Wilcox, A. Williams, E. J. Williams, O. Williams, W. G. Williams.

Close-up image of the female figure on top of the Abercarn War Memorial.

Abercarn War Memorial | Female Figure Blowing Trumpet

The fallen from the Second World War are recorded on the rear of the memorial on a similar plaque beneath the heading:

1939 – 1945

WW2 Roll of Honour on the Abercarn War Memorial.

Abercarn War Memorial | Second World War Plaque, Rear Face

1st Column:-

Millicent Reed, E. I. Bevan, A. G. Bond, C. B. Bowden, A. Brace, T. Browning, D. G. Bushell, T. Dent, J. H. Edmunds, J. C. L. Griffiths, W. Griffiths.

2nd Column:-

W. O. Griffiths, R. W. Harrison, E. James, J. T. Knott, D. Lewis, G. Lewis, H. B. Matthews, D. I. Parry, E. R. Pritchard, C . T. Purnell, G. Ransome.

3rd Column:-

W. J. Rees, C. Rowlands, E. Sneyd, S. R. Stephens, V. Price-Stephens, R. N. Vaisey, L. Watkins, R. J. Whatley, A. Whitcombe.

References & Notes:-

  1. The Buildings of Wales: Gwent / Monmouthshire, John Newman.
  2. First World War Memorials and Graves In Gwent – Volume 1, Ray Westlake.
  3. When I visited, I found that access to the grounds of the memorial was restricted and a really tall hedgerow marred visibility of this monument from all sides. Photographs obtained with a telephoto lens and by climbing on the surrounding walls to get a decent vantage point. The erect flag-pole, directly in front of the memorial, spoiled any images taken of the memorial’s front face.
  4. Many thanks to Tim Bowers, the author of the Newbridge War Memorial website, for noticing that some of the names recorded on the Abercarn Great War plaque are commemorated on the Newbridge monument too. The individual links to that site provide comprehensive detail to the names of the fallen.
  5. High quality images of the Abercarn War Memorial and Abercarn Cemetery. Some of the Commonwealth graves from both World Wars are included.
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