“FE FYDDAI Y BEDDROD I MI YN FWYNHAD FE BYDDAI FY MEDDROD YNG NGHYMRU FY NGWLAD”
“This tomb would be a pleasure to me if my tomb was in my country – Wales”
John Cyril Rees was born on 1 Jan 1893, son of Charlotte and John Rees. In the 1901 census the family were living at Gloster House, Stone Street, Llandovery, Llandingat Within, Carmarthenshire; his mother was described as shopkeeper draper and his father as a solicitor’s clerk. By the time John enrolled at Harper Adams, his father was an estate agent. Six other children were at that address at the time – Albert Lloyd, Florence Mary, Charlotte Adelaine, David Ivor, Amy Dorothy and Frederick William. The next year, another sister, Elizabeth Francis was born.
John Cyril Rees attended the Harper Adams Certificate course from 18 January to 22 December 1909 and by the 1911 census was living at Vron, Llandovery, Llandingat Without, with the rest of his siblings and working as an auctioneer's articled clerk (his parents do not appear on the 1911 census for this address). John and his wife Elizabeth had a son, Cyril Rowland Rees, born in 1913.
John Cyril Rees served with the 3rd Bn., Welsh (Welch) Regiment and died on 6 November 1915, age 24 and is remembered with honour at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery (K. 19)
His brother Albert was killed in action exactly two years later on 6 November 1917, age 27.
Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt, was used for burials until April 1916.
There are 2,259 First World War burials in the cemetery and 503 from the Second World War. The cemetery also contains war graves of other nationalities and many non war and military graves, some of which date from 1882.
Many women supported the war effort from home and the Llandovery History Society describes the contribution of the women of Llandovery in an article entitled “War, Women & Wool”
“For many women knitting and sewing became a part of daily life again as the UK textile industry could not keep up with demand. In 1914 Lord Kitchener called for volunteers to make up the shortages – they needed 300,000 pairs of socks and 300,000 woollen belts for the troops to use by the beginning of November!
“And the women of Llandovery did their bit whilst they sought to bring some humanity to a brutal and unpredictable war. On the following pages we have printed out extracts taken from the 1915 – 1916 Llandingat Parish Magazine which details some of their work.
“ ‘We thank Mrs F. Lewis for her generous contribution of wool, 10 pairs socks and 6 pairs mittens, Miss Lewis, Myddfai, for 6 pairs socks and 2 scarves, helmets, etc., and Mrs Clarkson for 10s for wool to make socks; shirts, scarves, helmets and mittens were also given by Mrs Norman Owen, Mrs Davies, Mrs Daniel Jones, Mrs Dan Davies Miss Evans (Bryntowy), Mrs Rees (Vron), Mrs J. Edwards, Miss Lizzie Reese, Miss Nina Davies, Miss Howells, Mrs Street, Mrs James Miss Margaret Harries, Miss Edith Butler. Very many others worked at the meetings and at home and sent several articles but their names are too numerous to mention.’ ”
Cyril, the son of JC Rees, attended Harper Adams from January 1933 to December 1934. Cyril’s grandsons Carwyn and Alun also attended Harper Adams, graduating in 2012 and 2013 respectively.