At the beginning of the year Llanishen Local History Society started work on a project designed to uncover the service histories of the men from the village who fought and fell in the Two World Wars, as well as the brief “American invasion” of the village prior to D-Day. This had come about because a member had found a war grave in St Isan’s church in the village of which they were unaware. Although this was a Second World War casualty, we’ve begun by focusing on the Great War casualties that are commemorated on the two memorial plaques within the church – the bronze one inside the church itself is shown in the photo below:
This plaque records the names of 20 men, the majority of them officers. Over the coming months, we will be posting details of these men on or around the time they were killed in action, as well as any further discoveries we make. Interestingly, the plaque in the church hall has another two names not recorded on this memorial. We also believe there are men who were killed in WW1 who were not recorded at all!
Within the church there are also memorials to individuals and groups of men who fell in both World Wars, and in the churchyard outside there are several war graves, some of them beingCWGC headstones. The casualty shown in the photograph below, Pilot Officer Thomas Spencer Lewis of 79 Squadron Royal Air Force, was one of the village’s first casualties. P/Off Lewis was killed in action while on patrol in his Hawker Hurricane over the South Coast of England on 2nd January 1940. When his coffin arrived at the village station, it was escorted down to the church for the funeral by RAF personnel and an RAF band.
We hope we can honour these men, and those who returned from the wars, by recording their stories for future generations of Llanishen residents.
On this blog we will be posting our discoveries and information about the men themselves. If anyone is interested in learning more about the project or has anything that would be of interest, please leave us a comment.