The Cost

THE COST

Around 5000 men and women from Gwent lost their lives while serving during the Great War.  Some families suffered from more than one loss.  Mrs Williams of Oxford Street Abertillery had lost no less three sons: Frederick, in the Dardanelles in May 1915, David, in France in May 1916 and Austin, on the Somme in August 1916. She was not alone in losing three members of her family.

Amongst those who lost their lives were a number of the Monmouthshire social elite.  Prominent among these was Lord Llangattock (Major John McLean Rolls), son of Lady Llangatock of the Hendre, near Monmouth, and the brother of Charles Stewart Rolls, who had been killed in an aircraft accident in 1910.  In 1900 he had been Lord High Sheriff of Monmouthshire; in 1906-7 Mayor of Monmouth and was also a County Councillor.  He had long been involved with the local territorials of the Royal Field Artillery and was killed while serving with them in France in October 1916.  Captain Elidyr Herbert, the eldest son of Sir Ivor Herbert (Lord Treowen of Llanarth since 1917) who, as  Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire, had led the county recruiting campaign in 1914, was killed in Palestine in 1917. At the other end of the scale, a memorial in st Matthew’s Church Monkswood, commemorates the nine former inmates of Monmouthshire reformatory who lost their lives.

WAR DEATHS IN SELECTED GWENT COMMUNITIES

COMMUNITY NUMBER OF WAR DEAD
Aberbargoed 83
Abercarn 59
Abergavenny 219
Abertillery 443
Blackwood 20
Blaenavon 60
Blaina 150
Brynmawr 90
Caerleon 58
Caerwent 18
Caldicot 14
Chepstow 83
Crumlin 88
Cwmbran 86
Cwm 133
Cwmcarn 80
Dixton 7
Ebbw Vale 294
Goldcliff 3
Govilon 11
Goetre 11
Griffithstown 88
Grosmont 8
Itton 3
Llanbadoc 9
Llandogo 6
Llanfoist 16
Llanfrechfa 46
Llangibby 9
Llanfair Discoed 3
Llanwern 0
Llansoy 2
Machen 29
Magor (includes St Brides, etc) 10
Marshfield 14
Mathern 10
Michaelston 5
Mitchell Troy 12
Monmouth 41
Nantyglo 47
Nash 3
New Tredegar 165
Newbridge 79
Newport 1733*
Oakdale 25
Overmonnow 22
Panteg 157
Penalt 13
Ponitr 24
Pontnewydd 20
Pontymoel 11
Pontypool 380
Portskewett and Sudbrook 21
Raglan 4
Rwiderin 6
Rhymney 126
Rockfield 10
Rogerstone 55
Rogiet 6
Rumney 35
Skenfrith 9
St Arvans 15
St Mellons 23
Shirenewton 13
Talywain 7
Tredegar 92
Trefil 4
Trethomas 10
Trevethin 188
Trinant 8
Usk 41
Varteg 63

(Figures are taken from R Westlake  First World War Graves and Memorials in Gwent Vols 1 and 2 Barnsley 2001 and 2002.  Ebbw Vale/Cwm figures are taken from Ebbw Vale Book of Remembrance.

*The Newport figure comprises the 1476 names on the Newport Roll of Honour plus 257 ‘ghosts’ added by David Ashwin in his book Newport Ghosts & The Great War. )