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RESEARCH : Dale War Memorial  

 

WW1 - War Memorial, Dale Cemetery:
As a tribute to the memory of each of the young men commemorated on the War Memorial, and with family involvement where possible, it is planned that individual booklets be prepared. This will contain information on his family, childhood, work and military service with copies, wherever possible, of photographs and documentary evidence. The first booklet, presented at the War Memorial Remembrance Service and later in Church on Remembrance Sunday 2003, is a tribute to the memory of Private Clive Victor Llewellyn Reynolds.

 

c1905 [back] l to r John Reynolds, father; John Sturley. [front] Clive; Hannah Reynolds, mother; William Llewellyn, grandfather; Frances Sturley, niece; Mary Jane, Clive's sister married to John Sturley.

 

 

Clive Reynolds was the youngest son of John and Hannah Reynolds living at Richmond House, Dale. Born on the 10 October 1898, his father was a blacksmith in the village as was his brother, William John. Clive attended Dale School from 1902 - 1912 having taken all standards to Standard 7. He regularly attended Sunday School in the Congregational Chapel and played the organ there. The last entry alongside his name in the Sunday School Register is 17 September 1916 when there were only 4 men on roll, the numbers having dropped as the men went off to war/were engaged in the war effort.


Military records indicate that Clive enlisted on 23 September 1916 at Haverfordwest aged 17 years 11 months. Private Reynolds was posted 'A Reserve' to the Army Service Corps, MT, transferred to an Infantry Training Reserve Battalion and then on the 1 October 1917 he joined the Durham Light Infantry. It is recorded that he made a Will dated 4 February 1918 stating that "In the event of my death I give the whole of my effects to my mother, Mrs Reynolds, Richmond House, Dale." In wartime, wills are usually prepared/updated prior to going into battle. On 16 September 1918 the Red Cross in Geneva forwarded to Clive's family "notification of death received from Germany" which roughly translated states that "the above died 30.7.18 in Reserve Hospital IV at Trier a.d. Mosel from blood poisoning resulting from shot wound in right thigh. Buried in the Parish Cemetery [Trier], the grave is marked. He was admitted very sick but bore his suffering with great patience and resignation, being grateful for the smallest service. He passed away in the early morning of July 30." A Memorial Service was held in Dale on 6 October 1918 and Private Reynolds is commemorated on our War Memorial.


In 1922 it was decided that the graves of the Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together and the following year Private Reynolds was one of 48 burials of 1917-18 brought from Trier Town Cemetery to Cologne Southern for reburial. Clive's medals donated to the Dale community include the British War Medal, the Victoria Medal and the WWI Memorial Medal.

 

Memorial Cross, Dale Cemetery -'IN MEMORY OF EIGHT UNKNOWN HEROES WASHED ASHORE AT DALE DURING THE GREAT WAR':

Nothing was known about the eight whose bodies were washed ashore between 4th and 29th November 1918 and recorded in the Burial Register of Dale Parish Church. Because of the uncertainty of their identity, the War Graves Commission was unable to maintain the grave. The Memorial Cross was erected by the people of Dale and unveiled by Milford Haven's VC holder Private 'Stokey' Lewis. Excellent research by Coastguard Officer, Anthony 'Dutchy' Holland', who served at St Ann's Head, Dale in the late 1970s and early 1980s has uncovered much of the history of the vessel, the 'Hirano Maru', her passengers and crew and the German submarine which sank her. Work on collating information is almost complete. It is hoped that a book will be produced in the near future.

Japanese passenger vessel the 'Hirano Maru' torpedoed by German UB-91 in St George's Sound on 4th October 1918