On Friday 13th April, the life of Police Constable and Welsh Guardsman, William Jones Thomas, who died during the First World War was commemorated at St Edeyrn’s Church, Cardiff where he is buried. William, who was born in February 1888, was the son of …
On Friday 13th April, the life of Police Constable and Welsh Guardsman, William Jones Thomas, who died during the First World War was commemorated at St Edeyrn’s Church, Cardiff where he is buried.
William, who was born in February 1888, was the son of John and Ann Thomas of Pantglas Farm in Llanedeyrn.
In November 1907 William, aged 19, joined the Cardiff City Police where he served until February 1911 when he resigned, returning to work on the family farm. Then, in January 1914, he once again became a policeman, this time serving with the Glamorgan Constabulary.
Following the outbreak of war, William left the police to enlist in the army in May 1915 becoming Private 1333 in the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards.
At the time of enlistment, he was stationed as a constable in Porthcawl and was one of five policemen to do so. Only two of them would survive the war.
William went to France with his regiment in August 1915 and served with it on the Western Front. He was wounded in action in October 1915 but was able to resume duty.
As a result of his service in the trenches he fell ill in February 1917 and was evacuated to England by hospital ship. Sadly, he died at a London hospital on 13th April 1917, aged 29.
A contemporary newspaper report published at the time described him as:
“..an all-round athlete, and….a boxer of more than average ability”
He was accorded full military honours at his funeral.
Mr Gareth Madge OBE, of the South Wales Police Heritage Centre said:
“William’s name appears on the Glamorgan Police War Memorial which stands today at South Wales Police Headquarters, Bridgend. Each November at our Remembrance Service we remember him, and others from the police forces of South Wales who died serving their country. It’s the least that we can do.”
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Sharon Bush, who is also William’s great, great grandniece said:
“I, along with my family are extremely grateful to Captain Lyndon Davies of the Army Reserve and Welsh Guards Association, in addition to South Wales Police and the Welsh Guards for arranging the service in William’s memory. The project established by South Wales Police to remember the policemen of its predecessor forces has ensured the stories of all those who paid the ultimate price for their service are not forgotten.”
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