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The Men Who Died



115                116

John, known as Jack, was born about 1890, son of John and Elizabeth Letton. living at 92, The Watton, Brecon. His father was a mason and died in the early 1890s. His mother remarried John Watkins of Brecon, also a mason. The family remained at the same address.

Jack joined the Territorial Force of the Brecknock Battalion in March 1909 at 19 and was a Carriage Painter (apprentice) at Rich and Sons, The Watton. By 21 Jack was a fully-fledged carriage painter. He served and trained with the Brecknock Battalion until at least 1912. He enlisted in the Regular Army at Bargoed in November 1914, with the Army Service Corps.  His previous service was noted but he was rejected on health grounds. He subsequently served with the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry Dragoons as part of the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line. The 1st Montgomery Yeomanry were

initially a mounted force but were dismounted in November 1915 prior to sailing to the Middle East in March 1916. There they joined with the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade to form the 4th Dismounted Brigade.

Jack served in Egypt and saw active service against the Turks but died of heart failure near Cairo in 1916, aged 26 years.

Private John Sydney Letton

Montgomeryshire Yeomanry 1st/1st with the Household

Cavalry, service no. 2866

Died October 2nd, 1916, in Egypt, aged 26

Buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt

Cliff was born in Carmarthenshire in 1899, youngest child of David and Ann Lewis. The family had moved to Brecon by 1901 to 37, Newmarch Street, Llanfaes and David was assistant warden at Brecon Gaol. Unfortunately, Cliff's father died in the 1900s but his mother remarried William Jones and in 1911 the family lived at 10, Newmarch Street, Llanfaes, Brecon. Cliff had two brothers and two sisters and in 1911 his elder brothers, Fred, Sidney and their stepfather worked on the Brecon and Neath railway. Cliff was a school shop assistant in the boot business. Fred and Sidney both joined up early in the war and served with the 1st Brecknocks. By late 1915 Cliff too had joined the Brecknocks, enlisting with the 2nd Battalion although not yet 17 years old. The Brecon and Radnor Express wrote a small article in the November referring to the three brothers all serving with the same regiment, although Fred and Sidney were in India and Cliff remained in Britain. In 1916 Cliff was taken ill whilst in Skipton and was admitted to the local cottage hospital where he died of double pneumonia after a short period of illness.  His body was brought back to Brecon for a military funeral and burial in St David's churchyard. A band and firing party were in attendance, as were staff of the Brecknocks based at the Depot in Brecon.

Private Clifford Lewis

South Wales Borderers, Brecknock Btn, service no. 2967

Died April 6th, 1916, aged 17

Buried at St David's Churchyard Brecon