Edward was born in Brecon in 1899, the son of William, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Ellen. The family were living in Llanfihangel Talyllyn at this time and Edward was baptised in the local church in July of this year.
The family subsequently moved to Brecon and lived at 6, Bridge Street. In 1911 William was still listed as a farm labourer, with Ellen shown as a general grocer.
Edward enlisted in Brecon and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers serving in France. The 2nd Battalion were serving within the 19th Brigade of the Second Division in August 1918 and were involved in the Battle of Albert (August 21-23) before the second Battle of Bapaume from August 31st to September 3rd, 1918. Edward was initially listed as missing but subsequently confirmed as killed in action.
Rees was born in 1899 to Mary Davies of Tybach Libanus, but by 1901 he is living with his grandfather, also Rees Thomas, and family, at Bolgoed Maen, Libanus and remained with them through his early years. He attended Tairbull Council School and then Brecon County Intermediate School from 1911 until 1913 when he left to go farming.
He enlisted in the King's Own, 4th of Foot and fell in action as the battalion made a gallant attack on August 23rd, 1918. The colonel conveyed his sympathies to Mrs. Thomas via a letter from the chaplain and sympathy was also expressed for Mrs. Davies, Pontlottyn with whom Rees stayed prior to joining up.
Private Rees Thomas
King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 8th Battalion
service no. 37062.
Killed in Action August 23rd 1918, aged 19
Commemorated at Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France
Private Edward James Tonge
Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, service no. 77457
Killed in Action in France on September 1st, 1918, aged 19
Commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in Pas de