Relative keeps memory of Cwmbran soldier alive

11:15am Monday 31st March 2014

THE relative of a Cwmbran man who died 99 years ago today from wounds during the First World War hopes he won’t become a forgotten solider.

Shaun McGuire, 66, from Newport has been cataloguing Roll of Honour lists for those who lost their lives in Newport and Cwmbran.

As the First World War centenary approached, he was contacted by people looking to remember their own relatives who lost their lives.

He said: “It all started as a bit of a hobby when I was doing my own family history and it took off from there.

“All of my websites have been copied by the British Library and the National Library of Wales so that they will be available for future generations.”

He explained that for years his family members had been searching for information about Penry Morgan, Mr McGuire’s great uncle from Cwmbran, so he took up the search 10 years ago.

He found that Private Morgan of the Grenadier Guards was mortally wounded in France on March 12, 1915.

He suffered serious leg wounds and died from these injuries at the Hammersmith hospital, London on March 31, 1915.

He was given a full military funeral and was buried in St Michael’s church in Llantarnam, on April 4, 1915.

He was the first military serviceman to be buried in Cwmbran during the First World War.

Mr McGuire said: “Penry is the only Commonwealth War Grave there.

“But I feel he is overshadowed by the grave of John Williams who won a Victoria Cross at the battle of Rorkes Drift at the time of the Zulu wars in South Africa.”

He added: “Less than 100 metres away lies the body of Penry, who was the only survivor of a German shell that killed all of his comrades and some weeks after being repatriated to a hospital in the UK, killed Penry.”

Mr McGuire said that he visits the grave regularly as he doesn’t want Private Morgan to become the forgotten soldier.

He said: “After researching Penry, I started to collect the names of other men who lost their lives in the local area as I think they deserve recognition for their actions.”

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