Cole, Charles Llewellyn
Charles Llewellyn Cole, Private, 19664, York and Lancaster Regiment.
Charles was the son of Benjamin and Louisa Cole, of Carew Mountain, Cresselly. He enlisted into the Army at Neath joining the 10th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, which was attached to 63 Brigade, 21st Division.
The Division crossed to France between 2 and 13 September 1915, and its first experience of battle was truly appalling. Having been in France for only a few days, lengthy forced marches brought it into the reserve for the British assault at Loos. GHQ planning left it too far behind to be a useful reinforcement on the first day, but it was sent into action on 26th September, whereupon it suffered over 3,800 casualties for very little gain.
They moved to the Somme in 1916, and fought at the Battle of Albert, going over the top on the opening day of the battle, on 1 July 1916.
Charles was one of almost 20,000 men who died on that first day of the fighting; the worst disaster in the history of the British Army. He was 22 years old, and like so many others who died in that terrible battle, he has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.