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  • Christina Drummond

Corporal William Edward Bevan, 2nd Battalion, The Welsh Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Corporal William Edward Bevan, 2nd Battalion, the Welsh Regiment, died in Cardiff from the effects of frostbite several months after being sent home from the Western Front.

He was one of over 11,000 men who joined the regiment at the outbreak of the Great War. In August of 1914 his battalion was stationed at Bordon as part of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division, and arrived at Le Harve on the 13th of that month to fight on the Western Front. They saw action at the Battles of Mons, the Marne, the Aisne, and the First Battle of Ypres.

It was during the Winter Operations of 1914-1915 that Corporal Bevan contracted frostbite to such a severe extent that he was sent home, eventually succumbing to the condition. He is buried in the Cardiff (Cathays) Cemetery in Glamorganshire. It is not known exactly when he became infirm, but there are many reports of that winter detailing severe weather, inadequate clothing and footwear, poor living conditions in the trenches leaving men exposed to the cold, and at times a lack of food and other supplies getting through the lines due to poor communication, shortages or enemy disruption. The trenches were often flooded, the water freezing at times, and many soldiers lost fingers and toes or died from exposure in the sub-zero temperatures.

William, from Newport in Monmouthshire, was 21 years old.

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