The original report by The Beacon of the unveiling of the War Memorial listed a “R. England” as being one of the fallen. This name does not appear on the plaque in Penallt Church, but only the name of Arthur Henry England. Neither have we been able to find an official war death listing for “R. England” that links back to Penallt. We thought that he was listed in The Beacon because it was felt that his death was due to the war.
His death certificate shows that he died on 18th April 1918, aged 31, due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis (T.B.). This was certified by Dr Rowland Payne L.R.C.P. It also states that his brother “R. England was present at the death”. Presumably, this was Rushton England.
Robert’s occupation was listed as farm labourer and there does not seem to be any military connection to his death. However, we found a medal index card for a man who was in the Royal Field Artillery (Territorial) as 397 Driver Robert England, and who later became 630123 Driver Robert England. The rank of Driver would be ideal for a man who had experience of horses on a farm. This Robert England is listed as wounded and was given the Silver War Badge and was discharged from service on 21st May 1917 under Kings’ Regulations, Para 392, XVI.
This could explain why his name was in The Beacon at the unveiling of The War Memorial at Penallt Village in 1921. He served in France from 2nd May 1915, and his medal entitlement was the British War medal, the Victory medal, and the 1915 star. Robert England, on discharge, had taken to working back on a farm for a living which would explain the occupation on the death certificate. The Beacon records both brothers as serving in the Welsh Transport Section in November 1915. From December 1917 only Arthur is in the army.
Robert England was buried in the family grave at Penallt Churchyard on April 21 1918. His name does not appear on the memorial within the church and the reason may be that it was felt that his death was not attributable to war service. There are no contemporaneous notes from meetings of village committees in any archive that we have consulted to get an insight into the reason for his not being named on the church memorial.
See also the description within In Memoriam