Idwal Davies 1926- (Byddin Prydain)

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Idwal Davies (1926-) British Army
Llanelli, Dyfed
West Wales Veterans Archive
Date of Interview: 15th April 2024
Interviewer: Owen Dobson
Idwal Davies born 11/11/1926 Burry Port
Born in Burry Port in 1926, Idwal was a pupil at Stebonheath School, Llanelli, when WW2 broke out on 3rd September 1939. He recalls trainloads of evacuees arriving at the local station every day for several weeks. Age 15, Idwal joined the Air Training Corps, fully intending to become RAF aircrew and after receiving his call up papers in 1944, was instructed to attend an Aircrew Selection Board. However, D-Day had taken place and he was told that he would be transferring to the British Army, where the need for recruits was far greater. He duly reported to Derring lines in Brecon.
After six weeks basic training Idwal was selected for training as lorry driver, before moving onto tanks where he learned to drive the 40 tons Churchill tank. After successfully passing this course, Idwal was sent on a gunnery course he was then posted onto a wireless course to learn morse code and Idwal remembers this as being the hardest part of being a Tankman.
Idwal was still training when the news arrived that Japan had surrendered, and WW2 was officially over. Idwal joined the 7th Queens Own Hussars in Palmanova, Northern Italy, in the Army of Occupation. Demobilisation was beginning to take place and on looking at Idwal’s record it was notice that his pre-service employment back in Llanelli had been in the butchery trade. As the Regiment’s own butcher had just been demobbed, Idwal found himself taking over as the butcher. So he wryly reflects that after three years in the Air Training Corps, a year training to be a tankman, then joining the 7th Queens Own Hussars as a tank driver, the Army chose to ignore all his military training and so he ended up doing the very same job in the Army that he had been trained to do after leaving school back in Llanelli. Idwal was demobilised himself in 1948.
After his military service Idwal returned to Llanelli and married his late wife Enid in 1949. Idwal worked locally in the motor industry as a tool setter. He is very active in his local community helping sell books at the Prince Phillip Hospital, himself a published author of the book “Gone, But Not Forgotten” which he has sold to raise monies for charity. Idwal was a keen member of the Llanelli Historical Society and is a supporter at the local Salvation Army.

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