South West Wales

Passchendaele: Llanelli memorial honours VC soldier Ivor Rees

Ivor Rees Image copyright The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh
Image caption Ivor Rees was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V on 26 September 1917

A memorial has been unveiled to mark the 100th anniversary of a Carmarthenshire soldier's World War One heroics.

Ivor Rees was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium on 31 July, 1917.

He led the capture of a machine gun which had been causing "many casualties".

A paving stone was laid at Llanelli Town Hall on Monday.

It was unveiled by his granddaughter Catrin Rees, who was joined by civic and military dignitaries.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Battle of Passchendaele is known as one of the bloodiest battles of World War One

Mr Rees, from Felinfoel, Llanelli, was a sergeant in the 11th Battalion The South Wales Borderers.

On the opening day of the battle he led his platoon through close range machine gun fire.

When he was near the gun he charged towards his enemy, shooting one and bayoneting another.

He then bombed the large concrete emplacement, killing five soldiers and capturing 30 prisoners, including two officers.

Image copyright The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh
Image caption After the war Ivor Rees was known in Llanelli as "Rees the VC"

Mr Rees was a pupil of Pwll School and worked at Llanelli Steelworks before he enlisted.

he took a job with Llanelli Borough Council as a water inspector after World War One, a post he held until his retirement in 1959.

He also served as a Company Sergeant Major in the 2nd Carmarthenshire Home Guard during World War Two.

He married his wife Martha in 1917 and went on to have two sons and three daughters. He died in 1967 aged 73.

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