This page is dedicated to the memory of:
David Richard Williams
1st Battalion Welsh Guards
David, known as “Dei” to all who knew him was born in Bangor, North Wales on the 30th December 1961; the son of John Owen Williams and Eluned Williams and brother to John Elfed, Eirlys Wyn, Nesta Ann and Arwel Bryn.
The family home was and continues to be in Holyhead, Anglesey. His father, John Owen was an Ex-Army man who served in Burma during the war. He hailed from a small Anglesey village called ” Marianglas” and work on the Railway out of Holyhead until his retirement in 1990. He died in 1998 after a short illness. Dei had the calmness of his father and inherited his father’s love of bikes and, later in life, motor bikes.
His mother, Eluned came from a farming village in the north of Anglesey called “Llanfechell”. From his mother Dei inherited his stocky build and dark smouldering looks. Dei, like his mother, was very fond of music, especially Elvis Presley.
Dei was brought up in the traditional Welsh speaking Methodist environment. The children were very close being aged only a year apart, except for Arwel who arrived on the scene in the 1970s. The eldest, John Elfed, served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers for 13 years. He has three children, Elfed, Loretta and Aneria and lives and works in Salisbury. The eldest sister, Eirlys (now Jones), is married and lives and works in Llandudno, North Wales. Nesta, (now Edwards), still lives in the Holyhead area and is married with two sons, Aaron & Dafydd Emyr, Dafydd being Welsh for David in memory of Dei. Arwel also lives and works in the Holyhead area.
Like his brothers and sisters, Dei attended Holyhead Secondary School. Although more practically minded than academic, Dei knew exactly what he wanted to do in his life and that, like his father and brother before him, was join the army. Dei signed up at the Bangor recruiting Office and joined the Welsh Guards stationed in Pirbright, Surrey. Dei passed out in 1977 and served tours of duty in Northern Ireland & Kenya.
In 1982 Dei set sail for the Falkland Islands on board the QE2 out of Southampton. Although the horrors of war were a haunting presence in the family’s minds, these were not a factor to Dei in this adventure to the other side of the world. Dei landed at St Carlos Water and took his place in the Battle for the Falkland Islands.
On the 8th June 1982, the fleet auxiliary support ship “Sir Galahad” anchored at Bluff Cove, was attacked by Argentinean aircraft. Dei was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At home, the Falklands conflict was the main subject of news and interest. An exciting glimpse of history being made before our eyes. The reality of war was brought vividly home with the news of Dei’s death.
For many weeks after, hope sprang eternal that he was marooned somewhere off the coast of Bluff Cove, lost in the chaotic escape from the burning ship. However as time went by and the war ended, the realisation that Dei was gone sunk in.
The Victory was complete and the servicemen returned, but Dei and his other comrades who died on that fateful day in June of 1982 were left with dignity in there sea grave of the Sir Galahad.
Many tributes were paid to Dei and his comrades who gave their lives for the service of queen and country. Dei’s parents visited the Falkland Islands in 1983 with other bereaved families. The memories of this visit helped Dei’s father and mother enormously in the subsequent years.
The people of Anglesey, Holyhead in particular, raised funds to erect a memorial in his memory. The memorial, which stands on the East Coast of Holy Island at Penrhos, looks out over Beddmanarch Bay, which separates Holy Island from Anglesey. Many people have commented on the similarity of this landscape to that of the Falkland Islands. Penrhos and the memorial have provided great solace and a focus for the family and Dei’s friends. The Welsh Guards Flag is hoisted over the memorial on Dei’s Birthday, the 8th June and on Remembrance Sunday.
Time marches on but Dei remains young, as those who knew him grow old. New generations are born who never knew him, but know of him, and who stand proud of him, for his name lives forever more.