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Description

Oliver Jones, aged 28, a gunner in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, was the son of Morgan and Sarah Jane Jones of 42 Grove Road Pontardawe. Before the war he had been working in the Bryn tinplate works along with his father Morgan and brother, Thomas Gunstone. The whole family were Welsh speakers, and both Oliver and his brother Gunstone were regular prize-winners at local eisteddfodau.

A contemporary newspaper report of his death states that Oliver was a locally well-known bard and singer who had won the prize for penillion singing (singing verses with a harp accompanist) at Treboeth Eisteddfod while he was on leave just three weeks earlier, when he also became engaged to be married.

The chaired bard Gwilym Cynlais (William Terry) wrote a eulogy for Oliver which was published in the newspaper Llais Llafur on 31 August 1918, and included the following lines:

Glas yw dy Gymru'r fynud hon,
Glas yw dy fedd yn erw'r don,
Difynor, diflodyn yw mynwent mor,
Cwsg Oliver, cwsg—mae'th goffa gan lor!



This translates roughly as:

So green is your Wales right now,
So green is your grave in the depths of the waves,
Wreathless is the sea’s grave,
Sleep Oliver, sleep – you are remembered by the Lord.


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