6th January 1916

Second Lieutenant Guy Llewellyn Gwyther died on 6th January 1916 serving with the 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. Born on 23rd July 1882 at Castle Bromwich, he was baptised at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church on 18th October 1882. He was the second youngest of the five children (four sons, one daughter) of parents Julian (a solicitor in Birmingham) and Dorothy Hannah (née Hughes). The two eldest children were born in Water Orton, whilst the other three were all born in Castle Bromwich. All four sons served in the First World War, with two of them – Guy and Philip – losing their lives. Their father, Julian, died in 1908 so was spared the knowledge of the death of two of his sons.

The family had moved away from Castle Bromwich by 1891, and were living in Dorset by the time of the 1891 census. In 1901, 18-year-old Guy was with his mother, Dorothy (a boarding house keeper), sister, Dorothy Maud (1877-1972), and brother, George Lionel (1886-1978),  in Kensington, London. Guy was working as a clerk to an insurance broker. By 1911, he and his brother, George, had moved to Almeley, Herefordshire where they were both working as poultry farmers.

The eldest brother, Edwin Julian (1875-1943) served as a Sergeant with the Imperial Yeomanry (Paget’s Horse) during the Boer War, and was gazetted Second Lieutenant in March 1902 and seconded to the West African Frontier Force. In November 1914, he was gazetted Temporary Captain with the 7th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment and later promoted Captain. He married on the Isle of Wight in 1909, and died there in 1943, aged 68.

Guy married Violet Evans between April-June 1914, shortly before the outbreak of war. In 1915, Guy was commissioned Second Lieutenant with 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. His older brother, Philip Hugh, had also joined the Army as a Private with the North Staffordshire Regiment. Their youngest brother, George Lionel, apparently known by his middle name, also enlisted in 1915, joining the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in Ottawa.  Lionel married in Kent in 1916, and his son, Llewellyn Evan, was born in East Looe in 1918. Lionel survived the war, and emigrated from Canada to the USA in 1919. He remarried in 1940, became a naturalised US citizen in 1943 and died in Oregon, aged 91, in 1972.

Guy entered a Theatre of War (France) in September 1915 and was killed in action four months later. His brother, Philip, was killed almost exactly a year later, on 12th January 1917.

Guy has no known grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq. He is not commemorated locally on war memorials in his birthplace of Castle Bromwich but is listed on the war memorial in Almeley, Herfordshire.  His widow, Violet, remarried in 1937 and seems to have died, aged 81, in 1970.

If you have any further information, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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