Dolybont, Meadow Bridge, and Penybont, Upper Bridge, are one and the same small village. Despite its size it has provided a host of mariners as well as some soldiers and airmen. Of its seafarers, there was Captain John Edwards 1812-57 of the schooner Reform, who lived at Taicannol. Thomas James b.1822 was mate on the 168-ton brig Squire. Captain Enoch James b.1827 was owner and commander of the schooner Falcon. Thomas James b.1852, the son of Captain Enoch James, was crewmember and later bosun, on the brig Naomi. He passed his examination as first mate at Liverpool in October 1873. He had been taught by Lewis Roderick at Borth, and he went on to serve on the sailing vessels Ethel Ann and the Copernicus and later passed as captain in 1881.
Iorweth Williams served in the Royal Navy in World War 1. He was son of the local stonemason whom the Williams brothers remember as their local barber. Captain David Ellis was master in 1908, survived both World Wars, and retired to Llys Iago in Penybont.
Percy Pearce was in the Royal Navy at the end of the Second World War, and after going on a trip to America, his talk was punctuated with the slang of that country…howdy partner etc. As a child, I remember him plastering the back kitchen of Brynowen Cottage. Tragically, he died as a young man when he accidentally fell down an old lead mine shaft. Edward Wood, served in the Royal Navy in World War Two as a radar technician; he lived in Dolwen House, and after the war taught at a school for the blind. His sister, Dorothy Wood, served in the W.R.N.S during World War Two, and later became a teacher.
Another Royal Navy World War Two veteran was Glyn Shaw. He was a noted wag, and in a wartime forces football match, recognized Eddie Williams (brother of matelots David and Billy), who served in the R.A.F. in the crowd in front of him. Glyn immediately began shouting “come on Dolybont” and “come on Carron Jones” to Eddie’s amazement and amusement. Carron Jones was a beloved preacher in the area who lived at Dolybont. Glyn Shaw ended up in Australia, initially as a dog-handler trainer, and later worked at a Post Office in Sydney.
The Reverend Carron Jones’ sons, Gwilym and Ieuan both served in the Army during the First World War. Gwilym was severely wounded at Salonica. Local blacksmith David Morgan was in a Cavalry Regiment and Jim James, Bryndderwen House, was an infantry man. The late Gwyn Evans of Felin Fawr, told me that the latter soldier was often seen crying after trains passed, obviously a disturbing reminder of some of the horrors he had experienced during the Great War. Lance Corporal David J. Hughes was so skilled that he became a sniper and then a scout on the Western Front.
The Evans boys of Felin Fawr played their part in the Second World War, Vivian was in the Royal Engineers and his brother Thomas Daniel was in the R.A.F, but unfortunately lost life in Java in 1942. Another man from Penybont was Captain John Edwards, a British Non Intervention Officer, who was killed in Spain in 1938, in the same month as Henry Levi Williams.