Sunday, 13 November 2011

Joseph Hemelryk of Trelawnyd

The small War Memorial situated in the centre of the village has only 6 names engraved on it. Five men have been dedicated from the Great War, and one man named Joseph Hemelryk, is the single Trelawnyd casualty, from World War 2.
The Incription on the Trelawnyd Memorial

Joseph, was a major in the Royal Canadian Infantry.(Although it is documented that he was actually born in Trelawnyd) His parents ,Lt.-Col. George Edward Hemelryk, O.B.E., J.P., and Elizabeth Mary Hemelryk lived in Henfyn Hall which was located just outside the village after returning to this country in 1911 . Apparantly they originally emigrated to Canada in 1905.

Joseph died literally days before the end of the war, and is buried in the Netherlands at Holten Canadian War Cemetery
He was attached to the Glasgow Highlanders and was 33 when he died.
Jospeh's Grave in the Netherlands
The Hemelryks sold Helfyn Hall in 1945.
So with all this history going on in my head, I thought It prudent to attend the village's Remembrance day service which was planned for 4pm. The service is taken by the vicar and by the chapel minister .
The villagers at the Memorial Day service this afternoon. Auntie Glad is centre in red

It was a cold afternoon for some of the older members of the village to pay their respects, but thirty or so souls turned up. I stood on the perimeter with Mabel (who was impeccably behaved)
I thought the presence of a bulldog was apt
I had to leave the service early as it was going dusk......roosting turkeys wait for no man....or for any memorial service for that matter!


  1. Such a photogenic little girl. Looks as though she adores you too.

  2. How is she settling in? Used to her celebrity status yet?

  3. That's rather sad; just one name from WW2. I'm not sure whether it's a matter of pride that Trelawnyd sacrificed one of her sons, or saddened that EVEN ONE needed to die.

  4. I thought it sad too cro.....

  5. Hemelryk is an unusual name and sounds more Dutch than Welsh. Strangely, the Canada at War website has him with the Herefordshire Light Infantry.

    1. i am joes nephew and know so little about him. anytjng would be appreciated

  6. I saw that too SP
    I took the info from his gravestone and the canadian war grave website
    His family originated from Holland

  7. Though there are thousands of graves, thousands of names, every one - like Joseph Hemelryk of Trelawnyd - had his own special story and the circumstances of his departing left ripples that still resonate today. We will remember them.

  8. I agree with YP - all of the fallen, on all sides, have thier own sad story.

    Nice of you to pay your respects today (especially with the bulldog).

  9. Ah, this time of Remembrance. The War Memorial here in Ashley Bank has a similar handful of names - some of them German - to cover both wars. It's so aching to think of those men who died so close to War's End. My daughter is studying Wilfred Owen for her Drama exam and tells me that he died a few days before Armistice Day. Every single death is a waste, but to have come so close to Earthly Peace...

  10. I've just read Bryony's timeline for Wilfred Owen and he didn't die just before war's end. It must have been one of the other war poets, but it's still poignant.

  11. At least Joseph has been remembered...and continues to be. How sad that he died so close to the end of the war...blessings to his memory.
    Mabel is a sweetheart...and Aunt glad looks one as well!
    xo J~

  12. Anonymous7:03 pm

    My father was 34 when I was born...I would never have been born if he'd died when he was 33. Having been that age a good bit ago I can definitely say it's way to young to be dead. Bless Joseph Hemelryk for his service and his sacrifice during WWII and for the two who served during WWI.

    I enjoyed the information and photos I found on the link in your post. Aunty Glad in RED, I love her! And Mabel looking at you with her tender loving eyes!

    Hope turkeys OK when you arrived home...our guinea fowl would roost anywhere...trees, the roof top...anywhere they could be snatched by the owls, of course!

  13. Very fitting that Mabel was in attendance.
    Bitterly cold for our service too. I stay for the raising and lowering of the flag, and for the march past by the vets (we still have a few here), but leave before the politicians start prosthelytizing.

  14. How good for Joseph to be remembered. I am wondering why the family left Canada and returned to the UK? I bet it was the winters here! Enough to drive a few 'back home', I am sure.

  15. Well I guess if I googled Wilfred Owen myself... Bryony reminded me that her project is a dramatic one, and demonstrated how having imagined how his life might have panned out, she rips the timeline off at 1918. It was enough of a shock to make my eyes prick.
    Am just back from school road-crossing duty, so prompted by your memorial post I took a wee walk around our War Memorial and thought of the men named on it: Schmidt,Peach,Fraser...

    Move him into the sun -
    Gently its touch awoke him once,
    At home, whispering of fields unsown.
    Always it woke him, even in France,
    Until this morning and this snow.


  16. Mabel is a beauty! Her smile is fabulous. A very nice, touching post.

  17. Every one that fell was someone special, someone's child, lover or sibling, no matter what side they fought on, no matter what their nationality. We will remember them. x

  18. I love Mabel's sweet face.

  19. Have you ever researched on how many years of total peace there has been in 200 years, of when the British forces were not in engaged in a conflict somewhere in the world ?

  20. Sad anyone has to die so you. Glad he and all other soldiers are remembered.

  21. A sad sad event. Yesterday was a day for memories.

  22. A lovely tribute John!

  23. And, may we never forget them or the servicemembers and civilians dying everyday today.

  24. Anonymous2:59 am

    It sobered see all the elders standing around the memorial like that. They remember in a different way than those of us who are younger do. Closer. Deeper.
    Good post John. Thanks.

  25. I took a few moments to remember, although did not attend any gatherings.

    Auntie Glad looks wonderful in red, and Mabel has such love in her eyes.


  26. thanx 4 doing this 4 my uncle



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