In memory of Iltyd Edwin Maitland Watkins

usk_iltyd_maitland_watkinsIltyd Edwin Maitland Watkins was born in Usk in March 1890 to John and Frances Watkins. John was a solicitor in Usk, chaired the town’s Conservative Association and Club, and was a central figure in the fundraising campaigns for the town’s Boer War memorial and to provide for the widow and child of one of the men who had died in that war.

Iltyd was educated at Downside School, a Roman Catholic school in Somerset. In 1906 he gained the Lower Certificate in six subjects, including First Class in Latin, Greek, English and French.

While studying law at King’s College, Cambridge, he took part in the Lent and May rowing races each year. He was also a talented oil painter. His other interests included music, English and French literature, riding, swimming and hunting.

His sister Gwen also studied at Cambridge, at Newnham College. In 1908 she gained the highest place among female candidates in the classical tripos.

Iltyd was already a member of the Territorial Infantry while at Cambridge. In 1909 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment. He was articled to his father in 1911 and passed the final solicitors’ exam in 1914.

He was promoted to Captain in July 1914, shortly before the outbreak of war. He quickly volunteered and served initially with the Welsh Divisional Signal Company. Having returned to his regiment, he went to France in February 1915.

He was killed in action north of Ypres, Belgium, on 7 May 1915. He was 25 years old. He was buried on the battlefield but the grave was subsequently lost. He is therefore commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Return to Usk war memorial page

soldier at graveside icon