Oakeley Slate Quarries war memorial, Blaenau Ffestiniog

welsh-slateOakeley Slate Quarries war memorial, Blaenau Ffestiniog

This memorial was created in 1919 by the Oakeley Slate Quarries Company to honour its former employees who died in the First World War. See below for their details .

Oakeley was the largest of Blaenau Ffestiniog’s many slate quarries at the time. It occupied the hillside beyond the present location of the war memorial. The site is east of what is now the A470 road.

Quarry managers selected a large piece of slate for the memorial in summer 1919. It was engraved with the names of 23 men and erected on the company’s premises.

The outbreak of war had an immediate effect on the international demand for Welsh slate. By the end of August 1914, Oakeley Slate Quarries had reduced its operations to three days per week, and the company urged its unmarried young employees to join the army.

In one sitting in July 1916 (six months after conscription began) the Ffestiniog military tribunal granted conditional exemptions to 173 quarrymen, including 51 from Oakeley.

In 1919 Oakeley Slate Quarries agreed to provide work for men left disabled by the war, under a Government scheme.

Welsh Slate, part of the Breedon Group, now uses the Oakeley site for processing slate. Welsh Slate produces slates for many purposes, including roofs, floors, fireplace surrounds, paving and landscaping. It also provides slate waste aggregate for civil engineering projects.

Postcode: LL41 3HS    View Location Map

Website of Welsh Slate


Oakeley men who died in the First World War

  • Owen, Arthur Vaughan, Private 48234. Died 27/09/1915. Royal Army Medical Corps. Of Caeglyd. Died at Winchester.
  • Jones, John Thomas, Private 5352. Died of wounds 30/09/1915 aged 36. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Merville Communal Cemetery. Son of Mr and Mrs Griffith Jones of 15, Cwmorthin Road, Tanygrisiau. Sustained a chest wound in battle but continued to fight until his back was injured.
  • Owen, Gwalchmai, Private 25242. Died 10 July 1916. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Thiepval Memorial. Of High Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Jones, John William, Private 25215. Died 15/07/1916. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Heilly Station Cemetery. Of Dolbryn, Glanypwll. One of three brothers killed.
  • Jones, William Ellis, Private 25214. Died 13/02/1917 aged 39. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Ferme-Olivier Cemetery. Son of William Jones of Dolbryn House, Glanypwll Road, Blaenau-Festiniog. One of three brothers killed.
  • Jones, Thomas W. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Of Penygroes, Bethania. Died in France. One of three brothers killed.
  • Davies, Robert R, Private 61200 (middle initial given as B in war graves records). Died of wounds 23/08/1918. Buried Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery. Lived in Tanygrisau.
  • Parry, William Pritchard, Private 40315. Died 20/07/1916 aged 19. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Thiepval Memorial. Son of William and Ann Parry of Salem Cottage, Rhiwbryfdir, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Also of Garn Dolbenmaen.
  • Jones, William C, Private 27583. Died 15/01/1917 aged 28. South Wales Borderers. Basra Memorial. Son of Cadwalader and Anne Jones of 83, High Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Davies, Richard, Private 290368. Died 26/03/1917. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Gaza War Cemetery. Of Bronbarlwyd, Tanygrisau.
  • Owen, Evan, Private 290637. Died 26/03/1917. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Jerusalem Memorial. Of Tynllywn, Tanygrisau.
  • Jones, David D, Private 25252. Died of wounds 04/08/1916. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetery. Of Hendy, Talywaenydd.
  • Jones, Elias, Private 16928. Died of wounds 16/07/1915 aged 23. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery. Son of Robert and Jane Jones of Glan yr Afon, Bodychain, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Also of New Street.
  • Griffiths, William, Private 290635. Died 06/11/1917 aged 42. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Jerusalem Memorial. Son of Griffith and Elizabeth Griffiths of 1, West End, Tanygrisiau; husband of Mary Elizabeth Griffiths of 31, Commercial Street, Bargoed.
  • Hughes, Thomas Owen, Lance Corporal 291545. Died 28/12/1917. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Jerusalem War Cemetery. Of Tynewydd-ffynon.
  • Hughes, Francis, 24312, Private 24312. Died 30/04/1918 aged 22. Royal Army Medical Corps. Buried Esquelbecq Military Cemetery. Son of Francis and Winifred Hughes of Cemlyn, Dorfil Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Hughes, William, Private 49585. Died 30/05/1918 aged 19. South Wales Borderers. Soissons Memorial. Son of William and Ann Hughes of 91, High Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Ellis, William, Private 291305. Died 10/07/1918. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Buried Jerusalem War Cemetery. Son of William and Mary Ellis, of Market Hall, Blaenau Ffestiniog, and of Fron View, Maenofferen. Shown on war memorial as having died in France.
  • Jones, Robert O, Private 74115. Died 21/08/1918 aged 24. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Buried St. Sever Cemetery. Husband of Annie Mary Jones of 7, Bronddwyryd, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Jones, Robert Gwaenydd, Private 57571. Died 21/09/1918 aged 19. Welsh Regiment. Buried St. Sever Cemetery. Of Talywaenydd. Was an accomplished singer of pennillion (verses sung with harp accompaniment).
  • Lewis, Ben, Private 55470. Died 28/10/1918 aged 28. Northumberland Fusiliers. Buried Giavera British Cemetery. Husband of Annie Jane Lewis of 108, High Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Also of Glandwr, Tanygrisiau.
  • Thomas, Richard R, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Of Glanrafon Terrace, Tanygrisau. Died in the United Kingdom.
  • Thomas, William H, Private 53890. Died 06/03/1919. Northumberland Fusiliers. Buried Blaenau Ffestiniog (Bethesda) Cemetery. Of Oakeley Terrace, Talywaenydd.
  • Hughes, Robert, Private 9785. Died 26/11/1918 aged 25. Royal Army Medical Corps. Buried Dar Es Salaam (Upanga Road) Cemetery. Son of Daniel and Mary Hughes of 2, Barlwyd Avenue, Oakeley Square, Blaenau Ffestiniog.