There has been a lot of emphasis this past month remembering the people behind the name’s on the WWI war memorials.
I thought I would try and gather together information about all the memorials in the old parish of Roath. It’s been an interesting exercise and far from over. I have visited some, found photographs of others and had commitments from people supply information on others. I think there are still quite a lot out there that I haven’t yet found or seen photographs for. I’ve begun to put together a page on the memorials I know about. Please let me know of any others!
The one big surprise to me was that we once had a stone memorial in Roath. It stood in front of Roath Road Wesleyan Methodist church on the corner of Newport Road and City Road. The church was badly damages in an air raid in WWII but photographs show that the war memorial survived. But then what happened to it?
I’ve read recently that war memorial is said to have been taken down round about 1955 and put on a porters trolley “borrowed” from the Infirmary and towed by pick-up van to the Trinity Methodist church on the corner of Piercefield Place and re-erected in it’s forecourt. Does anybody remember it there? I’d be interested if anyone knows where the memorial ended up.
On a close up picture of the memorial I can just about make out the name W H Seager. That would have been William Henry Seager or Willie Seager as he was known. He was the son of Sir William Seager, Cardiff shipowner. The Seager family lived close to the church on Newport Road. Sir William commemorated the loss of his son in many ways. He financed a ward in Cardiff Royal Infirmary. We also set up the Willie Seager Memorial Trust which had a row of cottages for retired merchant seamen built on the corner of Newport Road and Colchester Avenue. Those cottages have since gone but new Willie Seager cottages constructed at the eastern end of Westville Road in Pen-y-lan.
Some other war memorials and plaques have fared much better. The stone memorial outside St Saviour’s in Splott was renovated and looking good. The Cardiff High School memorial is now on a wall at the ‘new’ Cardiff High school on Cleyn Avenue and students at the school actively researching the names on the memorial and another memorial that includes the name of W M Seager.
The Howard Gardens / Howardian High School war memorial plaque has survived the current demolition of the school and is now safely installed in the new Howardian Primary School. Only a small fragment of the original Howard Gardens WWI plaque however survived the WWII bombing of the school.
So there you have it. The list of memorials and photographs I have so far collected are on our War Memorial page (click to open that page and on other links on that page). I hope to add others soon such as the now missing Mackintosh Institute plaque and the nicely restored Vivian Llewellyn memorial in Highfields church.
Ted Richards – Dec 2018