2nd Lt Vivian Llewellyn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action 4th November 1918, Poix de Nord, France
Commemorated with a memorial at Highfields Church, Monthermer Road (originally in Crwys Hall Presbyterian Church)
Born in 1898 Vivian was the 2nd of 10 children for Lemuel & Isabella of Cathays Terrace, Cardiff. He went to Gladstone Primary, won a scholarship to Cardiff Municipal Secondary School at Howard Gardens, and then went on to gain certificates in French and Spanish at Cardiff Technical College. Vivian joined his father at Messrs John Cory & Sons on Cardiff docks as a coal trimmer.
In 1916 he enlisted with the Artists’ Rifles Officer Training Corps in Cardiff, gaining his commission in 1917. Probably because of his language skills, Vivian was assigned to the 14th Service Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (RWF) as an Intelligence Officer responsible for initial translation of enemy documents and interrogations of prisoners at the front line in case there was immediate information that the officers needed.
RWF’s campaign diary says: “Nov 4 At Poix du Nord, at 5a.m., two Headquarters Officers were killed and the Commanding Officer was wounded” and the official RWF Record (pg 492) describes the attack to clear a forest going into action at 5.30am and, although, assisted by a mist, there were many casualties noting that “the 14th, Lieutenant WBC Hunkin and Lieutenant V Llewellyn killed”.
Vivian was buried in Forest Communal Cemetery, France and a memorial tablet funded by the Cory shipping company was dedicated on 4th May 1919 at Crwys Hall Presbyterian Church, on Monthermer Road (in what was believed to have been in those days in the old parish boundary of Roath).
The RWF Regimental Band played and tributes were given by his Commanding Officer, Major WP Wheldon DSO, and John Cory who said that had Vivian “been spared he would … have attained a very high position in the business world at Cardiff Docks” and was “a son worthy of his father”.
This memorial tablet was lost in the mid-1980s but was rediscovered and restored by the Llewellyn family descendants. It was rededicated on 5th May 2018 at Highfields Church, Monthermer Road, Cathays, not far from its original position in Crwys Hall.
The above article was kindly provided by Jeremy Sparkes, a great-nephew of 2nd Lt Vivian Llewellyn.
The following information regarding other memorials at this church is taken from “War memorials in the city of Cardiff” compiled by David V Hughes (1995):-
The Calvanistic Methodist
Church In Wales
Monthermer Road Cathays Cardiff
In affectionate and ever grateful memory of the following members and adherents of this Church who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War.
Being Dead they yet speak.
L/Cpl Ainsley Sloman S.W.B Pte Elwyn Edwards G.S.R
Pte L P Peterson Welsh Regt Cpl WC Smith Welsh Regt
Sgt E J Davies M.M K.S.L.I L/Cpl G Senior R.D.G
Cpl G T Willcocks A.S.C Rfmn Percy John L.I.R
Lieut Raymond Jones R.A.M.C Gnr Ivor Stickler R.F.A
Pte G Herbert Welsh Regt Rfmn AC Parfitt Rifle Brgd
Pte E J Bennett Welsh Regt L/Cpl AS Meyrick R.I.F
L/Cpl Percy Purnell Welsh Regt 2nd/Lt V Llewellyn R.W.F
Pte A J Tackley Glos Regt Gnr Leonard Williams R.F.A
Their name shall live for ever and ever.
Erected July 1919
(Note: Whether the above memorial still exists is not known. I made an enquiry at Highfields chuch and they were not aware of the memorial. Ted Richards. Jan 2019)
The following memorial is also listed at being at Crwys Hall, now Highfields church Monthermer Road, Cathays Cardiff, in “War memorials in the city of Cardiff” compiled by David V Hughes (1995):-
In the memory of the men of this church who gave
their lives in the Great War
Charles P Brian A J CLifford John J Edwards
William Brown Ivor Ll Dadds Ivor V E Hathway
F Austin Callard Chris S Eastment
Eric M Rees Gilbert Scrivens Sanley Silby Glyn Williams
L V J Williams
Research notes on the people named on this memorial (Ted Richards):-
Ivor V E Hathway is probably Ivor Victor Ernest Hathway who was baptised at St Johns church Cardiff on 22nd Aug 1895. He was son of Albert Amos, a dock laborer, and Emily Hathway both originally from Westbury, Gloucestershire. In 1901 the family were living in 89 Sanquhar Street, Splott. In the 1911 census the family were living in Diamond Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff. Before the war he was a porter at Peacock & Sons in Clifton Street. In WWI he was a Gunner in Royal Field Artillery and died aged 19. He is buried in Cathays cemetery, Cardiff (plot EF. NC. 9332.).