Howard Gardens High School War Memorial


Howardian War Memorial

Howard Gardens War Memorial now mounted inside Howardian Primary School.



Howard Gardens Old war memorial

The original Howard Garden WWI memorial tablet, unveiled in Feb 4th 1922 costing £380 (>£15,000 in today’s money), that was later on destroyed in the Blitz. (Photo from the book ‘Floreat Howardia’)



Surviving part of WWI Howard Gardens memorial

This plaque, fire blackened in the blitz in 1941, alone remains of the first world war memorial.
It was remounted in the new building in centenary year 1985.      TJF/ECP        This fragment of the original memorial is now mounted in Howardian Primary School.



Wm B Berwick

Howard H Bucknell

Charles W Cooper

Martin Espeland

Percy C D Evans

Howard Callon

Andrew T Callon

Lionel R James

Edward C Morgan

Reginald W Napier

Howard Gardens Organ Plaque

A small war memorial plaque that was once on the Howardian High School organ.



In 1914 Howard Gardens School was taken over and converted into a military hospital. Other schools in Cardiff were similarly converted into military hospitals. Howard Gardens became the Headquarters of the Third Western General Hospital.  Fifty five soldiers died in the hospital during WWI but no doubt many more were saved.  It was not converted back into a school until 1920.

There was a small alter dedicated to the 65 soldiers who died in the hospital  in All Saints Church, Adamsdown.  The marble plaque for that alter was handed over to Howardian High School for safe keeping.  It has now been mounted on a wall in Howardian Primary School.

Howard Gardens Military Hospital plaque

Howard Gardens Military Hospital plaque.


Military Hospital appreciation plaque

A certificate of gratitude presented to the staff of Howard Garden’s Military Hospital.

Story behind the names on the WWI memorial tablet:

An ongoing piece of research is to look at the people behind the names on the war memorial.  This can be somewhat challenging given that only the names appear and not for instance their regiment.  Some doubt will always remain over whether the correct person has been identified.  Where difficulties have been encountered identifying the person these are expressed.  Perhaps others can help fill in the information.



William was born on  15th Oct 1898 in Barnstable Devon.  His father William Henry Alford was a carpenter by trade. In 1901 the family are living at 23, Forrest Road, Canton, Cardiff.   In 1904 the family are living at 5 Grouse Street in Roath and William is enrolled in Stacey Road Infants School, Cardiff having previously attended Grange School.  In 1910 he is enrolled at Howard Gardens.  In the 1911 census the family consisting of his father William Henry (42), Eliza (44) his mother, his sister Edith (3) and widowed grandmother  Jane (75) and William (12) are still living in Grouse Street.

William enrolls in the 16th Royal Devon & R.Nth. Devon Yeomanry in Cardiff and his regiment number was 67705.  He was awarded  the following medals: Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards.  He died on 22nd Sep 1918  aged 20 in northern France.  He is buried at Ronssoy Communal Cemetery (Section B, Grave 8) in the Somme region of France.


Ronssoy Communal Cemetery, France

His name is also recorded on the Roath Parish WWI memorial in St Edwards church, Blenheim Road, Cardiff.



William Allan is a bit of a mystery.  The school records show that a William Allan, born 8th Dec 1897, did enroll in Howard Gardens in October 1912 and left in December 1914.  His father was also called William , worked as a Board of Trade Inspector and they were living at 22 Edington Ave (Cathays).  The record states that William’s previous school was Anfield Road Elementary School in Liverpool.   Having failed to find William Allan in the 1911 census for Cardiff I looked further afield and found him in Anfield, Liverpool, together with his father(37), mother Elizabeth Anna Allan (37) born in Holland, and brother Edward (7).  The census states that both William and his brother Edward were born in Belgium.  I then found his military record which shows that William Allan (b. 8/12/1897) survived the war and was a Lieutenant in the RAF and served till at least 1928.  This seems to indicate he was not the William Allan on the memorial board, or an error was made.  There was a William Allen enrolled at Howard Gardens in 1898.  He lived in Paget St and was born in December 1885. I haven’t been able to match this person with any WWI Military Record or War Grave.



Corporal, 1st battalion, East Surrey Regiment (Service Number 36576)

Hugh Taylor Allen was born on 23rd Sep 1896 in Basford, Nottinghamshire to Thomas Holtom Allen, a clerk, originally from Stratford on Avon, and Robina Allen née Munro originally from Scotland. The Allen family appears to have moved regularly given that Hugh’s siblings were born in various places in England, though in the 1901 and 1911 census the family are settled in Cardiff.  In 1911 the family are living in 119 Tewkesbury Street, Cathays and Hugh attends Howard Gardens Secondary School.  When Hugh Allen signs up for the East Surrey Regiment and states his profession as a Pupil Teacher and living at 22 Salisbury Road, Cathays.  He dies on 21st May 1918 but has no known grave and is remembered on panel 6 of the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.  He is also remembered on the Howard Gardens Memorial now in Howardian Primary School.  He is also remembered on the St Teilo’s Church war memorial, Cathays and Cardiff Corporation war memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



Corporal, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders),  (Service Number 1613)

Thomas John Anstey

Thomas ‘Tom’ John Edmund Anstey was born in Cardiff on 27th Aug 1884 to Thomas Henry Anstey, a railway clerk, originally from Llangattock, and Eliza Hannah Anstey née Morse originally from Cheltenham.  His mother dies in 1888 when he is only four and Tom goes to live with his grandmother in Henllys, Monmouthshire.  He attended primary school at Hafodyrynys School, Monmouthshire and then returned to Cardiff to attend Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens).  By 1901 he had moved to live with his aunt in Wandsworth London.  He worked as a clerk at the Finsbury Circus Branch of the Capital and Counties Bank.  He joined the City of London Yeomanry in October 1909 and is promoted to Corporal in 1914.  When war breaks out he volunteers for foreign service and went to Egypt with his regiment in April 1915 and from there to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli in August. He is killed in action on 6 Oct 1915 aged 31.  That night he was covering a party of Royal Engineers who were erecting a barbed wire entanglements about 50 yards from the Turkish trenches.  He is buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Gallipoli. The Commonwealth War Records Commission record for Tom records his father living at 17 Dalton Street, Cathays.  Tom is remembered on the Howard Gardens memorial in Cardiff, and with a memorial plaque at Church of St Michael and All Angels, Llantarnam and one at St Ann’s Church in Wandsworth.  During the period from 1905 to 1914 Tom became very interested in researching both his family ancestry and the Anstey surname.  His great-nephew has since taken up the research and published a book on the Anstey surname authored by Gary Anstey and posthumously by his great-uncle Tom.


Private,  9th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment  (Service Number 15856)

Charles Edward Asplin gravestone

Charles Edward Asplin was born in the summer of 1895 in Cardiff to Charles John Asplin,a postman and Sarah Asplin née Samuel from St Fagans, Cardiff. He attended Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens) and the family lived were living at Bruce Street, Cathays in 1901 and then 58 Gelligaer St, Cathays in 1911. Charles Edward Asplin followed his father and worked as a postman.  He signed up for the South Staffordshire Regiment as a transport driver aged 19 and serves on the Western Front.  He was killed on 23rd December 1915 is buried at the Sailly-sur-la-Lys cemetery in eastern France. He is remembered on the Howardian war memorial plaque and the Cardiff Post Office workers plaqueCommonwealth War Graves Commission record. 


Second Mate, Mercantile Marine, S.S. “Torrington”

SS Torrington

S.S. Torrington and Captain Starkey (Pic credit and some text: National Museum of Wales)

William Thompson Atkinson was born in 1888 in Cardiff  to Captain William Thompson, a master mariner originally from Corbridge, Northumberland, and Elizabeth Atkinson née Davies.  He was probably born in the Canton area of Cardiff but the family later move to 39 Crwys Road and William attends Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens).  He was employed as a solicitor’s clerk in Barry before going to sea. He followed his father into the merchant navy but loses his life in a cruel fashion.  He was serving as Second Mate on the SS Torrington.  On 8 April 1917 the ship was sailing from Italy to Cardiff to load coal for the Italian railways. Shortly after 11.30am she was torpedoed by a German submarine, 150 miles off the Isles of Scilly.  The torpedo hit forward of the bridge. A submarine then surfaced and opened fire on the ship. Capt. Starkey ordered his men into the lifeboats, but the submarine came alongside. Capt. Starkey was ordered below deck of the U-boat, which he did thinking he could save his men. Some of the crew went on the deck of the U-boat, whilst others remained in a lifeboat. The captain of the U-boat then ordered the vessel to dive remarking that “the others could swim”.  Through the submerging of the U-boat about 20 member of the Torrington’s crew were washed off and killed. The remaining crew in the lifeboat were never heard of again. In total thirty four members of the crew were killed and Capt. Starkey was the only survivor.   Wilhelm Werner, the captain of the submarine,  and his actions had become well known to the authorities and he was charged with war crimes. He should have been on trial at Leipzig, but he fled to Brazil and was never tired for his crimes.  William Atkinson is remembered on the Tower Hill memorial for merchant seamen in London and the Howardian war memorial plaque.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



Private, 10th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. (Service Number 299)

Thomas Alfred Atwill was born in Dover in 1875.  He was the oldest son of Sarah Helen Atwill née Gerard, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Thomas Atwill, a Sergeant Major in the Royal Artillery, who were married in Canada in 1872.  Thomas Alfred Atwill was baptised on 30th April 1875 in Dover Castle. The family then move to Cardiff and in 1881 are living at 80 Clifton Street. In 1891 they were living at the Drill Hall in Dumfries Place.  He attends  Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens).  The family then move to Walkhampton in Devon and are there in 1901 and 1911 but sometime later return to Cardiff and live at 7, Richmond Crescent.  Three of the sons emigrated from the UK to Australia prior to the outbreak of World War I to try their hand at gold-mining.  Prior to emigrating Thomas Alfred Atwill had served Glamorgan Volunteers Artillery.  He enlists in  the Australian Infantry in 1914, sails for Europe but is killed in action on 19th May 1915 aged 40 at Dardanelles, Gallipoli.  He is buried in Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli.  Two of his brothers also die in WWI.   He is remembered on a number of memorials in Australia, one in the village of Walkhampton in Devon and on the Howardian School memorial plaque in Cardiff.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Thomas Atwill grave and Walkhampton memorial

Thomas Atwill grave in Gallipoli and his name on the Walkhampton memorial.


Lieutenant, 1st & 9th Battalion, South Wales Borderers

Herbert Sidney Bennett was born on 25 Nov 1891 in Beresford Road, Roath to Walter William Bennett, a joiner, originally from East Pennard, Somerset and Evangeline Bennett nee Selvey originally from Portishead, Somerset.  He started attending Stacey Rd primary school in 1896.  In 1901 the family were living at 41 Richards Terrace.  He went on to attend Cardiff Municipal Secondary School, Howard Gardens (1903-5).  The Bennett family later moved to 94 Claude Road.  On leaving school became a clerk in a typewriter company. He enlisted in Cardiff Pals in September 1914 and was commissioned in May 1915. In Dec 1915 he married Gertrude-Lyons Davis, daughter of Alderman Frederick Lyons-Davis from Cardiff.  The paper reported that they got married in Crosby, Liverpool  where Herbert was probably stationed.  Had went on to see a great deal of fighting and only returned to the Western Front for a few weeks after a long period of illness caused by trench fever when he died on 18 Oct 1918 aged 27 of wounds received.  He is buried at the St. Souplet British Cemetery, France (grave III. E. 12).  He is remembered on the Howard Gardens memorial at Howardian Primary School and the memorial at St. German’s Church, Roath.  Herbert and Gertrude lived at 154 City Road and had three children together, one dying in infancy and another, born in 1919 after his father had been killed and named after his father, Herbert Sidney Bennett, was himself killed in WWII.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



Private, 7th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (Service Number 35382)

Frederick George Bowden was born on 27 Jan 1899 in Cardiff to William Henry Bowden, a labourer at an iron foundry, from Roath and Annie Bowden nee Jones originally from Neath. He was baptised at St Saviour’s church on 16 Feb 1899.  The family lived at 47 Habershon Street and Frederick attended Moorland Road school and then Howard Gardens school before leaving to become a clerk in the Ocean Coal company.  He enlisted in Cardiff and was killed in action on 28 Mar 1918 aged 19 at the Western Front.  He is remembered on the Arras Memorial (Bay 7) in France.  He is also remembered on the Howardian School War memorial plaque and the Splott Memorial at St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



Private,7th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 1408)

Arthur Davies was born on 26 Sep 1895 in Cardiff to Philip Henry Davies, a clerk originally from Maesycwmmer, Monmouthshire, and Charlotte Sophia Davies nee Elias, originally from Abercarn, Monmouthshire. In 1901 the Davies family lived in Diana Street.  Arthur attended Albany Road school and in 1905 represents the school at the city school sports day.  In 1907 he goes on to attend Howard Gardens secondary school.  His father died in Jun 1910 leaving Arthur, the oldest of four children who leaves school in Jan 1911 and works as an office boy at Bute Dry Dock. By 1914 the family had moved to 33 Roath Court Road. He enlisted in the 7th Cyclists Battalion Welsh Regiment. It is unclear what service he saw as his records have not survived. He died at home on 13 May 1915 of sarcoma (cancer) of the face. He is buried in a family grave at Cathays Cemetery (plot B 663). He is remembered on the Howardian war memorial plaque now housed at Howardian Primary school. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Arthur Davies grave at Cathays Cemetery



Sergeant, M.T. Mob. and Embarkation Area, Army Service Corps (Service Number: DM2/155516)

Henry ‘Harry’ Davies Jones was born in Ealing, London on 2 Oct 1892 to Thomas Davies Jones, a draper, originally from Llanidlois, Montgomeryshire and Helena Susanna Jones nee Cole originally from Chawleigh, Devon. The family moved to Roath when Harry was young, living at 4 Morlais Street, Roath Park.  Harry attended Marlborough Road School before going on to Howard Gardens school.   After leaving school he worked in a solicitor’s office and the Jones family lived at 222 Mackintosh Place.  He was a Sergeant in the Army Service Corps.  Harry died of pneumonia on 31 Oct 1918, aged 26, at Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury Plain. He is buried in the family grave at Cathays Cemetery (plot L 2222).  He is remembered on the Howard Gardens school memorial plaque and the WWI memorial plaque that used to be at St James the Great church, now at St John’s church.  He was also remembered at a personalised plaque at St James the Great church which read that it was ‘given as a token of the affectionate esteem in which the late Sergeant Henry Davies Jones was held by the Officers Non-Commissioned Officers And Men of the Mechanical Transport Royal Army Service Corps and Members of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps,  Bulford Camp, Salisbury Plain’.   Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Henry Davies Jones headstone



Engineer Lieutenant Commander, H.M.S. Hawke, Royal Navy

David John McGregor was born on 7 Jul 1874 in Hebburn, Tyneside, to Donald McGregor, a clerk, originally from Banffshire, Scotland and Mary McGregor nee Fairley from Newcastle On Tyne. The family moved to Cardiff and David McGregor attended Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens) and then Cardiff University College studying engineering.  After leaving university he served an apprenticeship at Wallsend Engineering works in Cardiff for five years before joining the Royal Navy.  He won a scholarship to Greenwich Naval College.  He served many years afloat and his naval records contain many references to him being zelous and having a lot of ability and reluctant to retire. He became the Admiralty Coal Inspector in Cardiff.  He was summoned to active service but died on 15 Oct 1914, aged 40, when H.M.S. Hawke was sunk in the North Sea sixty miles off Aberdeen when it was torpedoed by German U-boat U9 and hit amidships near a magazine.  The detonation was followed by a second terrific explosion, in which a large number of the crew were killed. The ship sank within 5 minutes and was only able to launch one ship’s boat.  Five hundred and twenty five perished.  He is remembered on the Howardian War Memorial plaque and the Cardiff University War Memorial plaque.  He is also remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.  A white marble family headstone at Cathays Cemetery also remembers him with the following words: ‘Also of Engr Lt Commr David J McGregor R.N. / of H.M.S. Hawke. Lost with vessel in North Sea 15th October 1914 / A model son and kind brother‘.  His obituary and picture appeared in the South Wales Daily News on 17 Oct 1914.  We pick up his address when he died on his probate record as being 18 Balaclava Road in Penylan, Cardiff.  Commonwealth War Grave Commission record.

David John McGregor and headstone

David John McGregor and headstone at Cathays Cemetery



Names from the WWII memorial plaque:


Sergeant (Navigator), 295 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 1254407)


Ivor William Arnold was born in Cardiff on 24th Apr 1913 to William Arnold, a shunter driver for Great Western Railways, and originally from Magor, Monmouthshire, and Beatrice Arnold nee Beazley, from Cardiff. Ivor may well have been born in 4 Spring Gardens Place, Roath, as that’s where his parents William and Beatrice were living at the time of the 1911 census.  He attended Howard Gardens secondary school from 1925-29.  Ivor married Florence Mable Slee in Cardiff in 1936.  In 1939 they were living in 10 Gelligaer Gardens, Cathays and Ivor is working as a railway clerk. They have a son together in 1941.  Ivor joins the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and is a navigator but is killed in action on 19 Feb 1943 aged 29. The plane he was navigating, Whitley ND538,  was involved in a raid on three electricity transformers at Distre, near Saemur, France when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. He and the other crew are buried at Saemur Communal Cemetery. His probate record from later in 1943 records his address as having been 157 Treharris Street, Roath. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



Aircraftman 1st Class, 111 Squadron, RAF (Service Number 532387)

Eustace Thomas Arnott was born on 17th July 1918 in Cardiff to Sidney John Arnott, who worked in the steel mills, and Mary Louisa Arnott nee Davis, both from Cardiff. Eustace was probably born at 112 Moorland Road, Splott where the Arnott family lived at the time of the 1911 census and the 1939 register.  He attended Howard Gardens high school from 1930-33.  He joins the RAF and in the 1939 register appears in London with other RAF personnel and entered as Aircraftman 1st Class Thomas E Arnott, 111 Squadron, which was a squadron flying hurricanes.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states he died on 25 Jun 1940 with no details of where he died. He would have been 21.  Another source records him and thirty other RAF personnel being lost when the ocean liner RMS Lancastia was sunk off Saint-Nazaire on 17 Jun 1940 evacuating 6000 people from France. He is remembered on the RAF Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.