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.
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.
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.