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 enrol 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.  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.  It could be be William Edgar Allin who lived in Richmond Road and fell on 9 Oct 1917.  I haven’t any record of him attending Howard Gardens but that is not to say he did not.


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.


Captain, SS Euston, Merchant Navy

William Brailey Berwick was born on 18 Feb 1881 in Cardiff to Thomas Berwick, a biscuit manufacturer’s clerk, originally from London and Mary Anna Berwick née Brailey, a fancy draper, originally from Dursley, Gloucestershire. The family lived at 88 Richards Terrace, Roath.  William attended Stacey Road school and then Howard Gardens Higher Grade school.  After leaving school he joined the merchant navy in 1897 at the age of 16 and worked his way up to Captain. He married Ida May Glencross in Monmouth in 1911.  Their daughter, Ida Monica Berwick, was born in early 1917 just before William died.  He drowned in a sailing accident in Queenstown, Co Cork, Ireland on 10 Apr 1917, aged 36, whilst his ship, the coal carrier SS Euston, was in port.  He and two engineers, left Monkstown for a sailing trip but the weather turned squally and the yacht capsized.   His body was found on Apr 12th on a beach on Haulbowline Island (where the world’s first yacht club was founded in 1720).  He does not have a Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, probably because his death was not war-related, but he is remembered on the Howard Gardens War Memorial.  His ship, the SS Euston, was torpedoed and sunk later the same year in the Mediterranean.


Engineer Lieutenant,  HMS Natal, Royal Navy.

William Black was born on 6 Jan1885 in Cardiff, the only son of William Black originally from Kinghoorn, Fife, Scotland and Alice Black née Gray originally from Hartlepool. The family originally lived at  of 80 Richards Terrace, Roath but by 1891 the family had moved to 235 Newport Road, Roath.  His father was a superintendent marine engineer.  William attended Cardiff Municipal Secondary School, Howard Gardens from 1895 to 1898 and then Cardiff High School from September 1898, when he was in the school’s first ever intake .  He left in Dec 1900 to follow his father’s profession and started work as an apprenticed engineer.  He took an extra first class engineers certificate at South Shields in 1911 and later qualified as a naval architect.  He was employed as a consulting engineer at Cardiff docks and, on the death of his father in 1912, he succeeded him in the business.  In Sep 1915, he was appointed Engineer Lieutenant RN. William Black was killed, aged 30, when HMS Natal accidentally exploded with great loss of life in Cromarty Firth on 31 Dec 1915.  Over four hundred died.  Though it was at first assumed she had been torpedoed it was later concluded that the cause was an internal ammunition explosion, possibly the result of faulty cordite.  Engineer Lieutenant William Black is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial to the Missing and also on family gravestones in Cathays Cemetery and in Kinghorn, Fife, where his family originated.  He is also commemorated on the Cardiff High School war memorial, the Howard Gardens war memorial and the war memorial that was in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Broadway, Roath now in the Trinity CentreCommonwealth War Graves Commission record.

William Black portrait and graves

William Black (photo: Western Mail), lower left: tribute on family grave at Cathays Cemetery, grave S745, right – remembered on family grave in Kinghorn, Fife.


Sergeant, 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Service Number: 16979)

Maitland Bolton Headstone BelgiumMaitland Cooper Bolton was born on 1 Nov 1890 in Cardiff to Richard Bolton, a plumber and decorator, originally from Barking, Essex, and Louisa Bolton née Cooper, originally from Maidenhead, Berkshire. The Bolton family lived at 134 Richmond Road. Maitland attended Albany Road School before moving onto Howard Gardens School in 1903.  He left school in 1907 and joined the PT Centre (Royal Army Physical Training Corps).  By the time WWI began he had emigrated to Canada.  He enlisted on 18 Sep 1914 at Varcartier, near Qubec.  On his enlistment papers he described his profession as a farmer and also stated that he had previously completed two years service with the 7th Battalion Welsh Regiment.  His father had died the previous December and his mother had moved away from Cardiff and was living in London.  His Battalion arrived in France in Feb 1915 and he received regular promotions, to Lance Corporal in Sep 1915, Corporal in Apr 1916 and Sergeant in Jun 1916. He was killed in action on 26 Jul 1916 on the Western Front aged 25.  He is buried in the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, south of Ypres, Belgium (grave VI. C. 11). He is remembered on the Howard Gardens War Memorial plaque and on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.   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 née 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.


Second Lieutenant, 2nd/1st (Lancs.) Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

mid_6659252John Antonio Sanchez Boyle was born in Montrose, Scotland on 10 Mar 1888 to Hugh Boyle, a military clerk with the Army Pay Corps, originally from Dalton, Dumfries, Scotland, and  Aurora Boyle née Sanchez originally from Roanda, Spain who ran a grocer’s shop.  In 1891 the Boyle family were living in Woolwich Army barracks in London. By 1901 they had moved to Cardiff and were living initially at 47 Llantrisant Street, Cathays and then at 4 Whitchurch Road.  He attended Crwys Road school in 1895 before going on to Cardiff Intermediate school, Howard Gardens from 1898 until 1899; and then Cardiff High School, on a scholarship, from 1899 until 1904. He went to University College Cardiff in 1906 and gained a First Class Honours degree and was awarded the Gladstone History Prize. After university he became a master at West Leeds Boys High School where he taught history for five years from 1909 to 1914. John then moved the Cape Colony, South Africa to teach. However, when the war broke out, he volunteered for service in West Africa, but was initially engaged on garrison duty until August 1915. John then served with a South African Field Ambulance in Egypt and on the Western Front until Fe 1917. Selected for a commission, he was gazetted to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 1 Aug 1917. Second Lieutenant John Boyle was killed in action, aged 29, on 30 Nov 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing, France. He is also commemorated on the Howardian War Memorial and the war memorial in Cardiff University. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Second Lieutenant, 6th Battalion, Welsh Regiment

Harry Hill Bucknell was born on 25 Feb 1882 in Cardiff to Henry Hill Bucknell, a book keeper and house painter, originally from Camden Town, London and Eleanor Catherine Bucknell née Williams originally from Reading, Berkshire.  He was baptised at All Saints church on 23 Apr 1882 when the family was living at 23 Windsor Road. In 1891 and 1901 the Bucknell family were living at 39 Partridge Road, Roath and later moved to nearby 114 Marlborough Road. He attended Tredegarville primary school before going on to Cardiff Intermediate school (Howard Gardens) and then Cardiff Higher Grade school (Cardiff High). After leaving school he worked as a clerk for the Cardiff Gas Company before becoming a cashier at the Swansea Gas Company. When in Swansea he rented a room at 39 St George Terrace and was also a member of the Masons. He served as a member of the Glamorgan Yeomanry prior to WWI and was called up for service on 4 Aug 1914 and obtained a commission on 28 Sep 1915. He served on the Western Front with the 6th Battalion Welsh Regiment and was killed in action at Ypres on 22 Jul 1917 aged 35.  An account from the regimental history records reads, ‘One night the nose-cap of a shrapnel shell caught Lieutenant Bucknell full in the stomach.  Despite the injury, he went about his work for hours, but eventually lost his way.  He was a very dark-looking man, and on asking some questions of another regiment he was taken for a German spy.  It was quite bad enough to have been hit, but when insult was added to the injury the cup of trouble almost overflowed.  Bucknell was one of those quiet individuals who would not say a word about his injury, and he allowed himself to be walked for miles to the 6th Welsh headquarters to satisfy his zealous captors that he was not really a Bosche. His injury was a bad one. He was killed later on’.  He is buried at Essex Farm Cemetery north of Ypres in Belgium (plot II. H. 13). His Chaplain wrote of him, ‘He was always a ready volunteer for whatever was taking place – fear was an unknown quantity. We have lost a brave comrade, and King and country have lost a gallant officer whom it could ill spare’.  He is remembered on the Howard Gardens war memorial plaque now at Howardian Primary School.  Much of the original plaque was destroyed in the WWII blitz but a section containing Harry’s name survived.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Harry Hill Bucknell photo and headstone

Harry Hill Bucknell (standing top rt). (photo credits and assistance from Dave Warren)



Second Lieutenant, Inland Water Transport, Royal Engineers

Ivor Llewellyn Dadds

Ivor Llewellyn Dadds was born on 19 Feb 1887 in Cardiff to Samuel Llewellyn Dadds, a solicitor’s clerk and estate agent originally from Merthyr Tydfil and Elizabeth Dadds nee Davies originally from Canton, Cardiff. In 1891 the Dadds family were living at Oxford House, near Ely Rise, Canton.  Ivor attended Radnor Road school before going onto Howard Gardens school in 1900. After leaving school in 1903he went on to become an engineer. In 1901 the Dadds family had moved to 304 Cowbridge Road and a few years later to Barry where Ivor trained as a marine and civil engineer. Ivor does not appear in the 1911 census, maybe away working somewhere. In 1915 he is aboard the steamship Frisia on route to Brazil recording his profession as engineer. He returns home and enlists with the Royal Engineers, Inland Water Transport division. The Dadds family were at this time living at 37 Park Place, Cardiff. He was made a temporary 2nd Lieut in Dec 1916. He served in Mesopotamia and died on 17 Jul 1917 aged 30.  The newspaper reports that he died of heat exhaustion.  He is buried at Basra War Cemetery (grave IV. D. 6.) in modern-day Iraq.  He was remembered on a couple of war memorials in Cardiff; the Howardian War Memorial and a church memorial plaque currently of unknown origin but believed to be the Adamsdown/Splott area.  Similarly his name appears on a Roll of Honour of unknown origin.  Why his name appears on the church plaque is a bit of a mystery given he didn’t appear to live in the area.  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 née 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 née 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


Private, 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 35126)

John Mathews picture and medal

John Matthews was born on 15 Aug 1889 in Cardiff to Thomas Matthews, a vaccination officer, originally from Cardiff and Margaret Matthews née Jenkins originally from Llanbleddian, Cowbridge. In the 1891 census the Matthews family were living at 19 Llantwit Street, Cathays.  John’s mother dies when he is only six leaving Thomas Mathews to bring up the seven children.  In 1895 John enrolled as a pupil at Albany Road school and he later went on to attend Howard Gardens High School.  By 1911 the family were living at 5 Alma Road in Pen-y-lan and John was working as a clerk in a ship owners. His father passes away in 1912 aged 67.  On enlistment he joined the 15th (Carmarthenshire) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment.  John was killed on the 11 July 1916 aged 26, during the closing stages of the battle for Mametz Wood.  He was one of seventy men of the 15th battalion who were killed during the battle.  The majority of the dead were buried within the wood where they fell, at Mametz Wood Cemetery.  Many of these were lost during subsequent fighting in the area, and John is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme.  He is also remembered on the Howardian High School War MemorialCommonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Corporal, D Company, 9th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (Service Number: S/5881)

James Henry McKergo was born in Splott on 24 Aug 1896 to David McKergo, a hydraulic man on the railways, originally from Cardiff and Ellen McKergo nee Whitehouse, originally from Wolverhampton. In 1901 the family were living at 24 Clare Road and in 1904 James attended Grangetown Elementary school when they were living at 21 Bromfield Street. By 1909 the family had moved to 81 Sanquahar Street, Splott.  James then attended Howard Gardens school having previously also attended Adamsdown elementary School. He left school in 1911 and went on to become a tailor.  He enlisted in Cardiff and went on to serve as a Corporal with the Seaforth Highlanders in France.  He was killed in action on 16 Jul 1916 aged 19.  He has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 15 C). He is remembered on the Howard Gardens school war memorial plaque and on a Roll of Honour, currently of unknown origin. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.



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 née 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



Private,  183rd Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), (Service Number: 89978)

Alfred ‘Fred’ John Morris was born in Cardiff on 22 Apr 1898 to Alfred Joseph Morris, a marine engine fitter, and Annie Morris nee Jones, both originally from Cardiff. The Morris family lived at 45 Manor Street Cardiff.  Fred attended Allensbank Elementary school before going on to attend Howard Gardens school in 1909 and leaving in 1914 to work as a clerk. He enlisted in Cardiff and served initially with the Royal Army Service Corps before moving to the 183rd Company of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).  He was killed in action on 6 Sep 1917 aged 19 at Ypres, Belgium.  He has no known burial place.  He is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium.  He is also remembered on the Howard Gardens school memorial plaque and the Woodville Road Baptist church plaque.  He was remembered on the headstone of his grandparent’s grave at Cathays Cemetery (Plot V237/238) (now removed).  The inscription on the headstone read ‘Faithful in life, fearless in death’. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Lieutenant, 10th Battalion, South Wales Borderers

Thomas Stanley Silby was born in Cardiff on 11 Jan 1895 to John William Silby, a coal trimmer originally from Trowbridge, Wiltshire and Elizabeth Ann Silby nee Jenkins originally from St Mellons, Monmouthshire. In 1901 the Silby family were living at 8 Hinton Street, Splott. He attended Moorland Road Elementary School before going on to Howard Gardens School in 1905.  He left in 1908 and began work as a clerk in the City Treasurer’s Department.  In 1911 Thomas and the Silby family had moved to 19 Cressy Road. In WWI he initially enlisted in the Welsh Regiment in Sep 1915 as Private and was then Corporal in the Cheshire Regiment before becoming a Lieutenant with the Welsh Borderers. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1917 for his actions on 19 Sep 1917 at L’Epinette: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a hostile raid on an advanced post. Hearing that the commander of his post had been killed, he went forward from the support line under a heavy barrage and took command. He rallied the men at a critical moment and drove off the enemy. He showed great courage, coolness and initiative.’  He married Ethelinda ‘Linda’ Harriet Hudson, who lived at 138 Richmond Road, in St James the Great church, Cardiff on 14 Aug 1918.  He then returned to the Western Front and was sadly killed in action less than a month later on 12 Sep 1918 aged 23.  He is buried at the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery in France (grave II. B. 13). He was remembered on the memorial plaque believed to have been at Clifton Street Welsh Methodist church.  He was also remembered on the plaque at St James the Great Church (now in St John’s church) and the memorial plaque at Howard Gardens school (now at Howardian Primary).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Thomas Stanley Silby portrait and medals



Serjeant, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number: 11336)

Grave of LVJ Williams

Lawrence Victor James Williams was born on 28 Jan 1897 to Sidney Williams, a foreman on the railways, and originally from Undy, Monmouthshire, and Fanny Williams nee Lawrence, originally from Llanhilleth, Monmouthshire. He was baptised on 27 Feb 1897 at St German’s church at which time the family were living 27 Prince Leopold Street, Adamsdown. By 1901 the Williams family had moved to 68 Clifton Street and were still there in 1911. Lawrence attended Splott Road elementary school before moving onto Howard Gardens school. After leaving school in 1911 he went onto become a clerk. He enlisted in Cardiff and served as a Serjeant in France with the 9th Battalion Devonshire Regiment.  He was killed in action on 1 Jul 1916 in the first Battle of the Somme aged 19. He was one of 160 men from the Devonshire Regiment to die that day in the face of heavy German machine gun fire. He is buried in the Devonshire Cemetery at Mametz (grave A7).  His headstone reads ‘Proud and Loving Memories of One of England’s Best. Sleep on Dear Son’.  He is remembered on the Howard Gardens War Memorial plaque and also on a Roll of Honour of unknown origin. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record




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.


Chief Engineer Officer, S.S. King Gruffydd, Merchant Navy

Clifford Evan Cox was born on 6 Dec 1901 in Cardiff to Thomas Cox, an interstocking fitter on the railways, originally from Cardiff, and Cecilia Annie Cox nee Salisbury, originally from Paddington, London.  He was baptised at St John the Baptist church in Feb 1902. The Cox family lived at 57 Cathays Terrace and Clifford attended Gladstone Elementary School before going on to Howard Gardens Municipal Secondary School.  After leaving school he worked in an office. He married Olive Edwina Roberts in at Woodville Road Baptist church on 17 Jan 1931 by which time he was already serving as an engineer in the merchant navy. They lived at 23 Heathwood Grove and it appears they had at least one child together. Clifford served as chief engineer officer aboard steamship King Gruffydd.  The King Gruffydd was part of a trans-Atlantic convey which was attacked by a U-boat on 17 Mar 1943 and sunk mid-Atlantic. Of the 49 crew, 24 were killed and 25 rescued. Clifford Evan Cox was drowned aged 42. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. He is also remembered on the Howardian School memorial board and the Woodville Road Baptist church memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His wife Olive died in 1991 having been a member of Woodville Road Baptist church for 71 years.

S S King Gruffydd and Tower Hill Memorial


Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner), 635 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve  (Service Number: 1653141)

Robert Charles Pitcon was born in Splott, Cardiff in 1924 to Claud Pitcon, a dock labourer, originally from Falmouth, Cornwall, and Minnie May Pitcon née Wills, originally from Cardiff.  He attended Splott Road school and then Howard Gardens school. After moving from Splott the family lived at 4 Penywain Road, Roath Park. He served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve  and was promoted to Flight Sergeant.  He died on 26 Aug 1944 aged 20. His Pathfinder Avro Lancaster III (ND950) took off from Downham Market, Norfolk heading for Kiel, Germany.  It crashed at Struxdorf, Germany, killing four including Picton.  The cause is unknown.  The pilot Lionel Wheble survived.  The casualties were originally buried at Struxdorf, near the Denmark border, before being relocated to Kiel War Cemetery, Germany (Grave 4.E.4) in 1947.  He is remembered on the Howard Gardens High School War memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Robert Charles Pitcon portrait and headstone