There isn’t a public war memorial in Roath or surrounding areas. Those who lost their lives from Grangetown, Llandaff, Whitchurch and may be some other Cardiff suburbs are remembered on War Memorials but somehow Roath never got one. Yes, there are memorials in churches, schools and places of employment but no public memorial. This embryonic idea is to try and rectify that oversight.
The number of people who have lost their lives and lived in the area covered by the old parish of Roath (which included Splott, Tremorfa, Pengam, Adamsdown, Penylan and parts of Cathays and Cyncoed) was sadly large.
The interactive map below shows just some of those from the area who died in WWI and WWII. To enlarge the map click on the symbol in the upper right of the map.
ARTHUR JAMES CLACKETT
Private, 1st Battalion Honourable Artillery Company
‘Archie’ Clackett was born in 1895 to Cephas Clackett, a commercial traveller for a paint and varnish company, and Leonora Clackett (nee Leist). In 1911 the family lived in Boverton Street, Roath. Arthur joined the Honourable Artillery Company and died on 8th Feb 1917 aged 21 in Northern France. He is buried at Queens cemetery, Bucquoy, Pas de Calais, France. At the time of his death the Clackett family were living at Oakdene, Penylan Hill. Looking at a Trade Directory of the time Oakdene was down from Green Lawn, approximately where 21 Cyncoed Road is today. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HARRY FRANK DYER
Second Lieutenant 1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), 147th Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Division.
Harry Frank Dyer was born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire in 1886. He became assistant master at Cardiff High School till 1914 and lived at 83 Claude Road. He is remembered on the Cardiff High School Memorial plaque. Had moved away from Cardiff by the time WWI commenced and was at Giggleswick School, Yorks. He died 28th August 1917 aged 31 in northern France. A much more detailed biography of Harry Dyer, written by Gwyn Prescott, is given on the Cardiff High School war memorial page. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Flight Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner), 57th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Sid Felman was born on 9th July 1917 to David Felman, a bullion buyer, and Jany Felman née Malamid. In 1939 the family were living at 7 Wordsworth Avenue, Roath with Sidney working as a canvasser. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record for Sidney record the family address as being Penylan so they may well have moved in the early years of the war. He was on board the a Wellington bomber R1437 which was shot down and crashed, at Rholderfehn, Germany, on 10th Apr 1941. He was aged 22. He is buried at the Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, in Germany (Grave17.C.I) and date of death recorded as the date he and the crew went missing.
WILLIAM NORMAN GEDDIE
Flight Sergeant, RAF Volunteer Reserve (Wireless Op./Air Gunner)
William Geddie was born in May 1914 in Cardiff to William Geddie, a merchant seaman and Letitia Maud Geddie (nee Walrond). The family lived at 146 Kimberley Road, Penylan, Cardiff. William was a Flight Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) 76th Squadron in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He died on 17th Sept 1942 aged 28. The memorial states that he died at Essen. He is buried at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery south of Calais in France (Plot 8. Row A. Coll. grave 10-13). He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission page. In a second tragedy to strike the family, another son Robert Geddie, aged 34, died in a cycling accident in 1950.
GWYN TOWYN JAMES
Sergeant , 239 Battery, 77th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Gwyn James was born in 5th May 1906 in Abertridwr to James Griffith James of Troedyrhiw and Harriet James (nee Roberts) of Porth. In 1911 the family lived at 129 Glenroy Street with the father, James, working as a grocer’s manager. Gwyn married Mary Isobel McMaster, a cashier, in 1939 in Cardiff. Gwyn’s father, James, died in 1941 when living at 70 Glenroy Street. Gwyn served in the Royal Artillery (service number 1452857) and died as a prisoner of war in Thailand on 14th December 1943. He is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque.
Olive Margrett died aged 47 on 19th May 1943 at the Royal Infirmary following injuries sustained when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road the previous night in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She was wife of Archibald George Margrett, a steam raiser on the Great Western Railway. She was born on 16th November 1896 in Cardiff. Her mother Elizabeth and daughter Patricia died in the same raid as well as her sister and niece. Commonwealth War Graves Commission page.
PATRICIA OLIVE MARGRETT
Patricia Olive Margrett died aged 19 on 19th May 1943 at the Royal Infirmary following injuries sustained when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road the previous night in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She was daughter of Olive Margrett (who died in the same raid) and Archibald George Margrett. Patricia’s grandmother, aunt and cousin died in the same raid. Commonwealth War Graves Commission page.
2nd Radio Officer, Merchant Navy
David Matthews was born on March 5th 1920 in Pontypridd to Cyril Thomas Matthews and Elizabeth Matthews. In 1939 the family ran an ironmongers shop at 107 Albany Road and David was working an ironmonger’s assistant. During the war he was a 2nd Radio Officer on board the S.S.Victoria City which was lost at sea on 2nd Dec 1940. At 21.42 hours on 3 December 1940 the unescorted Victoria City, travelling from New York USA and Halifax, Canada, to London and a straggler from convoy HX-90, was hit on port side underneath the bridge by one G7a torpedo from U-140 and sank by the bow within 15 seconds about 30 miles north-west of the Donegal coast in Ireland. The master and 42 crew members were lost. The ship had been owned by Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd, Cardiff. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque and the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
ARTHUR JOHN MITCHELL
Sergeant, 15th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Arthur Mitchell was born in Cardiff on 22nd April 1918 to Arthur Mitchell and Hannah Mitchell nee Domville. Prior to the war Arthur worked as an ordnance surveyor. The family lived in Pinehurst on Ty Gwyn Road, likely to have been just north of where the road passes over the Eastern Avenue today. He has no known grave. He died on 23rd July 1941 aged 33 and is remembered on the RAF Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered on a memorial in St Edward’s church and their website records the following information: On an operation as the Flight Engineer in a Stirling bomber (N6038) to attack the Battle cruiser Scharnhorst, they took off from RAF Wyton with five other aircraft at 6.05pm on 23rd July 1941. They encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire and were attacked repeatedly by ME109s which forced the bombers to dive to low level. N6038 was fatally damaged and crashed into the sea off Pembroke, claiming the lives of the crew. [Some details from the book “Short Stirling Units in World War 2” by Jonathan Falconer.] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Percy Moore was born in 1893 in Cardiff to Edwin Moore, a railway inspector, from Arlingham, Gloucestershire and Annie Moore (nee Pritchard) from Croesyceliog. The family lived in various locations in Roath including Inverness Place, Montgomery Street and Arran Street. Percy is recorded as working as a clerk in the 1911 census. He joins the 14th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and is killed in action at Ypres, Belgium on 25th Feb 1917 aged 23. He is buried at Medinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium near the French border. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
HERBERT VICTOR MORSE
Private, 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Hubert Victor Morse was born in 1891 in Penarth to Edwin Morse, a general haulier, originally from Gloucestershire and Ellen Morse, nee Ashelford, originally from Somerset. Hubert worked as a clerk in a rents and estates business before joining the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private. The family had lived at 105 City Road in 1911 but Hubert’s war record show them then living at 40 Bedford Street. The memorial states that he died of his wounds on 25th Apr 1917. He is buried at the Philosophe British Cemetery in northern France. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
GWYNNE GRIFFITHS PROSSER
Private, 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment.
Gwynne Griffiths Prosser was born to John Prosser, a docks labourer, and Hannah Prosser nee Angove. In 1911 the family were living at 127 Donald Street and Gwynne working as a butcher’s assistant. He married Marie E Chester-Woods in Hastings in 1915. He joined the 11th Battalion Welsh Regiment and died on 19th January 1916 in Salonika aged 25. He is buried at Lambert Road cemetery just outside Thessaloniki city in Greece. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HERBERT THOMAS LEWIS PROSSER
Corporal, 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment.
Lewis Prosser, (brother of Gwynne above) was born to John Prosser, a docks labourer, and Hannah Prosser nee Angove. In 1911 Lewis was a grocer’s assistant. He married Mary Marie Booy from Cardiff in 1915 and they had a son Edward Lewis Colston Prosser. Like his brother he also joined the 11th Battalion Welsh Regiment but died of his wounds on 20 Nov 1916 aged 22 in Salonika, Greece. He is buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery in Greece. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
MAVIS D REES
Mavis Rees, aged 9, was injured when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She died the next day at the Royal Infirmary. She was born on 19th April 1934 and daughter of Dora Rees née Wing and William J Rees. She is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Plot EO 2354. She is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HARRY EDWARD TAYLOR
Leading Aircraftsman, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Harry Taylor was born on 20th October 1921. He lived at 38 Westville Road, Penylan with his parents Edward and Nettie Taylor. He died on 12th September 1940 after suffering multiple injuries including a fractured skull, wrist, jaw and ankle. A verdict of accidental death was returned in the inquest in Hull. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record describes him as Leading Aircraftman (U/T Pilot) – undergoing training. He is buried at Llandaff Cemetery/memorial reference: Row 63. Grave 33.Ref: Hull Daily Mail 18 September 1940.
Elizabeth Wing, aged 81 years, widow of John Wing, died on 18th May 1943 at 12 Penylan Road in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. Two of her daughters and two of her granddaughters died the same night as well as a neighbour. She is buried at Cathays Cemetery, plot EF 8692. Elizabeth Wing née Bailey was born in Leicester on 13th Feb 1862. She was married John Wing, a house painter from Milford, Pembrokshire, in around 1887. She had eight children and was a dressmaker. She is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Lilian Wing, aged 49, died on 18th May 1943 at 12 Penylan Road in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She was born on 24th Sept 1892 in Cardiff and was daughter of Elizabeth Wing who died in the same house that evening. She is buried at Cathays Cemetery, plot EF 8692 with her mother. She was a shop assistant in a confectionery shop, presumably downstairs from where they were living and appears to have been owned by her sister Dora described in the 1939 register as a confectioner and tobacconist.