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, although the memorial outside St Saviour’s in Splott probably is more a parish memorial than a church memorial. This embryonic idea is to try and rectify that oversight. Thanks to members of the society and other locals historians such as David Hughes, Gwyn Prescott and Ceri Stennett for their help.
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.
GEORGE WILFRED ABBOTT
Private, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards (Service Number 2506)
George Abbott was born in Abertillery, Monmouthshire in 1893 to Edwin Abbott and Emily Margaret Abbott née Collier. By 1901 the family had moved to Roath and George’s father Edwin was working as a wood sawyer but he dies in 1903 leaving Emily to bring up the three sons. In the 1911 census we find George working as a weights and measures assistant for the city council and the family living at 64 Cottrell Road, Roath. George is killed in action on 25th September 1916 at the battle of the Somme. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He was also remembered on both the Roath Road Weslyan Church memorial and the Roath Park Wesleyan Church memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
GEORGE WILLIAM ACKERMAN
Flight Sergeant, 57 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number: 1407092)
George William Ackerman was born in 1922 in Cardiff to George Ackerman, a dock wharf labourer, and Eva Ackerman née Christelow. He attended Cardiff High School for Boys. In 1939 the Ackerman family were living at 37 Clydesmuir Road, Tremorfa. In 1942 George marries Betty Gallie. They have two children, one of which is born some months after George is killed aged 22. George joins the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve but is shot down over Germany on 21 Mar 1945. He was aboard Lancaster LM653 which crashed just near the village of Friedrichsthal, east of Kransberg, in western Germany (north of Frankfurt). This was the last operational loss of 57 Squadron for WWII. The crew’s mission was a diversionary raid on the town of Halle; the main force targeting the synthetic oil plant at Böhlen. The crew of LM653 were initially buried in a communal grave in Kransberg and were later (post-war) reinterred in the Hanover War Cemetery. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ARTHUR JOHN ADAMS
Private, 58th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), (Service Number 125632)
Arthur John Adams was born in Cardiff in 1898 to Frederick Adams, a Ship’s Rigger and Sophia Adams née Norris. The family lived at 150 Portmanmoor Road, Splott. Arthur served in the 58th Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps. He died on 28th Aug 1918 aged 20 on the Western Front. He is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois memorial south east of Arras in France. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 10th Battalion. South Wales Borderers (Service Number 21338)
Charles Adams was born in Cardiff in 1893 to Richard Adams originally from Clun, Shropshire, a blast furnace worker and Margaret Adams née James from Rhymney, Monmouthshire. In 1901, Charles, aged 8, was living at 11 Menelaus Street in East Moors. In 1911 he is living with his uncle in Rhymney and working as a collier underground. He enlists in New Tredegar and serves with the 10th battalion of the South Wales Borderers. He died of wounds at the 33 Casualty Clearing Station, Bethune on the Western Front on 8th Apr 1916 aged 23. He is buried at the Bethune Town Cemetery in France (grave reference: III. G. 44.). His Commonwealth War Graves Commission record proudly states that he was a native of East Moors. He is remembered on the war memorial at New Tredegar.
ERNEST JAMES ADAMS
Private, 22nd Field Bakery Army Service Corps (Service Number S4/173504)
Ernest James Adams was born in 1882 in Elm Street, Roath to James Adams, a shipwright, originally from Somerset and Annie Adams née Wright from Cardiff. In 1891 the Adams family were living in Woodcock Street, Roath. Ten years later in 1901 Ernest is living and working as a baker at Sirrell’s Bakery on Castle Road (later renamed City Road). He is still there in 1911. On 21st November 1916 he marries Emily (Lily) Sirrell, originally from Leominster, Herefordshire, the bakery owner’s sister who also worked at Sirrell’s bakery. They lived at 5 Penlline Street, Roath. Ernest served as a Territorial in the Royal Garrison Artillery before the war then attested under the Derby Scheme in Cardiff on 5th December 1915. He joined the Army Service Corps on 28th March 1916 and embarked for Salonika 24 December 1916. He died of bronchial pneumonia on 10th Oct 1918 aged 36 at the 21st Stationary Hospital Salonika. He is buried at Sarigol Military Cemetery (plot A16), Salonika, Greece. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. Lily doesn’t remarry and lives with other members of the Sirrell family in Inverness Place, Roath and passes away aged 87 in 1959.
Private, 1/6th Battalion. Cheshire Regiment (Service Number 66000)
William Adams was born on 8th February 1899 in Roath to Emily Adams, originally from Barnstable, Devon. In 1901 the family are living at 1 Crofts Street together with William’s grandparents John and Elizabeth Dowdle. His mother remarries and moves to Penarth but William continues to live with his grandparents. After leaving school he was employed as a warehouseman for Reese and Gwillim, grocers, 2 Penylan Road. He attested in Cardiff 10th January 1917 and mobilised 6th March 1917. He served in the 51st (Graduated) Battalion Training Reserve (Cheshire Regiment) and embarked 18th January 1918. He joined the 6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment in the field on 29th January 1918. He was killed in his first action 28th February 1918, aged 19. He is buried at Fins New British Cemetery, France. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM CHARLES HENRY ADAMS
William Charles Henry Adams was born on 29th January 1909 in Cardiff to William Henry Adams, a fish salesman originally from Tring in Hertfordshire and Phyllis May Adams ( née Williams). In 1911 the family were living at 13 Rolls Street, Canton. In 1929, Cardiff William enlisted in the Merchant Navy. In the same year he marries Phyllis May Williams in Cardiff. In 1939 he is living at 160 Pearl Street, Splott and is employed as a paint warehouseman. He died, aged 32, on 3rd March 1941 at 160 Pearl Street during an air raid. That was the night a lot of incendiary bombs were dropped on the city. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM HENRY ADAMS
Private, 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Grenadier Guards (Service Number 9774).
William Henry Adams was born in Whitchurch, Cardiff on 16th April 1881 to William Adam, a blacksmith and Margaret Adams nee Prosser. He attended Whitchurch School. He marries Lily Pigott in 1909 and they have four daughters between 1910 and 1916. In 1911 the Adams family were living at 19 Minster Street, Cathays and William working for the Taff Vale Railway engineer’s department as a cupolaman (a cupola being a furnace in which pig-iron and scrap is melted prior to casting). Later they lived at 160 Woodville Road, Cathays. William Adams enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in Newport and died in London on 7th December 1917 at Queen Alexandra’s Hospital in Millbank Barracks, London aged 36. He is buried in Cardiff in Cathays Cemetery (plot CE 1197). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ARTHUR ROBERTSON ADAMSON
Gunner, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 106422)
Arthur Adamson was born in 1882 In Wallsend, Tyneside to John Adamson, a foreman blacksmith and Agnes Adamson née Robertson. By 1891 the family had moved to Cardiff but Arthur’s father John died in 1902. When Arthur signs up for the army in December 1915 he describes himself as a laundry depot manager and living with his widowed mother and siblings at 21 Moorland Road. He is killed in action in France on 23rd March 1917 and his grave is at Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Fance. He is remembered on the Splott War Memorial at St Saviour’s church in Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission
ALBERT EDWIN ADDICOTT
Private, 2nd Battalion. East Surrey Regiment (Service Number 6994)
Albert Edwin Addicott was born on 10th August 1892 in Barry to Albert Addicott and Mary Maria Addicott nee Cribb. He was baptised on 1st Feb 1893 with the home address given as 136 Queen Street, Barry. His mother dies a year later in 1894 and his father goes onto remarry a couple of times. In 1901 the Addicott family are living in Minster Street, Cathays. He attends Crwys Road, Gladstone and then Albany Road schools. In 1911 Albert was 19, living in Cyfarthfa Street as a boarder and working as a railway engine cleaner. His father and family were living nearby at 71, Strathnairn Street, Roath. He enlists in Cardiff and joins the East Surrey Regiment. He embarked on 18th May 1915 and died less than a week later in Belgium on 24th May 1915 aged 21 on the Western Front. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres, Belgium. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His half brother Alfred Tudor Addicott is killed in WWII.
ALFRED TUDOR ADDICOTT
Aircraftman 1st Class, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number: 1835722)
Alfred Tudor Addicott and was born 8th April 1902 in Cardiff to Albert Addicott, a stone mason / newspaper vendor originally from Taunton, and Mary Ann Addicott née Harris originally from Machen. He was baptised in 1903 when the Addicott family were living at 109 Cyfarthfa Street, Roath. In 1910 he enters Albany Road school, still living at 109 Cyfarthfa Street but by 1911 the family have moved to 71 Strathnairn Street, Roath. In 1922 he marries Elsie May Woolacott and gives his profession on the wedding certificate as ship’s storekeeper, merchant navy. At some stage around this time he adopts the middle name Tudor. In 1936 he remarries, this time to Elizabeth Williams in Bangor North Wales. They have at least one child. Alfred joins the RAF Volunteer Reserve but dies on 16th March 1944 aged 42. His death is registered in Cambridge but the circumstances of his death are not available. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery (Grave reference: EI 228). His wife Elizabeth lived at 68 Mackintosh Place, Roath Park. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JAMES THOMAS ADDICOTT
Third Engineer Officer. Merchant Navy. S.S. Ashbury
James Thomas Addicott was born on 14th Nov 1909 in Cardiff to James Thomas Addicott, an ironworks labourer, and Maria Addicott née Goodfellow. He married Alice Minnie Evans in 1929 and they lived at 1 Teal Street, Roath. They had six children, the youngest born after James Addicott had died. He worked as an engineer for Great Western Railways and later joined the merchant navy. He was the Third Engineer Officer aboard the S.S. Ashbury that was a steam cargo ship wrecked on 8 January 1945 off the north coast of Scotland. James Addicott suffered an unlucky death. The SS Ashbury had been requisitioned under the Ministry of War Transport but sent home from the Mediterranean for repairs with 240 of its 992 condenser tubes plugged with sawdust. Its destination had originally been the East Coast but it was diverted to Workington, Cumbria where it off-loaded its cargo of iron ore. The SS Ashbury now needed to sail around the north of Scotland to reach the Tyne for its planned repair. It stopped off in Loch Ewe. The weather deteriorated and the ship lost one of its two anchors. Also the regular engineer was taken to hospital with appendicitis and replaced by James Addicott. The SS Ashbury joined a convoy of ships going north around Scotland but headed into a force nine gale. With an under-powered engine and only one anchor it fell behind the convoy and got shipwrecked on rocks despite attempts to save it. It was the worst loss of a merchant ship during World War Two, in an incident not caused by enemy action. The crew of 42 were all drowned and the body of James Addicott was one of those recovered. He died aged 37 and is buried at Tongue Parish Church in the north of Scotland (Sec. G. Grave 15). References: BBC WW2 People’s War, Shipwreck Report of Court, Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private. 39th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (Service Number 49270)
Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Affley was born in Cardiff in 1889 to John Affley, a dock labourer from Cardiff and Bridget Affley nee Collins, from Cardiff. In the 1911 census the Affley family are living at 18 Railway Street. Jerry, like his father, worked as a dock labourer before he enlisted in Cardiff. He entered into the war on 5th July 1915 in Egypt. He died on 10th March 1916 aged 27 by drowning in Mesopotamia. He is commemorated at the Basra Memorial (Panel 42). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (In researching Jerry I discovered his brother Billy played rugby for Cardiff and then Dewsbury and another brother Jimmy, a labourer and part-time musician, fathered Declan Affley, an Australian folk singer)
Private, 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 38953)
Jeremiah Ahern was born in 1877 in Cardiff to Michael Ahern, a docks labourer, and Julia Ahern née Regan, both originally from Ireland. Jeremiah Ahern was a docks labourer himself before joining the 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He lived at 9 Pellett Street, Adamsdown with his sisters Julia and Mary and brother-in-law Michael Murphy. He was killed on the Western Front on 15th November 1916 aged 39. The South Wales Echo reported he had been on the front for about 12 months and was killed by a shell. His officer reported that he ‘considered him one of his steadiest men, always willing and eager to do his duty and help any of his comrades’. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
JOHN KENNETH AINSLEY
Lieutenant, 77 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (Service Number 189933)
John Kenneth Ainsley was born in Cardiff in 1910 to Thomas Liddle Ainsley, a marine compass adjuster, and Evelyn Hetta Ainsley née Spencer. He was baptised on August 21st at St Andrew & St Teilo in Cathays. The family home in the 1911 census was Column Road in the centre of Cardiff. The Ainsley family later moved to Lake Road West. John Ainsley marries Barbara Mary Allin in 1937 in Cardiff and they have one child together living at the Allin family home in Cyncoed Crescent. John joins the Royal Artillery TA in 1938 based at Maindy Barracks, Cardiff. The 77 HAA Regiment RA sailed from the Clyde bound for the Middle East on 6th December 1941. By the time they reached Durban in South Africa early in January 1942, their destination had been changed to Singapore. Their destination was changed again to Batavia (now called Djakarta). They arrived at Batavia, Java on board the Empress of Australia on 4th February 1942. In the early hours of 6th February 1942 a troop train carrying part of 77 HAA Regiment RA was involved in a rail accident just outside Soerabaja, Java when it smashed into an ammunition train on a single track on a bridge over a ravine. Some thirty members of 77 HAA Regiment RA, including John Kenneth Ainsley, were killed in the accident and nearly one hundred were injured. He died aged 31 and is buried/remembered at Jakarta War Cemetery (ref: Mem. 5. E. 14) and is also remembered on the war memorial plaque in St Ederyn’s church, Cardiff. John’s Commonwealth War Grave Commission record. A memorial board to the dead of 77th (Welsh) HAA Regiment was carved with a penknife by a prisoner of war in Changi POW Camp, and hung in a church built by the POWs. The church was destroyed by the Japanese, but the memorial was later found and re-hung in the Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Chapel, Cardiff.
Private, 8th Battalion. Welsh Regiment (Service Number 12265)
Joseph Akerman was born in Cardiff on 22nd September 1894 to William Akerman, a dock labourer, originally from Ashcott, Somerset and Eliza Akerman née Turner, who was born at sea. Joseph attended Splott Road school after which he was employed as a boilermaker. He enlisted in Cardiff on 22nd August 1914 and served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force as a Private in the 8th Battalion. Welsh Regiment. He was wounded in the thigh by shrapnel at Chocolate Hill, Suvla, Gallipoli brought home and admitted to Splott Road Military Hospital on 30th August 1915. Joseph Akerman died of wounds on 16th September 1915 aged 20 in the school where he was educated which was being used as a military hospital on. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff (plot EB 18). The address of his parents at the time of his army service is recorded as being 12 Singleton Road, East Moors. He is remembered on the Splott War Memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 16th (Royal Devon & R.Nth. Devon Yeomanry) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number 67705)
William Alford 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 have moved 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. He serves in the army and 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. He is remembered on the memorials at St Edward’s church and Howardian school. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
Fireman and Trimmer, Merchant Seaman, S.S. Carsbreck
Mohamed Ali was born in Aden in 1894 and married Eliza Henrietta Kennedy in 1936 in Cardiff. In the 1939 Eliza Ali and Mohamed’s stepson Edward Pearce Ali were living at 95 Glenroy Street, Roath. They later lived at 13 Keppoch Street, Roath. He was a fireman and trimmer on board the S.S Carsbreck, a British cargo steamship. The Carsbreck had been torpedoed once before in 1940 but survived. In October 1941 Carsbreck, carrying 6000t of iron ore, formed part of a convoy sailing from from Almeria, Spain to Barrow-in-Furness. After passing through the Strait of Gibraltar it was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat on 24th October 1941. Mohamed Ali, aged 47, was one of 24 crew that drowned. 18 crew survived He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial to merchant seamen in London (Panel 24). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ALFRED HENRY ALLARD
Lance Corporal, 8th (Service) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number 10669)
Alfred Henry ‘Harry’ Allard was born at Frome, Somerset on 25 Sep 1894 to John Thomas Allard, an iron works erector, and Sarah Ann ‘Annie’ Allard, née Singer, both originally from Somerset. Harry attended Stacey Road school. In the 1911 census the Allard family were living at 1 Vere Street, Roath and Harry was working as a plumber’s assistant. He enlisted in Bristol. He served as a Lance Corporal in the 8th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. He was killed in action on the Western Front on 25 Sep 1915, on his 21st birthday. He is remembered on the Loos memorial in France. He is also remembered on the Broadway Methodist church war memorial plaque now at the Trinity Centre. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Sergeant, 4th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), (Service Number 1045)
Thomas Allday was born in Dundee on 19th May 1894. He was the son of Henry George Allday, a draper, originally from Southampton and Emma Kate Allday, née Tuppen, originally from Brighton. Before enlisting in Dundee Thomas was an apprentice watchmaker and was well known for his connection with the Y.M.C.A. He served with the 4th Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). On 26th Feb 1915 he was admitted to hospital with influenza and transferred back to Cardiff’s King Edward VIII hospital. He was baptised as an adult in the hospital, by officials from St German’s church, Splott on 27th May 1915. On recovering he returned to France but was killed in action on 25th Sep 1915 on the Western Front in France aged 21. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial in France (panel 78-83). He is also remembered on the Grove Academy memorial plaque at Broughty Ferry, Dundee and the war memorial plaque at St German’s church, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. Summary of the life of Thomas Allday at Great War Dundee website.
ALBERT HENRY ALLEN
Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service Number 11093)
Albert Henry Allen was born in 1895 to Albert Allen, a stationary engine driver for Cardiff Corporation, originally from St Mellons, and Ann Maria Allen née Bishop originally from Trowbridge, Wiltshire. He was one of ten children but his mother Ann died in 1904. The Allen family lived at 11 Letty Street, Cathays. Albert was employed as a carriage painter for Taff Vale Railway before he enlisted in the Army in Wrexham in 1912. He was killed in action 30 October 1914 aged 19 on the Western Front in France. He is buried at the Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, France. He is remembered on the memorial plaque at St Andrew’s and St. Teilo’s Church, Woodville Road, Cathays. He was also remembered on the Oddfellows Memorial plaque in Newport Road. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
GEORGE WILLIAM ALLEN
Private, 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 13970)
George William Allen was born in 1896 to George Allen, a blacksmith, originally from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and Emily Allen nee Wood, from Cardiff. The Allen family lived at 64 Coburn Street, Cathays. Before enlisting George was employed in the building trade. He enlisted in Cardiff in September 1914. He was killed in action by shellfire on 8th October 1916, aged 20, on the Western Front. He is buried at the Hebuterne Military Cemetery, France (gave IV. Q. 7.) He is remembered on the St.Teilo’s Church memorial, Cathays. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HUGH TAYLOR ALLEN
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.
WILLIAM EDGAR ALLIN
Private, 2nd Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company (Service Number 10624)
William Edgar Allin was born in Cardiff in 1883 to William Allin, originally from Hackney, London and a commission agent for a grocery and Annie Allin née Dutson, originally from Reading, Berkshire. In 1911 the Allin family are living at 40 Richmond Road. William Edgar Allin marries Florence Winifred Jenkins of 28 Lochaber Street, Roath Park, on 29th Jan 1914 at Woodville Road Baptist Chapel. He serves as a Private in the Honourable Artillery Company on the Western Front but is killed in Reutal in Belgium on 9th October 1917 aged 34. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium (panel 7). His war service records and probate record his address as 28 Lochaber Street. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record lists his widow Florence Winifred Jenkins living at 24 Ilton Road, Penylan. In 1939 she is living in Barry with her brother. She dies in Brighton in 1980 aged 93.
Captain, Merchant Navy, S.S.Pluton
Jacob Anderson was born in Christiansand, Norway in 1862 to Jacob and Marie Anderson. In 1887 he marries Mary Ann Bowles from Swansea. They have two children including Alice in 1898. He gains his Master Mariner certificate in May 1890. In 1909 he becomes a British Citizen. The Anderson family live in various places in Cardiff including Paget Street, Grangetown in 1911. He was Captain of S.S. Pluton on a voyage from Port Talbot to Rouen with a cargo of patent fuel when she was sunk by submarine UB31 in the English Channel 6 miles off Start Point, Devon on 9 September 1917. Jacob Anderson, aged 55, was one of ten crew who lost their lives. The newspaper report in Sept 1918 states that his wife and daughter lately lived at Diana Street, Roath. He is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records.
KARL ALEXANDER ANDERSON
Messenger Boy, Merchant Navy, S.S. Empire Cromwell.
Karl Alexander Anderson was born in SPlott, Cardiff in 1924 to Karl Anton Anderson and Elsie May Anderson née Thorson. The family lived at 2 Tenby Street, Splott. Karl worked as a messenger boy on board the S.S. Empire Cromwell. He lost his life, aged 18, when the Empire Cromwell was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Trinidad on 28th Nov 1942 by U-boat-508. She was carrying about 1000t of chrome ore at the time. About half the crew of 50 lost their lives with the other half rescued and taken to Port of Spain, Trinidad. The Empire Cromwell was barely a year old having been built in Sunderland in 1941. Karl Anderson is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial to Merchant Seamen.
ERNEST JOHN ANDERTON
Private, 2/8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (service number: 302353)
Ernest John Anderton was born in c1889 in Cardiff to Joseph Anderton, a gardener, originally from Birmingham, and Caroline Anderton from Cardiff. Ernest was employed as a haulier for the Gwalia Company, coal merchants. He married Florence Louisa Gould (b. c1890) from Cardiff in early 1911 and in the census that year they were living at 13 Treorky Street, Cathays. Ernest enlisted in Cardiff. He was killed in action on the Western Front on 29 April 1917, aged 27, when serving as a Private with the 2/8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. He is buried at the Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery Extension, France. A newspaper report states that they were living at 23 Talworth Street, Roath at the time of his death. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private. 8th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (Service Number S/7411)
George Andrews was born in Spring 1895 in Cardiff to John Andrews a bathstone stonemason and Mary Andrews née Lewis. He was one of eleven children. The family lived at 1 Moorland Road, Splott. He originally enlisted in Cardiff with the 2nd Welsh Royal Field Artillery in 1912. He served on the Western Front with the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) and died of wounds 16th February 1916 aged 20. He is buried at the Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France in grave II. C. 142. George Andrews is remembered on the Splott War Memorial in front of St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
CISSY GWENDOLINE ANGELL
Cissy Gwendoline ‘Gwen’ Angell was born Cissy Gwendoline Lloyd on 23rd Sept 1904 in Cathays, Cardiff to William Lloyd, a shipwright, and Elizabeth Martha Sophia Lloyd, nee Taylor. She was christened in St John’s church on 20th Oct 1904. The Lloyd family lived at 26 Tewkesbury Place, Cathays and Gwen attended Roath Park Primary school. Gwen marries widower Edgar Angell, a steam roller driver, on 25th August 1928 at St Margaret’s church, Roath. In the 1939 Register she is living with her mother at 159 Broadway, Roath. She is killed as a result of an air raid on 3 Mar 1941. Although the house survives it appears that a bomb may have hit an air raid shelter and she died the following day, 4th Mar, at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, aged 36. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record (note that the record seems to incorrectly give her mother’s surname as Angell rather than Lloyd). She is buried at Cathays Cemetery, plot B1420a, close to where she grew up (no headstone found).
EDWARD CHARLES ANSON
Lance Bombardier, 22nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Service Number 802804)
Edward Charles Anson was born in Cardiff on 2nd April 1912 at 125 Glenroy Street, Roath to Oscar Anson, a Marine Engineer originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, and Maud Mary Anson née Smith, from Monmouthshire. He married Kathleen McCarthy (1914-2002) in Cardiff in 1938. They had a daughter Christine born in Cardiff in 1942. Edward died on 17th July 1944 in Italy aged 32 when serving with the Royal Artillery. He is buried at the Arezzo War Cemetery in Italy (Grave: II.D.30). His brother Jack also died in WWII. They are both remembered on the war memorial plaque in St Martin’s church, Albany Road. Edward is also remembered on his wife’s headstone in Pantmawr cemetery, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN OSCAR HENRY ANSON
Able Seaman, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Onslow (Service Number D/J 107883)
John ‘Jack’ Oscar Henry Anson was born in Cardiff on 4th Dec 1906 at 125 Glenroy Street, Roath to Oscar Anson, a Marine Engineer originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, and Maud Mary Anson née Smith, from Monmouthshire. He attended Albany Road primary school. He joined the Royal Navy in 1923 and served on a variety of ships including the Valiant, Queen Elizabeth and Vivid. He married Jessie Kingdon in South Molton, Devon in 1935. In WWII Jack Anson served on board the Destroyer HMS Onslow which helped provide escorts for North American convoys. On 31st December 1942, in what became known as the Battle of the Barents Sea, north of Norway, the Onslow came under heavy fire when defending a convoy from superior enemy forces. During the battle Onslow was hit and fire broke out and a number of crew lost their lives including Jack Anson aged 36. Captain Robert Sherbrooke of HMS Onslow was awarded the Victoria Cross for the way in which it defended the convoy. He acknowledged that it had really been awarded in honour of the whole crew of HMS Onslow. In the action the Captain had been badly wounded and he lost the sight in his left eye. Jack Anson is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial (panel 64). He is also remembered on the war memorial plaque in St Martin’s church, Albany Road, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
THOMAS JOHN EDMUND ANSTEY
Corporal, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), (Service Number 1613)
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 School memorial and the St Teilo’s church war 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, 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 11788)
Arthur Antcliffe was born in Cardiff in 1894 to Alfred Antcliffe, a stoker in a brick works, originally from Bolingbrook, Lincolnshire, and Selena Antcliffe née Fussell originally from Bristol. The Antcliffe family lived at 11 Dalton Street, Cathays. Arthur Antcliffe enlisted in Cardiff and was killed in action on 8th August 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey. He is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey, aged 21. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His brother Henry was also killed in WWI.
Driver, 231st Medium Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery (Service Number 28975)
Henry ‘Harry’ Antcliffe was born in Cardiff in c1893 to Alfred Antcliffe, a stoker in a brick works, originally from Bolingbrook, Lincolnshire, and Selena Antcliffe née Fussell originally from Bristol. The Antcliffe family lived at 11 Dalton Street, Cathays. He died on 14th July 1917 on the Western Front in France. He is buried at the Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent Blangy, France (Grave: I.N.2). Henry was the brother of Arthur Antcliffe who was also killed in WWI. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM ARTHUR GEORGE ARNOLD
Driver, 34 Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 43162)
William Arthur George Arnold was born on 20th Oct 1895 in Splott, Cardiff in 1895 to George Arnold, a railway inspector originally from Magor, Monmouthshire and Alice Margaret Arnold née Townsend, from Chepstow, Monmouthshire. William was baptised at St German’s church on 14th November 1895 when the family lived at 27 Prince Leopold Street. In 1901 the Arnold family were living at 46 Swinton Street, Splott, and in 1911 they are living in Newport and George is working as an apprentice house painter but by 1912 he has returned to Cardiff and working for Great Western Railways (GWR) as a van boy and later a parcel porter. He enlists in June 1915 and is a driver in the Royal Field Artillery. He is honourably discharged in Apr 1919 due to sickness and awarded the Silver War badge. He returns to working for GWR as a crossing keeper in Ely in Dec 1919 but is absent sick in Sep 1920 and dies on 20 Nov 1920. He was remembered on the Oddfellows war memorial plaque in Newport Road which is now believed to have been destroyed.
William Arthur died at 7 Cathays Terrace in the Cardiff Blitz on 3rd March 1941. Casualty. He was 64 years old. He is buried in an unmarked grave in Cathays Cemetery, Plot EJ 2381, close to the Cardiff Blitz Memorial which contains his name. According to his death certificate his occupation was a boilerman. No other background information has been found on William Arthur as yet. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM HENRY ASHMORE
Lance Corporal, 1st Siege Company, Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Service Number: 6111)
William Henry Ashmore was born in Cardiff in 1893 to Henry Ashmore, a docks labourer, originally from Birmingham, and Mable Isobel Ashmore née Bloomfield from Cardiff. William, was bought up in Shakespeare Street, Roath and later moved to 15 Tin Street, Adamsdown. Like his father he was a docks labourer. He attended St Peter’s RC church and played rugby for the St. Peters and Adamsdown clubs. He enlisted in Cardiff and became a Lance Corporal in the 1st Siege Company of Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers. The Number 1 siege company landed at Havre on November 3 1914 and on Christmas Day 1914 was sent to Wilverghem in the Ypres Salient with the 5th Division, where it stayed until after William’s death in April 1915. He died of wounds on 14 May 1915, aged 21. He was the first of his Company to die aboard. He is buried at the Bailleul Communal Cemetery, France. He is remembered on the Cardiff Railway Roll of Honour at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. In 2013, Ellen Branagh, researched and visited the grave of her great uncle William Henry Ashmore as reported in WalesOnline.
ARCHIBALD ALBERT ASHTON
Private, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Albert Ashton was born in late 1892 in Cardiff to George Henry and Maud Ashton née Stokes of 41 Constellation Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff . He married Emily Cox in Spring of 1916. He died later that year on 25th Aug 1916 at the Battle of the Somme in France. Service Number: 23040. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. In 1939 the widowed Emily Ashton is living with her elderly mother in 25 Windsor Road, Cardiff. Emily dies in early 1951. Albert was brother of George Henry Ashton (see below). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
GEORGE HENRY ASHTON
Company Serjeant Major, “D” Coy 4th Garrison Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
George Henry ‘Harry’ Congdon Ashton was the son of George Henry and Maud Ashton née Stokes of 41 Constellation Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff. He was born in Pontypridd in early 1891 but moved to Constellation Street, Cardiff shortly afterwards and is baptised in Roath church in 1893. His father George was a baker. Maud had some 15 children in all. Harry joined the army in 1907 having previously been employed as a cellarman. He had 12 years’ service (service number: 47215) and served in China, North Africa, Mediterranean and France. He is wounded by a bullet in the lung in Dardanelles in 1915. He continues to serve but later contracts tuberculosis. He dies in hospital in Newport on 12th March 1919 aged 28. He was engaged to Victoire and although they refer to each other as husband and wife in letters don’t appear to have married. He is buried in Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff, grave EA. NC. 1684. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
REGINALD HENRY ASHTON
Third Mate, Merchant Navy, ‘S.S. Bayreaulx’
Reginald Henry Ashton was born on 29th May 1897 in Canton, Cardiff to Henry Ashton, a wood and stone carver, and Priscilla Ann Ashton nee Evans, both from Cardiff. Reginald was baptised together with his brother Charles Vivian in 1899 in Canton. Sometime later they move to Whitchurch and later Woodville Road, Cathays and later again to 72 Crwys Road. We know he attended Gladstone Primary School. His mother Priscilla dies in 1910 aged 35. Reginald joins the merchant navy and was third mate aboard S.S. Bayreaulx when it was thought to have been hit by a torpedo and sunk off the south coast of Ireland on 23rd October 1916. He was 19 years old. The S.S. Bayreaulx had been travelling from Cardiff to Montreal carrying ballast, when she was intercepted and torpedoed by U63 under the command of Captain Otto Schulze. All 23 crew members were lost. He his remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial in London for Merchant Seamen (see picture). Herbert Edwards Dicks from Alfred Street, Roath was also killed on the same ship. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
CHARLES EDWARD ASPLIN
Private, 9th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment (Service Number 15856)
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 plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM THOMPSON ATKINSON
Second Mate, Mercantile Marine, S.S. “Torrington”
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 emEmployed 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. aged 28. 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, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 13236)
Joseph Attwell was born in Pontypool in 1879 to John Attwell, a blast furnace worker originally from Cwmbran, and Ann Attwell nee Dacey originally from Ireland. The Attwell family lived at 277 Portmanmoor Road. Joseph Attwell, like his father worked as a furnaceman. He enlisted in Cardiff and served on the Western Front as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment for one month. He was killed in action 25 May 1915, aged 36. He is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial in France and on the Splott War Memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
LESLIE HYDE ATWILL
Private, 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 57203)
Leslie Atwill was born in Cardiff on 20 May 1892 and baptised in St Andrew’s church in July with the family address given as the Drill Hall. He was one of three sons born to Sergeant-Major Thomas and Sarah Atwill nee Gerard who lost their lives in WWI and a fourth son Ernest died serving in the British Army in China in 1911. The Atwill family move to Devon and Leslie is schooled at Meavy Church Of England School. By 1911 Leslie Atwill had returned to Cardiff and was living with his sister and brother-in-law in Edward Terrace (now called Churchill Way) and working in the drapery business. When he enlists in 1914 he was living at 7 Richmond Crescent. He initially enlisted in 2/7th Battalion Welsh Regiment and later transferred to 1/7th Battalion. He embarked at Southampton 26 July 1916 and then joined No. 6 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen 27 July 1916. He was then posted for duty with 1/6th (Glamorgan) Battalion. Welsh Regiment and later posted to 13th Battalion Welsh Regiment in the field 3 August 1916. He died pneumonia aged 24 on 30 January 1917. He is buried at the Mendinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium. He is remembered on the war memorial in the village of Walkhampton, Devon. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
PERCY GERARD ATWILL
Private, 13th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (Service Number 1508A)
Percy Gerard Atwill was born 27 Nov 1887 in Cardiff, the fourth son of Sergeant-Major Thomas and Sarah Atwill nee Gerard. The Atwill family were living at the Drill Hall, Dumfries Place and he was baptised at St Andrew’s church on Dec 23rd. The family later move to Devon and Percy attends Meavy Church Of England School and then works as a farm labourer before enlisting in 1906 and serving as a Regular in the Royal Garrison Artillery but was later discharged with heart problems. Percy travels to Australia and enlists in the Australian Imperial Force. He embarked at Sydney with 3rd Reinforcements on 11 February 1915. He was killed in action 27 August 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey aged 27. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial in Gallipoli. He is also remembered on St Martin’s church war memorial plaque in Roath and the Walkhampton War Memorial, Devon. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
THOMAS ALFRED ATWILL
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 and St Martin’s church, Roath in Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, (Service Number G/5363)
George Aven was born on 7th Mar 1879 at 55 Pearl Street, Roath, to Charles Aven, a coal tipper for the Cardiff Railway Company and Mary Ann Aven née Watts, both from Cardiff. By 1911 the Aven family had moved to Canton and George, like his father, became a coal tipper for the Cardiff Railway Company. He enlisted in Cardiff and was initially with the Northamptonshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 1st September 1918, aged 39, near Combles on the Western Front. He is remembered on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France and also the Roll of Honour for workers of the Cardiff Railway Company on display at the Pierhead Building,Cardiff Bay. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
VICTOR STANLEY JAMES BELT
Sergeant, 40th Squadron, Royal Air Force (Service Number 547685)
Victor Stanley James Belt was born in 1919 in Cardiff to James William Belt, a builder’s labourer, and Ellen Louisa Belt nee Blackmore, originally from Abergavenny. He attended Adamsdown School and joined the RAF in 1938. In 1939 his parents were living at 119 Cyfarthfa Street, Roath. Victor Belt lost his life in Italy on 7th September 1944. He was flying in a Wellington bomber that took off from Foggia Main Landing ground at 19.19 hours on the night of 6/7th September 1944 to bomb Bologna marshalling yards, Italy. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. Other crews returning from the mission reported seeing yellow lights in the sea in position 42.55N 14.39E, and a ship was observed steaming towards the scene. Victor and the other crew members are buried together in a grave at Bologna War Cemetery, Italy. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM EDWIN ARCHIBALD BROOKS
Sergeant, 27th Squadron, Royal Air Force, (Service Number G/70405)
William Edwin Archibald ‘Archie’ Brooks was born on 30th March 1899 to Llewellyn Books, a commercial traveller and Blanch Brooks née Moore, originally from Newport. The in 1901 the family were living at 101 Castle Road (later renamed City Road) and in 1911 they were at 196 City Road. Sometime afterwards the family move to 1 Axminster Road. The following summary of his military history is taken from the welldigger blog by David Pike: Listed as Serjeant, G70405 Royal Air Force, Archie originally joined the Royal Fusiliers after 1915, and was promoted to Sergeant while serving with them. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on 21st September 1917, and was sent to No 5 Cadet Wing at Hastings for preliminary training. Deemed unsuitable as a pilot, he trained as an observer starting with 2 weeks initial flying training at Worcester before transferring to the School of Military Aeronautics at Reading on 11th February 1918. He seems initially to have been allocated to 106th Squadron (aerial reconnaissance) as it was being formed. This squadron was sent to Ireland in May 1918, but Archie must already have been switched to 27th Squadron which was serving on the Western Front before this happened. 27th Squadron was flying DH4 light bombers and in the spring of 1918 were engaged in low-level bombing and reconnaissance over the German lines. Archie did not survive for very long. He died on 16th June 1918 aged 19, just ten days after the RFC became the RAF, and was buried at Hangard Communal Cemetery, on the Somme. It seems he was originally buried, together with his pilot, Second Lieutenant Charles Henry Gannaway, a 19 year old Scot from Glasgow, in a German cemetery at Saulchoy-sur-Davenescourt, suggesting they died while flying behind the German front line on reconnaissance in DH4 number A7597. He was remembered on the memorial in Plasnewydd Presbyterian Church (now the Gate Arts Centre) and we think the Mackintosh Institute plaque (now lost).
Second Lieutenant, 8th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (Service Number 16119).
Christopher Brown was born in Cardiff in 1897 to Richard Brown, a stoker on a steamship, and Margaret Brown née Kirby. He lived at 52 Nora Street. In 1915 Christopher married Mary Elizabeth Hayes shortly before signing up to the South Wales Border Regiment. He later transfers to the Worcestershire Regiment. He was mortally wounded during the advance to retake Maretz (close to the Somme) and subsequently dies of wounds he has received on 24th October 1918. He is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France, in block S, plot V, row J, grave 1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Interestingly, in the next but one grave is buried Rev Theodore Hardy VC, DSO, MC, one of the most decorated non-combatants of the First World War).
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.
Private, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (Service Number 922)
Denis Cummins was born in Cardiff in 1895 to John Cummins, a docks labourer and Catherine Cummins née Barry. In the 1911 census Denis Cummins aged 16 is an errand boy. The Cummins family lived at 23, Oxford St, Roath. Denis enlists in Cardiff and serves as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was killed in action 18 October 1918 aged 23. Denis is buried Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, France. (plot s19.11.18). He is remembered on the St. Peter’s RC Church, CYMS Roll of Honour. 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.
HERBERT EDWARD DICKS
2nd Steward, Merchant Navy on S.S. “Bayreaulx”
Herbert Edward Dicks was born in 1900 probably in 77 Alfred Street, Roath as that is where the family lived in 1901. His parents were Isaac John Dicks, a detective police sergeant, and Martha Jane Dicks née Young. Herbert Dicks joined the merchant navy and was 2nd steward aboard the S.S. Bayreaulx, which was a steam ship of 3009 tons operated by the Bay Steam Ship Company of Cardiff. He died, presumed drowned, on 20th October 1916 off the south coast of Ireland. The S.S. Bayreaulx had been travelling from Cardiff to Montreal carrying ballast, when she was intercepted and torpedoed by U63 under the command of Captain Otto Schulze. All 23 crew members were lost. He his remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial in London for Merchant Seamen. He was also remembered on the Mackintosh Institute roll of honour, now lost. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states his family address at the time as being 13, Diana Street, Roath.
Private, 2nd Garrison Battalion, Essex Regiment (Service Number 33203)
Joseph Edwards was born in Hereford on 28 Nov 1880 to Joseph Edwards, a chimney sweep, from St Austell, Cornwell and Elizabeth Edwards née Davies, from Hereford. By 1891 the Edwards family have moved to Cardiff and and Joseph attends St German’s school on Metal Street. In 1901 are living at 32 Ordell Street, Splott with Joseph working as a dock labourer. In 1903 he marries Bridget Aherne and they have five children together. Joseph enlisted in the army and served in a number of regiments including the Welch Regiment and the Somerset Light Infantry and finally the Essex Regiment. He survived most of the war but died of pleurisy in Mesopotamia on the day the war ended, 11th Nov 1918, aged 37. He is buried at the Basra War Cemetery and remembered on the memorial there, panel I.S.18. He is also remembered on the Splott War Memorial outside St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Eleanor ‘Lena’ Evans, together with her son, were killed at 7 Cathays Terrace on 3rd March 1941 in a German bombing raid. She was born Helena Keniry on 6 Aug 1900 to Patrick Keniry and Ellen ‘Nellie’ Keniry nee McCarthy. Her brother John Keniry died on active service in WWI when HMS Monmouth was sunk. She married Iorwerth Evans 1921 in Pontypridd. They had three children together, Ernest, Joyce and Glyndwr. Her husband Iorwerth died in 1935 in Pontypridd aged 33. In 1939 she was living at 70 Wyverne Road, Cathays. Eleanor and her son Glyndwr are killed in an air raid on 3rd March 1941 at 7 Cathays Terrace. They are buried in Cathays Cemetery, Plot R4366. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Gyyndwr Evans was born in Pontypridd in 1934 to Iorwerth Evans and Eleanor ‘Lena’ Evans nee Keniry. His father died when he was only one year old. Glyndwr attended St Monica’s School, Cathays. He was killed along with his mother Lena (Eleanor), when the house they were in 7, Cathays Terrace, was hit by a bomb on 3rd March 1941. He and his mother are buried in Cathays Cemetery, Plot R4366. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN FRANCIS EVANS
Private, Infantry in Welsh Regiment
John Francis Evans was born on 20th Aug 1818 to John Evans, a general labourer at the steel works and Mary Evans née Kirby. They lived at 20 Aberystwyth Street, Splott. According to the 1939 Register, John Francis Evans, like his father, worked as a labourer in the steel works. He died on 27th May 1941 and is remembered on the Athens Memorial. Commonwealth War Graves
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 FRANK FENNERTY
Stoker 1st Class, Royal Navy aboard H.M.S. Defence (Service Number SS/116201)
William Frank Fennerty as born on 10th Oct 1896 to William Henry Fennerty, a house painter, and Emily Fennerty née Godbeer, both originally from Devon. William Frank Fennerty joins the navy and serves aboard H.M.S. Defence as a stoker. The ship is lost in the battle of Jutland, off Denmark, on 31st May 1916 and 900 lives on board are lost. He is remembered on the Splott war memorial outside St Saviour’s church and the Naval War Memorial in Plymouth. His parents were living at 70, Ordell Street, Splott at the time. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
FRANCIS WILBERFORCE GACCON
Divisional Commander, A.F.S. (Auxiliary Fire Service), Cardiff City Fire Brigade,
Francis ‘Frank’ Wilberforce Gaccon was born on 6th April 1888. His father was Watkin Gaccon, originally from Aberdare and a marine engine engineer. His mother was Alice Charlotte Morgan originally from Overton, Gloucestershire. Frank grows up in 96 Habershon Street, Splott where he went to Splottlands School and Cardiff University College (1904-11). He followed his father into engineering. During WWI he worked for Bute Docks Engineers and Shipping Company under the Admiralty fitting engines to lifeboats of hospital ships. After WWI he started up his own successful company, Frank Gaccon & Co Consulting Engineer. Frank had a successful sporting career. He played 105 times for Cardiff Rugby Club. He married three times and had one daughter. When WWII was declared Frank joined Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service and became Commander of the Cardiff A.F.S. He was killed in Newport Road when a German bomb dropped on his car whilst on duty on 3rd March, 1941. He was 53 years of age at the time and living at 153 Cyncoed Road. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Plot: M 948a. He is remembered on a plaque in Cardiff Fire Station to those who died on duty.
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.
IVOR VICTOR ERNEST HATHAWAY
Gunner, 4th Battery. 2nd Welsh Brigade., Royal Field Artillery (Service Number 948)
Ivor Hathaway was baptised at St John’s church Cardiff on 22nd Aug 1895. He was son of Albert Amos Hathaway, a dock laborer, and Emily Hathway née Billingham, both originally from Westbury, Gloucestershire. In 1901 the family were living in 89 Sanquhar Street, Splott. In the 1911 census the family had moved to 20 Diamond Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff. Before the war Ivor was a porter at Peacock & Sons in Clifton Street. In WWI he was a Gunner in Royal Field Artillery and died aged 19. He died in the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge of appendicitis on 2nd Feb 1915. He is buried in Cathays cemetery, Cardiff (plot EF. NC. 9332.). He was remembered on a memorial in Cardiff (location currently unknown). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JAMES JOHN HEGARTY
Private, 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry (Service Number 16086)
James John Hegarty was born in 1880 to William Daniel Hegarty, a railway wagon repairer from Cadoxton and Mary Ann Hegarty née Norman from Cardiff. in 1901 the Hegarty family lived at 21 Ruby Street. James Hegarty was a dock labourer and in 1904 married Amelia Rose Thomas and they had five children together. James was one of six Hegarty brothers to serve in WWI and the only one to lose his life. His father William remarkably also enlisted in 1914 at the age of 58 although the age on his military records is given as 45. James served in the Somerset Light Infantry but lost his life on the first day of the battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916, aged 36. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 2 A) in France. He is also remembered on the war memorial outside St Saviour’s church in Splott, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Flying Officer, 355 Squadron. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 163701)
Brian Hill was born on 8th Oct 1917 to Sydney James Hill, a ship’s joiner, originally from Swansea and Eva Bessie Hill née Howell originally from Wokingham, Surrey. Brian attended Cardiff High School for Boys. In 1939 the Hill family were living at 35 Inglefield Avenue, Heath and Brian working as a clerk in a transport company. He was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 11 Feb 1943 he was a Sergeant and aboard a Halifax bomber when it crashed in Yorkshire. He was the only crew member to survive. He was admitted to the Sick Quarters at Driffield airfield and reportedly sustained severe concussion. He later recovered and returned to active service and received his commission on 28 January 1944 to the rank of P/O on probation (emergency) (163701). He was later promoted to F/O (war subs) on 28th July 1944. On 2 May 1945 he was flying with 355 Squadron from Salbani, India when he died flying in Liberator KH210 which crashed in the Bay of Bengal. An engine caught fire and the plane crashed 130 miles south of Calcutta. He was twenty eight years old and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial (Column 447). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
FREDERICK JOHN HOLBROOK
Private, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 30649)
Fred Holbrook was born in Splott on 5 May 1898 and baptised at St Saviour’s church on June 13th. His mother was Ellen Holbrook née Streat, originally from Ottery St Mary, Devon and his father, Henry Thomas Holbrook, originally from Chard, Somerset and a bricklayer who died as the result of an industrial accident at the East Moors Ironworks in 1907. In 1911 widowed Ellen and her children lived at 67 Llanelly Street, Splott. Fred attended Moorland Road school and then worked as a bricklayer at the Dowlais works prior to joining up in February 1915. He was posted to France on 12 May 1915 and therefore probably underage when he joined up. He was wounded on 16 July 1916 and the date suggests that his wounds were received in operations connected with the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. Fred Holbrook died on 27 July 1916 aged 18. He is buried in the Heilly Station Cemetery. Three Casualty Clearing Stations (hospitals) were based around what is now the cemetery when the Battle of the Somme started, and it was linked by railway almost to the front lines. More of Fred’s story is told in this well-researched piece. Fred Holbrook is remembered on the Splott War Memorial in front of St Saviour’s church and the Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
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.
DAVID AERON JONES
Lance Corporal 1st Reserve Brigade, South Africa Forces (Service Number 119075)
David Aeron Jones was born in 1898 in Llandyfodwg, north of Bridgend to Thomas William Jones, a draper, originally from Pencarreg, Carmarthenshire and Serviah Jones nee Williams, also a draper, from Llangyfelach. David served as a Private (Service Number 91492) with the Royal Tank Corps in WWI. In 1921 he is on board the S.S. Commonwealth bound for Australia giving his address as ‘The Bonanza’, Church Street, Ebbw Vale and occupation as draper. His father Thomas dies a year later. in the 1939 Register his mother Serviah is living at 42 Shirley Road, Roath Park. David once again joins up and serves as a Lance Corporal in the 1st Reserve Brigade, South Africa Forces. He is killed in action on 6th Jan 1942 aged 44. He is buried at the Cape Town (Maitland) Cemetery. He is remembered on the war memorial plaque in Roath Park Congregationalchurch. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
MILLARD FILLMORE JONES
Private, 3rd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 19014)
Millard Fillmore ‘Phil’ Jones was born on 20th June 1892 in Cardiff to William Jones, a ship’s donkeyman (engineer) and Maria Jones, née James, originally from Merthyr. In his early years he lived at 34 Pontypridd Street. He was baptised at St Saviour’s on April 25th 1898 on the same day as his brother William and sister Gladys. By 1911 the family are living at 74 Adeline Street, Splott and Phil is working as a coal haulier. Later that year he is working as a porter on the railways. He served in the 3rd Welsh Regiment. He died on 17th December 1916 aged 24. He is recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery (grave I 471). The grave records that he died at Kinmel Park which was a large military camp near Abergele, north Wales. Records show that he died of a brain hemorrhage. He may have been transferred there after being injured elsewhere. The grave also records he was part of the B.E.F. The British Expeditionary Force fought on the Western Front in France in WWI. The family have pieced together the history
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. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
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. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
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.
Private, 16th Battalion Welsh Regiment. (Service Number 56557).
Hubert Holinshead Merchant was born on 26th July 1896 in Llanhilleth, Monmouthshire. He was the eldest son of Arthur Davies Merchant, a colliery labourer, originally from Gloucester and Emily Merchant née Solomon originally form Bristol. In 1911 we find the family living at 124 Broadway with Arthur a caretaker and Hubert, aged 14, working as a boot dealer’s errand boy having previously attended Moorland Road school. He enlisted 26th April, 1915, in 7th Welsh (Cyclists) before transferring to the 115th Trench Mortar Battery, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He served on the Western Front from 28 July 1916, and was killed in action after the Battle of Pilkem Ridge on 1 Aug 1917 aged 21. His Captain wrote: ‘He went into the fight with his usual cheerfulness, and went right over Pilkem Ridge, as far as the River Steenbeek, where he fought gallantly until he was hit by a sniper in the side’. He is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial (Panels 37). His military papers record the Merchant family living at 176 Cathays Terrace at the time. He was remembered on the Charles Street Wesleyan Methodist Church WWI memorial currently in the safe keeping of Cardiff Bereavement Services. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
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 née 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 ( née 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, née 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 née 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 née 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.
JAMES HENRY RADCLIFT
Sub-Lieutenant. Royal Navy. HMS Glorious.
James Henry Radclift as born in 1915 to Thomas Henry Radclift, a plumber, originally from Bideford, Devon and Eva Norman Radclift née Fry, originally from Instow, Devon. The family lived in Tewkesbury Street, Cathays. Thomas Radclift died when James was only 11 and his mother Eva went onto remarry Arthur Melhuish a few years later. James Henry Radclift joined the navy and was a Sub-Lieutenant serving on the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious when it was sunk in the Norwegian Sea on 8th June 1940 with the loss of 1,200 lives. He was 25 years old. The story of the sinking of HMS Glorious and her two escort ships is told here by Friends of Cathays Cemetery. James Radclift is remembered on the grave of his parents in Section G of Cathays Cemetery. He is also remembered on the Naval Memorial at Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire (Bay 1, Panel 3). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record (note surname is mis-spelt).
MAVIS DORA 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. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
Private. 648th Military Transport Company, Army Service Corps (Service Number M/283912)
James Rockey was born in the summer of 1898 and lived his early years in the Canton area. He was the youngest son of James Rockey, a Coal Inspector, originally from Torrington, Devon and Annie Rockey nee Lewis. By 1911 the family were living on Newport Road. James worked at the engineers yard of Cardiff Railway Company before enlisting and serving with the 648th Military Transport Company of the Army Service Corps in East Africa. Their role appears to have been artillery support. The East Africa Campaign, much of it based around the old German East Africa, the area that now includes modern Tanzania, was seen as a diversionary tactic aiming to draw allied resources away from the Western Front in Europe. Many lives were lost not just in fighting but also through disease as troops succumbed to malaria and other infections. James died on 18th November 1918, a week after the armistice had been signed in France. He is buried at the Nakuru North cemetery (plot 27) in Kenya. At the time of his death the Rockey family lived at 218 Newport Road. The announcement in the Western Mail at the time regarding his death finishes with the line ‘The end of a perfect life’. He is remembered on the WWI Memorial plaque at St Edwards Church in Penylan and on the Cardiff Railway Workers roll of honour which is in the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay. 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.
DAVID THOMAS WATSON
Private, 7th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (Service Number 24846)
David Thomas Watson was born in Cardiff in 1883. He was son of David Watson, a licenced victualler (pub landlord) originally from Gelligaer, and Ann Watson née Edwards, originally from Quakers Yard. In 1883 David Watson was publican at the Roath Cottage. In 1891 the family lived in Duke Street in the middle of Cardiff before moving to Stacey Road, Roath. By 1911 Ann is widowed, her husband having died in Pencoed in 1906, and the family is living at 221 Albany Road. David Thomas Watson was a carpenter by trade. He enlisted it seems at first in the Welsh Horse Yeomanry before joining the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He died on the Western Front on 15th Feb 1915 aged 34. He is buried at the Grandcourt Road Cemetery (Grave C 79) in the Somme region of France. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission record indicated the family address as being 160 Marlborough Rd. He was also remembered on his parent’s gravestone at Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff with the words “Also of Private David Thomas Watson, dearly beloved son of the above who was killed in action in France February 15 1917 aged 34 yrs”. That gravestone on plot W1130 is marked as having been removed. He was also remembered on the Mackintosh Institute Roll of Honour, also now sadly lost.
JANSEN OSWALD DAVID WILLIAMS
Captain, 11th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (Service Number 175669)
Jansen Oswald David Williams was born in the Bridgend area on 14 Nov 1917 to David Isaac Williams, a military contractor and caterer, and Hannah Williams, née Richards. Jansen attended Bridgend Grammar school and Cardiff High School for Boys before embarking in further education at Emmanuel College Cambridge and qualified as a surgeon by training at and St Thomas’ Hospital, London. The Williams family live at 51 Ninian Road, Roath Park. In 1941 he married Sylvia ‘Joy’ Baldwin in Amersham, Bucks. He joins the 11th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical which landed at Algiers in the November of 1942 before going through to Tunis in the May of 1943 then on to Sicily and Italy. He was killed by a shell on 4 Oct 1943, aged 25, at River Biferno, near Termoli, Italy They were with the Lancashire Fusiliers and the unit were in a barn putting a Thomas splint on a casualty with a broken thigh when they received a direct hit. Captain J.O.D.Williams and three of the others in the unit were killed. They were buried nearby and the bodies later re-interred in the Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy. He is remembered on the war memorial plaque in Roath Park Congregational church (now Tabernacle). He is also remembered at Bridgend Grammar school, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and St Thomas’ Hospital chapel. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
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. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
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. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims