Roath Virtual War Memorial

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.

Roath Virtual War Memorial plaque

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.  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.

CHARLES ADAMS

Private, 10th Battalion. South Wales Borderers (Service Number 21338)

Charles adams grave and New Tredegar war memorial

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.

Sirrell's Bakery City Road Roath Cardiff

Sirrell’s Bakery, City Road, Roath Cardiff. I wonder if that is Ernest’s widow in the doorway.

WILLIAM ADAMS

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.

Reese and Gwillim, Penylan Road, Cardiff where William Adams worked

Reese and Gwillim, Penylan Road, Cardiff where William Adams was employed.

WILLIAM CHARLES HENRY ADAMS

Civilian casualty

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 Grenadier Guards

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 headstone

A young Alfred Addicott when he joined the merchant navy in 1918 and headstone at Cathays Cemetery.

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.

SS Ashbury and grave of James Thomas Addicott

SS Ashbury (pic credit:Leslie W Hansen via People’s Collection of Wales) and grave of James Thomas Addicott (pic credit: find a grave)

JEREMIAH AHERN

Private, 9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 38953)

Death plaque

Death plaque of Jeremiah Ahern (photo credit: Crow Valley Militaria)

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.

St ederyn's War Memorial plaque

St Ederyn’s War Memorial plaque included the name of John K Ainsley (photo credit: David Hughes)

JOSEPH AKERMAN

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.

Joseph Akerman portrait and grave

Joseph Akerman portrait (Pic: South Wales Daily Post) and grave (Friends of Cathays Cemetery)

WILLIAM ALFORD

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

MOHAMED ALI

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.

S.S.Carsbreck and Tower Hill memorial (photo credits: WiKi & Brian Watson)

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.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.

THOMAS JOHN EDMUND ANSTEY

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

Thomas John Anstey

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

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

Harry Ashton, 41 Constellation Street, Adamsdown

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.

CHARLES EDWARD ASPLIN

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

Charles Edward Asplin gravestone

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

WILLIAM THOMPSON ATKINSON

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

SS Torrington

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

William Thompson Atkinson was born in 1888 in Cardiff  to Captain William Thompson, a master mariner originally from Corbridge, Northumberland, and Elizabeth Atkinson née Davies.  He was probably born in the Canton area of Cardiff but the family later move to 39 Crwys Road and William attends Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens).  He 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.

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.

Thomas Atwill grave and Walkhampton memorial

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

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.

Victor Belt photos

Victor Belt, his grave in Bologna War Cemetery and where his plane is believed to have come down.

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).

CHRISTOPHER BROWN

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.

DENIS CUMMINS

Private, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (Service Number 922)

Denis Cummings memorial

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 HonourCommonwealth 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.

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

SIDNEY FELMAN

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

William Frank Fennerty, Ordell Street, Splott

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.

Francis Archibald Gaccon

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.

FREDERICK JOHN HOLBROOK

Private, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 30649)

Fred Holbrook

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.

MILLARD FILLMORE JONES

Millard Fillmore Jones&William Selwyn seated

Millard Fillmore Jones (standing) and his brother William

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

Civilian casualty

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

Civilian casualty

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

DAVID MATTHEWS

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.

HUBERT MERCHANT

Private, 16th Battalion Welsh Regiment. (Service Number 56557).

Hubert Merchant

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 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.

PERCY MOORE

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 plaqueCommonwealth War Graves Commission record. 

MAVIS DORA REES

Civilian casualty

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

JAMES ROCKEY

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.

ELIZABETH WING

Civilian casualty

 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

Civilian casualty

 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