Roath Virtual War Memorial: A


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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 née 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.


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


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 née 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.


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.


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)


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 née 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)

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.


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)


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)


Private, 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment (Service Number: 3/8082)

Youth AldermanYouth Alderman was born in 1888 in Thruxton, Hampshire, one of twelve children born to Charles William Alderman, a road labourer, originally from Fyfield, Hampshire and Jane Alderman née Meaton, originally from Amport, Hampshire.  By 1911 a number of the Alderman children had moved to Cardiff and Youth was living with his elder brother William at 54 Aldsworth Road,  Canton and working as a sweeper for the Council.  His war records are badly damaged but it appears he enlisted in 1914 in Cardiff with the Somerset Light Infantry before transferring to the Dorsetshire Regiment and going to France in Apr 1915. We went missing, presumed killed in action, on 5 May 1915 on the Western Front in Belgium,  aged 27.  He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin gate) Memorial (panel 37) in Belgium. A plea for any information Youth Alderman appeared in the Western Mail in Jan 1916 and included his picture.  He was described as being gassed and missing  since 12 May 1915. The plea came from Miss Nina Dinham who lived at 5 Broadway, Roath.  There is also a Red Cross card from Nina Dinham requesting information on Youth.  He is remembered on the Cardiff Council employees memorial plaque at Cardiff City Hall.  He was also remembered on the Oddfellows War Memorial plaque in that used to be housed in Oddfellows Lodge, Newport Road. 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.

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


Lance Corporal, 8th (Service) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment  (Service Number 10669)

Harry Allard SWDN 13.11.15 - Copy

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

Thomas Allday (photo credit: Michael Caldwell)

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.

Grove Academy War Memorial, Dundee

The restored memorial at Grove Academy, Dundee showing the name of Thomas Allday (photo credit: Grove Academy)


Lance Corporal,  2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service Number 11093)

Albert Henry Adams

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.


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 née 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.


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.


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 lived at 40 Richmond Road.  William Edgar Allin, accountant, married Florence Winifred Jenkins of 28 Lochaber Street, Roath Park, on 29th Jan 1914 at Woodville Road Baptist Chapel.   He served 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). He is also remembered on the Woodville Road Baptist church memorial plaque.  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

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.


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.

Karl Anderson Tenby Street Cardiff

Karl A Anderson (portrait and medal photos kindly provided by the family), Tower Hill Memorial


Private, 2/8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (service number: 302353)

Ernest John Anderton picture and headstone

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.


Civilian Casualty

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, née 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).


Lance Bombardier, 22nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Service Number 802804)

Edward Anson headsone - small

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.


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.

HMS Onslow back home after the battle in 1943

HMS Onslow back home after the battle in 1943, the second picture showing some of the damage (Pic credit: IWM)


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 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.


Sergeant (Navigator), 295 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 1254407)


Ivor William Arnold was born in Cardiff on 24th Apr 1913 to William Arnold, a shunter driver for Great Western Railways, and originally from Magor, Monmouthshire, and Beatrice Arnold née Beazley, from Cardiff. Ivor may well have been born in 4 Spring Gardens Place, Roath, as that’s where his parents William and Beatrice were living at the time of the 1911 census.  He attended Howard Gardens secondary school from 1925-29.  Ivor married Florence Mable Slee in Cardiff in 1936.  In 1939 they were living in 10 Gelligaer Gardens, Cathays and Ivor is working as a railway clerk. They have a son together in 1941.  Ivor joins the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and is a navigator but is killed in action on 19 Feb 1943 aged 29. The plane he was navigating, Whitley ND538,  was involved in a raid on three electricity transformers at Distre, near Saemur, France when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. He and the other crew are buried at Saemur Communal Cemetery. His probate record from later in 1943 records his address as having been 157 Treharris Street, Roath. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  He is remembered on the Howardian School War Memorial now in Howardian Primary School.


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.


Aircraftman 1st Class, 111 Squadron, RAF (Service Number 532387)

Eustace Thomas Arnott was born on 17th July 1918 in Cardiff to Sidney John Arnott, who worked in the steel mills, and Mary Louisa Arnott née Davis, both from Cardiff. Eustace was probably born at 112 Moorland Road, Splott where the Arnott family lived at the time of the 1911 census and the 1939 register.  He attended Howard Gardens high school from 1930-33.  He joins the RAF and in the 1939 register appears in London with other RAF personnel and entered as Aircraftman 1st Class Thomas E Arnott, 111 Squadron, which was a squadron flying hurricanes.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states he died on 25 Jun 1940 with no details of where he died. He would have been 21.  Another source records him and thirty other RAF personnel being lost when the ocean liner RMS Lancastia was sunk off Saint-Nazaire on 17 Jun 1940 evacuating 6000 people from France. He is remembered on the RAF Runnymede Memorial in Surrey and the Howardian school memorial board now in Howardian Primary School.


Civilian Casualty

Cardiff Blitz Memorial Names

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.


Lance Corporal, 1st Siege Company, Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Service Number: 6111)

William Henry Ashmore picture

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.


Private, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23040)

Albert Ashton

Albert  Ashton was born Archibald Albert Ashton in late 1892 in Cardiff to George Henry and Maud Ashton née Stokes of 41 Constellation Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff.  He drops the name Archibald and appears to just call himself just Albert Ashton. He enlists in Cardiff in Nov 1914.  He married Emily Cox in May of 1916 and have one daughter Louisa born just before they marry and live at 16 Sandon Place, Adamsdown. Prior to the war he worked at the docks.   He died later that year on 25th Aug 1916 at the Battle of the Somme in France. 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


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.


Third Mate, Merchant Navy, ‘S.S. Bayreaulx’

Tower Hill Memorial Ashton

Reginald Henry Ashton was born on 29th May 1897 in Canton, Cardiff to Henry Ashton, a wood and stone carver, and Priscilla Ann Ashton  née 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.


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. 


Private, 19th Labour Company, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), (Service Number: 43750)

Arthur Vanstone Atkins headstoneArthur John Vanstone Atkins was born in Cardiff in 1894 to Henry Barton Atkins, a tram conductor, originally from Portland, Hampshire, and Clara Atkins née Foot, originally from Horrabridge, Devon.  He grew up in Cathays and the family lived at 36 Daniel Street in 1901.  A newspaper report from 1901 describes how Arthur was rescued after falling into the Glamorganshire Canal on North Road one June evening.  In the 1911 census the Atkins family are living at 34 Compton Street, Grangetown with Arthur working as an upholsterer.  The family return to living in Cathays at some later date as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records the address as being 60 Coburn Street, Cathays.  He served with the 19th Labour Company, The King’s Liverpool Regiment, transferred from the 84th Company Labour Corps.  Arthur died of wounds on 13 Nov 1917, aged 23. He is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery, France (grave XXX. L. 5A).


Able Seaman, HMS Lapwing, Royal Navy (Service Number: D/JX 396750)

HMS Lapwing Memorial at Saffron Waldron

HMS Lapwing Memorial at Saffron Waldron

Douglas Derrick Atkins was born in Cardiff on 28 May 1926 to Thomas John Atkins, a corporation waterworks labourer, originally from Radyr, and Harriet Atkins nee Cottey originally from Bridgwater, Somerset.  In 1939 he was at school and living with his now widowed at 127 Whitchurch Road.  He joined the navy and was an Able Seaman on HMS Lapwing.  On 20 March 1945 HMS Lapwing was escorting part of the Russian Convoy JW 65 to Murmansk, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-968.  Lapwing was hit amidships she sank within 20 minutes with the loss of 158 lives. 61 men were rescued.  Douglas Atkins died, presumed drown, aged 19. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.  Some of the survivors of HMS Lapwing recall their experiences on this BBC WWII People’s War page. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Private, 2nd Battalion, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) (Service Number: 2576177)

Leonard Gordon Atkins was born in Cardiff in 1922 to Thomas John Atkins, a corporation waterworks labourer, originally from Radyr, and Harriet Atkins nee Cottey originally from Bridgwater, Somerset.   We don’t know a lot about his young life except the Atkins family lived in Cathays.  His parents and older siblings lived at 50 Robert Street in 1911.  In 1939 his now widowed father and younger brother lived at 127 Whitchurch Road. It is likely Leonard had lived there also before he joined the army.  He joined the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry before transferring to the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey)  on 15 Mar 1939.  He died on 11 Sep 1943 aged 21. He is buried at the Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India (grave 7. B. 5).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  His younger brother Douglas also fell in WWII.


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

SS Torrington

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

William Thompson Atkinson was born in 1888 in Cardiff  to Captain William Thompson, a master mariner originally from Corbridge, Northumberland, and Elizabeth Atkinson née Davies.  He was probably born in the Canton area of Cardiff but the family later move to 39 Crwys Road and William attends Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens). He was employed as a solicitor’s clerk in Barry before going to sea. He followed his father into the merchant navy but loses his life in a cruel fashion. 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 portrait pic

Joseph Attwell was born in Pontypool in 1879 to John Attwell, a blast furnace worker originally from Cwmbran, and Ann Attwell née 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.


Private, 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 57203)

Leslie AtwillLeslie 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 née 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.


Private, 13th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (Service Number 1508A)

Percy AtwillPercy Gerard Atwill was born 27 Nov 1887 in Cardiff, the  fourth son of Sergeant-Major Thomas and Sarah Atwill née 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.


Private, 10th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. (Service Number 299)

Thomas AtwillThomas 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.


Private, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, (Service Number G/5363)

George Aven

George Aven (Pic credit: the Aven family)

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.


Sapper, 6th Field Company, Canadian Engineers (Service Number 678267)

Charles Edward Avery was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 19 May 1894 to Thomas Avery, a machinist, from Ontario and Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Jane Avery née Nash, also from Ontario.  Charles worked as a bookbinder and lived at 48, Humberside Avenue, Toronto, before joining the 169th Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 27 Jan 1916.  He sails from Halifax, Nova Scotia and arrives in England on board the SS Metagama on 28 Oct 1916.  He served in France.  He transfers to the Canadian Engineers. He becomes ill in 1917 and is shipped back to UK where he is attended to in several military hospitals including Dudley.  He died in Splott Military Hospital, Cardiff on 18 Nov 1918 of dysentery aged 24. He is buried in Cathays cemetery, Cardiff (plot EB.63).  He is remembered on a war memorial plaque at High Park Avenue Methodist Church West in Toronto (now being converted into private accommodation) and the Canadian Virtual War MemorialCommonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Headstone and Memorial in Canada

Headstone at Cathays Cemetery (photo: WiKi), Memorial at High Pk Ave Methodist Church, Toronto (photo: Marika Pirie)


Driver, 250 (Airborne) Light Composite Company, Royal Army Service Corps  (Service Number T/14852657)

Bernard William Ayre headstone

Bernard William Ayre was born in Cardiff in 1926 to Frederick Charles Ayre, a seaman, originally from London and Sophia Irene Ayre née Schott, a dressmaker from Cardiff.  In 1939 the now widowed Sophia Ayre and her four sons, Bernard being the youngest, were living at 148 Pormanmoor Road, Splott. Bernard joined the Royal Army Service Corps and was a driver.  He died on 19 Apr 1945 aged 18.  His death was registered in Lincoln. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff (section E.K. Grave 1002).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Flying Officer (Pilot), 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force (Service Number 39479)

Vivian Howard Ayres was born in Cardiff in 1914 to Sidney Bert Ayres, a builder, originally from Cardiff and Francis Louisa Ayres née Hutchings, originally from Cornwall. He grew up at 105 Newport Road, attended Roath Park and St David’s schools and was a member or the 25th Scout (1st Scottish) troop, where his nickname was ‘Glaxo’, that meets at St Andrew’s church on Wellfield Road. The Ayres family later move to Rhiwbina. Vivian Ayres was an Assistant Scoutmaster and a member of the Cardiff Boys Amateur Boxing Club and later a light-heavyweight Boxing champion in the RAF bomber command. He joined the RAF in 1937 and trained at Hullavington and Thornaby. He was promoted to Flying Office in 50 Squadron of Bomber Command in 1939 and nicknamed ‘Dizzy’ Ayres.  He died on 17th Mar 1940, aged 25, along with three other crew when the plane he was piloting, a Hampton 5063, crashed on Windy Gyle in the Cheviot Hills on the England/Scotland border returning from a night time security mission off the coast of Germany.  It is thought that faulty direction-finding equipment  at his air traffic control base at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire was a factor in him being sent incorrect instructions.  He is buried at Cathays cemetery, Cardiff (section V, grave 208). He is remembered on the Whitchurch war memorial in Cardiff. He is also remembered on a memorial plaque at the crash site. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Vivian Howard Ayres headstone and memorial