PERCIVAL AUSTIN CALLARD
Private, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23649)
Percival Austin Callard was born in Neath in 1896 to James Callard, a railway guard, originally from Neath, and Emily Callard nee Hanford originally from Skewen. By the time Austin was four years old the family had moved to Roath and were living at 79 Clifton Street and they were still living there in 1911. Austin enlisted in Cardiff and served as a Private with the 16th (Cardiff City) Battalion Welsh Regiment on the Western Front. He was killed in action on 1 Aug 1917 aged 20. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial (panel 37) at Ypres, Belgium. He was remembered on a war memorial plaque (now believed lost) and a Roll of Honour of unknown origin. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Sapper, Inland Waterways and Docks, Royal Engineers (Service Number: WR/552616)
Richard Chambers was born in 1876 though we know nothing of his family background other than he was single. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 11 Sep 1916 and was discharged on 16 Sep 1918. He served as a Sapper in the Inland Waterways and Docks division. His records showed he served abroad which may have been in any number of locations including France, Mesopotamia, Salonika etc. The work of the Inland Waterways and Docks division is explained here. His records show he suffered from VDH (heart disease) and bronchitis. Richard died on 4 Apr 1920 aged 40 at Clyne House Red Cross hospital on Newport Road, Cardiff (his death registration states he was 40 but his pension records state he was born in 1876 making him a bit older). His military pension record shows his address as 36 Maria Street, Docks, Cardiff which in the 1922 Cardiff Directory was a boarding house. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff (Plot EB. 77) alongside two other members of the Royal Engineers. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (The burial record indicates he died at Clyne House Hospital but 24 Shakespeare Street crossed out next to it. This may have been a genuine error or may indicate an address he had connections with e.g. friend, relative or as a boarder. The address was occupied by Patrick Donovan in the 1911 census and 1922 Cardiff directory).
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 (née Leist). In 1911 the family lived in Boverton Street, Roath. Arthur joined the Honourable Artillery Company and died on 8th Feb 1917 aged 21 in Northern France. He is buried at Queens cemetery, Bucquoy, Pas de Calais, France. At the time of his death the Clackett family were living at Oakdene, Penylan Hill. Looking at a Trade Directory of the time Oakdene was down from Green Lawn, approximately where 21 Cyncoed Road is today. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (Service Number 6710)
John Clements was born in Cardiff on 30 Jan 1896. His father, Walter Clements, was a Corporation labourer and originally from Ledbury, Herefordshire and his mother Elizabeth Clements nee Brown was originally from Overbury, Worcestershire. In the 1901 Census the Clements family are living in the ‘cottage behind the laundry’ near Sandringham Road, opposite Marlborough Road School, the school which John first attended. He later went to Tredegaville School when the family moved to 34 Russell Street. After leaving school he was a general labourer before joining the 7th (Cyclist) battalion of the Welsh Regiment. He was then drafted into the 2/4th Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry – and he was one of thirteen men from the city who lost their lives whilst serving with that battalion. On the 21st December 1916 John was with his battalion in reserve when he was killed in action, aged 20, probably by German shellfire. The battalion war diary simply states ‘The Berks and Gloucesters again took first innings in the trenches, whilst the Bucks and ourselves stayed in support. Battalion Headquarters with A and B Companies were in Wellington Huts near Ovillers; C and D went two miles further forward to some scattered dugouts between Thiepval and Mouquet Farm.’ His death did not warrant a further mention at the time. He was buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, Somme, France (grave I. D. 17). His father Walter and brother Charles also served in the Welch Regiment in WWI. He brother Walter served 20 years in the Royal Navy. There is a memorial plaque on the Clements house in Russell Street. The plaque was originally unveiled in 1995 and on the New Park Liberal Club in City Road before it was redeveloped into flats. The plaque pays tribute to patriots of Russell Street who fought in both World Wars and makes reference to the street’s unofficial name – Patriot’s Avenue. The plaque was unveiled by Terry Clements, a relative of John Clements. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ALBERT JAMES CLIFFORD
Corporal, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number: 11700)
Albert James Clifford was born in 1897 in Cardiff to Arthur Clifford, originally form Marshfield, Gloucestershire and a ticket collector on Great Western Railways, and Julia Clifford nee Potter, originally from Imber, Wiltshire. In 1901 the Clifford family were living at 77 Sanquahar Street, Splott, but by 1911 they had moved to 86 Clifton Street, Roath. In 1911 Albert is 14 and working as an errand boy at University College. He enlisted in Cardiff and served with the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment in France and was promoted to Corporal. He was killed in action on 30 Sep 1915 aged 18 at the Battle of Loos. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Loos memorial (panel 31-35). He was also remembered on a Roll of Honour at a place not yet identified. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM KENNETH LLEWELLYN COLLARD
Leading Supply Assistant, H.M.S. Hecla, Royal Navy (Service Number: D/MX 80195)
William Kenneth Llewellyn Collard was born on 15 Oct 1910 in Newport to William Samuel Collard, a company secretary to a Provisions company, originally from Bassaleg and Annie Collard nee Evans originally from Llanfrecha, Monmouthshire. He was educated at Croesyceiliog Council School and later at West Monmouth Grammar School. He worked in the grocery trade, initially in Newport and then as a representative in West Wales basing himself in Swansea and attending Argyle Street Baptist church. On 7 Aug 1939 he married Violet Doreen Waters, a post office clerk, at Woodville Road Baptist church. After living for a time at Pienwood Road, Uplands, Swansea they then relocated to Cardiff and lived at 66 Monthermer Road, Cathays. He joined the Royal Navy in Nov 1940. He served on board HMS Hecla as a leading supply assistant. On 15 May 1942, the destroyer HMS Hecla (F 20) struck a mine laid by a German minelayer off Capetown, South Africa. The explosion hit amidships, put the steering gear out of action and caused a big leak. The ship was towed to Simonstown, where she was repaired. 24 crew members were lost including Kenneth Collard aged 31. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial (Panel 71, Column 3). He is also remembered on the Woodville Road Baptist church WWII memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN BRYANT COLLINS
Private, C Company, 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, (Service Number: 35213)
John Bryant Collins was born in Cardiff in 1895 to Samuel Henry Collins, a bus and van driver originally from High Ham, Somerset and Helen Collins née Young originally from Sutton Mallet, Somerset. He attended Albany Road school. Before the war Bryant worked as a milkman. His father died in 1905 and his mother remarried to Simeon J Wheadon. In 1911 the family were living at 143 Arabella Street, Roath. He enlisted in Oct 1915 and went to the front in Mar 1916. He was killed in action on 11 Jul 1916, aged 21, at the Somme, France. He is buried at Serre Road Cemetery No.2 in Somme (grave XXVI. H. 14). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His brother Robert E Collins was also killed in WWI.
ROBERT EDWARD COLLINS
Private, 49th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number 737)
Robert ‘Rob’ Edward Collins was born in Cardiff on 22 Jun 1898 to Samuel Henry Collins, a bus and van driver originally from High Ham, Somerset and Helen Collins née Young originally from Sutton Mallet, Somerset. He attended Albany Road school. His father died in 1905 and his mother remarried to Simeon J Wheadon. In 1911 the family were living at 143 Arabella Street, Roath. He enlisted in Jul 1915 in the Royal Garrison Artillery and went to the front in Mar 1916. He died at the Somme, France on 14 Sep 1916 aged 18. He died at the base hospital from shell shock and injuries to the spine when a dug out fell in on him. He is buried at the Abbeville Communal Cemetery, Somme, France (grave: III. A. 3.). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His brother John Bryant Collins was also killed in WWI.
JOHN JOSEPH CONWAY
Private, Special Air Service Regiment (Service Number: 14567132)
John ‘Johnny’ Joseph Conway was born on 4 Feb 1925 in Cardiff to Edward Conway, a dock labourer, and Catherine Conway nee Warnock, both originally from Cardiff. The Conway family lived at North William Street, Newtown, Cardiff. His father died when Johnny was just ten and in 1939 we find Johnny working as a hotel porter in the Esplanade Hotel, Penarth aged 14. He enlisted in the General Service Corps in Mar 1943 before transferring to the Royal Artillery and later the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. In Mar 1944 he volunteered for the SAS and went on parachute training where his instructor noted him to be ‘a good performer, cheerful, keen and confident’. Soon after he took part in Operation Loyton where the SAS parachuted into a remote region in Occupied France, close to the German border on 12 Aug 1944. It proved a costly mission. Nearly half of those who parachuted into France never came home – a horrific attrition rate. It was only ever meant to be a quick in-and-out mission, a fortnight at the most. In the end it went on for two months. The idea had been to drop behind enemy lines and create havoc ahead of the advancing allies. There were two miscalculations. The first was that the Allied forces were advancing much more slowly than anticipated, thereby prolonging the operation indefinitely. The second was that the area was not sparsely defended, as had been thought. On the night of 6-7 Sep 1944 Jonny Conway parachuted into a drop zone near Pexonne in the Vosges department of eastern France to reinforce Operation Loyton. He and two others from 2 SAS, Corporal Michael Fitzpatrick and Lance Corporal John Herbert Elliott (who had broken his thigh on landing), were separated from the rest of the stick. They took shelter in a farm building but were captured on 16 Sep, then executed on 19 Sep 1944. Johnny Conway was just 19 at the time and the second youngest of the SAS victims to die in Operation Loyton. He is buried at Moussey churchyard in France. He is also named on a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, dedicated to the hundred plus French resistance fighters who were also killed as a result of Operation Loyton. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (Daily Mail article on Operation Loyton mentioning Johnny Conway).
Edith Cook died at 12 Agincourt Road, Roath, in a bombing raid on 3 Mar 1941. Her daughter Margaret was also killed, as were five other civilians in the same road. On the other side of the road was Marlborough Road school which was severely damaged that night and later demolished. Edith Cook née Francis was born on 20 Jan 1888 in Cardiff to Daniel Francis, a carpenter, originally from Llanthew, Pembrokeshire and Martha Francis née Morgan originally from Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire. In May 1918 Edith, then aged 27 and living in Shirley Road with her parents, married Leslie George Cook from Ontario at St Andrew’s parish church, Cardiff. Sergeant Leslie Cook was a quartermaster in the 1st Canadian Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It is not clear how they met but maybe Sergeant Cook was being treated in one of the war hospitals in Cardiff. It appears they then went to live in Ontario where their daughter Margaret Gwendoline Cook was born in 1919 and where they were living in 1921 in Paris, Ontario with Leslie working as a bricklayer. Their second daughter Joyce Mary Cook is born back in Cardiff in 1922. In 1939 Edith, now widowed, is living at 12 Agincourt Road, with their daughter Margaret, a typist for a sales organisation, an ARP and nursing auxiliary. They were both killed that night in the air raid and are both buried at Cathays cemetery (grave EH 2124). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
MARGARET GWENDOLINE COOK
Margaret Gwendoline Cook was born in Ontario, Canada in 1919 to Leslie George Cook, a former Canadian solider and later bricklayer and Edith Cook née Francis from Cardiff. Her sister Joyce Mary Cook was born back in Cardiff in 1922. In 1939 Margaret is living at 12 Agincourt Road, with her widowed mother Edith and working as a typist for a sales organisation, an ARP and nursing auxiliary. Both Margaret (21) and her mother Edith (48) were killed on 3 Mar 1941 in their house during an air raid. They are both buried at Cathays cemetery (grave EH 2124). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN JAMES COURT
Private, 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards (Service Number 9152)
John James Court was born in Roath in 1893 to William Henry Court, a traveller’s porter, originally from Beadle, Yorkshire and Mary Maude Court née Barrow originally from Axbridge, Somerset. Sometime around 1881 the Court family move from Bradford to Cardiff living at 7 Lily Street, Roath. (From a geneaology point of view the family is a bit tricky to follow as they use the surname Robinson for a while). John was the youngest of seven brothers, many of whom worked as stonemasons, but John followed a different career path and went to London and became a pasty cook. In 1911 he was living in Battersea. He enlisted with the Scots Guards in Aug 1914 in London but then almost immediately was admitted to hospital for an operation on swollen veins. He departed for France in Feb 1915 but was killed on 18 May 1915 in the battle of Festubert, aged 22. During the fighting the 2nd Scots Guards suffered heavy casualties. His body was not recovered. He is remembered on Le Touret Memorial in France. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
CLIFFORD EVAN COX
Chief Engineer Officer, S.S. King Gruffydd, Merchant Navy
Clifford Evan Cox was born on 6 Dec 1901 in Cardiff to Thomas Cox, an interstocking fitter on the railways, originally from Cardiff, and Cecilia Annie Cox nee Salisbury, originally from Paddington, London. He was baptised at St John the Baptist church in Feb 1902. The Cox family lived at 57 Cathays Terrace and Clifford attended Gladstone Elementary School before going on to Howard Gardens Municipal Secondary School. After leaving school he worked in an office. He married Olive Edwina Roberts in at Woodville Road Baptist church on 17 Jan 1931 by which time he was already serving as an engineer in the merchant navy. They lived at 23 Heathwood Grove and it appears they had at least one child together. Clifford served as chief engineer officer aboard steamship King Gruffydd. The King Gruffydd was part of a trans-Atlantic convey which was attacked by a U-boat on 17 Mar 1943 and sunk mid-Atlantic. Of the 49 crew, 24 were killed and 25 rescued. Clifford Evan Cox was drowned aged 42. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. He is also remembered on the Howardian School memorial board and the Woodville Road Baptist church memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His wife Olive died in 1991 having been a member of Woodville Road Baptist church for 71 years.
HAROLD LESLIE CRATES
Private, 1st/6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment (Service Number 66011)
Harold Leslie Crates was born in Cardiff in early 1899 to William Henry Crates, a grocer, originally from Beaufort, Breconshire and Mary Jane Crates nee Morgan originally from Cardiff. The Crates family lived at 14 Marlborough Road, Roath. Before war broke out Harold worked in his father’s grocery shop in Clifton Street. He joined the training battalion at Kinmel Park, North Wales in Feb 1917 by which time his brother has already served in France and Salonika with the 11th Welsh Regiment. He was transferred to the South Wales Borderers and served in Ireland for some months before proceeding to France with the Cheshire Regiment in Jan 1918. He was killed on 3 Mar 1918 aged 19 at Gouzeau, the only casualty his battalion suffered that day. He is buried at the Fins New British Cemetery at Sorel Le Grand, France (grave IV. C. 16). He is remembered on the war memorial plaque which was at Roath Park Wesleyan Methodist Church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
CORNELIUS PATRICK FINBARR CRONIN
Pilot Officer, 157 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 60358)
Cornelius Patrick Finbarr Cronin was born on 9 Jun 1912 in Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland to Daniel Cronin, a police sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary, and Teresa Cronin nee O’Shea. He attended St Illtyd’s College between 1924 and 1928. His sister Eleanor was head girl at Heathfield House high school. Cornelius went on to get a B.A. at London University and then became assistant master at St Illtyd’s College and part-time lecturer at Cardiff Technical College. He played rugby for Old Illtydians and Cardiff Rugby Clubs. The Cronin family lived at 32 Lake Road North. His father died in Jul 1940 and the funeral held at St Peter’s church. Cornelius joined the RAF in 1940 and became a pilot officer, 157 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He lost his life aged 30 on 20 Jan 1943 when navigating a Mosquito II aircraft which crashed into the North Sea 30 miles east of Clacton-on-Sea, after it is believed an attack by enemy aircraft. The plane had taken off from RAF Hunsdon, Essex. Australian Keith Walter Paul was piloting the plane and also died. Cornelius Cronin is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial in Surry. He is also remembered on the St Illtyd’s College memorial in St Alban on the Moors church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (Service Number 922)
Denis Cummins was born in Cardiff in 1895 to John Cummins, a docks labourer and Catherine Cummins née Barry. In the 1911 census Denis Cummins aged 16 is an errand boy. The Cummins family lived at 23, Oxford St, Roath. Denis enlists in Cardiff and serves as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was killed in action 18 October 1918 aged 23. Denis is buried Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, France. (plot s19.11.18). He is remembered on the St. Peter’s RC Church, CYMS Roll of Honour. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN HENRY CULVERWELL
Sergeant, 87th Squadron, Royal Air Force (Service Number: 529270)
John Henry Culverwell was born on 30 Sep 1914 in Fulham, London to Thomas Henry Culverwell, a clerk, originally from Pimlico and Florence Culverwell nee Collins, originally from Knightsbridge. He joined the RAF on 18 Feb 1936 and trained initially as a metal rigger before volunteering for pilot training in 1939. He was promoted to Sergeant in Jan 1940. He spent some time at St Athan before going to France with 87 Squadron in Mar 1940. They returned to England later to re-equip, having lost 6 pilots and 16 aircraft in France. On 22 Jun 1940 he married Beryl Joan Williams, a millinery saleswoman, at Star Street Congregational church in Cardiff and went to live with her parents at 160 Marlborough Road. Sergeant Culverwell was killed in a night-flying accident a month later on 25 Jul 1940 aged 25. He took off from Hullavington, Wiltshire, appeared to climb too steeply, stalled and crashed back into the ground in Hurricane P3596. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery (grave EJ 114). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.