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.
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.
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 nee 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.
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.