FRANCIS WILBERFORCE GACCON
Divisional Commander, A.F.S. (Auxiliary Fire Service), Cardiff City Fire Brigade,
Francis ‘Frank’ Wilberforce Gaccon was born on 6th April 1888. His father was Watkin Gaccon, originally from Aberdare and a marine engine engineer. His mother was Alice Charlotte Morgan originally from Overton, Gloucestershire. Frank grows up in 96 Habershon Street, Splott where he went to Splottlands School and Cardiff University College (1904-11). He followed his father into engineering. During WWI he worked for Bute Docks Engineers and Shipping Company under the Admiralty fitting engines to lifeboats of hospital ships. After WWI he started up his own successful company, Frank Gaccon & Co Consulting Engineer. Frank had a successful sporting career. He played 105 times for Cardiff Rugby Club. He married three times and had one daughter. When WWII was declared Frank joined Cardiff Auxiliary Fire Service and became Commander of the Cardiff A.F.S. He was killed in Newport Road when a German bomb dropped on his car whilst on duty on 3rd March, 1941. He was 53 years of age at the time and living at 153 Cyncoed Road. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Plot: M 948a. He is remembered on a plaque in Cardiff Fire Station to those who died on duty.
WILLIAM NORMAN GEDDIE
Flight Sergeant, RAF Volunteer Reserve (Wireless Op./Air Gunner)
William Geddie was born in May 1914 in Cardiff to William Geddie, a merchant seaman and Letitia Maud Geddie (née 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.
GEORGE HENRY GIFFORD
Private, C Company, 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 285314)
George Henry Gifford was born in 1883 in Manordilo, Carmarthenshire to Henry Stuckey Gifford, a coachman and butler, originally from Petherton, Somerset and Balbina Basteracha, a maid, originally from Busturia, Biscay, Spain. George was one of fourteen children born to Henry and Balbina. The Gifford family moved from Carmarthenshire to London, apart from George Gifford who moved to Roath, Cardiff and worked for the Western Mail as a compositor. He married Amy Matilda Lovell in St Margaret’s parish church Roath in Aug 1911 and they lived at 40 Broadway. They had two children together, Ernald Henry Gifford born in 1912 and Constance Margaret Gifford born in 1915. George enlisted first with the Monmouthshire Regiment and then transferred to the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He was killed on 13 June 1918 aged 35, north of Albert, France, near today’s border with Belgium. He is buried at the Varennes Military Cemetery (grave III. G. 13). He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His son Ernald also worked in the media business becoming a sports journalist in London. His parents, Henry and Balbina, were married for seventy years and both lived into their nineties.
ARTHUR EDWARD GILMORE
Private, 11th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, (Service Number: 22688).
Arthur Edward Gilmore was born on 4 Feb 1889 to Thomas George Gilmore, an engine driver for a tug company, and originally from Pill, Somerset and Mary Jane Gilmore nee Rodledge originally from Bristol. Arthur and his twin brother Edward were the youngest of eight children and grew up in the Canton area of Cardiff. Their mother died when they are just three years old. In 1911 Arthur is living in the Clifton Hotel in Clifton Street and working as the resident barman. When war came he enlisted at Newport and eventually went to France with the 11th battalion South Wales Borderers in Dec 1915. Has fatally wounded during the fighting at Mametz Wood. During the latter stages of the action his battalion, the 11th South Wales Borderers suffered grievous casualties during the hand to hand combat that marked their capture of the north end of the wood. Their ranks were then further depleted by heavy shellfire when they reluctantly withdrew after their flank was compromised by a German flammenwerfer attack. Arthur was 27 when he died from his wounds on 16 Jul 1916. His stepmother Eva received his effects but rejected the offer of a pension in 1920. He was laid to rest in Etaples Military Cemetery (grave XIV. A. 4A), with his sister Lillian providing the epitaph for his grave -‘His name liveth for evermore’. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM GEORGE GREGORY
Writer, M.V. Conus, Merchant Navy (Service number: 162645)
William George Gregory was born on 12 Sep 1912 in Cardiff to William Garnet Gregory, an electrical engineer, and Edith Maud Gregory nee Hurley, both form Cardiff who married at Woodville Road Baptist church in Aug 1911. We don’t pick up William again until the 1939 Register when he is living at 107 Monthermer Road with his sister Edith and mother Edith who has by that time remarried to William J Davies, a retired police constable. William Gregory is working as a warehouseman. He was a member of Woodville Road Baptist church. Later he joined the merchant navy. He served on board M V Conus, a tanker, as a ship’s writer. He died on 4 Apr 1942, presumed drowned, aged 28. The Conus was part of a trans-Atlantic convoy which was attacked by torpedoes fired from U-boat 97. All 59 crew were lost. He is remembered on the Tower Hill memorial in London as well as the WWII memorial plaque in Woodville Road Baptist Church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
GEORGE HENRY GRIFFIN
Private, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number 11932).
George Henry Griffin was born in Cardiff in 1891 to Samuel Griffin, a builder’s haulier, originally from Llanedarn and Sarah Jane Griffin nee Spencer from Cardiff. He was christened at St Margaret’s church, Roath on 7 Aug 1891. The Griffin family lived at 33 Elm Street, Roath. He joined the Devonshire regiment early in the war, went to France in Feb 1915 and was killed in action on 22 April 1915 at Zillebeke, Belgium, aged 24. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Beligium. He is also remembered on the WWI memorial plaque in St Edward’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM HENRY GRIFFITHS
Private, 14th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (Service number: 44000)
William Henry Griffiths was born in 1899. We don’t know much about his family background other than he was single and lived at 15 Glan Nant, Cwmfelinfach. He served as a Private in a number of regiments including the South Wales Borderers (service number 24365) and the Labour Corps (service number 131677) as well as the 14th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He was discharged on 23 Feb 1919. He suffered from trench feet and VDH (valvular disease of the heart). He died on 15 Jun 1921 aged 21 at one of the Red Cross hospitals on Newport Road, Cardiff. He is remembered on the Red Cross Memorial plaque at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. His final resting place is not known.
EDWARD BROCKETT GROVER
Private, 22nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Service Number: 690)
Edward Brockett Grover was born in 1879 in Pontypridd to Henry Llewellyn Brockett Grover, a solicitor, originally from Manchester, and Margaret Grover nee Morgan, originally from Pontypridd. He grew up in Clydach Court, a large house in Pontypridd. He attended Llandaff Cathedral School and then Dover College, Dover. In 1901, aged 21, he was living in Caerphilly and working as a bank clerk. In 1907 he married Ada Jones, daughter of a coal merchant, in Ynyshir, who was some twenty years older than Edward. They lived at Pen-y-lan Court, a large house on Ty Gwyn Avenue with seven bedrooms and extensive gardens. Edward was said to be an enthusiast of hunting with hounds. He enlisted in Sep 1914 with the Royal Fusiliers and did not seek commission, preferring to serve in the ranks. He was killed in action at Montauban during the Battle of the Somme on 29 Jul 1916 aged 36. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He is also remembered on the WWI War Memorial plaque at St Martin’s church in Roath. This is probably a replacement for the original memorial in St Martin’s destroyed in a WWII air raid. After WWI a high altar reredos was also installed as a memorial to members of the Brocket Grover family who fell in the Great War. These too were lost in 1941. His name also appears on the Llandaff Cathedral School WWI memorial. His wife Ada carried out a lot of charitable work including fundraising for Cardiff Infirmary. She moved to Peterston super Ely and passed away in London in 1934 aged 76. A Celtic cross memorial stone to both her and Edward is in the Peterston super Ely churchyard and behind it the Ada Brockett Grover memorial village hall of which she was the benefactor. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.