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.
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.
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.