Corporal, 67/69 Bomb Disposal Section, Royal Engineers (Service Number: 2073122)
Arthur Haines was born on 3 Oct 1917 to Charles Haines, a fitter’s helper at the iron works, and Mary Haines née Bowland, both originally from Cardiff. The Haines family lived at 56 Railway Street, Splott but Arthur’s parents both died when he was young so he grew up in Daisy Street, Canton and attended Lansdowne Road School. He was later apprenticed to a firm of office and shop fitters as a carpenter and joiner. He enlisted in Cardiff in May 1939 joining the Royal Engineers. He died on 25 Aug 1940 aged 22. He was killed when a bomb he and colleagues were working on at the back of 117 Welwyndale Road in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham exploded. Seven men with a Royal Engineers bomb disposal unit were killed together with four residents and two home guard. They were digging down to the bomb when they heard a fizzing sound, which one water board official attributed to a burst main. But the bomb exploded. One report states that three bombs exploded and another that the bomb responsible was a delayed action bomb. He is buried in Cathays Cemetery (Grave EH 2093). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HAROLD CECIL DUNSTAN HARRIS
Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment and Royal Air Force
Harold Cecil Dustan Harris was born in Cardiff on 19 Jul 1890 to John William Harris, a steam crane driver originally from Cardiff and Elizabeth Griffith Harris nee Lloyd originally from Newport, Pembrokeshire. They lived at 26, Rhymney Terrace, Cathays and Harold attended Crwys Road school. He was said to be a prominent member of St Andrew’s Bible Class. He worked for the Western Mail between 1906 and 1914 in the photo-engraving department. In July 1914 he won the light-weight Wrestling Championship of Wales at Roath Park, already holding the featherweight championship. He served with the 1st Battalion of the Monmouthshire regiment and the RAF attached to the 53rd battalion of the South Wales Borderers leaving in Feb 1919. His military records state that he trained at the school of aerial gunnery at Hythe and flew a Farman biplane. He died of pneumonia on 4 Oct 1919 aged 30 in the Hollywood Officers Hospital near Belfast. The report of his funeral paints a sad picture. It was found impossible to bring the body home to Cardiff as there was a rail strike underway. He is buried at Belfast City Cemetery (grave K. 134). His widowed aged mother was said to be left alone in the house in Rhymney Terrace. He is remembered on the Western Mail Ltd Roll of Honour. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
IVOR VICTOR ERNEST HATHAWAY
Gunner, 4th Battery. 2nd Welsh Brigade., Royal Field Artillery (Service Number 948)
Ivor Victor Ernest Hathaway was born in Cardiff in 1895 baptised at St John’s church Cardiff on 22 Aug 1895. He was son of Albert Amos Hathaway, a dock labourer, and Emily Hathway née Billingham, both originally from Westbury, Gloucestershire. In 1901 the family were living in 89 Sanquhar Street, Splott. In the 1911 census the family had moved to 20 Diamond Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff. Before the war Ivor was a porter at Peacock & Sons in Clifton Street. In WWI he was a Gunner in Royal Field Artillery and died aged 19. He died in the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge of appendicitis on 2nd Feb 1915. He is buried in Cathays cemetery, Cardiff (plot EF. NC. 9332.). He was remembered on a memorial in Cardiff (location currently unknown). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN HENRY HAWKEN
Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 56566)
John ‘Jack’ Henry Hawken was born in 1890 in Cardiff to John Hawken, a carpenter and joiner originally from Camborne, Cornwall and Emma Hawken nee Jewell originally from Cardiff. He was baptised at St German’s church on 2 Jan 1891. In the 1891 census the family were living at 14 Gwendoline Street, Splott. His mother died in 1900 when he was just 10 and in 1901 the family had moved in with his grandparents at 10 Thesiger Street, Cathays. His father died in Torquay in 1908 and in 1911 Jack is boarding in David Street, Canton and working as a stereotyper for the Western Mail. When he enlists on 1 Nov 1915 with the 7th Welsh Regiment (cyclists) when he was living at 8 Victoria Park Ave E in Canton. He later transferred to the 2nd Battalion Welsh Regiment. He went to France in Jul 1916 and served on the Western Front and was wounded by shellfire in Aug 1917 and treated in a military hospital. He returned to the front in Jan 1918 but was killed in action on 21 Mar 1918 in Belgium aged 28. He is buried in the Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery near Ypres (grave IV. D. 20). In his Will he leaves his effects to ‘his mother Mrs Thomas Mathias of 8 Victoria Park Ave E’, appearing he was adopted by that family. He is remembered on the Western Mail roll of honour and the St Edward’s and St Anne’s war memorial plaques. His inclusion on the St Edward’s memorial was probably arranged by his Uncle who lived at 62 Kimberley Road. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
THOMAS STEWART HAWKINS
Lance-Corporal, 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service Number 10087)
Thomas Stewart Hawkins was born in Grangetown, Cardiff in 1890 to George Stewart Hawkins, a mariner / rent collector from Cardiff and Mary Jane Hawkins nee Adams from Barry. In his younger days Thomas Hawkins had played football for Court Road School when they won the Cardiff Schools football shield. Before joining the army he was a collier. The Hawkins family lived at 59, Wimborne Street, Splott. Thomas Hawkins joined the army in 1908. When WWI broke out he had been in India for three years with the army. He returned to Europe, initially to Malta then Southampton, proceeding to the front almost directly. He had been there two months when he was killed in action on 21 Oct 1914, aged 24. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial in Belgium. He is also remembered on the Splott War Memorial at St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JAMES JOHN HEGARTY
Private, 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry (Service Number 16086)
James John Hegarty was born in 1880 to William Daniel Hegarty, a railway wagon repairer from Cadoxton and Mary Ann Hegarty née Norman from Cardiff. in 1901 the Hegarty family lived at 21 Ruby Street. James Hegarty was a dock labourer and in 1904 married Amelia Rose Thomas and they had five children together. James was one of six Hegarty brothers to serve in WWI and the only one to lose his life. His father William remarkably also enlisted in 1914 at the age of 58 although the age on his military records is given as 45. James served in the Somerset Light Infantry but lost his life on the first day of the battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916, aged 36. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 2 A) in France. He is also remembered on the war memorial outside St Saviour’s church in Splott, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JOHN W HEWINGS
Mess Room Boy, SS Baron Stranraer, Merchant Navy, (Personnel Number: 160130).
John W Hewings was born on 16 May 1928 in Cardiff to Percy Frederick G Hewings and Catherine Hewings nee Drain. John attended Moorland Road School. The Hewings family lived at 50 Swansea Street. John Hewings joined the merchant navy on 6 Jun 1944. He died, presumed accidentally drowned, on 1 Feb 1945 in Barrow in Furness. An inquest found that he probably fell into the dock when returning to his ship. His body was not recovered for more than two months.
Flying Officer, 355 Squadron. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 163701)
Brian Hill was born on 8th Oct 1917 to Sydney James Hill, a ship’s joiner, originally from Swansea and Eva Bessie Hill née Howell originally from Wokingham, Surrey. Brian attended Cardiff High School for Boys. In 1939 the Hill family were living at 35 Inglefield Avenue, Heath and Brian working as a clerk in a transport company. He was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 11 Feb 1943 he was a Sergeant and aboard a Halifax bomber when it crashed in Yorkshire. He was the only crew member to survive. He was admitted to the Sick Quarters at Driffield airfield and reportedly sustained severe concussion. He later recovered and returned to active service and received his commission on 28 January 1944 to the rank of P/O on probation (emergency) (163701). He was later promoted to F/O (war subs) on 28th July 1944. On 2 May 1945 he was flying with 355 Squadron from Salbani, India when he died flying in Liberator KH210 which crashed in the Bay of Bengal. An engine caught fire and the plane crashed 130 miles south of Calcutta. He was twenty eight years old and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial (Column 447). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
FREDERICK JOHN HOLBROOK
Private, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 30649)
Fred Holbrook was born in Splott on 5 May 1898 and baptised at St Saviour’s church on June 13th. His mother was Ellen Holbrook née Streat, originally from Ottery St Mary, Devon and his father, Henry Thomas Holbrook, originally from Chard, Somerset and a bricklayer who died as the result of an industrial accident at the East Moors Ironworks in 1907. In 1911 widowed Ellen and her children lived at 67 Llanelly Street, Splott. Fred attended Moorland Road school and then worked as a bricklayer at the Dowlais works prior to joining up in February 1915. He was posted to France on 12 May 1915 and therefore probably underage when he joined up. He was wounded on 16 July 1916 and the date suggests that his wounds were received in operations connected with the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. Fred Holbrook died on 27 July 1916 aged 18. He is buried in the Heilly Station Cemetery. Three Casualty Clearing Stations (hospitals) were based around what is now the cemetery when the Battle of the Somme started, and it was linked by railway almost to the front lines. More of Fred’s story is told in this well-researched piece. Fred Holbrook is remembered on the Splott War Memorial in front of St Saviour’s church and the Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
EVAN FREDERICK DARE HOLLAND
Able Seaman, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Lapwing (Service Number D/JX 41991L)
Evan Frederick Dare Holland was born in Swansea on 22 Apr 1925 to Albert Frederick Holland and Elizabeth Holland née Baker. His parents got married in London 1924 and then moved to Wales. Evan’s father Bert was a manager in pubs and clubs. In 1939 the family were living at the Roath Conservative Club where Bert and Elizabeth were stewards. Evan would have 14 at the time so probably went to school in the Roath area. His father also managed the Claude Hotel and later the West Cross Hotel in Mumbles. Evan Holland joined the Navy when he was just over 17. He 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. Evan Holland 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, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards (Service Number: 103)
Albert Hollyman was born in Scott Street, Temperance Town, Cardiff in 1887 to Frederick Hollyman, a carpenter, originally from Clevedon, Somerset and Ellen Hollyman nee Bathe, originally from Cardiff. His father died when he was just three years old and his mother remarried to Charles Purnell, a stonemason. In 1901 the combines Purnell/Hollyman family were living in Court Road, Canton. In May 1906 Albert enlisted in the Grenadier Guards where he served for three years. In 1909 his mother Ellen passed away. In the 1909 census Albert was living with his brother and his family in Craddock St, Canton and working as a coal trimmer. Later that year Albert married Gladys Lewis. They went on to have three children, Edna May (b.1912), William Albert (b.1913) and Douglas Haig (b.1917). He joined the Cardiff City Police in Mar 1913 but at the outbreak of WWI he was recalled to his old regiment and transferred to the Welsh Guards in Feb 1915. He served on the Western Front. In Oct 1918 he was admitted to the 26th General Hospital in Etaples, France where he died of pneumonia on 21 Oct 1918 aged 32. He is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery (grave LXVII. K. 14). He is remembered on the Cardiff Police Memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His widow and children lived at 63 Treharris Street.
Lance Corporal, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23217)
William Howell was born in 1891 in Cowbridge to Thomas Howel,l a licensed victualler, originally from Welsh St Donats and Elizabeth Howell nee Price, originally from Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire. Thomas was born at The Three Boars Heads inn at 25, High St, Cowbridge (now Greggs), which was being run by his widowed grandmother, Catherine Howell, and had been run by the family since 1871. William’s father Thomas took over running the pub in 1894, but he died just a few years later and his mother Catherine stepped in. The family, including William, were still living in and running The Three Boars Heads in 1901. William was educated in Cowbridge and left home for work in his mid teens, and in 1911 was living with his aunt and uncle at 10 Lead Street, Adamsdown. He was working as a printer’s compositor. Given the W Howell on the Western Mail Roll of Honour it seems likely that he worked for or trained at the newspaper at some stage in his career. He enlisted in the Welsh Regiment fairly early in the war and entered France in December 1915. He died on 7 July 1916 at Mametz Wood, Somme, France, aged 25. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He is also a relatively new addition to the Cowbridge War Memorial. He is also likely to be the W Howell on the Western Mail Roll of Honour to those who served and fell in WWI. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Gunner, 57th Company, Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number 278133)
Thomas Howells was born in Merthyr around October 1880. Before joining up he had already served six years in the Carmarthen Militia. At the time he joined up he was working as a collier. He joined up on 9 Oct 1914 in Cardiff and served in Egypt until 9 Aug 1917 when he was discharged with ill health (enteritis). Thomas Howells passed away on 6 Feb 1920 aged 39. He died at 132 Newport Road, Cardiff which is probably one of the houses that was being used as a military hospital. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, plot EB.81. The above information is taken from his military records which also records that his next of kin was his brother, John Howells, who was lodging in Treharris at the time. He is remembered on the Red Cross memorial plaque at St Edward’s church, Pen-y-lan. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (Possible: We know when he was discharged Thomas was 36 yrs 10 months so can pinpoint his birth to ~Oct 1880. There is not a Thomas Howells birth registered in Merthyr in Q4 1880 but there was one in Q1 1881, mother’s maiden name Davies. This ties in with an 1881 census of David Howells, an iron puddler at Cefn Coed, Merthyr and his wife Mary with Thomas 4mths. In 1901 Thomas is a ‘Private soldier in Reg’, and there is a brother John, coal hewer)
IDWAL MACHNO HUMPHREYS
Gunner, 121st Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), (Service Number: 125585)
Idwal Humphreys was born in Llanelly in 1893 to Richard Machno Humphreys, a Baptist minister, originally from Tal-y-bont, Cardiganshire, and Jane Elizabeth Humphreys nee Jones, originally from Llangadfan, Montgomeryshire. As well as being a renowned Baptist minister, his father Richard Machno Humphreys was also a poet, winning the National Eisteddfod crown in 1904, but passed away later the same year. Idwal Humphreys attended Llanelly County Intermediate School. After leaving school he worked as a journalist in Llanelli before he moved to Cardiff in April 1914 to take up a position as sub-editor at the Western Mail. He lived with his widowed mother and sister at 19 Shirley Road, Roath Park. Idwal enlisted in the 3rd Welsh Regiment in Aug 1917,transferring to the Machine Gun Corps in the following Nov. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from Jan 1918 but was taken prisoner at Fleubaix, near Lille on 9 April. An Army Chaplain (who had himself been prisoner of War) wrote: “I too, loved the Iad. No one could do otherwise. Still, you may know that his life has not been lived in vain: he gave it for others, for his fellow prisoners. While ill, he continued to fulfil the duty of Interpreter, and helped his companions out of many difficulties. I have seldom met a nobler, truer, or more beautiful type of character than that, your beloved son manifested. One feels that life is all the better because we have known him.” Gunner Humphreys had a good knowledge of French and an aptitude for languages, and was made Camp Interpreter, having learnt German during his internment. Following the end of the war he was found sick and starving in the German prisoner of war camp. He was repatriated in Jan 1919, but died at King George’s Hospital, London, on the 11th, a few hours after reaching England, of tuberculosis, contracted while a prisoner of war in Germany, aged 25. His mother and sister had been sent for, but before they arrived at the hospital, Idwal, the tall, strong and healthy boy had passed away. The paper reports that his remains were taken to Llanelli where his bones were laid to match that of his father in the Box cemetery. He had the burial of a prince, the congregation reaching over a mile. He is buried in the family grave (plot 159.2). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. He is remembered on the Calfaria Chapel memorial and Llanelli Grammar School memorial as well as the Western Mail Roll of Honour.
VINCENT LONGMEAD HYATT
Flying Officer (Air Bomber), 102 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number 132394)
Vincent Longmead Hyatt was born in Cardiff on 19 Mar 1916 to Harry Hyatt, a post office official originally from Shepton Mallett in Somerset and Florence Clara Hyatt nee Smith, originally from Clifton, Bristol. Henry and Florence Hyatt moved to Cardiff in 1913 and initially lived in 124 Mackintosh Place where Vincent may well have been born. The 1922 Cardiff Directory showed they had relocated to 2 Australia Road, Cathays. In his work at the post office, Harry Hyatt supervised the Cardiff to Crew sorting carriage attached to the nightly mail train. Florence Hyatt died in 1928 when Vincent was just 12. He attended Allensbank School and on leaving school became a member of the Cardiff City Police Fire Service. The 1939 Register records him based at 223 Bute Street with other firemen. He enlisted in the RAF in 1941 but was killed aged 26 on 3 Oct 1943 when a Halifax bomber he was in took off from Pocklington airfield to undertake a night cross country training flight but crashed near the village of Hayton, Yorkshire. He is buried at Bratton Churchyard, Wiltshire, the village his father moved to after his retirement. Vincent is remembered on two memorials in Cardiff including one at the main Fire Station on Adam Street. He is also remembered in the village war memorial in Bratton, Wiltshire. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.