Leading Aircraftwoman, 953 Balloon Squadron, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (Service No: 2045888)
Mary MacAskill was born in c1921 to Norman and Joan MacAskill of Culrain, Scotland. she was a member of the 953 Balloon Squadron of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force stationed in Cardiff. She died aged 22 along with two fellow squadron members on 18 May 1943 during an air raid when their station on Colchester Avenue, Penylan took a direct hit. On May 20th the remains of three casualties, left for their respective homes, each coffin accompanied by a WAAF Officer and NCO. She is buried at Kincardine Cemetery, Ross and Cromarty (grave 166). She is also remembered on the Ardgay War Memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ANGUS ALEXANDER MACKINTOSH
Captain, Royal Horse Guards
Angus Alexander Mackintosh was born on 6 Aug 1885 in Moy Hall, Inverness-shire, Scotland to Alfred Donald Mackintosh of Mackintosh, 28th Chief of the Mackintosh clan, and Harriet Diana Arabella Mary Macintosh nee Richards originally from Roath, Cardiff. He grew up in Cottrell Hall, St Nicholas, Glamorgan and attended school at Wixenford and Eton. After leaving school he embarked on a military career, joining the Royal Horse Guards in 1906. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1908 and later appointed as aide-de-camp to General Sir Arthur Paget, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland. This was a time of turmoil in Ireland and Mackintosh witnessed at first hand the role of Paget in the Curragh mutiny in March 1914, although there is no indication of what his feelings were on the matter. When WWI broke out he returned to Windsor, England before embarking for Belgium on 8 Oct. He saw a couple of weeks of war action before he was shot in the chest on 30 Oct 1940 near Ypres. He was evacuated to the military hospital at Boulogne, where he was treated before being sent to hospital in England in mid-November.
After spending six months in hospital recuperating and being promoted to Captain he was appointed as the aide-de-camp to Prince Arthur, the Governor General of Canada in Oct 1915. A year later the Governor General of Canada was replaced by Victor Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire but Angus Mackintosh stayed in his role as aide-de-camp. The Duke of Devonshire was accompanied to Canada by his family and Angus Mackintosh and the Duke’s daughter, Maud Cavendish, fell in love and were married at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa in Nov 1917. They moved to Washington DC where Angus was appointed Honorary Assistant Military Attaché in the British War Mission. A few weeks after the birth of their daughter Anne Peace Arabella Mackintosh, Angus caught the Spanish flu and died of pneumonia on 13 Oct 1918 aged 33. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia (plot L.4140). He is remembered on the war memorial in St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan and Strathdearn War Memorial in Scotland. He was also remembered on the war memorial plaque that used to be in the Mackintosh Institute, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff. Unfortunately this plaque can no longer be found. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. See also Commonwealth War Graves Commission in United States article.
Olive Margrett died aged 47 on 19th May 1943 at the Royal Infirmary following injuries sustained when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road the previous night in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She was wife of Archibald George Margrett, a steam raiser on the Great Western Railway. She was born on 16th November 1896 in Cardiff. Her mother Elizabeth and daughter Patricia died in the same raid as well as her sister and niece. Commonwealth War Graves Commission page. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
PATRICIA OLIVE MARGRETT
Patricia Olive Margrett died aged 19 on 19th May 1943 at the Royal Infirmary following injuries sustained when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road the previous night in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She was daughter of Olive Margrett (who died in the same raid) and Archibald George Margrett. Patricia’s grandmother, aunt and cousin died in the same raid. Commonwealth War Graves Commission page. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims
JOHN FREDERICK MARSH
Trooper, 12th Army Tank Regiment, Three Rivers Regiment, R.C.A.C (Service Number B/38200)
John Frederick March was born Frederick John Marsh on 3 Oct 1915 in Cathays, Cardiff to Robert William Marsh, a brick kiln worker, originally from Street, Somerset and Sarah Ann Marsh nee Hutchings also originally from Street, Somerset. John grew up in 46 Flora Street and attended Gladstone School. In 1928 John and his parents and some of his siblings emigrated to Garson Mine, Ontario, Canada. He worked a labourer and joined up in Jul 1940 and leaves Halifax, Canada for Gourock, Scotland in Jun 1941. He was then based in the UK until Jun 1943 before sailing to Italy to be involved in the retaking of Sicily. He was killed late afternoon on 30 Jul 1943 in Sicily aged 28. He was killed when a mortar round landed near a water carrier vehicle he was travelling in and he was mortally wounded by shrapnel. He is buried at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery, Sicily (grave D, B, 404) . Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 35126)
John Matthews was born on 15 Aug 1889 in Cardiff to Thomas Matthews, a vaccination officer, originally from Cardiff and Margaret Matthews nee Jenkins originally from Llanbleddian, Cowbridge. In the 1891 census the Matthews family were living at 19 Llantwit Street, Cathays. John’s mother dies when he is only six leaving Thomas Mathews to bring up the seven children. In 1895 John enrolled as a pupil at Albany Road school and he later went on to attend Howard Gardens High School. By 1911 the family were living at 5 Alma Road in Pen-y-lan and John was working as a clerk in a ship owners. His father passes away in 1912 aged 67. On enlistment he joined the 15th (Carmarthenshire) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment. John was killed on the 11 July 1916 aged 26, during the closing stages of the battle for Mametz Wood. He was one of seventy men of the 15th battalion who were killed during the battle. The majority of the dead were buried within the wood where they fell, at Mametz Wood Cemetery. Many of these were lost during subsequent fighting in the area, and John is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme. He is also remembered on the Howardian High School War Memorial. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
2nd Radio Officer, Merchant Navy
David Matthews was born on March 5th 1920 in Pontypridd to Cyril Thomas Matthews and Elizabeth Matthews. In 1939 the family ran an ironmongers shop at 107 Albany Road and David was working an ironmonger’s assistant. During the war he was a 2nd Radio Officer on board the S.S.Victoria City which was lost at sea on 2nd Dec 1940. At 21.42 hours on 3 December 1940 the unescorted Victoria City, travelling from New York USA and Halifax, Canada, to London and a straggler from convoy HX-90, was hit on port side underneath the bridge by one G7a torpedo from U-140 and sank by the bow within 15 seconds about 30 miles north-west of the Donegal coast in Ireland. The master and 42 crew members were lost. The ship had been owned by Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd, Cardiff. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque and the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
FRANCIS ALEXANDER MATTHYSSENS
Captain, 1st/4th Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Francis Alexander Matthyssens was born on 18 May 1887 in Cardiff. His parents were John Matthyssens, originally from Belgium, a commercial clerk and company’s secretary for a coal exporter, and Sarah Annie Matthyssens nee David, originally from Llanedern, Cardiff. Francis was baptised at St John’s church on 15 Jun 1887 when the family were living at 16 Wordsworth Ave, Roath. Francis entered Cardiff High School in its first ever intake on 20 Sep 1898, when his family were then living at Redbrook House, St. Martin’s Road, Caerphilly. He left the High School in December 1904. Like his father, he was engaged in business at Cardiff docks. In 1911 they were living at Witla Court in Rumney. He was gazetted second lieutenant to the 4th Battalion Welsh Regiment on 2 Sep 1914. He served with the 1/4th Battalion at Gallipoli from 1 Sep 1915 until the evacuation on 11 Dec 1915. He then proceeded to Alexandria, where he was promoted again. Captain Francis Matthyssens died of typhus at the General Hospital, Alexandria on 23 Jun 1916. He was 29. He is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery (B.1), Egypt. He is remembered on the Cardiff High School war memorial and also commemorated on the war memorials in Rumney and St. Mellons. There is also a road named after him in St Mellons. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ALFRED MICHAEL MAZZEI
Private, 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers (Service Number 17042)
Alfred Michael Mazzei was born on 26 Dec 1892 on Nora Street to Frederick Mazzei, a plasterer, originally from Holborn, London and Elizabeth Mazzei née Hamilton, originally from Bristol. By 1911 his parents had passed away and he was living as a border in Nora Street giving his profession as a collier. He later lived with his sister 67 Constellation Street. He served with the South Wales Borderers and died on the morning of 27 May 1917 aged 24 when he was shot in the head on the western front in Belgium. The letter from his commanding office to next of kin said ‘Alfred was universally popular both with officers and men a sportsman a fine boxer and clean minded, his loss is one that leaves a gap in the Battalion’. He is buried at the Nieuwkerke (Neuve-Eglise) Churchyard in Belgium not far from the French border (grave reference G.2). He is remembered in the Splott War memorial at St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His brother Lewis also served and was killed in WWI and his brother William served with the 2nd Welsh Regiment and lost a leg.
LEWIS PELEGRNA MAZZEI
Private, 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers (Service Number 8673)
Lewis ‘Louis’ Pelegrena Mazzei was born on 10 Mar 1884 on Sandon Place to Frederick Mazzei, a plasterer, originally from Holborn, London and Elizabeth Mazzei née Hamilton, originally from Bristol. He was baptised on 2 Apr 1884 at St David’s church. By 1901 his parents had passed away and he was living with his sister and brothers in 41 Nora Street giving his profession as a general labourer. In the 1911 census he is already in the army with the South Wales Borderers and serving in South Africa. It appears from one record that he may have enlisted as early as Feb 1905. He returns to Europe and goes to the Western Front and was killed in action early in WWI on 21 Oct 1914 aged 30 at Langemark in the First Battle of Ypres. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial (panel 22). He is also remembered on the Splott War memorial at St Saviour’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His brother Alfred Mazzei is also killed in WWI.
WILLIAM JOHN MAZZEI
Corporal, 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment (Service Number 3964220)
William John Mazzei was born in Cardiff on 12 Jan 1919, to William Mazzei, a labourer from Cardiff who had been badly injured in WWI and Rose Lillian Mazzei née Shopland, also from Cardiff. In 1939 he lived at 187 North Rd, Cardiff with his parents. He was killed on 21 July 1944 aged 27 in Normandy, France whilst serving with the 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He is buried at the Brouay War Cemetery (grave III. B. 4.). His cousin Alfred Monaghan fought alongside him in the same regiment and died the same day. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
DAVID JOHN McGREGOR
Engineer Lieutenant Commander, H.M.S. Hawke, Royal Navy
David John McGregor was born on 7 Jul 1874 in Hebburn, Tyneside, to Donald McGregor, a clerk, originally from Banffshire, Scotland and Mary McGregor née Fairley from Newcastle On Tyne. The family moved to Cardiff and David McGregor attended Cardiff Higher Grade School (Howard Gardens) and then Cardiff University College studying engineering. After leaving university he served an apprenticeship at Wallsend Engineering works in Cardiff for five years before joining the Royal Navy. He won a scholarship to Greenwich Naval College. He served many years afloat and his naval records contain many references to him being zelous and having a lot of ability and reluctant to retire. He became the Admiralty Coal Inspector in Cardiff. He was summoned to active service but died on 15 Oct 1914, aged 40, when H.M.S. Hawke was sunk in the North Sea sixty miles off Aberdeen when it was torpedoed by German U-boat U9 and hit amidships near a magazine. The detonation was followed by a second terrific explosion, in which a large number of the crew were killed. The ship sank within 5 minutes and was only able to launch one ship’s boat. Five hundred and twenty five perished. He is remembered on the Howardian War Memorial plaque and the Cardiff University War Memorial plaque. He is also remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial. A white marble family headstone at Cathays Cemetery (Grave Reference L3572) also remembers him with the following words: ‘Also of Engr Lt Commr David J McGregor R.N. / of H.M.S. Hawke. Lost with vessel in North Sea 15th October 1914 / A model son and kind brother‘. His obituary and picture appeared in the South Wales Daily News on 17 Oct 1914. We pick up his address when he died on his probate record as being 18 Balaclava Road in Penylan, Cardiff. Commonwealth War Grave Commission record.
Private, 16th Battalion Welsh Regiment. (Service Number 56557).
Hubert Holinshead Merchant was born on 26th July 1896 in Llanhilleth, Monmouthshire. He was the eldest son of Arthur Davies Merchant, a colliery labourer, originally from Gloucester and Emily Merchant née Solomon originally form Bristol. In 1911 we find the family living at 124 Broadway with Arthur a caretaker and Hubert, aged 14, working as a boot dealer’s errand boy having previously attended Moorland Road school. He enlisted 26th April, 1915, in 7th Welsh (Cyclists) before transferring to the 115th Trench Mortar Battery, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He served on the Western Front from 28 July 1916, and was killed in action after the Battle of Pilkem Ridge on 1 Aug 1917 aged 21. His Captain wrote: ‘He went into the fight with his usual cheerfulness, and went right over Pilkem Ridge, as far as the River Steenbeek, where he fought gallantly until he was hit by a sniper in the side’. He is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial (Panels 37). His military papers record the Merchant family living at 176 Cathays Terrace at the time. He was remembered on the Charles Street Wesleyan Methodist Church WWI memorial currently in the safe keeping of Cardiff Bereavement Services. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ARTHUR JOHN MITCHELL
Sergeant, 15th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Arthur Mitchell was born in Cardiff on 22nd April 1918 to Arthur Mitchell and Hannah Mitchell née Domville. Prior to the war Arthur worked as an ordnance surveyor. The family lived in Pinehurst on Ty Gwyn Road, likely to have been just north of where the road passes over the Eastern Avenue today. He has no known grave. He died on 23rd July 1941 aged 33 and is remembered on the RAF Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered on a memorial in St Edward’s church and their website records the following information: On an operation as the Flight Engineer in a Stirling bomber (N6038) to attack the Battle cruiser Scharnhorst, they took off from RAF Wyton with five other aircraft at 6.05pm on 23rd July 1941. They encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire and were attacked repeatedly by ME109s which forced the bombers to dive to low level. N6038 was fatally damaged and crashed into the sea off Pembroke, claiming the lives of the crew. [Some details from the book “Short Stirling Units in World War 2” by Jonathan Falconer.] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
ALFRED JOHN THOMAS MONAGHAN
Lance Corporal, 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment (Service Number 3965467)
Alfred John Thomas Monaghan was born in Cardiff on 15 May 1918 to Robert Joseph Monaghan, a steel works labourer, originally from Newport, and Rosina Maria Monaghan née Mazzei, originally from Cardiff. He grew up in the Splott area and was living at 67 Constellation Street with his parents in 1939 and working in the blast furnace at the steel works. In May 1937 the newspaper reports that Alfred, then aged 16, had saved a boy, Alec Coakly, aged 6, from drowning in the canal near Hayes Bridge. Alfred, a non-swimmer himself, had jumped in and rescued the boy. Alfred served with the 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was killed in action at Normandy on 21 Jul 1944, aged 25. He is buried at Banneville-la-Campagne war cemetery (grave VI. E. 24). His cousin William Mazzei fought alongside him in the same regiment and died the same day. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
Private, 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Percy Moore was born in 1893 in Cardiff to Edwin Moore, a railway inspector, from Arlingham, Gloucestershire and Annie Moore ( née Pritchard) from Croesyceliog. The family lived in various locations in Roath including Inverness Place, Montgomery Street and Arran Street. Percy is recorded as working as a clerk in the 1911 census. He joins the 14th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and is killed in action at Ypres, Belgium on 25th Feb 1917 aged 23. He is buried at Medinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium near the French border. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
HERBERT VICTOR MORSE
Private, 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Hubert Victor Morse was born in 1891 in Penarth to Edwin Morse, a general haulier, originally from Gloucestershire and Ellen Morse, née Ashelford, originally from Somerset. Hubert worked as a clerk in a rents and estates business before joining the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private. The family had lived at 105 City Road in 1911 but Hubert’s war record show them then living at 40 Bedford Street. The memorial states that he died of his wounds on 25th Apr 1917. He is buried at the Philosophe British Cemetery in northern France. He is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record