Roath Virtual War Memorial: R


Sub-Lieutenant.  Royal Navy.  HMS Glorious.

James Henry Radclift as born in 1915 to Thomas Henry Radclift, a plumber, originally from Bideford, Devon and Eva Norman Radclift née Fry, originally from Instow, Devon. The family lived in Tewkesbury Street, Cathays.  Thomas Radclift died when James was only 11 and his mother Eva went onto remarry Arthur Melhuish a few years later. James Henry Radclift joined the navy and was a Sub-Lieutenant serving on the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious when it was sunk in the Norwegian Sea on 8th June 1940 with the loss of 1,200 lives. He was 25 years old.  The story of the sinking of HMS Glorious and her two escort ships is told here by Friends of Cathays Cemetery.  James Radclift is remembered on the grave of his parents in Section G of Cathays Cemetery.  He is also remembered on the Naval Memorial at Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire (Bay 1, Panel 3).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record (note surname is mis-spelt).

James Henry Radclift HMS Glorious

Sub Lieutenant James Henry Radclift (GlArAc Association), Headstone at Cathays Cemetery (Photo: Friends of Cathays Cemetery), Lee-on-Solent Naval Memorial


Second Lieutenant, 6th Battalion attached to 13th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

Eric Montague Rees was born in Penarth on 9 Mar 1897 to Edward William Rees, originally from Aberdare and a commercial traveller for a vinegar, pickles and jams company and Mary Elizabeth Rees, originally from Newtown, Montgomeryshire. By 1901 the Rees family were living at 24 Connaught Road, Roath.  Eric attended Marlborough Road school before going on to Cardiff High School in 1908.  In 1911 the Rees family had moved to nearby 11 Connaught Road. In 1913, he began studying at the South Wales and Monmouthshire School of Mines at Treforest. Eric went out to the Western Front with the 21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers on 14 Nov 1915 when he was only 18. He was commissioned in the Royal Fusiliers on 25 Jun 1918. Attached to the 13th Battalion, Second Lieutenant Eric Rees was killed in action, aged 21, in the Second Battle of Le Cateau during the Battles of the Hindenburg Line on 9 Oct 1918. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial to the Missing, France.  Although his death announcement in the local press refers to Eric having a Military Cross, no reference to this has been found in the records and Eric is not shown as having the Military Cross in the Commonwealth War Graves Register. His parents were living at Ty Gwent, 24 Lon-y-dail, Rhiwbina by 1918.  He is remembered on a number of war memorial plaques: Cardiff High School, Cardiff University, School of Mines war memorial located at the University of South Wales at Treforest and the Clifton Street Welsh Wesleyan Methodist church. He is also remembered on the grave of his grandparents at Wimborne Road cemetery, Bornemouth, DorsetCommonweath War Graves Commission record.

Eric Montagu Rees portrait and grandparents grave


Civilian casualty

Mavis Rees, aged 9, was injured when a bomb fell on 12 Penylan Road in the final bombing raid on Cardiff. She died the next day at the Royal Infirmary.  She was born on 19th April 1934 and daughter of Dora Rees née Wing and William J Rees.  She is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Plot EO 2354.  She is remembered on the Albany Road Baptist Church war memorial plaque.   Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. Her story is told here: Pen-y-lan Road blitz victims


Private, 17th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number 25558)

Richard Henry Rees was born on 21 Oct 1895 in Swansea to Richard Rees, a gamekeeper, and Lillian Rees nee Bohn, both originally from Swansea. He was baptised at Christ Church, Swansea on 8 Jan 1896 when the family were living at Graig Street.  By 1901 they had moved to Newton Nottage, Porthcawl.  They were still there in 1911 when 15 year old Richard was working as an errand boy.   He joined the 17th battalion, Welsh Regiment on 2 Jan 1915 but only served two week before being discharged due to illness, the reason given – not being considered likely to become an efficient soldier.  He was issued with a Silver Badge on 4 Jan 1917 exempting him from further military service on account of illness. He died on 19 Sep 1922 aged 26 at the Red Cross Hospital, Newport Road, Cardiff.  He was buried at Newton Nottage parish church on 23 Sep 1922. He is remembered on the Red Cross Memorial at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff.


Private.  648th Military Transport Company, Army Service Corps (Service Number M/283912)

James Rockey was born in the summer of 1898 and lived his early years in the Canton area. He was the youngest son of James Rockey, a Coal Inspector, originally from Torrington, Devon and Annie Rockey née Lewis. By 1911 the family were living on Newport Road.  James worked at the engineers yard of Cardiff Railway Company before enlisting and serving with the 648th Military Transport Company of the Army Service Corps in East Africa.  Their role appears to have been artillery support.  The East Africa Campaign, much of it based around the old German East Africa, the area that now includes modern Tanzania, was seen as a diversionary tactic aiming to draw allied resources away from the Western Front in Europe. Many lives were lost not just in fighting but also through disease as troops succumbed to malaria and other infections. James died on 18th November 1918, a week after the armistice had been signed in France.  He is buried at the Nakuru North cemetery (plot 27) in Kenya. At the time of his death the Rockey family lived at 218 Newport Road.  The announcement in the Western Mail at the time regarding his death finishes with the line ‘The end of a perfect life’. He is remembered on the WWI Memorial plaque at St Edwards Church in Penylan and on the Cardiff Railway Workers roll of honour which is in the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Petty Officer Stoker, HMS Lapwing, Royal Navy (Service Number: D/KX 79373)

Frederick George Alec Rogers was born on 16 Dec 1901 in Cardiff to William Rogers, a labourer, originally from Bristol, and Rose Selena Rogers nee Hill originally from Kilmersdon, Somerset.  In 1911 the Rogers were living at 43 Theodora Street, Roath before later moving to 161 Cairns St, Cathays (later re-named Rhymney Street).  He attended Crwys Road school and on leaving worked for Great Western Railways.  He joined the Royal Navy in 1921. In 1927 he married Olive Ellen Hole, a waitress from Bristol at Brislington, Bristol. They went on to have two sons together, Raymond and Frederick, and continued to live at 161 Rhymney Street.  He served 26 years in the Royal Navy before he lost his life on 20 Mar 1945 aged 43, when HMS Lapwing was sunk.  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. Some of the survivors of HMS Lapwing recall their experiences on this BBC WWII People’s War page.    Frederick Rogers is remembered on the Plymouth Naval War Memorial (panel 94, col 3).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

Frederick George Alec Rogers memorial pictures


Bombardier,  Royal Field Artillery (Service Number 148351)

William Henry Rounsefell Headstone

William Henry Rounsefell was born in Devon in early 1889 to William Rounsefell, a farm labourer originally from Lapford, Devon and Olivia Rounsefell née Alford originally from Winkleigh, Devon.  The family lived at Kelland Cottage in Lapford in 1911 and William Henry was working as a horseman on a farm.  He joins the Royal Artillery and sails form Southampton to Alexandria, Egypt in October 1916. He falls ill in early 1918 and his records indicate he had malaria at one stage.  He is sent home from Alexandria on board Hospital Ship Wandilla in Oct 1918.  He died of nephritis and pneumonia at Albany Road military hospital, Cardiff, on 14 Dec  1918 aged 30.  He is buried at Lapford Congregational Churchyard, Devon.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Private, 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Service Number: 35218)

Gerald Edgar Rule 1917 headstoneGerald Edgar Rule was born on 17 Sep 1895 in Cardiff, one of eight children born to Davey Edwards Rule, a master mariner, and Honor Rule nee Bryant, both originally from Hayle, Cornwall.  The Rule family were living at 15 Claude Road in the 1901 census but Davey Rule died on 2 Aug 1901 leaving Honor Rule to raise the family. Gerald attended Marlborough Road Junior School from Aug 1903 having already attended the infant department. In 1909 they were living at 26 Bangor Street.  They leave Cardiff shortly afterwards and in the 1911 census we find 15 year old Gerald, a commercial student, living in Leyton, Essex with his mother and married sister Honor Stevens. He went on to work as an audit clerk. Gerald enlisted in London in Dec 1915 with the 18th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers before going to France on 20 May 1915. He was killed in action in on 4 Aug 1917 aged 21 whilst serving with the 14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He is buried at the Cement House Cemetery, Belgium (grave V.C.3) with the grave inscription ‘Beyond, a brighter hope, a fair tomorrow, a better land’. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.