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


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.  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.