St Andrew’s URC War Memorial

 

St Andrews Wellfield Road Cardiff

The war memorial tablet on the front wall of St Andrew’s contains five names of those who fell in the Great War of 1914-18.

Reginald Williams

Reginald was born on 7th September 1890 in Pontypridd to William Williams, an insurance inspector from Aberdare and Mary Adams originally from Bristol.  In 1891 the family were living in Wood Road, Treforest.  In 1893 the family lived at 83 Albany Road, Cardiff where Reginald attended Albany Road School.  By 1901 however the family had all moved to Headingly, Yorkshire.

34 Strathnairn St, Roath

34 Strathnairn Street

In the 1911 census most of the family had moved to Merthyr Tydfil but it seems Reginald moved to Cardiff and was living as a boarder at Strathnairn Street, Roath, and working as an insurance clerk.

Reginald Williams was a Private in the London Scottish Regiment – 14th (County of London) Battalion.  He died on 1st Dec 1917 in the battle of Cambrai on the Western Front that marked the first large-scale, effective use of tanks in warfare.  He is buried at Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery  Extension, south of Arras in north-east France (Grave Reference: II. A. 3.)

ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery  Extension, France.

William Henry Strachan

William Strachan was born in 188 in Cardiff.  He was baptised in Llanishen on October 21st that year where his mother Catherine had been born.  His father John Strachan originated from Scotland and was a very successful civil engineer working on railway projects and the building of Roath dock.  The family lived in Craigisla, a large mansion house on Ty-Gwyn Road in Penylan, Cardiff.  William Stachen was one of at least ten children that Catherine and John Strachan had.

Craigisla picture

Craigisla, Ty Gwyn Road,

Some of the children became engineers like their father.  In 1901 William, aged 14, is living with his parents in Craigisla, Penylan.  He doesn’t appear on the 1911 census and is probably working aboard because in January 1916 he arrives in Liverpool aboard the ship Orita having boarded in Rio de Janeiro.  He is named as a secretary working for the Brazilian Traction Light & Power Company.  Presumably he returned home in order to sign up for the army.

 

William Strachan was a Private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He died on 27th August 1916. He was killed in the Battle of the Somme in France and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial which is a memorial to those who died in that battle but with no known grave.

Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval Memorial, France.

Joseph Cattell Stephens

25 Marlborough Road

25 Marlborough Road

Joseph Cattell Stephens was born in Cardiff in 1895. His father was Joseph Benjamin Stephens, a solicitor.  His mother was Mary Jane Thomas from Gloucestershire who dies a couple of years after Joseph was born.  In 1900 Joseph remarries, this time to Margaret Davies and we find the family living at 25 Marlborough Road.  A year later, Joseph Cattell Stephens enrolls at the newly opened Marlborough Road Primary School for boys.  In 1911 the family are still at 25 Marlborough Road but Joseph Benjamin Stephens has again been widowed.  Joseph Cattell Stephens, by this time 16, is described as a student.

Joseph Cattell Stephens became a Corporal in the Welsh Regiment.  He was killed in 18th Sep 1918 in the  Salonika Campaign in Greece.  His name appears on the Doiran Memorial which is in northern Greece, close to the Macedonian border.  Joseph would have been part of the multi-national British Salonika Force (BSF) which included soldiers from Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  After years of stalemate in the area. French and Serbian divisions attacked Bulgarian positions in mountains east of Monastir. Within three days they broke through the defences and continued to advance northward. In support of this operation the BSF again attacked the strong Bulgarian defences at Doiran on 18 September.  The BSF suffered more than 7000 casualties which would have included Joseph Stephens.

There may not be any surviving offspring from the Stephens family as Joseph’s brother, John Montague Stephens joined the merchant navy and sustained a fractured skull and died on bard the vessel Trafalgar in Argentina in 1927.  Joseph’s half-brother Reginald Gwynn Stephens joined the air force and died in Singapore in 1942.

Doiran Memorial

Doiran Memorial, Greece.

Harry George Stride

Henry George Stride was born in Newport on 14th April 1894.  His parents were Abraham Cornelius Stride, a railway clerk and Rosa Emma Stride nee Sier.  By 1901 the family have moved to Cardiff and living at 16 Marlborough Road.  In 1905 when Henry is admitted to Marlborough Road School the family address given is Penywaun Place, Roath.  In 1911 the family are living at 23 Alma Road.     Harry is now aged 16 and working as a Colliery Clerk.

Harry George Stride

Harry George Stride

During the war Harry Stride was a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment.  He died in Italy on 29th Oct 1918 just a couple of weeks before the end of the war.

The Battle of Vittorio Veneto was fought from 24th October to 3rd November 1918 near Vittorio Veneto on the Italian Front during World War I.  The allies victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front, secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and contributed to the end of the First World War just one week later.

Harry Stride is buried in the Tezze British Cemetery (Plot 4. Row A. Grave 12) in Veneto, Italy, not far north of Venice.

Harry had two brothers and a sister.  One brother and his sister had no offspring but one of his brothers, Arthur Howard Stride, moved away from Cardiff went on to have a family the decedents of which have an active interest in genealogy.

Tezza British Cemetery

Tezza British Cemetery, Italy.

 

Arthur Vincent Jellings

Arthur Vincent Jellings was born on 6th Feb 1897 in Cardiff to Edwin Jellings, a house builder, and Rebecca Eliza Collings.  In 1901 the family are living on Richmond Road, Roath.  By 1904 the family has moved to Connaught Road and Arthur was starting at Marlborough Road Primary School.  In 1909 he was admitted to Howard Gardens Secondary School for Boys.  On the 1911 census Arthur and his five brothers and sisters and parents are living in 58 Connaught Road.

We next pick up Arthur in 1915, aged 19, emigrating to USA and landing in Ellis Island having sailed from Liverpool.  His stay in America must have been brief and he returns and joins the merchant navy.

Arthur Jellings was in the Mercantile Marine (Merchant Navy).  He died, presume drowned, aged just 20 on 14th April 1917 when the SS Lena was torpedoed by a German u-boat.

SS Lena 1904

SS Lena

The SS Lena  was on a voyage from Huelva in Southern Spain to Bristol with a cargo of government stores and was sunk by the German submarine U-61, southwest of the Scilly Isles. 25 persons were lost.  SS Lena was built in 1904 and was a British cargo steamer with a Cardiff owner and weighed of 2,463 tonnes.

He is remembered not only on the memorial in St Andrew’s but also on the Tower Hill Memorial for Merchant Seamen in London.

Tower Hill memorial

Tower Hill memorial in London

 

Where they fell

Map and numbers

1. Reginald Williams, 2. William Strachan 3. Joseph Stephens 4. Harry Stride 5. Arthur Jellings