There are four war memorials in St Edwards Church, Blenheim Road, Penylan, Cardiff:
The WWI War Memorial at St Edward’s Church, Blenheim Road, Penylan, Cardiff
Private, 16th (Royal Devon & R.Nth. Devon Yeomanry) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number 67705)
William Alford was born on 15th Oct 1898 in Barnstable Devon. His father William Henry Alford was a carpenter by trade. In 1901 the family are living at 23 Forrest Road, Canton, Cardiff. In 1904 the family have moved 5 Grouse Street in Roath and William is enrolled in Stacey Road Infants School, Cardiff having previously attended Grange School. In 1910 he is enrolled at Howard Gardens. In the 1911 census the family consisting of his father William Henry (42), Eliza (44) his mother, his sister Edith (3) and widowed grandmother Jane (75) and William (12) are still living in Grouse Street. He serves in the army and was awarded the following medals: Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards. He died on 22nd Sep 1918 aged 20 in northern France. He is buried at Ronssoy Communal Cemetery (Section B, Grave 8) in the Somme region of France. He is remembered on the memorials at St Edward’s church and Howardian school. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
JOHN WILLIAM BEER
Private, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers (Service Number 39530)
John William ‘Willie’ Beer was born on 14 May 1898 in Cardiff to John Wesley Beer, a fruit merchant, originally from Appledore, Devon, and Elizabeth Beer née Taylor, originally from Cardiff. In 1901 the Beer family were living in Railway Street, Splott and in 1911 in Somerset Street, Grangetown before they moved to 97 Cyfarthfa Street, Roath. The 1911 census sadly records how Elizabeth had lost five of her seven children and only two survived, Willie and his sister Winnie. Before joining the army Willie had worked briefly for Great Western at Cardiff station and later at Spillers and Bakers. He enlisted in Cardiff Dec 1915 when only 17, originally joining the Monmouthshire Regiment (service number 4646) before transferring to the South Wales Borderers. He was on active service for twelve months, serving in a Lewis gun section before he was reported missing, presumed killed in action on 21 Nov 1917 aged 19. John William Beer is remembered at the Marcoing British Cemetery, France. He is also remembered on the WWI Memorial plaque at St Edward’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
GEORGE HENRY GRIFFIN
Private, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number 11932).
George Henry Griffin was born in Cardiff in 1891 to Samuel Griffin, a builder’s haulier, originally from Llanedarn and Sarah Jane Griffin nee Spencer from Cardiff. He was christened at St Margaret’s church, Roath on 7 Aug 1891. The Griffin family lived at 33 Elm Street, Roath. He joined the Devonshire regiment early in the war, went to France in Feb 1915 and was killed in action on 22 April 1915 at Zillebeke, Belgium, aged 24. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Beligium. He is also remembered on the WWI memorial plaque in St Edward’s church. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
THOMAS HENRY CUTHBERT STEPHENS
Signaller, 96th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number 348208)
Thomas Henry Cuthbert Stephens was born on 6 May 1895 in Cardiff to Henry Stephens, a hydraulic crane operator and coal trimmer, and Hannah Maud Stephens nee Cooper both originally from Cardiff. He was baptised on 2 Aug 1895 that year at St Margaret’s church, Roath. In 1901 the family lived Talworth Street. He attended Marlborough Road School and later Albany Road School where he won the 100yds hurdle at the Cardiff Schools Sports Day in 1908 before moving on to Howard Gardens school later that year. In 1911 the Stephens family lived in 83 Keppoch Street and Cuthbert was working as a junior clerk. The Stephens family then moved again to lived at 26 Roath Court Road. He enlisted 3 September 1914. He survived the war and was discharged 8 Mar 1919 having been previously injured or due to illness but died on 18 Mar 1920 in Cardiff aged 24. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff (grave VL. CE. 32.). He is included on the memorial at St Edward’s Church, Roath. The Processional Cross at At Edward’s was dedicated to the church in memory of his name. 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)
CYRIL CADLE TAYLER
Lieutenant, 1st Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment, A.A.C. (Service Number 174387)
Cyril Cadle Tayler was born on 27 May 1920 in Cardiff to Herbert William Tayler, a managing director of a tobacconist, originally from Aldsworth, Gloucestershire, and Jessie Tayler from Lancashire. Cyril attended Cardiff High School for Boys on Newport Road, Cardiff and lived at 94 Colchester Avenue, Panylan, Cardiff. He was commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers on 18 September 1942, and volunteered for airborne forces. He married Beryl Ward from Northleach, Gloucestershire in early 1944. Lieutenant Tayler successfully completed his glider pilot training and was posted to A Squadron, 1 Flight, 1st Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment, and took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem). He was the pilot of Horsa glider CN140, which landed on the Johannahoeve on 19 September 1944. He was possibly wounded and taken POW. He died of his wounds on 20 September, aged 24, and was given a field burial in the German Military Cemetery at Grebbeberg, east of Rhenen and was re-interred to Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 10 November 1945 (Ref: Para Data). He is remembered on the memorial plaques at St Edward’s church, Penylan, at St Peter & St Paul church, in Northleach, on Northleach village war memorial and a memorial stone on the family grave in Northleach cemetery. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
The fourth memorial is a set of four wooden tablets from nearby St Anne’e church. These originally formed part of the pulpit at St Anne’s Church, Cottrell Road, which was closed in 2015. They were restored by Mr Robert Stogdon and relocated to the South Wall of St Edward’s Chancel. They were rededicated on Sunday 5th November 2017 by Revd Canon Stewart Lisk, Vicar of Roath.
The names on the memorials have been researched by members of St Edward’s church and published in a book: St Edwards Church by Amy Stinson, published 2018, ISBN: 978-1979341523.