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.
FREDERICK GEORGE BILLOT
Master, S.S. “Euterpe” (Cardiff), Merchant Navy
Frederick George Billot was born on 3 Jun 1860 in St. Martin, Jersey to George BIllot, a farmer and Ann Elizabeth Billot née Renouf. He served in the merchant navy from 1884 and passed his master mariner qualifications in 1891 in London. He married Emily Jane le Gresley on 12 Oct 1896 in Jersey and they moved to Cardiff shortly afterwards. In 1901 they lived at 86 Mackintosh Place, Roath but by 1911 they had moved to 184 Albany Road, Roath. He was listed in the 1911 Census as being aboard the S.S. Crimdon as Master of the vessel in Roath Dock. In 1914 he had been a joint owner of a small shipping company known as The Channel Shipping Company (Cardiff) Limited. The existence of the company was however short-lived and was taken over by one of the bigger concerns, later known as the Emlyn Line. Frederick Billot was Master of the S.S. “Euterpe”, a 1,522 tons vessel which was en route from Spain to Middlesbrough with a cargo of pyrities. He died on 7 January 1916 aged 56 when the S.S. “Euterpe”, with a crew on board, 20 sunk after hitting a mine or being torpedoed in the North Sea off Hull. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. He is also remembered on the War Memorial tower at St Margaret’s church, Roath, the WWI war memorial plaque at St Edward’s church, Penylan and the Jersey Mercantile Marine Memorial at Jersey Maritime Museum. His son Edward Billot was killed in WWII whilst also serving in the Merchant Navy. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
HAROLD JACKSON BROWN
Sergeant,395th Company Mechanical Transport, Royal Army Service Corps (Service Number 300916).
Harold Jackson Brown was born on 17 Feb 1899 in Leicester, the only child of Jonathon Stirtevant Brown, a commercial traveller in the hosiery trade, originally from Leicester and Alice Brown née Emerson, originally from Belton, Leicestershire. In 1901 his father joined the Imperial Yeomanry and served in South Africa. His father was also later to serve in WWI in the Dorset Regiment. By 1911 they had moved to 1 Deri Road, Pen-y-lan. He attended Marlborough Road Council School and then Cardiff High School from Jan 1911 until Jul 1914. After school, Harold was employed as a motor fitter and driver. He attested in Cardiff on 12 Mar 1917 and was posted two days later to the Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport Reserve Depot, Grove Park, London, as a fitter. He served on the Western Front from 27 Apr 1918 and afterward in the Army of Occupation in Germany until 19 Nov 1919. He then remained in the Army in Britain but suffered from a disability caused by illness or injury and was discharged on 8 Feb 1920. He died on 19 Feb 1921 aged 22 and his death registered in Marylebone, London. His mother applied for his medals in April 1921. Harold Jackson Brown is one of the names recorded on the memorial tower at St. Margaret’s Church, Roath, He is also He is commemorated on the war memorial in St. Edward’s Church, Pen-y-lan and the Cardiff High School war memorial plaque. He is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and his place of burial is currently unknown. His father died in Leicestershire in 1938 but his mother was still living in Deri Road in 1941.
ALBERT EDWARD PERCY BRUCE
Private, 5th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (Service Number: 15944)
Albert Edward Percy Bruce was born on 20 Apr 1896 in Liverpool to Thomas Bruce, a victualler and later a Sea Captain, originally from Hawarden, Flintshire, and Margarite Jane Bruce nee Partridge, originally from Liverpool. In 1901 the Bruce family were living in Seaforth, Liverpool, but shortly after move to Cardiff. In 1902 Edward started to attend Marlborough Road School and the Bruce family are living at 90 Claude Road before later moving to 86 Marlborough Road. At the age of 14 he served a short apprenticeship in the merchant navy including on board S.S.Escrick where he was at the time of the 1911 census. He enlisted in the army in Nov 1914 and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. He was wounded in May 1915 and invalided home but recovered and rejoined his regiment in Aug 1915. He was killed in action on 1 Sep 1916, aged 20, at Delville Wood in part of the Battle of the Somme. At the time he had been a machine gunner with the 5th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. His Sergeant wrote: ‘“He was a Machine Gunner belonging to the section of my platoon, and I can assure you I have lost one of my best men. His section received the thanks of the Brigadier-General for the splendid work they did in breaking up the German attack. He has left a good name behind him, and he will never be forgotten by his pals. He would have had promotion a long time ago, but he preferred to stop as he was.” His grave has not been identified. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He is also remembered on the St Margaret’s war memorial tower and the St Edward’s WWI memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. The CWGC record shows his mother Margarite living as ‘Escrick’, 25 Axminster Road (S.S.Escrick was the name of the vessel he served an apprentice on). His older brother William Peter Bruce is recorded as being a civilian war casualty in WWII in Shanghai, China.
GEORGE THOMAS DUPE
Pioneer, No.1 Special Company, Royal Engineers (Service Number: 129758)
George Thomas (Tom) Dupe was born on 21 Sep 1895 in Cardiff to John Stowell Dupe, a wholesale tobacconist, originally from Evercreech, Somerset, and Mariah Hannah Dupe ne Phillips. Tom was one of 12 children and in 1901 the family were living at 38 Moy Road. By 1911 they had moved to 279 Albany Road. Tom was baptised at St Margaret’s church, Roath, on 9 May 1908 along with 7 of his siblings. After leaving school he was employed by Messrs Spillers and Bakers, the flour manufacturers. He served as a Pioneer in the Royal Engineers and was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele on 24 Sep 1917 aged 22. Tom was originally buried at the Oost Dunkerke Bains Military Cemetery before reburial at the Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery in Belgium (plot VIII.A.3). He is remembered on the St Margaret’s War Memorial tower and the St Edward’s War Memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
WILLIAM ALFRED ELLEMENT
Sergeant, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (Service Number: 7743)
William Alfred Ellement was born on 14 Dec 1885 in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, to George Henry Ellement, a labourer originally from Mill End, Herts and Lucy Ellement née Reed, originally from Chalfont St Giles, Bucks. After working on a farm when he was young he then became a prison warder. In the 1911 census he was working and living at Chelmsford Prison in Essex. In 1912 he marries Susan Alice Cornish in Kensington, London. The following year they appear to have moved to Cardiff for there is a newspaper report from Aug 1913 describing how Warder Ellement discovers a suicide victim one morning at Cardiff Gaol. He joins the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and becomes a Sergeant but is killed in action on 8 Jan 1915 aged 29 on the Western Front. His body was not recovered and he is remembered on the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres (panel 31-33). He is remembered on the WWI memorial at St Edward’s the Confessor church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. It is not currently known where he and his wife Susan lived in Cardiff. In the 1939 register Susan A Ellement is living in Taffs Well. She died in 1955 aged 74. 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 née Griffin 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.
JOHN HENRY HAWKEN
Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 56566)
John ‘Jack’ Henry Hawken was born in 1890 in Cardiff to John Hawken, a carpenter and joiner originally from Camborne, Cornwall and Emma Hawken née Jewell originally from Cardiff. He was baptised at St German’s church on 2 Jan 1891. In the 1891 census the family were living at 14 Gwendoline Street, Splott. His mother died in 1900 when he was just 10 and in 1901 the family had moved in with his grandparents at 10 Thesiger Street, Cathays. His father died in Torquay in 1908 and in 1911 Jack is boarding in David Street, Canton and working as a stereotyper for the Western Mail. When he enlists on 1 Nov 1915 with the 7th Welsh Regiment (cyclists) when he was living at 8 Victoria Park Ave E in Canton. He later transferred to the 2nd Battalion Welsh Regiment. He went to France in Jul 1916 and served on the Western Front and was wounded by shellfire in Aug 1917 and treated in a military hospital. He returned to the front in Jan 1918 but was killed in action on 21 Mar 1918 in Belgium aged 28. He is buried in the Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery near Ypres (grave IV. D. 20). In his Will he leaves his effects to ‘his mother Mrs Thomas Mathias of 8 Victoria Park Ave E’, appearing he was adopted by that family. He is remembered on the Western Mail roll of honour and the St Edward’s and St Anne’s war memorial plaques. His inclusion on the St Edward’s memorial was probably arranged by his Uncle who lived at 62 Kimberley Road. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
EDWIN STEVENS HOOPER
First Engineer, S.S. Portloe
Edwin Stevens Hooper was born in Bristol in 1859 to Edwin Hooper, a mariner, originally from Ilfracombe, Devon, and Elizabeth Hooper, née Stevens, originally from Poplar, London. The Hooper family moved to Penarth and were living at Ivy Cottage in 1871 when Edwin was 11. His father became Deputy Docks Master but died in 1884 and is buried at St Augustine’s church. Edwin married Annie Davies at St Margaret’s church, Roath on Apr 17 1899. On the marriage certificate his occupation is stated as marine engineer and he was living at Copstone House, Penarth. Annie lived at the time at 20 Wellfield Road and was daughter of Thomas Davies, a butcher. After marrying they lived at 9 Wellfield Place, Roath. They had two daughters, Phyllis Nancy Hooper (b.1903) who went on to become a doctor, and Margaret Doreen Hooper (b.1908) who went on to become a dentist. Edwin served in the maritime navy and was drowned on 20 Apr 1917 aged 57. He had been First Engineer onboard the S.S.Portloe which was sunk by a torpedoed 160 miles WNW off Fastnet, Ireland, with the loss of 24 lives. The SS Portloe had been carrying a shipment of phosphate from Algeria to Scotland. Edwin is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London. He is also remembered on the St Margaret’s War Memorial Tower and St Edward’s WWI War Memorial plaque (in both cases his middle name was incorrectly transcribed as Stephen). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
LIONEL RANDOLPH JAMES
Flight Sergeant, 3rd Aircraft Repair Depot, Royal Air Force (Service Number: 16693)
Lionel Randolph James was born on 20 Nov 1884 in Dowlais, Glamorgan to Edward Henry James, a steel work’s accountant originally from Moylegrove, Pembrokeshire and Elizabeth James née Jones, originally from Disserth, Radnorshire. In the 1891 census the James family were living in 12 Morlais Street, Dowlais. Soon after they moved to 24 Stacey Road, Roath and Lionel attended Stacey Road School. In Sep 1894 he moved on to Howard Gardens School. After leaving school in Mar 1896 he worked as a mechanical engineer draughtsman at the steel works. He enlisted in the army on 17 Dec 1915. He later transferred to the RAF on 1 Apr 1918. He died at home of pneumonia whilst on leave on 28 Feb 1919 in Cardiff aged 33. He is buried in Cathays Cemetery (plot J 124B). He is remembered on the Howard Gardens High School War Memorial, the St Margaret’s War Memorial Tower and the St Edward’s War Memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Grave Commission record.
JAMES FRANCIS JOHNSON
Private, 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 203387)
James Francis ‘Frank’ Johnson was born on 22 May 1880 in Cardiff to Martin Johnson, a mariner and water clerk, originally from Norway, and Jane Johnson née Elsworth, originally from Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland. He was baptised in St John the Baptist church on 4 Jul 1880. In 1881 and 1891 the Johnson family lived at South London Place in the Docks. By 1901 the Johnson family had moved to 14 Pen-y-Peel Road, Canton and Frank was working as a shipowner’s clerk. In 1909 he married Angelina Charlotte Castelli, originally from Cork, Ireland. They lived at 11 Waterloo Road, Pen-y-lan and went on to have three daughters; Ester, Maud and Angela (baptised at St Margaret’s church). In WWI Frank Johnson served with the 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He died of influenza following wounds on 12 Jan 1919, aged 38, in Salonika, Greece. He is buried at Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery (plot 625). He is remembered on the St Margaret War Memorial Tower and the St Edward War memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
JAMES HAROLD JONES
Air Mechanic, Depot, Royal Flying Corps (Service Number: 65778)
James Harold Jones was born on 6 Aug 1891 in Cardiff to James William Jones, a brewer, originally from Cardiff and Hannah Jones née Rees, also originally from Cardiff. James’s mother died when he was young and in 1901 he was living at 134 Newport Road with his grandmother, father and aunt but later that year his father also died. James attended Cardiff High School for Boys and in 1911 was living with his aunt and uncle at 29 Mafeking Road and working as an apprentice at a Motor Works. On 17 Apr 1914 he married Alice Elizabeth Williams at St Margaret’s church giving his occupation at the time as an electrician. They went on to live at 79 Canada Road, Gabalfa. James served as an Air Mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps. He died on 16 May 1917 aged 25 at Aldershot Military Isolation Hospital. His body was returned to Cardiff and buried at Cathays Cemetery on 22 May 1917 (plot J. CE. 1206). He is remembered on the St Margaret’s War Memorial tower and the St Edward’s War Memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
EMMANUEL COMBY LAVERICK
Master, S.S.Holmtown, Merchant Navy
Emmanuel Comby Laverick was born on 16 Oct 1853 in Redcar, Yorkshire to William Laverick, a hairdresser, originally from Whitby, Yorkshire, and Christina Porteus Laverick née Clark, originally from Redcar. In 1871, aged 17, Emmanuel was living with his uncle in Stockton and was already a mariner. He married Mary Hannah Harrison in 1881 and they went on to have four children together. The family moved to Cardiff in 1895 living at 40 Angus Street, Roath. They later moved to 1 Ilton Road, Pen-y-lan. On 25 Nov 1916 he was Master of the S.S.Emlynverne when it was attacked and sunk by U-Boat-18 but he and the crew survived. He returned to sea and was Master of S.S.Holmtown when it was attacked and sunk of the Devon coast on 6 Feb 1918 with the loss of all hands. His body was found washed ashore at Swanage, Dorset before being returned to Cardiff for burial at Cathays Cemetery (grave CE1811). Emmanuel was aged 64 when he was killed. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His son William Leslie Laverick, also in the Merchant Navy, died in WWI. Both Emmanuel and William are remembered on the St Edward’s War Memorial Plaque and were named on the Mackintosh Institute Roll of honour. The story of Emmanuel and William Laverick is told by Peter Grant, grandson of William, in our Nov 2001 Newsletter.
WILLIAM LESLIE LAVERICK
Master, S.S.Petone, Merchant Navy
William Leslie Laverick (known to family as Leslie) was born in Middlesbrough on 2 Jan 1890 to Emmanuel Comby Laverick, a Master in the Merchant Navy and originally from Redcar, Yorkshire and Mary Hannah Laverick née Harrison originally from Norton, County Durham. The Laverick family moved to Cardiff when William was 5 years old living at 40 Angus Street before moving later to 1 Ilton Road. in 1905, at the age of 15, William followed his father’s footsteps into the Mercantile Marine as ship’s apprentice. Prior to this Leslie had received a very good education and had become fluent in French and Spanish. He qualified as 2nd Mate at the age of 19, and 1st Mate aged 20. He passed his Masters certificate and on 26 Nov 1912 becoming one of the youngest Ships Masters of his time. He married Margaret Amelia Jones in 1913 and they went on to have two daughters. They lived at 7 Senghenydd Place, Cathays. He was Captain of the S.S.Wolf when it was torpedoed in 1916 but the crew survived. The exact circumstances leading up to his death are not known though it is believed he was operating covertly for the French government, and while sailing with a French crew. It is believed the boat he was on was torpedoed by enemy action and sunk. It appears that the survivors were adrift for a long period of time and Leslie contracted pneumonia before being rescued and admitted to hospital at Rouen, where tragically he died on 11 July 1918 aged 28. His body was returned to Cardiff and he is buried in Cathays Cemetery close to his father’s grave who was killed the same year. He is remembered on St Edward’s War Memorial plaque and was remembered on the Mackintosh Institute Roll of Honour (now lost). The story of Emmanuel and Leslie Laverick is told by Peter Grant, grandson of Leslie, in our Nov 2001 Newsletter. Leslie’s name does not appear on a Commonwealth War Graves Commission record as it was decided by the Commission that it could not be established that he died as a direct result or injury caused by enemy action.
BRUCE CARLTON RICHARDS
Lieutenant, 113th Battery, 25th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Bruce Carlton Richards was born in Cardiff on 22 Oct 1890 to David Lloyd Richards, a commercial traveller for a printing and paper company, originally from Cardigan, and Elizabeth Richards née Earl, originally from Cardiff. He was baptised at St John’s church on 11 Feb 1894. At the time of the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census the Richards family lived at 72 Richards Terrace in Roath after which they moved to Courtfield, 156 Newport Rd. He attended Tredegarvillle School then Marlborough Road Primary School before going on to Cardiff high School for Boys in 1904 till 1907. When war broke out, he was employed as a clerk at the Cardiff timber importers Robinson, David and Co. He enlisted in the Territorials in Sep 1914 and served initially as a gunner in the 2nd Welsh Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He applied for a commission in Jan 1915 and joined the Inns of Court OTC at Berkhamsted on 28 Aug 1915. He was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery on 16 Nov 1915 and was posted to Woolwich. He went out to the Western Front on 7 Apr 1916 and served in actions on the Somme, Scarpe, Vimy Ridge and Wytschaete. After a short period of leave in mid-1917, he returned to his unit in the 1st Division and participated in the fighting in the dunes of Flanders. On the 10 Jul 1917, the Germans began an intense bombardment followed by an attack on Nieuport. Whilst acting as a forward observation officer, his trench was caught by heavy shellfire and he was buried for some time. Badly wounded, he was rescued but died shortly before reaching an advanced dressing station. Bruce Richards died of wounds received in the Defence of Nieuport, aged 26, on 10 Jul 1917. He is buried in Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, St. George’s, Belgium (II.D.3). He is also commemorated on the Cardiff High School war memorial, St. Margaret’s Church Roath and St. Edward’s Church Roath war memorials. 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 née 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.
GEORGE FRANCIS WILLIAMS
Private, 4th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (Service Number: 47366)
George Francis Williams was born on 25 May 1890 in Cardiff to Tom Williams, a printing compositor, originally from Weymouth, Dorset, and Lucy Mary Williams nee Clements originally from Stogursey, Somerset. He was baptised at Canton Parish Church on 7 Aug 1890 when the family were living at 15 Market Road. George became a compositor like his father. He enlisted in the army on 4 Jan 1915 and served with the 4th battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. He married Gladys Leonora Phillips at St Luke’s church, Canton on 12 Oct 1915. He left for France on 14 Oct 1917. He was discharged on 24 Jan 1919 on the grounds of ill health. Their daughter Margaret Hannah Lucy Williams was born on 10 Aug 1919 when they were living at 3 Egham Street, Canton. He died three months later on 21 Dec 1919 aged 29 in one of the Red Cross Hospitals on Newport Road, Cardiff. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery (Plot CE. 1247). He is remembered on the Red Cross Memorial tablet at St Edwards church, Pen-y-lan. His wife Gladys was refused a widows pension as they had married after George had enlisted. 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).
Sapper, Inland Waterways and Docks, Royal Engineers (Service Number: WR/552616)
Richard Chambers was born in 1876 though we know nothing of his family background other than he was single. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 11 Sep 1916 and was discharged on 16 Sep 1918. He served as a Sapper in the Inland Waterways and Docks division. His records showed he served abroad which may have been in any number of locations including France, Mesopotamia, Salonika etc. The work of the Inland Waterways and Docks division is explained here. His records show he suffered from VDH (heart disease) and bronchitis. Richard died on 4 Apr 1920 aged 40 at Clyne House Red Cross hospital on Newport Road, Cardiff (his death registration states he was 40 but his pension records state he was born in 1876 making him a bit older). His military pension record shows his address as 36 Maria Street, Docks, Cardiff which in the 1922 Cardiff Directory was a boarding house. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff (Plot EB. 77) alongside two other members of the Royal Engineers. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (The burial record indicates he died at Clyne House Hospital but 24 Shakespeare Street crossed out next to it. This may have been a genuine error or may indicate an address he had connections with e.g. friend, relative or as a boarder. The address was occupied by Patrick Donovan in the 1911 census and 1922 Cardiff directory).
Private, 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service number: 241162)
Frances ‘Frank’ Nash was born in 1882 in Pontlottyn to Frank Nash, an iron worker, originally from Ireland and Ellen Nash nee Murphy, a wardrobe dealer, also originally from Ireland. It appears Frank was mainly raised by his mother and step-father, Michael O’Reily, in Merthyr Tydfil. The 1893 South Wales Daily News records that a boy, Frances Nash, received six stokes from the birch rod for stealing two pigeons from a coop in Penderyn. He married Elizabeth Henderson in Merthyr Tydfil in 1906 and they went on to have two sons Frank and Allan. In 1911 the Nash family were living in Glebland Street, Merthyr and Frank working as a fishmonger. In Aug 1914 he served a couple of weeks in Swansea gaol for drunkenness. He enlisted on 15 Oct 1914 and served with the 15th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. He survived the entirety of the war and was discharged on the grounds of ill health on 4 Mar 1919. He died of cardiac failure on 15 Jul 1920 at Clyne House Red Cross Hospital, Newport Road, Cardiff aged 38. His stepfather, M O’Reily, of 26 Stuart Street, Merthyr Tydfil, was in attendance. Frank’s final resting place is not known. He is remembered on the Red Cross memorial plaque at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff.
JAMES MALONE a.k.a. JAMES TAYLOR
Private, 331st Protection Company, Royal Defence Corps (Service Number: 29942)
James Malone was born in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, Ireland in around 1864 to Michael Malone and Johanna Malone nee Hogan. He emigrated to Liverpool and worked as a waiter. He enlisted with the Royal Lancashire Regiment on 5 Oct 1892 under the name James Taylor (Service Number: 3705) and served 12 years including in India (1894-96) and South Africa (1899-1902). He also served with the Manchester Regiment (Service number: 20113). In WWI he was a Private in the 331st Protection Company, Royal Defence Corps which was based in Newport. He died on 7 Oct 1920 aged 56 at Clyne House Red Cross Hospitals on Newport Road, Cardiff. His address at the time was given as 23 Coomassie Street, Newport. His disabilities at the time were listed as VDH (heart disease), albuminuria and bronchitis and his cause of death was attributed to nephritis and cardiac failure. He is buried at Cathays Cemetery (plot EB 106) and shares a headstone with two other members of the Royal Defence Corps. The headstone refers to James Malone served as 29942 Private J Taylor aged 60. He is unusual in having two Commonwealth War Graves Commission records under the names James Malone and James Taylor. He is remembered on the Red Cross memorial plaque at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. His pension records name his next of kin in 1920 as being Margaret Malone, his sister, in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.
WILLIAM HENRY GRIFFITHS
Private, 14th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (Service number: 44000)
William Henry Griffiths was born in 1899. We don’t know much about his family background other than he was single and lived at 15 Glan Nant, Cwmfelinfach. He served as a Private in a number of regiments including the South Wales Borderers (service number 24365) and the Labour Corps (service number 131677) as well as the 14th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He was discharged on 23 Feb 1919. He suffered from trench feet and VDH (valvular disease of the heart). He died on 15 Jun 1921 aged 21 at one of the Red Cross hospitals on Newport Road, Cardiff. He is remembered on the Red Cross Memorial plaque at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. His final resting place is not known.
Gunner, 47th Anti Aircraft Section, Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number: 43798)
Alfred Edwards was born in 1884. We don’t know a lot his background. He was single and served as a Gunner in the 47th Anti Aircraft Section, Royal Garrison Artillery. His military record shows he lived at 8 School Street, Pontlottyn. He enlisted on 30 Oct 1915 and served in the Balkans. He contracted malaria which led to bronchitis. Alfred left the army on the grounds of ill health and was awarded a pension that commenced on 24 Jan 1919. It appears he never recovered and he died on 18 Oct 1921 aged 36 at Clyne House Red Cross Hospital, 132 Newport Road, Cardiff of pneumonia and syncope. His profession on his death certificate is stated as collier. (His death was certified by Dr J.J.E.Biggs, the Cardiff rugby player who went on to become Lord Mayor of Cardiff in 1922). Alfred Edwards is remembered on the Red Cross memorial tablet at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff.
THOMAS JOHN CANTON DAVIES
Private/Aircraftman, Royal Air Force (Service Number: 234661)
Thomas John Canton Davies was born on 21 Mar 1899 in Ystradyfodwg, Rhondda Valley, the only child of William Davies, a coal miner originally from Roch, Pembrokeshire and Eleanor Davies nee Canton originally from Llan Mill, Pembrokeshire. In 1911 the Davies family were living at 112 William Street ,Ystrad. When he enlisted in the Royal Navy Air Service on 1 Aug 1917 he gave his occupation as a school teacher. His records appear to show he was based with Squadron A at Dunkirk. He transferred to the RAF on 1 Apr 1918. He was medically discharged on 13 Feb 1919 with his disability quoted as nephritis (kidney disease). He died on 21 Oct 1921 at Clyne House Red Cross Hospital, 132 Newport Road, Cardiff aged 22 with the cause of death on his death certificate stated as chronic nephritis (3 years). His mother Eleanor was present at his death. He is buried at Trealaw Cemetery. He is remembered on the Red Cross Memorial at St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff.
RICHARD HENRY REES
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.
EDITH MAY BEESTON
Sister, Red Cross Hospital, Cardiff
Edith May Beeston was born in Lower Machen in 1893 to George Beeston, a stonemason, and Emma Sarah Beeston née Burges, both originally from Machen. We know little about Edith other than she joined the Red Cross hospital in Cardiff on 10 Sep 1917 and died on 1 Jul 1918 aged 25. A family notice in the Western Mail refers to her having died at Lower Machen. She is remembered on the Red Cross memorial in St Edward church, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. On the plaque she is referred to as Sister Edith Beeston. It is likely she was working at the Clyne House hospital or the St Pierre hospital, Newport Road, Cardiff, as those are the hospitals mentioned on the memorial. She is buried at St Michael parish church in Lower Machen in the same plot as her brother Frederick who died in 1912.
St Edward’s WWII war memorial
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.
BARBARA SARAH WATKIN WILLIAMS
Aircraftwoman 1st Class, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (Service Number: 883075)
Barbara Sarah Watkin Williams was born on 29 Jul 1922 in Cardiff in to Thomas Baker Williams, an auctioneer, originally from Marshfield, Monmouthshire and Annie Maud Williams née Williams originally from Treorchy, Rhondda. The Williams family lived at 18 Ninian Road, Roath Park. Barbara joined the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce in 1939. She died on 20 Jun 1940, aged 17, as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident at Temple Bruer, Lincolnshire. She was in a car with two RAF pilot officers on the Lincoln-Sleaford road during the black-out when it was involved in a head-on collision with a truck. All three occupants were killed. She is buried at Cathays Cemetery (plot O.1107). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. She is remembered on the war memorials at St Edward’s and St Martin’s church. Barbara’s elder sister Betty married British Heavyweight Boxing champion Jack Petersen at Marshfield in 1935. Barbara had been a bridesmaid at the wedding attended by hundreds of people and enthusiastic onlookers. Her grave at Cathays Cemetery is adjacent to that of Jack Petersen.
St Anne’s Memorials
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.
CARYL STEWART WITCHELL
Corporal, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (Service Number: 11337)
Caryl Stewart Witchell was born in Cardiff on 21 Nov 1897 to Joseph Witchell, a haulier, originally from Bristol and Jane Witchell nee Wales, originally from Kenfig Hill, Glamorgan. The Witchell family were living at 42 Elm Street at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census. Caryl attended Croft Street National School before moving on Albany Road School in 1905. In 1911, at the age of 13, he is both attending school and a pert-time butcher’s assistant. He enlisted in Cardiff and went to France where he served s a Corporal with the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. He was killed on 30 Sep 1915 at the Battle of Loos aged 17. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial (Panel 35 to 37). He is also remembered on the St Ann’s war memorial plaques which were originally on the pulpit at St Anne’s and are now at St Edward’s. He is also named on a Roll of Honour the origin of which is not yet known. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.
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.
The information on the people on the memorials is also available on the church website as well as the Roll of Honour website.