St Margaret’s War Memorial Tower

The bulk of the war memorials for the Roath parish are housed in neighbouring St Edwards church on Blenheim Road.   The tower in St Margaret’s Church is however a dedicated war memorial in itself.  The roll of honour has been carved into a pillar of the tower that was completed after the Great War.  It dates from 1926. 

st margarets tower war memorial dedication

St Margaret’s, Roath, war memorial tower dedication.

The inscription on the pillar reads:

This tower was completed in Proud Memory

of the Men from St Margarets Church

who fell in the Great War


Their names are:-



Master, S.S. “Euterpe” (Cardiff), Merchant Navy

Frederick George Billot and Tower Hill Memorial

Frederick George Billot was born on 3 Jun 1860 in St. Martin, Jersey to George BIllot, a farmer and Ann Elizabeth Billot nee 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.


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 nee 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.


Private,  5th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (Service Number: 15944)

Albert Edward Percy Bruce portraitAlbert 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.


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 plaqueCommonwealth War Graves Commission record.

George Thomas Dupe portrait and headstone


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.


Flight Sergeant, 3rd Aircraft Repair Depot, Royal Air Force (Service Number: 16693)

Lionol Randolph James headstone 3Lionel 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.


Private, 11th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 203387)

J F JohnsonJames 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.


Air Mechanic, Depot, Royal Flying Corps (Service Number: 65778)

James Harold Jones headstone at Cathays CemeteryJames 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.



Lieutenant, 113th Battery, 25th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Bruce Carlton RichardsBruce 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.









Also remembered in a stained glass window is:


Captain, 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment

Richard ‘Dick’ Jellard Ford was born on 25 Jul 1876 in Swansea to Thomas Ford, a merchant,  originally from Dartmouth, Devon and Matilda Ford née Jellard,  originally from Blackawton, Devon.  It appears he had a tragic childhood.   His mother died whilst giving birth to him or shortly afterwards and was buried on 5 Aug 1876. His father remarried the following Spring to Matilda’s sister, Elizabeth Dimond Jellard, who raised him and his five siblings.  Thomas Ford, his father, was originally a mariner, captaining copper ore vessels to Cuba and alike. He then became a merchant and prominent businessman and Mayor of Swansea.  He died in 1883 when Richard Ford was only seven.  Richard attended Wycliffe school in Gloucestershire before leaving for Texas to work as a rancher.  He returned to home at the outbreak of the Boer War and went out to South Africa with the Imperial Yeomanry division, Kitchener’s Horse. He was involved in a number of engagements including the Relief of Kimberley. He received a commission during the war and transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in Sep 1901. He was promoted to Lieutenant in Feb 1904 and served in West Africa from Dec 1904 to July 1909. On 30 Oct 1912 he married Eleanor Elizabeth Coward at St Margaret’s parish church Roath. Eleanor was daughter of  Phillip Coward, a coal exporter and church warden at Roath. Richard continued his military career with the 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. His regiment was one of the first at the front on the outbreak at the WWI. For six months he was almost ceaselessly in action, taking part in the retreat from Mons and all the chief engagements which followed. In his despatch of Nov. 20th, 1914, Sir John French greatly praised the Worcester’s for their part in the recapture of Gheluvelt. Captain Ford was mentioned in despatches and received the Military Cross for gallantry in leading his company during this action, and by a happy coincidence his decoration was gazetted while he was in England on six days’ leave in the following December. He was killed in action on 9 May 1915 at the Battle of Aubers aged 38. He is buried at Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Fleurbaix, France (grave A.6). A Memorial Service was held at St Margaret’s on 18 May and he is remembered on a stained glass window at the church depicting St Michael and funded by his father-in-law Phillip Coward which was dedicated in Oct 1916. He is also remembered on the war memorial plaque at Wycliffe College Chapel, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  His address at his time of death was given as 1, East Grove, Tredegarville which was the Coward household. His elder brother William Arthur Ford was a Major with the 3rd Welsh Howitzer Brigade, R.F.A.