Western Mail Roll of Honour

The Western Mail Ltd Roll of Honour is in store at the National Museum of Wales (Picture credit: National Museum of Wales)

The names recorded on the WWII War Memorial plaque are at the foot of this page.


Gunner, 10th Battalion. 147th Brigade. H.Q. Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 25796)

ernest-george-burnell-1Ernest George Burnell was born in 1897 in Cardiff to John Burnell, a grocer, originally from Bampton, Devon and Elizabeth Burnell nee Lee originally from Cardiff. In 1901 the Burnell family were living at 5 Romilly Crescent, Canton and in 1911 they were at 93 Llandaff Rd. After leaving school Ernest worked as a reader at the Western Mail before enlisting.  He served with the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner.  He was killed in action on 22 April 1917 aged 20 on the Western Front.  Buried at Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France (grave I.F.5.). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Private, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23600)

Percy Butt Percival Sidney Butt was born in Bath, Somerset in 1899 to Fanny Elizabeth Butt, originally from Hampshire.  She married Abraham Rein, a mariner, in Cardiff in 1912. It seems likely that Percy lived with his mother and Abraham in Bedwas Steet, Grangetown. He worked in the monotype department at the Western Mail.  He enlisted in Cardiff and served with the 16th battalion Welsh Regiment.  He was killed in action on 31 July 1917. He is remembered on the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres, Belgium. He is also remembered in the Bath war memorial and on the headstone of his mother’s grave in Lansdown cemetery, Bath. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Captain, 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment

Captain Dan Davies

Daniel Davies was born in 1885 in Llanelly, Carmarthenshire to Herbert Davies, a commercial traveller, originally from Talley, Carmarthenshire and Mary Davies nee Jones also from Talley.  At the age of 15 he was already working as a print compositor. In 1897 he married Ellen Ann David in Llanelly.    In 1901 we find Dan living with his elder brother William Davies in St John’s Crescent, Canton.  Dan Davies worked as a linotype operator at the Western Mail.  His bother William Davies was editor of the Western Mail and was later Knighted.  In 1911 Dan and Ellen were living at 169 Inverness Place, Roath.  They had nine children together, four of whom died in infancy.  He enlisted with the Kings Royal Rifles at the outbreak of WWI but soon transferred to the Welsh Regiment where he was a machine gun officer.  He had been in the territorial’s and was renowned for his excellent shot.  At Mametz Wood half his men fell.  He had good fortune for a time with one day a bullet grazing his hand and another day a bullet taking the skin off his nose.  He was invalided home at one stage but later returned to the front.  He died on 10 Sep 1917 aged 42 at the 131 Field Ambulance station in Belgium from wounds received in action.  He is buried at the Bard Cottage Cemetery in Belgium (grave IV.H.1). The Western Mail published his last letter home, written two days before he died and describes capturing two German soldiers and having his Cook, who spoke German, question them.  His obituary said he would be much missed in Welsh football circles. His son Horace Dudley Davies served in the Welsh Guards in WWI. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Private, 21st Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Service Number: 51537)

Henry ‘Harry’ George Christopher Dimery was born at 134 Cairn St, Cathays in 1897 to Henry George Christopher Dimery, a wood machinist in a joinery works, originally from Cardiff and Mary Sarah Dimery nee Thomas originally from Newport. In 1901 the Dimery family were living at 71 Coburn Street and in 1911 they had moved to 25 Harriet Street, Cathays and later 46 Dogfield Street. On leaving school Harry worked as a reader at the Western Mail.  Harry served with the 21st battalion, Manchester Regiment. The picture of Harry shows him wearing a Liverpool Regiment cap badge so maybe he served with them previously. In October 1917 Harry’s regiment was embroiled in bitter fighting at the battle of Passchendaele in Belgium, during which on the 4 Oct the battalion was involved in an operation to retake Polygone wood. The British army took nearly five thousand casualties that day and the 21 Manchester suffered 34 mortally wounded He was killed in action by a sniper on 4 Oct 1917 aged 21.  Harry has no known resting place and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. He is also remembered on the war memorial plaque at St Andrew’s and St Teilo’s church  and on a plaque at the Western Mail offices.  His family assembled and framed his medals as a tribute to their son.  The framed collection is now on display that the Manchester Regiment museum in Ashton-under-Lyme, kindly donated by Ian Howell.    Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Private, Labour Corps (Service number 128855)

Theodore Dreher picture

Theodore Gottlob Dreher was born on 2 Sep 1891 in Portishead, Somerset to Johann Gottlob Dreher, a watchmaker and jeweller and Maria Karoline Christiane Dreher nee Widmann, both originally from the Wurttemberg region of Germany.  Johann and Maria emigrated to Britain soon after they were married in 1876 and their nine children were all born in the Bristol area, Theodore being the second youngest. His mother sadly died in 1895 when he was just four.   Johann moved the family to Barry where he opened a jewellery business.  Theodore won a scholarship to Barry County School in 1903.  After leaving school he trained as a journalist at the Barry Dock News before joining the Western Mail in Cardiff. His father moved back to Portishead in 1910 but Theodore stayed in Cardiff. In 1911 he is a boarder in Gladstone Road, Barry. In the Western Mail he worked as a junior sub-editor and later as the Merthyr and Rhymney representative.   He joined the army in the Army Service Corps in 1916 when he was living in Cathays.  He also served with the Labour Corps.   His health gave way early on and gradually grew worse but he wasn’t discharged until May 1919.  He died in 18 May 1921 aged 29. He moved back to Portishead before he passed away from a ‘long and painful illness’.  A report of his funeral in the paper stated it was attended by his fiancée Miss Doris Ayliffe from Cardiff. This is probably Eveline Doris Ayliffe, Sub Post-Office assistant, who lived at 74 Lisvane Street, Cathays and quite possibly where Theodore was living when he enlisted. He is buried in Portishead.  He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour.



Private, 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers (Service Number: 40096)

Henry ‘Harry’ Field was born in Cardiff in 1898 to Henry Field, a haulier, originally from Marldon, Devon and Mary Field nee Calvert, originally from Crickhowell, Breckonshire. The family lived in the Canton area. In the 1911 census they were living at Chancery Lane and when Harry’s death was reported they were living at 20 Harvey Street.  After leaving school Harry was employed as a machinist at the Western Mail.  He enlisted on 9 May 1916 and initially served in the Monmouthshire regiment before transferring to the South Wales Borderers.  He was killed in action on 6 Jun 1917 on the Western Front in Belgium aged 19. He is buried at the St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Belgium (grave II. N. 12) as well as the Western Mail Roll of Honour.

Harry Field Canton, Cardiff picture and headstone


Gunner, 1st/5th Glamorgan Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery (Service Number: 668)

John Morgan French was born in Lambeth in early 1891 to John William French, a railway guard, originally from Little Baddow, Essex, and Sarah French nee Williams originally from Glamorgan.  In the 1911 census he is living in the family home in Lambeth and working as a compositor.  At some time later it appears he moved to Cardiff and worked for the Western Mail as a compositor.  He joined the 1st/5th Glamorgan Brigade of the Royal Garrison Artillery.  He died of wounds at Richmond Military Hospital In Surrey on 31 Aug 1913 aged 25.  He is buried in Richmond Cemetery (grave Z. 5937).  He is remembered on the Western Mail Ltd Roll of Honour.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  His brother Frederick also served in WWI with the Royal Engineers and was a Corporal.

John Morgan French picture and headstone


Private, C Company,  13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 285314)

George Henry Gifford was born in 1883 in Manordilo, Carmarthenshire to Henry Stuckey Gifford, a coachman and butler, originally from Petherton, Somerset and Balbina Basteracha, a maid, originally from Busturia, Biscay, Spain. George was one of fourteen children born to Henry and Balbina. The Gifford family moved from Carmarthenshire to London, apart from George Gifford who moved to Roath, Cardiff and worked for the Western Mail as a compositor.  He married Amy Matilda Lovell in St Margaret’s parish church Roath in Aug 1911 and they lived at 40 Broadway.  They had two children together, Ernald Henry Gifford born in 1912 and Constance Margaret Gifford born in 1915. George enlisted first with the Monmouthshire Regiment and then transferred to the 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment.  He was killed on 13 June 1918 aged 35, north of Albert, France, near today’s border with Belgium. He is buried at the Varennes Military Cemetery (grave III. G. 13).  He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  His son Ernald also worked in the media business becoming a sports journalist in London.  His parents, Henry and Balbina, were married for seventy years and both lived into their nineties.

George Henry Gifford picture and headstone


Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment and Royal Air Force

Harold Haris, Cathays, Cardiff

Harold Cecil Dustan Harris was born in Cardiff on 19 Jul 1890 to John William Harris, a steam crane driver originally from Cardiff and Elizabeth Griffith Harris nee Lloyd originally from Newport, Pembrokeshire.  They lived at 26, Rhymney Terrace, Cathays and Harold attended Crwys Road school. He was said to be a prominent member of St Andrew’s Bible Class.  He worked for the Western Mail between 1906 and 1914 in the photo-engraving department.   In July 1914 he won the light-weight Wrestling Championship of Wales at Roath Park, already holding the featherweight championship.  He served with the 1st Battalion of the Monmouthshire regiment and the RAF attached to the 53rd battalion of the South Wales Borderers leaving in Feb 1919.  His military records state that he trained at the school of aerial gunnery at Hythe and flew a Farman biplane.  He died of pneumonia on 4 Oct 1919 aged 30 in the Hollywood Officers Hospital near Belfast. The report of his funeral paints a sad picture.  It was found impossible to bring the body home to Cardiff as there was a rail strike underway.  He is buried at Belfast City Cemetery (grave K. 134).  His widowed aged mother was said to be left alone in the house in Rhymney Terrace.  He is remembered on the Western Mail Ltd Roll of Honour.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 56566)

John Henry Hawken headstone

John ‘Jack’ Henry Hawken was born in 1890 in Cardiff to John Hawken, a carpenter and joiner originally from Camborne, Cornwall and Emma Hawken nee 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.

Hollyman A is a bit uncertain.  There were only two men with the name A Hollyman killed in WWI and both happened to be from Cardiff.  Arthur Sydney Hollyman was from Grangetown, son of John and Mary Hollyman.  In 1911 he was a labourer and also a railway worker at one stage and when he signed up he was a cobbler.  He served in the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He died on Oct 1917 aged 34. He is remembered on the Grangetown War Memorial.   The other one is Albert Hollyman (see below).   I am unable to find a record of either Arthur nor Albert working for the Western Mail.  Albert did have a brother, Ivor, who was a printing compositor, so there may well be a link there.  It may be neither Arthur nor Albert but another Hollyman or a typographical error. 


Private, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards (Service Number: 103)

Albert Hollyman, Roath, Cardiff - policeman

Albert Hollyman was born in Scott Street, Temperance Town, Cardiff in 1887 to Frederick Hollyman, a carpenter, originally from Clevedon, Somerset and Ellen Hollyman née Bathe, originally from Cardiff.  His father died when he was just three years old and his mother remarried to Charles Purnell, a stonemason.  In 1901 the combines Purnell/Hollyman family were living in Court Road, Canton.  In May 1906 Albert enlisted in the Grenadier Guards where he served for three years. In 1909 his mother Ellen passed away.  In the 1909 census Albert was living with his brother and his family in Craddock St, Canton and working as a coal trimmer.  Later that year Albert married Gladys Lewis. They went on to have three children, Edna May (b.1912), William Albert (b.1913) and Douglas Haig (b.1917).  He joined the Cardiff City Police in Mar 1913 but at the outbreak of WWI he was recalled to his old regiment and transferred to the Welsh Guards in Feb 1915. He served on the Western Front.  In Oct 1918 he was admitted to the 26th General Hospital in Etaples, France where he died of pneumonia on 21 Oct 1918 aged 32.  He is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery (grave  LXVII. K. 14).  He is remembered on the Cardiff Police Memorial plaque. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His widow and children lived at 63 Treharris Street.


Lance Corporal, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23217)

Willliam Howell name being added to the Cowbridge War Memorial

Cowbridge War Memorial

William Howell was born in 1891 in Cowbridge to Thomas Howel,l a licensed victualler, originally from Welsh St Donats and Elizabeth Howell née Price, originally from Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire.  Thomas was born at The Three Boars Heads inn at 25, High St, Cowbridge (now Greggs), which was being run by his widowed grandmother, Catherine Howell, and had been run by the family since 1871.  William’s father Thomas took over running the pub in 1894, but he died just a few years later and his mother Catherine stepped in. The family, including William, were still living in and running The Three Boars Heads in 1901.  William was educated in Cowbridge and left home for work in his mid teens, and in 1911 was living with his aunt and uncle at 10 Lead Street, Adamsdown. He was working as a printer’s compositor.  Given the W Howell on the Western Mail Roll of Honour it seems likely that he worked for or trained at the newspaper at some stage in his career. He enlisted in the Welsh Regiment fairly early in the war and entered France in December 1915.  He died on 7 July 1916 at Mametz Wood, Somme, France, aged 25. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He is also a relatively new addition to the Cowbridge War Memorial.  He is also likely to be the W Howell on the Western Mail Roll of Honour to those who served and fell in WWI.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  


Gunner, 121st Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry),  (Service Number: 125585)

Idwal Humphreys headstone Llanelli

Idwal Humphreys headstone at Llanelli. Photo  credit:J D Davies, historian and author

Idwal Humphreys was born in Llanelly in 1893 to Richard Machno Humphreys, a Baptist minister, originally from Tal-y-bont, Cardiganshire, and Jane Elizabeth Humphreys née  Jones, originally from Llangadfan, Montgomeryshire. As well as being a renowned Baptist minister, his father Richard Machno Humphreys was also a poet, winning the National Eisteddfod crown in 1904, but passed away later the same year. Idwal Humphreys attended Llanelly County Intermediate School.  After leaving school he worked as a journalist in Llanelli before he moved to Cardiff in April 1914 to take up a position as sub-editor at the Western Mail.  He lived with his widowed mother and sister at 19 Shirley Road, Roath Park.  Idwal enlisted in the 3rd Welsh Regiment in Aug 1917,transferring to the Machine Gun Corps in the following Nov. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from Jan 1918 but was taken prisoner at Fleubaix, near Lille on 9 April.  An Army Chaplain (who had himself been prisoner of War) wrote: “I too, loved the Iad. No one could do otherwise.  Still, you may know that his life has not been lived in vain: he gave it for others, for his fellow prisoners. While ill, he continued to fulfil the duty of Interpreter, and helped his companions out of many difficulties. I have seldom met a nobler, truer, or more beautiful type of character than that, your beloved son manifested. One feels that life is all the better because we have known him.” Gunner Humphreys had a good knowledge of French and an aptitude for languages, and was made Camp Interpreter, having learnt German during his internment.  Following the end of the war he was found sick and starving in the German prisoner of war camp. He was repatriated in Jan 1919, but died at King George’s Hospital, London, on the 11th, a few hours after reaching England, of tuberculosis, contracted while a prisoner of war in Germany, aged 25. His mother and sister had been sent for, but before they arrived at the hospital, Idwal, the tall, strong and healthy boy had passed away. The paper reports that his remains were taken to Llanelli where his bones were laid to match that of his father in the Box cemetery. He had the burial of a prince, the congregation reaching over a mile.  He is buried in the family grave (plot 159.2).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  He is remembered on the Calfaria Chapel memorial and Llanelli Grammar School memorial as well as the Western Mail Roll of Honour


Sergeant, 2nd/10th Battalion,. Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 16902)

Stanley Holland Johns grave, Newport

Stanley Holland Johns was born in 1874 in Llantarnam, Monmouthshire to William Nicholas Johns, a newspaper proprietor, originally from Poole, Dorset and Sarah Judith Johns née Liddington originally from Chalford Vale, Gloucestershire.  He followed his father into the newspaper industry and became a journalist.  He married Edith Eliza Mansell Weeks in Newport in 1901. In 1911 they were living in Manchester and Stanley had been appointed editor of ‘The Umpire’.  They had two children together, Stanley Beresford Johns (b.1903. Cardiff) and Lillian Elaine Johns (b.1909. Manchester). They return to Cardiff and he was employed by the Western Mail as a sub-editor. The family lived at  87, Plasturton Avenue, Pontcanna and he enlisted in 1914 in Cardiff. When he died in 1916 he was with the 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment.  He died of illness at the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich, London on the 3 Feb 1916 aged 41. His body was returned to Newport by train and he was buried alongside his parents at St Woolos Cemetery, Newport (plot CON. A. 78. Sec. 1. Grave 6).  The newspaper describes a small funeral for a seemingly private character. He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.


Able Seaman, Hood Battalion,  Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Service Number: Wales Z/752)

David Keene, Cardiff died 1917

David Thomas Keen was born in 1898, probably on Mar 16, to Edward Thomas Keene, a dock boatman, and Elizabeth Jane Keene née Plain, both originally from Cardiff. In 1901 the Keene family lived at 9 Ferry Road. He attended Grangetown Elementary School before going on to work for the Western Mail in the machine department.  In the 1911 census the Keene family are living at Scott Street in Temperance Town. He enlisted in Apr 1915 and was reported as having heart trouble in the summer of that year. His father died in Cardiff in Mar 1917. David rejoined the Hood Battalion but was killed in Belgium on 26 Oct 1917 aged 19. He is buried at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery in Belgium (grave V.A.26). Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. At the time his death was reported in the paper his widowed mother was living at Louisa Street in the Docks.  


Second Lieutenant, 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Harry Lawson Pickard was born in 1886 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire and the eldest of seven children born to John Lawson Pickard, a gardener, originally from Boston Spa, Yorkshire and Jeanettie Pickard née Bell, originally from Lutton, Lincolnshire.  In 1891 the Pickard family were living in Bingley, Yorkshire and later moved Aberystwyth where his father took up a position as a lecturer of horticulture at Aberystwyth University.  In 1901 Harry was working as a chemist’s errand boy in Aberystwyth before he moved into journalism.  In 1911 he is boarding in Dublin, Ireland and working as a sub-editor. He then moved to Cardiff and started work for the Western Mail.  When he married Phoebe Crosier, a nursing Sister from Stretford, Manchester at St Andrew’s church in Cardiff on 15 Jun 1912 he was living at 31 Crwys Road, Cathays. They had two children together, George Lawson Pickard (b.1913) and Margaret Myfanwy Pickard (b.1916).  The 1914 Cardiff Directory shows H.L.Pickard, journalist, living in Fidlas Road, Llanishen.  After enlisting in the army he served with the Welsh Guards on the Somme before being attached to the 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers where he served as a 2nd lieutenant.  He was killed in the attack to capture the high ground east of Selle on 20 Oct 1918 aged 32. He is buried St Aubert British Cemetery, France (grave I. B. 20.). He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross on 10 Nov 1918, the citation of which reads as follows: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and leadership and devotion to duty during an operation near Bois du Biez on Sept 30 1918. During the attack he led his platoon with great dash, and though early wounded he continued at duty and remained in charge of the outpost line until his company was relieved 18 hours later. His fine conduct had an inspiring effect on his men’.  He is remembered on the Llanelli War Memorial, the war memorial plaque at St Isan’s church Llanishen, and the Western Mail Roll of Honour. His address on his death notice in the newspaper is given as 32 Soberton Avenue, Heath. A piece in the Western Mail from 26 Nov 1918 records how he had written to a friend requesting to be considered for membership of the Carmarthen Antiquarian Society the day before he died.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.   Harry’s son, George Lawson Pickard, studied Physics at Oxford on a scholarship for the sons of WW1 casualties, graduating in 1937 with a D.Phil. During WW2 George served as a Scientific Officer with the British Air Ministry. His work on infra-red detection and bombsight design contributed to anti-submarine attack techniques and the Dam-Busters attacks on the Ruhr Dam. In 1946 he was awarded an MBE for his contributions to the war effort. He later emigrated to Canada where he became a Professor at the University of British Columbia and pioneer in the development of physical oceanography.  He passed away in 2007 aged 93. In recent years, Harry’s granddaughter, Dr Ann McAfee, has donated his Military Cross to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum.

Harry Lawson Pickard picture and meda and headstone


Private, “C” Company. 10th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) (Service Number: 74189)

Leslie Harold Rees was born in Cardiff in 1897 to John Rees an engine fitter, originally from Merthyr and  Emma Rees née Lyne, originally from Newport.  He was baptised at St John the Baptist church on 11 Jul 1897 when the family were living at 11 Penhevad St. The Rees family had moved to 33, Corporation Rd, Grangetown by 1901 and were still living there when Leslie signed up in Apr 1916 aged 19 to the Welsh Regiment giving his profession as clerk, probably at the Western Mail. He later joined the  Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment).  He died 21 April 1918 aged 21 on the Western Front in France. He had no known burial place but is remembered on the Poziers Memorial in France. He is also remembered on the Grangetown War Memorial and the Western Mail Roll of Honour.  Commonwealth War Graves Memorial record.


Private, 14th Battalion, Welsh Regiment  (Service Number: 57296)

Launcelot Bridges Shipton headstone

Launcelot Bridges Shipton was born in Marianna, Florida, USA on 4 Oct 1889 to Richard Frederick Martin Shipton, an accountant, originally from Clifton, Gloucestershire and Julie Henrietta Shipton née Hill, originally from Bristol.  The Shipton family returned from Florida and were lived in Cardiff in 1901.  He was educated at Monkton House school.  In 1911 they lived at 37 Deri Road, Pen-y-lan and Launcelot worked as an accountant with the Western Mail. He joined the 7th (cyclist) battalion of the Welsh Regiment in Dec 1915 before transferring to the 14th battalion where he was employed as a runner. He served in France and Flanders from Jul 1916.  He died at No 54 Casualty Clearing Station on 18 Oct 1917 aged 28 of wounds received in action the previous day. He is buried at the Estaires Communal Cemetery Extension (grave  V. B. 15).  He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. (As an aside, his niece, Dr Margaret Shotton, Consultant Obstetrician,  delivered Britain’s first sextuplets at Birmingham’s Maternity hospital in 1968.)


Gunner,  “A” Battery, 104th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Service Number: 138295)

Alan Vernon Staniforth was born on 1 Jan 1898 in Canton to Ernest Staniforth, a joiner, and Edith Margaret Staniforth nee Thomas, a tobacconist, both originally from Cardiff. Alan was baptised at Canton parish church on 27 Jan 1898 when the family were living at 44 Pembroke Road, Canton.  By 1911 they had moved to 42 Tudor Road. He was a pupil at Canton Secondary School before he joined the reporting staff of the Western Mail in 1913. The paper reported that he had a bright and sunny disposition that won him universal popularity.  He joined up on his eighteenth birthday in 1916 and went to France in 1917. He was killed in action when a shell landed at the entrance to the telephone dug-out where he was stationed as a signaller.  He died on 24 Jun 1917 aged 19.  He is buried at the Perth Cemetery (China Wall) south west of Ypres, Belgium (grave I. G. 28).  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  (He does not appear to be related to Joseph Morewood Staniforth who was the Western Mail cartoonist during WWI).

Alan Vernon Staniforth picture and headstone


Lance Corporal, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 23968)

William Sulley, Welsh Regiment and Westen Mail LtdWilliam Edwin Sulley was born in Cardiff in 1895 to Frederick Robert Sulley and Annie Sulley née Prosser originally from Cardiff. His father died when he was just twelve.  In 1911 the Sulley family are living at 15 Raven Street in Temperance Town, where the BBC headquarters is now outside Cardiff Central station.  Willie was 16 and working as a hairdresser.  He later joins the staff of the Western Mail Ltd and is employed in the foundry.  He served with the 16th (Cardiff City) Battalion, Welsh Regiment and is promoted to Lance Corporal.  William died on 27 August 1917 aged 21 on the Western Front at Ypres.  He is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium.  He is also remembered on the Western Mail Roll of Honour though the surname is mis-spelt as Dully.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.  His brother Walter Grant Sulley served with the RAMC, was injured and was taken prisoner of war in Mar1918.  He survived and died in Cardiff in 1977 aged 80.


Private, 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Service Number: 32744)

Fred James White, Western Mail, Cardiff

Fred James White was born in Cardiff in 1898 to John William White, a printer’s stereotyper, originally from Ely, Cardiff and Olive Jane White nee Baker, originally from Cardiff.  In 1901 the family lived at 4 South Morgan Street, Canton and in 1911 they were residing at 68 Wyndham Road, Canton and Fred was attending school.  After leaving school he worked as an apprentice in the machine-room of the Western Mail.  He enlisted and was a member of the 16th battalion of the Welsh Regiment.  He was killed in action on 11 Nov 1917 on the Western Front in France aged 18.  He is buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery near Lille (grave VIII. D. 38).  He is remembered on the Western Mail Roll of HonourCommonwealth War Graves Commission record.


With the original WWI Roll of Honour in storage at the National Museum, a modern version is now believed to be on display at the paper’s office:

New Western Mail Roll of Honour


             1939 — 1945



          STANLEY BAKER                                       EDITORIAL

                HAYDN DAVIES                                         MAINTENANCE

        FRANK JANES                                           DISPATCH

                 BASIL JONES                                             TUDOR WORKS

         THOMAS McCABE                                     EDITORIAL

                     JOHN PUGH                                               PHOTOGRAPHY

             DOUGLAS ROLES                                      DISPATCH

                     LEONARD REES                                        MACHINE ROOM

                        GORDON STACEY                                     ADVERTISEMENT

                        E A SINGFIELD                                          LONDON OFFICE

                        LE THOMPSON                                         LONDON OFFICE

                  BERNARD THOMAS                                 COMMERCIAL

             JOHN TOUHEY                                         EDITORIAL

             GORDON WILLIAMS                                 PUBLICITY

                      ALFRED WOODMAN                                TUDOR WORKS


                                                     THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOR EVERMORE



Aircraftman 2nd Class, 211 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Service Number: 927430)

S J Baker Singapore Memorial

Stanley James Baker was born in Cardiff on 28 Dec 1912 at 40 Habershon Street, Splott to Charles Baker, a stevedore labourer at Spillers Flour Mill, originally from Ilminstrer, Somerset, and Bessie Cozens Baker née Salter, originally from Wellington, Somerset. Stanley was baptised at St Saviour’s Church on 23 Jan 1913. In the 1921 census the Baker family were living at 62 Greenhill Street, East Moors. He went on to attend Howard Gardens High School. In 1936 he married Ellen Agatha MacCarthy who had grown up in the Vulcan public house on Adam Street where her father was licensee. Stanley and Ellen lived at 39 Stacey Road and went on to have two daughters and a son together. Stanley worked on the editorial staff of the Western Mail and Echo as a journalist. On 4 May 1940 he arrived in Liverpool on board the steamship Corrales, with his profession listed as a fireman. He enlisted with the RAF Volunteer Reserve the following month in Uxbridge and served as an Aircraftman 2nd Class with 211 Squadron. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese in Java. He was killed at sea on 8 Nov 1944 on Board Transport 125 as a result of an air raid, aged 31.  He is remembered on the Singapore Memorial at Kranji War Cemetery. He is also remembered on the Howard Gardens High School memorial plaque and listed on the Western Mail Roll of Honour. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.