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Can you help solve mystery of Grangetown’s war dead?

HISTORY enthusiasts in Grangetown have traced the stories behind nearly all the names on its World War One memorial but need help to track down the last 17 servicemen commemorated.

For three years Grangetown’s War Memorial Project has been researching new information about the 330 men and women listed on the Grange Gardens memorial.

A total of 330 names are inscribed on the Grange Garden memorial.

A total of 330 names are inscribed on the Grange Garden memorial (credit:www.grangetownwar.co.uk).

All but 17 of the 330 names have now been traced so Grangetown Local History Society can commemorate them individually 100 years to the day when they died.

If you would like to help the society fill in the gaps for those last men, their names are at the end of this article.

Steven Duffy, 51, from North Grangetown, has been involved with the project since it started.

“The Grangetown memorial has 330 names engraved on it, in Grange Gardens. Our research started there. The idea was to get people talking and then they would send more details,” he said.

The society combed through Commonwealth grave records, birth and death certificates, service records and census data. Members also delved into the archives of local newspapers such as the South Wales Echo, going back to copies dated from 1914 to 1920, searching for clues among the obituaries.

The society has also relied on invaluable contributions from the people of Grangetown who have supplied audio interviews, photographs, maps and lists of the dead sorted by name and street.

They have also identified around 140 Grangetown names which did not appear on the memorial. Mr Duffy explained: “Not everyone knew about the memorial funding in the 1920s. The names are set in stone, but ar not perfect by any means.”

The project has produced this map pinpointing the addresses of the fallen soldiers

The project has produced this map pinpointing the addresses of the fallen soldiers (credit: www.grangetownwar.co.uk)

The confusion which must have existed following the war is exemplified by the story of Trooper Alf Norman, whose name appears on the Grangetown memorial, despite having survived both World War One and World War Two.

At least 11 sets of Grangetown brothers died during the war, while at least 25 people listed in the project died after the end of the war.

The first Cardiff man to die in the war was Royal Navy stoker William Welton, 19, of Somerset Street, whose ship was hit in the North Sea while mine clearing on August 6, 1914.

The youngest recorded death is that of assistant cook Oliver William Joseph, 14, who lived in North Clive Street. His ship was sunk by a German submarine on July 7, 1918.

Robert Payne, 61, who lived in Bromfield Street, was the oldest death recorded. He served as a “donkeyman”’ in the Merchant Navy. His ship was sunk by a German submarine on July 18, 1916.

Lord Ninian Edward Crichton-Stuart, 32, was the only Welsh MP to be killed in World War One. He was killed leading the 6th Welsh Battalion into action on 2 October 1915.

Two women from Grangetown were also killed in the war. Catherine Annie Miller, 27, lived in North Clive Street. She was a civilian worker with Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps when she died of pneumonia on July 29, 1920. She was the last World War One casualty to be buried in St Pol-sur-Ternoise cemetery.

Elsie Gibbs, 16, lived in Dorset Street. She was a civilian munitions worker killed on July 1, 1918 at a factory in Nottinghamshire.

If you have any information on the names below, family details or photos of descendents, please email Grangetown Local History Society or search Twitter for @grangetownww1. Or find out more at the Grangetown War website.

  • ALLAN, Thomas On St Patrick’s RC Church plaque
  • CAVANAGH J Welsh Regiment TWT Royal Engineers Lieutenant
  • CHIPLEN, Frederick
  • COLEMAN, James Mark
  • DE VINE, James Arthur Forrest
  • EVANS, D Welsh Regiment 3rd Battalion Private
  • GULMAN,J Welsh Regiment 2nd Battalion Private
  • HUGHES, S.J Welsh Regiment 13th Battalion Sergeant
  • O’LEARY,W.J Royal Navy H.M.S Vivid Eng Navigator
  • O’REILLY, Richard On St Patrick’s RC Church plaque
  • PAYNE, A Royal Army Service Corps Driver
  • Edward Payne (b 1892, 32 Penhaved St) who may be the same who joined the RASC as a driver, No 174169, re-enlisting in March 1916
  • PRIEST, C Royal Navy H.M.M.S No.7 Stoker – could have been serving on the Q7 ship Penshurst, which was sunk on Dec 25 1917.
  • SHECHAN, I Welsh Regiment 6th Battalion Private
  • SMALLBRIDGE, C Royal Navy H.M.S Warwick
  • SMITH, T A Royal Army Service Corps Driver
  • WALES, T.A.L Royal Navy H.M.S Bellona – poss died at Battle of Jutland 1916
  • YORATH, W Welsh Regiment 9th Battalion Private
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