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January 2018        February 2018        March 2018       April 2018      May 2018



WAR MEMORIAL- BONVILSTON, VALE OF GLAMORGAN

Bonvilston war memorial comprises a Forest stone cross which was erected on the surviving medieval stepped base in St Mary's churchyard; Figure 1.

A new front top step or 'landing stone', also of Forest stone; Figure 2, bears the following inscription between two carved wreaths labelled 1914 and 1918:-


TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GRATEFUL MEMORY OF

ANGUS ALEXANDER MACKINTOSH OF MACKINTOSH. CAPT.

GEORGE GILBERT TRAHERNE. CAPT.

CHARLES L. WYNDHAM WILLIAMS. MIDSHIPMAN. R.N.

DAVID HENRY HIGGINS, SAPPR. HENRY LEONARD THOMAS.  THOMAS HOBBS.

WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES DURING THE GREAT WAR.


In the churchyard wall facing the A48 road a tablet of  Portland stone was erected bearing the names of all those of the parish and district who served.. The original inscription and list of names is now covered by a polished grey granite plaque within the original frame; Figure 3. The inscription and list of names is shown below.

History

In April 1919 Harry Gregory started work on design for the wall tablet and his drawing has survived; Figure 4. Bath and Portland Stone Firms Ltd. supplied stone for the tablet in September and Mirey Stock Quarries of Bristol supplied Forest stone for the cross in November. Work was completed in April 1920. The architectural sculptorW. W. Taylor was responsible for  carving the wreaths on the landing stone and the decoration on the tablet frame. In total the work took about 1,588 man hours. Day works and expenses for the cross and repairs to existing steps came to £95:11:8 and for the tablet, including modification of the wall to which it was fixed, came to £78:18s:6d. The total bill was £195:9s:9d representing an overall profit of about 12%. The cross was unveiled by Mrs. Mackintosh of Mackintosh and dedicated by Bishop Crossley at a memorial service held on Wednesday May 19th 1920.


Day Book and Bill Book records are appended.

THIS MEMORIAL

AND THE RESTORED CROSS IN THE

CHURCHYARD WERE ERECTED BY PUBLIC

SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN  OF

THIS PARISH  AND DISTRICT WHO WENT FORTH TO

SERVE THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR

1914  -  1918.

ANGUS ALEXANDER MACKINTOSH of MACKINTOSH. CAPT.

SAMUEL SEIG, CAPT.

GEORGE GILBERT TRAHERNE, CAPT.

HERBERT  WYNDHAM WILLIAMS, LIEUT. R. N..

CHARLES L. WYNDHAM WILLIAMS, MIDSHIPMAN  R. N.

JOHN REGINALD ENGLAND, LIEUT

THOMAS JOHN GRIFFITHS, LIEUT.

WILLIAM HENRY BASSET,                        

EDGAR COLES, M.M. SERGT.

CHARLES EDWIN DEERE, CORPL.

AUGUSTUS SAMUEL GAINEY, SERGT.

DAVID STANLEY GRIFFITHS, SERGT.

WILLIAM JOHN HIGGINS,

DAVID HENRY HIGGINS, SAPPER.

ERNEST FARR HIGGINS, CORPL.

ALFRED SAMUEL HIGGINS, SERGT.

HENRY JOHN HARRINGTON,

ALFRED HAMMINGTON, CORPL.

FREDEREICK J. HANNINGTON,

THOMAS HOBBS,

GOMER DAVID JOHN, CORPL.





FRONK LUSH, CORPL.

PHILLIP MORGAN'

WILLIAM MANSELL,

SYDNEY G. PRICKETT,                          

EDWIN REES,

ROBERT REES,

JOHN LESLIE REES, CORPL.

MORLAIS G. REES,

DAVID G. ROWSELL,

WILLIAM SAMUEL,

ERNEST ALFRED TAYLOR, SERGT.

EDWARD J. THOMAS,

HENRY LEONARD THOMAS,

PERCY JOHN THOMAS,









March 2018   The Llangedwyn war memorial

The war memorial inside the parish church of St Cedwyn, Llangedwyn, Powys, is an unusual piece of Arts-and-Crafts design. A central brass panel with the names and dates of death of the men of the parish is surrounded by a wooden frame carved with foliage, flowers, fish  and symbols of the Zodiac. At the top is a gilded Cross of St Chad. (Llangedwyn is in the diocese of St Asaph, but very near the border with the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, whose arms include the Cross of St Chad.) Below this is a lattice, a dove with an olive branch and the Welsh motto ‘Gwell angau na chwilydd’ (Better death than dishonour). Emblems of peace are combined with a warlike motto.


The design of the war memorial is credited to a local man, John Haughton Maurice Bonner. A local landowner,  from Bryn-y-Gwalia, one of the larger houses in the parish, he is probably better known as a designer of jewellery. He first trained as an architectural draughtsman, then moved on to study with Henry Wilson at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. From 1905, he was head of the metal workshop at the Artificers' Guild before setting up his own metalwork, jewellery and stained glass, mosaic and sculpture studio with his wife, Nancy Agar, in 1908.

Although his work was mainly based in London, Bonnor designed a number of memorials at Llangedwyn, including the memorial cross for the Wynn family. He would have been the obvious person to ask to design a war memorial for the parish, but he himself died (probably of tuberculosis) in 1917. It is not impossible that the parish could have been considering a memorial by that date. The scale of local losses had already led many parishes to begin assembling rolls of honour. Annual commemorative events were held on the anniversary of the outbreak of war, and by 1916 some communities had constructed ‘war shrines’, temporary wooden structures with rolls of honour and vases for flowers. It is possible, therefore, that Bonnor had at least done some preliminary designs for the Llangedwyn memorial, though in the event it was completed at his workshop under his wife’s leadership.


Many thanks to Phil Hellin for the photograph and for much of this information.

The memorial is in the Imperial War Museum’s database of war memorials: http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/17788

The church also has a framed Roll of Honour http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/17789

http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/17790


For more about Bonner, see ‘John Houghton Maurice Bonnor: A little known designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement’, by Muriel Wilson, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850-the Present, 28 (2004), 108-125.



February 2018


Our commemoration of the end of the First World War continues with another instalment in Mike Statham’s study of war memorials in south Wales. Mike’s main interest is in the design and construction of the memorials. For a slightly different perspective, we look forward to several database projects. There’s one based in Swansea University http://www.livinglegacies1914-18.ac.uk/CommunityResources/CommunityProjects/WelshMemorialstotheGreatWar/ and one led by Powys County Council https://www.powyswarmemorials.co.uk/ . The Wenvoe memorial is unusual in that it lists the names of those who served in the war and returned. The Tongwynlais memorial also lists the names of those who served. At Wenvoe the dead are listed separately, on the central stone, but at Tongwynlais the dead and survivors are all in the same list.


Wenvoe War Memorial


Wenvoe War Memorial is situated in the centre of Wenvoe village, Vale of Glamorgan, at NGR ST 122727. It is located at the north end of a small public park, once the location of the village duck pond, on Old Port Road between the junction with Walston Road and the Wenvoe Arms public house, Figure 1. It comprises a central monolithic stone of roughly rectangular horizontal cross section (approx. 4ft [1.2m] x 2ft [0.6m]) and very approximately 11ft (3.5m) in height, the front (east) face of which bears the inscription:-


‘TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF THE MEN FROM THIS PARISH WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR’

together with their  names (thirteen in  all).

The names of three men who fell in WW2 have been added below the WW1 list.  


The main stone is surrounded by nine large stones of irregular size all about 3ft 3in (1m) in height. Six of these stones bear inscriptions of the 63 men  from the village who served  and survived (one bears names on two of its faces). All the stones are rough, as obtained from the quarry, except the areas bearing the inscriptions and names, which have been dressed. They are composed of Carboniferous Limestone from the Alps Quarry, Wenvoe, doubtless a place where some of the men were, or had been employed. Some of the stones have weathered rather badly exhibiting many cracks and a few of the names are now difficult to read.


The memorial stands in its own grassed enclosure, at the centre of a circular stone-paved area on the periphery of which are nine other irregular shaped limestone boulders inter-spaced at roughly regular intervals. The area can be accessed via a flight of three steps up from Old Port Road which are flanked by walls of limestone boulders and  also via a single low step up from the main area of the park on the south side; Figure 2. Close-up photographs of the front face of the main stone and each of the basal stone faces bearing names are presented in Figures 3 & 4. The names on each stone are listed at the end of this report.


History   

                                              

The memorial was designed by sculptor William Clarke who had retired prior to the start of WW1 and had moved from Llandaff to live at Upper House in Wenvoe. Work commenced 23  May  1919 with William’s son Guy  preparing a sketch for the project. This took 2½ hours, his rate of pay being one shilling an hour. Much of the early work was done on the stones whilst still at the Alps Quarry. The stones were then hauled up to the site where they were erected on a concrete foundation. The job was completed in mid November. Excluding haulage, hire of tackle and equipment and sharpening tools, a total of about 2,455 man hours was spent by Clarke’s workforce. Of this about 38% was unskilled labour at 1/4½ per hour and 20% unnamed masons at 1/7 per hour. Named workers were responsible for the remainder of the work and were paid rates varying from 1/7 to 2/- per hour. Together with the cost of materials, haulage, sharpening tools and hire of tackle and equipment and other incidental expenses day works came to £275:15:6 and a total of £289:11:4 was billed, representing a very modest profit of about 5%. The Day Book entries for the work are appended. An undated newspaper cutting, from an as yet unknown source, found in Clarke’s archive shows a photograph of the memorial.The caption beneath it states that there were 13 names of men who had fallen and 63 who had served, so no names have subsequently been added other than those who fell in WW2. The caption also sums up the appearance of the memorial rather well - “The rugged primitiveness of the whole gives it an impression of nobility”.


Clarke’s  archive also contains photographs of the memorial under construction; Figure 5 and William Clarke siting beside the completed monument in the company of some children; Figure 6. The names that are no longer readable today due to weathering of the lettering can be seen clearly in a enlargement of this photograph.

Clarke’s Account Book for the period 1900-1921 shows that C. D. Thompson was handling the collection of money for the memorial. This was Claude Dudley Thompson, Land Agent for the Wenvoe Castle Estates. Other named contributors who have been identified from the 1911 census are Elvira John of 'Rhua Farm',  Oliver Thomas of 'The Greaves' and the largest single contributor, Mrs Jenner, who was presumably the wife of the  vicar George Herbert Jenner.


Thanks to W  Clarke, Llandaff for access and permission to reproduced material from their archive, which remain their copyright.

(This report  was submitted to CADW, as a result of which the structure is now Grade II listed.)


LIST OF NAMES


THOSE KILLED WW1


ERNEST BIRD

ISAAC CLARKE

WILLIAM C CLARKE

ARTHUR W DAVID

WILFRED H GRAHAM

HERBERT HARDING

ARTHUR HOWELLS

VICTOR D JENKIN

JOHN L MORGAN

JAMES MURRAY

WILLIAM G SEYMOUR

WILLIAM M THOMAS

CYRIL WILLIAMS


THOSE KILLED WW2


HENRY CONDICK

PETER HUGHES

HAROLD JONES


THOSE WHO SERVED IN WW1 AND RETURNED


STONE 1


H. A. W. WATTS

T. WATTS

F. WILCOX

A. WILLIAMS

D. WILLIAMS

H. J. WILLIAMS

I. WILLIAMS

S. WILLIAMS


STONE 2 EAST FACE

M. MORGAN

W. MORGAN

E. J. OAKLEY

E. F. POLLENTINE

J. M. RICHARDS

H. W. R. SCOTT

T. A. SCOTT


STONE 2 NORTH FACE


J. SHEPPARD

W. STREET

C. B. THOMAS

G. THOMAS

J. C. THOMAS

M. L. THOMAS

S. THOMAS

T. C. TOOZE

A. A. TURNER


STONE 3

A. HEAD

C. HEAD

W. H. HEAD

H. HEATH

A. HILL

C. J. HOWELL

C. R. HOWELL

R. F. JENNER

T. C. JENKIN

T. E. JENKIN

E. D. JOHN

I. R. JOHN

A. KENWOOD

F. LEWIS

R. MARTIN

C. F. MORGAN


STONE 4


F. S. FRANCIS

R. J. FRY

W. E. FRY

G. GRAHAM

A.  J. GREATREX

E. J. GREATREX

R. H. GREATREX

T. H. GREATREX

F. HALE


STONE 5


R. COTTRELL

A. H. COX

G. DAVIES

T. DUNN

C. E. EDWARDS

A. E. FISHLOCK


STONE 6


E. ANGELL

T. W. D BENSLEY

E. T. BIRD

G G? BIRD

W. J. BIRD

W. M. BIRD

A. CANNAN

T. CLARKE




































January 2018


Commemorating 1918: war memorials and individual monuments

1918 sees the centenary of the end of the First World War. The huge scale of loss of life in the war led to a number of changes in commemorative practices. We will be marking this anniversary with a series of Monuments of the Month. By 1918, many communities had already started planning memorials to the local dead. Some built community halls. The parish of Moelfre on Anglesey installed street lighting. For most, though, a memorial stone listing the names of the dead was part of the commemoration. We will be featuring several of these in the course of the year. We begin, though, with Jean Wilson’s study of two individual monuments in Norfolk which are in many ways typical of the new restrained style of commemoration.


Loddon, Norfolk: Francis Edward Cadge †1915 at Gallipoli; William Cadge  †1915 at Loos.


The War to end all Wars, which led to the eventual break-up of the Empire, posed enormous problems of commemoration.  Although individual monuments tended to be eschewed in favour of mass commemoration, some families did, nevertheless, choose to put up memorials to their children outwith the community war memorial or Lutyens-inspired restrained and aniconic model. This, from Loddon, Norfolk, commemorates two sons of a local solicitor. The second son (and second to die) had evidently served the Empire, since after leaving Haileybury  (a school designed to produce executives of Empire which had its origins as the school of the East India Company) he went to Ceylon, whence he returned in 1914 and joined up as soon as the war started; the fourth son (but first to die) was evidently a professional soldier - though note that he had served in India and Mauritius. The memorial (whose sculptor I have been unable to discover - no signature is visible) is evidently based on a photograph/ photographs, although the uniforms project over the frame at the bottom, giving the impression that the young men are stepping into the church space. This monument is restrained, but privileges religion, duty and patriotism, while giving a naturalistic representation of the deceased: we know what these young men look like, they invade our consciousness as they escape from their frame. This is a monument about sacrifice, rather than triumph. While both brothers have their names inscribed on the memorials at Gallipoli & Loos, no grave location is given in either case: they do indeed embody the sentiments of Brooke's The Soldier - a corner of a foreign field that is forever England. This may have fed into the parents' decision not simply to commemorate them, but to make such a point of their presence. And, of course, this is a propagandistic memorial: these are ordinary young men, known to and no doubt recognised by the congregation in their local church, who can only be with them as 'social bodies' because they have done their duty & died.