Church Monuments Society

Wenvoe War Memorial

Wenvoe War Memorial

Month: February 2018
Type: Monolithic Stone  
Era: 20th Century

Visit this monument

Wenvoe Village
Old Port Road
Vale of Glamorgan

More about this monument

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  and one led by Powys County Council. 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. 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:-


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.


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

Those Killed WW2
Henry Condick
Peter Hughes
Harold Jones
James Murray
William G Seymour
William M Thomas
Cyril Williams

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

More photos Click for images and descriptions