A new World Rugby Memorial dedicated to all players who died in the First World War was unveiled in Craonnelle, Aisne, France in September 2017. The Memorial was created and donated by the former French rugby international Jean-Pierre Rives, who is now an acclaimed sculptor. In association with this, a Book of Remembrance is being compiled and it will be available on-line shortly. I have been helping the memorial organiser John Dennison with some of the names, including those of men from Cardiff RFC and other clubs from the Cardiff area.
Unfortunately, there are no players’ names recorded on the Cardiff RFC war memorial; and any club records which may have identified them were probably lost in the flooding of the Arms Park in 1960. During the course of my research, I have so far identified twenty-five Cardiff RFC First XV and Reserve XV players, though there must be many others. However, I have submitted details of these men for inclusion in the Book of Remembrance and it will be possible to add further names as they become available.
The names of two players; one member of the ground staff; and one unconfirmed war casualty have been added to this Roll of Honour since it was first posted.
The details of First XV appearances shown here have been taken from D E Davies’ club history.
Cardiff RFC Roll of Honour
Geoffrey Nepean Biggs. (1 game 1906/7).
Also Bath, United Services, Royal Navy and Somerset. Born Cardiff 12 June 1885. Lieutenant Commander HM Submarine E30 Royal Navy. Killed in action 22 November 1916. Commemorated Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Alan Thompson Watt Boswell. (Reserves).
Also University College Cardiff. Born Dover 3 May 1890. Played amateur soccer and hockey for Wales. Second Lieutenant 108 Squadron Royal Air Force. Killed in action 2 October 1918. Commemorated Arras Flying Services Memorial, France.
James Arthur Balfour Carson (Jimmy). (27 games 1911/12).
Also Blackheath , London Irish and Ulster. Born Larne, Ulster 16 October 1891. Captain Royal Army Medical Corps attached Royal Air Force as a dental surgeon. Died 9 August 1918. Buried Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. .
Charles Bernard Davies. (9 games 1913/14).
Also Llandovery College, Swansea, Caerphilly and Glamorgan. Born Cardiff 5 June 1894. Lieutenant 3rd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Killed in action 9 June 1916. Buried Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, France.
John Robert Collard Dunn. (Reserves).
Also Old Monktonians (later renamed Glamorgan Wanderers) and London Welsh. Born 1885. Second Lieutenant 5th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Killed in action 20 August 1915. Commemorated Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
William Setten Goff (Bill). (34 games 1912/13 – 1913/14).
Also Exeter, Swansea and Devon. Born Exeter 1881. Lieutenant 7th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Military Cross. Killed in action 22 April 1918. Buried Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
George Thomas Harben. (Reserves).
Also Court Road School (Grangetown) and Welsh Schoolboys. Born Grangetown 1895. Private 8th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment. Killed in action 27 August 1915. Buried Voormezele Enclosure No. 3 Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium.
Fred Hine. (44 games 1898/9 – 1902/3).
Also Cardiff Romilly. Born Stratford-on-Avon c1878. Corporal 1st Aircraft Depot Royal Air Force. Died of pneumonia 9 February 1919. Buried Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.
Owen Jenkins. (Reserves).
Also University College Cardiff, Gowerton, Swansea and Abertillery. Born Llangennech 1886. Lance Corporal 15th Company, Machine Gun Corps. Killed in action Somme 5 September 1916. Buried Delville Wood Cemetery, France.
Gwilym Jones. (5 games 1908/9).
Also London Welsh, Neath and Pontypridd. Lieutenant 8th Bn. Lincoln Regiment. Killed in action 10 September 1918. Buried Hermies Hill British Cemetery, France
Nicholas Kehoe (Nick). (Reserves).
Also Pontypridd. Born New Ross, Wexford. Private 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards. Killed in action 26 October 1914. Buried Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium.
Augustus Lewis (Gus). (32 games 1910/11 – 1913/14).
Also Grangetown. Born Pembrokeshire 1889. Lance Corporal 7th Bn. Royal West Kent Regiment. Died of wounds received on the Somme 22 July 1916. Buried Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff.
Harold Alfred Llewellyn. (Reserves).
Also Cheltenham College, Clifton and Cardiff Roxburgh. Born 22 May 1891. Lieutenant 8th Bn. South Wales Borderers. Died accidentally 14 June 1916. Buried Sarigol Military Cemetery, Salonika, Greece.
William McIntyre (Bill). (81 games 1897/8 – 1903/4).
Also Mackintosh. Private 2nd Bn. Welsh Regiment. Born Cardiff. Killed in action Somme 18 July 1916. Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, France.
Frederick William Ovenden. (1 game 1901/2).
Also Old Monktonians (later renamed Glamorgan Wanderers). Born Hythe, Kent 28 February 1881. Private 72nd Bn. Canadian Infantry. Killed in action 3 February 1917. Buried Villers Station Cemetery, France.
William Jenkin Richards. (Reserves).
Also Whitchurch and Old Monktonians (later renamed Glamorgan Wanderers). Born Treherbert 13 December 1883. Captain 16th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Killed in action Third Battle of Ypres 27 August 1917. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
George Robson (1 game 1909/10*).
Also Fettes College, Westoe and Durham County. Born c 1882; from South Shields. Lieutenant 4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. Killed in action Third Battle of Ypres 20 September 1917. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. (Added 11.06.2018)
*Not listed in D E Davies’ club history but press reports confirm he played at least one First XV match v Pontypool 2 October 1909.
Richard Thomas (Dick). (1 game 1904/5).
Also Penygraig, Mountain Ash, Bridgend, Glamorgan Police, Glamorgan and Wales. Born Ferndale 14 October 1880. Company Sergeant Major 16th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Killed in action Mametz Wood 7 July 1916. Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, France.
Alfred Titt. (1 game 1913/14).
Also Cardiff Reserves cap 1913-14. Born Cardiff. Lance Corporal 16th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Killed in action Mametz Wood 7 July 1916. Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, France.
David Westacott (Dai). (120 games 1903/4 to 1909/10).
Also Grange Stars, Penarth, Glamorgan and Wales. Born Grangetown 10 October 1882. Private 2/6th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment. Killed in action Third Battle of Ypres 28 August 1917. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
George Stanley Williams (Stanley). (10 games 1912/13 – 1913/14).
Also Bridgend, Old Monktonians and Glamorgan. Born Bridgend 1890. Lieutenant 16th Bn. Welsh Regiment later posted to 14th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Killed in action 20 October 1918. Buried Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery, France.
John Lewis Williams (Johnny). (199 games 1903/4 -1910/11).
Also Whitchurch, Newport, London Welsh, Glamorgan, Wales and Great Britain (Anglo-Welsh). Born Whitchurch 3 January 1882. Inductee World Rugby Hall of Fame. Captain 16th Bn. Welsh Regiment. Died at Corbie of wounds received at Mametz Wood 12 July 1916. Buried Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Thomas Williams (Tom). (5 games 1895/6).
Also Llwynypia, West Wales (Welsh Trial). Joined the Northern Union and played for Salford, Swinton, Mid-Rhondda and Lancashire. Born Penrhiwfer, Rhondda c1876. Private Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry. Died of enteric fever 17 October 1915. Buried Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. (Added 02.05.2018).
Walter Kent Williams. (20 games 1881/2 – 1884/5).
Also Cardiff Collegiate Proprietary School and London Welsh. Born St. David’s, Pembrokeshire 24 October 1863. Engineer-Captain HMS Bulwark Royal Navy. Killed 26 November 1914. Commemorated Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Walter Young. (2 games 1906/7).
Born in Penarth. Sergeant 2nd Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment. Killed in action 4 October 1916. Buried Struma Military Cemetery, Salonika, Greece.
Arms Park Ground Staff
Alfred Ernest Herbert Bates.
Born Cardiff 1886. Private 1st Bn. Royal West Kent Regiment.Killed in action 4 October 1917. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. (Added 19.02.2019).
Unconfirmed War Casualty
Rev. Enoch Thomas Davies. (4 games 1900/01).
Also Jesus College Oxford, Mountain Ash, London Welsh, Penarth, Glamorgan and Welsh Trialist. Born Carmarthenshire 1874. Chaplain to 5th Battalion Welsh Regiment (at home). Volunteer Church Army in France. Died of pneumonia Penarth 6 October 1918. Buried St Augustine’s Churchyard, Penarth, not in a Commonwealth War Grave. May not be a war casualty but commemorated on the Penarth RFC war memorial. (Added 21.03.2019).
Gwyn Prescott 11 November 2017