Ceri Stennett has been researching the history of the World Wars and collating information about those who served. He wrote “Fallen Heroes of the Great War: In Proud and Honoured Memory” with Gwyn Prescott in 2018. He followed this up in 2021 with “Fallen Heroes of World War II: In Proud and Honoured Memory”.
Ceri has been kindly sharing information about the people and stories connected to Tongwynlais.
Gwladys Richards (1897 – 1986)
In 1939, Gwladys was living with her father at ‘Bryn Bedw’, Tongwynlais, and is noted as clerk, Priory for Wales, Order of St. John.
Gwladys was a member of the Cardiff Central Priory for Wales, St. John Ambulance Brigade. She was awarded the Order of St. John of Jerusalem – Dame of Grace Neck Badge & Star, Defence Medal, 1953 Coronation Medal, St. John Service Medal and five long service bars.
Gwladys retired to Penzance, Cornwall. She moved to a nursing home in June 1985 and died in January 1986.
The book has a section about life in Whitchurch during the War and includes some information about Tongwynlais, “Fundraising events were held continually throughout the war years to raise monies for different causes. In August (1940) a dance was organised by the Tongwynlais ARP wardens at the village hall in aid of the Spitfire fund.
“Under the War Charities Act 1940 ‘The Tongwynlais Comforts Fund’ was registered with the Glamorgan County Council by secretary Mrs S. Davies in October of that year. The objectives were: ‘To provide comforts for Tongwynlais Soldiers and Sailors serving in HM Forces, and the administrative centre of which is situated at Tongwynlais Village Hall.’
“On 30th April (1942) it was noted that the iron gates and railings around Tongwynlais School had been removed for the purposes of scrap metal for the war effort.”
Fallen Heroes of World War II
The follow up to the first book pays tribute to the men and women who served in the Second World War.
I have my own copy of this book and it’s an invaluable resource for those interested in local history or if you want to trace relatives.
William Oliver Crandon (1890-1964)
Stoker 2nd Class, Stoker 1st Class, Acting Leading Stoker, Leading Stoker, Acting Senior Petty Officer, Senior Petty Officer, Chief Stoker. Royal Navy.
William Oliver Crandon was born at Cardiff Road, Tongwynlais, in November 1890. He was the son of Charles Brandon and Jemima Jane Russell (nee Jones).
In 1901 the family was at at Mill Road, Tongwynlais. William joined the Royal Navy on 6th July 1909 as a stoker 2nd class. Through the First World War he served on numerous ships, including submarine depot ships. He died in February 1964 at Glan Ely Hospital, Fairwater, Cardiff.
If you have any more information about William, please get in touch.
The Tongwynlais War Memorial
The memorial tablet in St Michael’s Church was unveiled by Mrs Lewis of Greenmeadow on Sunday July 20th 1919.
There are 180 names on the original inscription for those who served in the 1st World War. 148 returned and 32 died. Additional plaques were added to honour those who served in the 2nd World War. 13 served and none returned.
I’m incredibly grateful to Ceri for allowing me to share this information. He’s always keen to hear from people if they have corrections or additions to his research. Images have been made available by kind permission of families of the fallen.