A “Wall of Remembrance” – specially created at Penarth Trinity Methodist Church in Stanwell Road – is being shown to the public for the first time today.
The wall bears the names of all 23 members of the church who lost their lives in the First and Second World wars – with each name being accompanied by a short biography.
Those commemorated range from Major John Angel Gibbs D.S.O. who was killed leading his battalion in an attack on the Menin Road in 1917, to Fred Whittington of Machen Street, who worked in the local Co-op, and left a widow and three children.
Major J A Gibbs’s widow, Gladys Gibbs, purchased the Penarth Hotel and founded the J A Gibbs Home for Boys (later to become Headlands School) in memory of her late husband.
It so happens that one of the first boys admitted to the Gibbs Home in 1918 was Harold Woodhouse who became a brilliant mathematician, attaining 1st class degrees in Cardiff and Cambridge He was killed at the controls of a Lancaster bomber shot down in 1943 returning from a mission over Dusseldorf.
Some of the Trinity men named on the memorial lost their lives at in the Merchant Navy. Amongst them is Captain Frederick Dakers whose ship the SS “Tagona” was torpedoed by the U-Boat U55 in 1918 off Trevose Head, Cornwall. Also named is Chief Engineer H P Evans whose ship the SS “Kilmaho” was torpedoed by UB 20 just off the Lizard.
One of the WW2 names included in the roll is Intelligence Officer Graham Hosegood who worked on disrupting Japanese communications behind enemy lines in Burma – and died of malnutrition after being captured and imprisoned in Rangoon .
Heritage Secretary for Trinity Church, Christine Dunn, says “ Finding out about these men has been an incredible and sometimes emotional journey. Many of the men had led ordinary lives in Penarth. We have included photographs of some houses where they lived and walked along the roads they would have walked along. To us, they are now very real and we are proud to honour our pledge of Remembrance.”
Trinity Methodist Church – which itself suffered bomb-damage in WW2 – will be open today Saturday 12th November 2016 from 10.30 to 14.30.