Memorials at Cornerhouse Centre, Charles Street, Cardiff

Memorials at Cornerhouse Centre, Charles Street, Cardiff

Several memorials were found in a storeroom when the former Ebenezer Chapel was renovated, following closure as a chapel in 2010. Before the building reopened as the Cornerstone arts and community centre, six of the memorial tablets were attached to the perimeter wall to the right of the building. Another memorial was mounted on an internal wall.

The exterior tablets include two war memorials. They commemorate men from the chapel who died in the world wars. See below for their details.

Those who died in the First World War came from Welsh-speaking communities in North and South-west Wales. This provides an insight into the role of this Welsh chapel after English had become Cardiff’s dominant language.

Photo of memorial to first pastor of Ebenezer Chapel, CardiffThe largest of the memorials, pictured right, is inscribed in English in memory of the Rev Lewis Powell, the first pastor here. The elaborate frame is decorated with circles and squares of Penarth alabaster.

It notes: “He settled here in 1827 and was the chief instrument in erecting and clearing the debt of the first Ebenezer [Chapel].” He resigned in 1852 because of his health. Later the chapel granted him £12 a year for the rest of his life. He continued to preach until he died, on his way home from a Carmel Chapel, Bonvilston, on Sunday 19 September 1869. He was 81 years old.

He was an almost exact contemporary of Daniel Richards, commemorated on one of the exterior tablets. Daniel was the chapel’s first treasurer, from 1826. He lived in High Street and worked as a hatter. He died in 1871 aged 83.

Another tablet honours Asa Morgan, deacon and treasurer for 25 years, who died in 1892 aged 80. He hailed from Whitland, Carmarthenshire, and lived latterly at Crichton Place. He was a builder and undertaker. He had overseen Ebenezer Chapel’s extension in 1852.

The tablet for Hugh Michael Hughes OBE (1858-1933) notes that he was pastor here 1894-1933 and chaired the Welsh Congregational Union 1920-21. He hailed from Llanllechid, near Bethesda, Gwynedd, and had a Masters degree in philosophy. The tablet describes him as a powerful preacher, watchful shepherd, talented writer, sharp thinker, wise counsellor and leader of a denomination and nation.

His successor, Rees Griffiths (1886-1946), is also commemorated. He was minister here 1934-1945. In his last year he was superintended of the denomination’s English-language churches in Wales and Monmouthshire (the county was regarded at the time as separate from the rest of Wales).

Postcode: CF10 2GA    View Location Map

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First World War

John Carr Davies, Private 14895. Welsh Regiment 11th Bn. Died 25/09/1918 aged 26. Buried at Sarigol Military Cemetery, Greece. Awarded the Military Medal. Son of William and Jane Davies, of Pantglas, Nantgaredig, Carmarthenshire. Was a chorister at Ebenezer.

William Hughes Davies, Private 15316. Royal Welsh Fusiliers 10th Bn. Died 02/03/1916 aged 25 years. Commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. Son of Mr and Mrs William Davies of Bryn Dwr, Llandegla, Denbighshire.

Jenkin Oliver Howells, Private 102403. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 46th Bn. Died 29/09/1918 aged 21. Buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, France. Son of Jenkin Howells, of White Hart Inn, Lampeter, Ceredigion.

Nathaniel Bebb Jones, Private 29509. Royal Welsh Fusiliers 17th Bn. Died 30/08/1918 aged 33. Buried at Ovillers Military Cemetery, France. Brother of Miss L Bebb Jones of Llys Maldwyn, Dorvil Road, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.

James Stanley Phillips, Private 39605. South Wales Borderers 2nd Bn. Died 16/08/1917 aged 20. Commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Son of David and Anne Phillips, of Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire.

David Idris Williams. Probably: Gunner W/5225. Royal Field Artillery 119th Bde. Died 14/07/1916 aged 32. Buried at St Sever Cemetery, France. Son of Benjamin Williams, of 195 Manod Road, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.


Second World War

William Timothy Davies, Lance Corporal 2586513. Royal Corps of Signals, 1st Airborne Division Signals. Died 20/11/1943. Buried at Bari War Cemetery, Italy. Son of Henry James Davies and Blodwen Emily Davies, of Wallasey, Cheshire.

John Evans

Thomas Ellis Griffiths, Flight Lieutenant 63393. Royal Air Force. Died 17/11/1946 aged 32. Buried at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff. Son of John and Sarah Griffiths; husband of Myra Griffiths of Roath Park, Cardiff. Had been training as a surgeon before enlisting.

Glyndwr James. Possibly: Air Mechanic 1st Class FAA/FX 78613. Royal Navy. Killed in accident in board HMS Archer, June 19 1942, aged 22. Commemorated on Lee-on-Solent Memorial. Son of David and Rhoda May James of Tirphil.

Benjamin Frederick Jones, Mess Room Boy. Merchant Navy - SS Coast Wings (London). Died 27/09/1940 aged 24. Commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial, London. His ship was torpedoed south-west of Ireland, killing all 16 crew.