Newport Transport war memorial

Photo of Newport Transport war memorial

Newport Transport war memorial,
Commercial Road, Newport

Inside the reception at the Newport Transport depot is a war memorial to the tram and bus men who died in the First World War and Second World War. To discover who they were, choose a category below.

First World War

Second World War

The employees killed in the First World War worked on Newport Corporation’s electric tramway system. The electric tramcars, painted yellow and red, had replaced horse-drawn trams in 1903 and were serviced and maintained here. The old photo (courtesy of Newport Transport) shows one of the trams with crew.

The large number of employees who joined the armed forces during the war caused staff shortages. Female conductors were employed from July 1916 and female drivers from 1917. The corporation bought second-hand tramcars for increased wartime demand, including commuting to munitions factories.

Photo of Newport tramcar c.1905Newport Corporation introduced its first motor buses in 1924. The last tramway closed in 1937. Some of the tram tracks are still visible in the depot yard. There’s no public access to the yard, but you can see some of the tracks in the 2019 photo of Wales’ first electric bus.

Some of the men who died in the Second World War were formerly bus crew. Each bus had a conductor, who sold tickets and gave stop and start signals to the driver. Female conductors were again employed to cover staff shortages (and this time they weren’t dismissed after the war).

Grey paint was applied to many of the buses as camouflage, and in 1940 services were disrupted by frequent air-raid warnings.

Fuel restrictions forced a reduction in bus services, but the corporation bought many new double deckers during the war.

Photo of tram tracks and electric bus at Newport depot

Maintaining the fleets of trams and buses required a large team of mechanics at the depot, and it’s no coincidence that three of the employees who died in the Second World War had joined the Royal Engineers.

In 2014 several Newport Transport buses were named in honour of employees who died in the First World War.

With thanks to Shaun McGuire and Adrian Hughes

Postcode: NP19 0WF    View Location Map

 

 

First World War

  • Bailey, Edward James, Private 2975. Died 29/04/1915 aged 18. Monmouthshire Regiment. Buried at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery. Son of Isaac and Elizabeth Bailey, of 10, Frank Street.
  • Jones, Charles, Private 260468. Died 14/04/1918. Gloucestershire Regiment, previously as 2968 in the Monmouthshire Regiment. Commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial.
  • Murray, John Nicholas, Private 372359. Died 12/11/ 1917 aged 20. Royal Army Medical Corps. Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Son of Thomas and Annie Murray of 1 Union Street. Commemorated locally at St Mary's RC Church. Killed on his 20th birthday.
  • Passmore, Albert Edward, Private. 25721. Died 29/11/ 1917. South Wales Borderers. Commemorated on Cambrai Memorial.
  • Williams, Walter John, Rifleman 3135. Died 08/08/1915 aged 37. Monmouthshire Regiment. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Son of John and Ann Williams, of New Gardens, Llangoed, Llyswen; husband of Fanny E Williams (later Lewis), of 6 Stony Houses, Penybanc, Fochriw (address shown as "Pen-y-Bank, Fochrin" in war graves records).
 

 

Second World War

  • Busby, Lionel George, Corporal 1983305. Died 28/05/1940 aged 37. Royal Engineers. Buried at Bissegham Communal Cemetery. Husband of Anne Busby. Commemorated at St Julian's High School. Worked as a mechanic for Newport Corporation’s transport department.
  • Gurney, Selwyn George, Aircraftman 1st Class 978686. Died 22/05/1941 aged 25. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Son of Newport Corporation bus driver William John Gurney and Lily Gurney. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial. Was a Newport Corporation bus conductor before enlisting.
  • Rickard, Alfred Albert, Able Seaman D/JX 291193. Died 26/02/1942 aged 20. Royal Navy – HMS President III. Was on SS Mamura when he died.. Son of Alfred John and Florence Rickard. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.
  • Tucker, Raymond Frederick, 25, 11th August 1944, Welsh Guards, 2735372, Lance Serjeant. Husband of Edna Rosina Tucker of Romford, Essex. Buried St Charles De Percy War Cemetery. Commemorated locally at St Julian's High School. Left a widow, Edna, and baby son, Bobby.
  • Scrivens, William Ernest, Sapper 1987151. Died 03/01/1943 aged 43. Royal Engineers. Buried Newport (St Woolos) Cemetery. Husband of Mary Ellen Scrivens.
  • Wilkins, Richard James, Sapper 1982568. Died 16/05/1940 aged 36. Royal Engineers. Commemorated on Dunkirk Memorial. Husband of Doris Evelyn Wilkins, of Maindee. Worked at the Newport Corporation garage. Was a Royal Engineers reservist from the early 1930s. His widow and two children lived at 29 Summerhill Avenue.
  • Williams, Herbert Arthur, Leading Aircraftman 992278. Died 31/07/1945 aged 31. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Buried at Caerleon (St. Cadoc) Churchyard. Husband of Pearl Patricia Williams.
  • Wreford, Arthur John, Gunner 1547418. Died 13/08/1942 aged 28. Royal Artillery. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial. His mother lived at 4 Capel Street. Died while on board SS Waimarama, which was bombed and sunk while taking part in an operation to relieve Malta.
  • Yalland, Cyril Richard, Able Seaman D/JX 187995. Died 15/05/1942 aged 22. Royal Navy – HMS Hecla. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial. Son of John R and Phoebe S Yalland.