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A Sad Little Tale (Closed)

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


HeadStone Report 4 Aug 2007 11:36

Updated Feb 2009

For the conclusion please visit:


HeadStone Report 4 Aug 2007 11:37

Wandering through St. John’s Churchyard, I noticed a small overgrown grave beyond the footpath close to the ancient boundary wall. The headstone told of a young girl of nine who had died in 1943. Despite the passage of 64 years, the inscription was still legible. It spoke of a young Patricia Armstrong who, at the age of five, was evacuated from Woolwich to Morganstown on the outbreak of war in 1939. Woolwich Arsenal and Dockyard were prime targets for enemy bombing and although Cardiff suffered bombing, Morganstown would have been a relatively safe haven for young Patricia. At the age of five she would have been old enough to have been afraid but too young to really understand the changes that forced her to leave her loved ones. There was no mention of her family and relatives nor the kind people who offered her a home and shelter away from the London blitz. It is possible that her father would have been on active service in the forces and probably posted overseas which might mean he never saw her again after she left London in 1939. Hopefully, her mother and possibly siblings were able to visit her occasionally. She died from unknown causes during the War years and far away from home was laid to rest in a corner of the churchyard of St. John the Baptist. If she had lived she would have been in her mid seventies now – a great grandmother perhaps, with her family and grandchildren around her. Beyond the path, besides the wall, A grave untended, ignored by all, A brief inscription carved in stone, Is all that remains of a life unknown. Perhaps someone will remember her – I hope so. Win Evans, Radyr Parish News, Summer 2007 Can any of you super sleuths tell us more about this child? Patricia Armstrong born 1934 Q2 Woolwich 1d 1362 Mother’s maiden name Wilson A possible marriage 1933 Q2 Woolwich 1d 2308 Henrietta M Wilson William Armstrong

Deb needs a change

Deb needs a change Report 4 Aug 2007 11:48

Probable birth of Patricia's mother: Name: Hetty M Wilson Year of Registration: 1911 Quarter of Registration: Apr-May-Jun District: Poplar County: Greater London, London, Middlesex Volume: 1c Page: 450

Sue from Perth Oz

Sue from Perth Oz Report 4 Aug 2007 11:58

Hi Have looked throught the births till 1937 and have'nt found another birth with Wilson as the mmn in Woolich. It would be nice if you found out she did belong to someones family Cheers Sue


HeadStone Report 4 Aug 2007 12:03

Hi I've looked to see if she may have had siblings, from the marriage date of 1933 until 1939 and although there are several Armstrong's with Wilson as the mothers maiden name I cannot find any born in Woolwich. The story says that she came from Woolwich so to me it looks even sadder that she was probably an only child. Thanks to all who have replied. Bye Paul

Paul Barton, Special Agent

Paul Barton, Special Agent Report 4 Aug 2007 12:24

Patricia died in the A/M/J quarter of 1943 at East Glamorgan 11a 697. I suppose if you were reall keen you could order the birth and death certificates. Of course the local paper from 1943 may well have a write-up.

Paul Barton, Special Agent

Paul Barton, Special Agent Report 4 Aug 2007 12:34

Ah, the Special Agent does it again... 22nd May 1943 Nine year old Patricia Armstrong, an evacuee from Woolwich, London, who is billeted in Morganstown, is killed by a train at the Gelynis Crossing.


HeadStone Report 4 Aug 2007 12:38

Hi Paul, You've done it again. How many rabbits do you have in your hat? Keep it coming please. It would be nice in the next addition of the Radyr Parish News, Autumn, to be able to add all information gleamed. Many thanks Paul

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 4 Aug 2007 13:31

What a sad and tragic tale..................I hope somebody on here claims her as one of 'theirs'...then she'll never be forgotton.


SueMaid Report 4 Aug 2007 14:23

Poor little girl. Susan :(


Clou Report 4 Aug 2007 22:40

nudging for reading later x


MargaretM Report 5 Aug 2007 00:13

Just a little more to what Special Agent Paul added. The footnote says that the source is: GRO, Cardiff RDC, Minutes, 24th. June 1943 Would anybody be able to look that up? Such a sad story, but only one of many during the war. Margaret


Rowena Report 5 Aug 2007 00:57

What an interesting story


Christine Report 5 Aug 2007 03:41

nudging - to read later

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 5 Aug 2007 06:45

There must be records....perhaps in Cardiff? of which school the child came from in Woolwich. Maybe these will be mentioned in the Morganstown school logs. This in turn might lead to an address and the electoral lists checked there to see whether these are the right parents.... There won't be wartime lists but there is a chance that the Armstrongs were there before the war. Gwyn

Paul Barton, Special Agent

Paul Barton, Special Agent Report 5 Aug 2007 07:01

This must have been covered in the local paper. Also, even in wartime there would have been an inquest, so a record must exist.


Joan Report 5 Aug 2007 09:48

Oh how sad. I am nudging for later because I know someone on here will find her someone to love her x


HeadStone Report 5 Aug 2007 11:08

Hi All, Many, many thanks for all your replies and expressions of interest. The record which Paul Barton found and pointed me to was:- Cardiff Schools & The Age Of The Second World War The Log Books: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY By Paul Strange This is fascinating reading and appears to be the combined School’s Log during the war years. The reports also show that several other evacuees were killed when Cardiff was bombed. Hopefully I can visit the library sometime soon and check out if there was a press report of the incident and also visit the Glamorgan Record Office (GRO) and check out the reference given. What I still do not know is who she was staying with in Morganstown, did they have children, or anything about her parents or other siblings. I have approached the writer of the article who is the sub warden of St. John the Baptist Church where Patricia is buried to ask if he can check the Parish burial records for any snippet of information. If there’s any feedback, I’ll post it. Once again, many thanks to all. Bye Paul


Caz Report 5 Aug 2007 12:11

nudge Caz


Carter Report 5 Aug 2007 14:29

how sad but hopefully you brilliant people on here will be able to find out more about her and surely even if she was an only child her parents must have had relatives so she will belong to someone out ther. migh be someone who never knew anything about her. linda