South East Wales

Plaque for Cardiff's first Victoria Cross recipient Frederick Barter

Company Sergeant Major Frederick Barter Image copyright Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum

The first Cardiff man to be awarded the Victoria Cross has been honoured with a plaque at the city's Cathays cemetery.

Company Sgt Maj Frederick Barter was recognised for his "most conspicuous bravery and marked ability" during the Battle of Festubert on 16 May 1915.

The 24-year-old Royal Welsh Fusilier gathered a group of eight volunteers and attacked German positions in France with bombs and hand grenades.

Three German officers, 102 men and 500 yards of territory were captured.

Mr Barter, initially rejected by the army on account of his slight build, then went on to find and cut the wires on 11 enemy mines left behind for the advancing British troops.

The former Cardiff Gaslight and Coke Company stove repairer was decorated at Buckingham Palace by King George V in July 1915.

He went on to win the Military Cross in 1918 and retired with the rank of captain in 1922, before serving as a major in the Home Guard during World War Two. He died in 1952.

The plaque was unveiled during a Service of Remembrance on Tuesday.

His nephew Dennis Donovan attended the ceremony after hearing it publicised on the radio that morning.

"When you went into our home there was a big photograph in the hall of uncle Fred," he said.

"He was quite a lad and yet to meet him a very quiet gentleman.

"I feel very proud they should honour him now."

Image caption Dennis Donovan said his family had been "naturally proud" of his uncle

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