A Police Officer Murdered on Duty
submitted by David Jones
The only Cardiff police officer that has ever been murdered on duty was PC Evan Davies who was born and raised in Pontycymmer.
Evan was born about 1907 and lived in Alexandra Road. He married his wife Blanche who was also a Pontycymmer girl whilst they were teenagers and they lived together happily at the family home in Alexandra Road.
Evan joined the police force and unusually joined the Cardiff City force and not his local force being the Glamorgan Constabulary. They moved to Dale Road in the Rhiwbina area of the city.
During December 1941 death was a daily occurrence in the city of Cardiff due to the air raids but on the 11th of that month it was just one single death that shocked the whole of Cardiff and reverberated around South Wales.
Late at night Evan was on “blackout duty” in the usually quiet area of Whitchurch Road in the Cathays area of the city when he was sent to an air raid shelter after having received a report of youths causing trouble.
Two shots from a “Tommy Gun” were fired from the darkness within the shelter and both passed through the 34 year old policeman’s heart causing instant death. The killer (or killers) fled and were never found.
The last person to see Evan alive (apart from the killer/s) was PC Cliff Simons (Senior) who I met on a few occasions. Cliff was a war reserve police officer whose beat included Whitchurch Road. Cliff had been working the 2pm to 10pm afternoon shift and walked down Whitchurch Road to it’s junction with Allensbank Road and handed over his beat the the night shift officer who was PC Evan Davies. Cliff went home and was not aware of Evan’s death until returning to work the following morning.
Cliff referred to Evan as “the Doc” due to the first aid skills that he showed on several occasions, particularly when a youth had accidentally shot himself and Evan had ran into a fishmongers shop and got some ice in which to pack the boy’s wound. Cliff referred to Evan as “a real gentleman”.
I also worked with Cliff’s son, PC Cliff Simons (Junior) who still relates the story and ensures that PC Evan Davies of Pontycymmer is never forgotten.
The site of the air raid shelter is just about visible today. Some old brickworkings indicate it’s former presence on the wall of Maindy Barracks on Crown Way, opposite Companies House.
PC Evan Davies was buried back home in the Bridgend area (quite possibly Pontycymmer) and also his widow Blanche returned home too. She never remarried.