23 March 2007

I'r Gad: 2005 Report of Advances and Proposed Action Ahead.


Please see below my 2005 I'r Gad report on the "state of Play" regards campaign for the preservation, protection and promotion of ‘Welsh Battle Fields’. Having spent some time researching the ‘status quo’ situation regards Welsh Battlefields, I can now state that much has been prompted and achieved by the campaign. All the chief bodies (RCAHMW & CADW) in Wales have agreeed there is need for something to be done, and have committed them selves to specific action. Further, the O.S, have agreed that on recomendations of the RCAHMW they will add further Welsh Battlefield sites to their maps, so it is on surface looking good. However, I advise we keep our eyes on the ball and the prize we seek to win, complete succcess for our objectives and aims. Thus still much work to continue with, first and foremost, I must assert that our three main objectives remain and are as follows:
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1. An urgent need to establish a ‘Welsh Battle Field Trust’,but I am of the opinion now that this should be the responsibility of one or a number of the following, possibly, as a joint effort:
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· CADW.
· RCAHMW.
· The Four Welsh Archaeological Trusts.
· UCW Colleges Medieval History Departments.
· Council of Welsh Museums.
· Representatives of Military Museums in Wales.
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Whatever body/ies assumes responsibility could then, in time, work with representatives of other bodies as, for example, the ‘Welsh Tourist Board’ and it’s ‘Regional Tourism Partnerships’ and other ‘bodies’ that may have an interest in having a stake in such a development. Not least of these invited to participate would be societies and groups that have interest in Welsh Military History which would include ‘Medieval Re – Enactment Societies' and groups that are, at present, engaged in commemorative and memorialising work and who, up to now, have "carried the torch" in respect to encouraging greater public interest in Welsh Battlefields and Military history.
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Hopefully, in time, a means would be found for allowing members of the general public to be "associate members" of such a ‘Welsh Battlefield Trust’.
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I propose that the first step towards the establishment of a ‘WBT’ would be the holding of a ‘Welsh Battlefield Conference’ to discuss, thoroughly, matters regards the establishment of such a ‘Trust’. I also consider that it would be in the best interest of a successful endeavour if one - or all of the aforementioned took responsibility for such business. However, "Time and tide waits for no man" and as there is some urgency in regards to this business, I shall continue to pursue the above and the following by seeking, at minimum, the establishment of a ‘Welsh Battlefield Research Group’ that will have a remit to do site visits (as outlined in the main document) and keep this issue active until the above proposal is taken up and advanced.
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2. The Campaign for a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ will continue but will do so now in support of the work being carried out by the RCAHMW with Cadw, satisfied by assurances by they and the O.S. that the matter of ‘Welsh Battlefields' are not being ignored but that the inclusion of marking more ‘Welsh Battlefields’ will be carefully considered and carried out as and when appropriate and possible to do so. Further, I am most appreciative of the fact that CADW has confirmed that it, as a body, is most actively willing to consider, at some time in the future, being responsible for a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’. They have also informed me that they have taken steps already to put in motion appraisal of such a project. Although, at the moment, the "ball is in the court" of the RCAHMW’. However, CADW has suggested that in lieu of a ‘WBR’ it may be possible to, at least, publish a ‘List of Welsh Battlefields’ to provide ‘Local Planning Authorities’ with such which could also be made available to the general public; such would at least allow then for a more efficient "Battlesite Watch’’ to be carried out.

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This is wonderful news - and I am looking forward to the day when CADW may, at last, publish a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ and should it be produced as well as their ‘Historic Landscapes’ Brochure and associated local brochures then, indeed, we will have something very worthwhile. Such would be of immense value to not only the preservation, protection and promotion of Welsh Battlefields but also as a means of greatly encouraging Welsh people to have more interest in a history that is on their own door step. Also, of course, such would greatly promote Wales and be of use to tourism and thus the WTB should be encouraged to support all efforts to fulfil such an objective.
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3. Campaign for the National Assembly of Wales to enact Legislation for the Preservation, Protection and Promotion of Welsh Battlefields. In this instance, ‘promotion’ in particular means ensuring that ‘Welsh Military History’ as well as knowledge of Welsh Battlefields are on the Educational Agenda of Wales. Regards this Campaign, it will, of course, be calling on NAW AM’s to support and advance the said proposal to its successful conclusion. To such ends, this campaign will attempt, by various means, to mobilise various interest groups and the general public to support fully. Leaders of all Assembly Political Parties have been requested to support campaign for a ‘WBR’.
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Concern:
Both the RCHAMW and CADW however, pose the problems of search and survey of ‘Welsh Battle Sites’ having to being properly carried out and correctly recorded based on precise historical and other evidence; this is, in part, to also satisfy the requirements of the O.S. I well understand and essentially accept the case made by these agencies in respect of such matters. but feel its important to point out that, in Scotland, ‘Historic Scotland’ a body already responsible for actively working towards a ‘Scottish Battlefield Register’ along with other bodies, have come to the opinion that where exact sites cannot be located then a broad area of recognised battle location will be acceptable. I hope that the aforementioned ‘’Welsh Bodies’’ will consider the same practicalities. It is interesting to note, that a ‘Scottish Battlefield Register’ intends to include ‘important skirmishes’, in a Welsh context I would draw attention to such event as that of Coed Grwyne April 1136.
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NB:
This first decade of the second millennium witnesses a number of anniversaries connected with Owain Glynd┼Ár Battlefields, of which only the ‘Battle of Bryn Glas’ is marked on a map - and even though the ‘Battle of Hyddgen’ has long been memorialised by a ‘Cofiwn’ memorial’, it is not marked on a map. 2005 will mark the 600th Anniversaries of the "Bloody Spring" Military offensive with the battles of ‘Grosmont’ and ‘Pwll Melyn’. These are battle sites of major importance; it would be very welcome - and pleasing, if the aforementioned bodies could give these significant battle sites some priority attention so they, themselves, could be seen to be marking these anniversaries.
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Should you require further information on this issue please do contact myself at the above address and if you are aware of others that may have an interest, please do pass this letter and the attached report on.
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Yn Ffyddlon.
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G.Gruffydd.

An Open Letter: A Cause for Concern.

This Posting below: An open letter, I wrote and issued far and wide during 2005, to O.S, Cadw and RCAMW with a good response (see future postings) also sent to A.M's but in the main, very little response and little action on the matter from them. Lack of time and money did not allow my being able to continue this letter campaign. I would be quite happy if supporters used below as basis they could write to their local councillors and local media etc.
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Annwyl Pawb.
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My concern for 'Welsh battlefields’ has been to the fore for some time – prompted, in the first instance, by realisation of the disinterest that exists amongst the powers that should be concerned and also by the attitude of military historians and publishers on the subject. I have come to the conclusion that in the main, 'Battlefields in Wales' is neglected because 'CADW', the body responsible for our 'Heritage in the Landscape,' does not have ‘Welsh Battlefields' down on their list of priorities; then additional to this is the fact that there is an institutionalised thinking amongst British historians and Military interest publishing that proclaims there were ''no Welsh Battlefields only Killing Grounds”. The latter grouping then go on to paint a picture of the Welsh only being capable of fighting a guerrilla form of warfare. As a result, very few books on military history ever mention 'Welsh Wars or Battles'. Those interested should check this out – and be prepared to be shocked! Even major works, as produced by the O.S on “British Battlefields” does not mention one in Wales. Equally, the O.S. notes very few Welsh Battlefields on their Maps.
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This is so unlike the situation in England where a 'Battlefield Trust' has been set up to campaign to protect 'English battlefields. This campaign supported by the Times, jointly persuaded ‘English Heritage’ to begin registration of English Battlefields to make their destruction difficult, without greater official and public scrutiny first. The cause for this concern was the slowly dawning realisation that new motorways, golf courses, housing developments - and now Windfarms, were threatening English Battlefields, and thus strong action was needed to halt this despoilment of an important area of the English heritage. As a result, 43 Battlefields in England have been registered by English Heritage to date . So, what of Welsh Battlefields? The situation is grim! very few 'Welsh Battlefields' are noted on maps. We are now campaigning to address this unacceptable situation by the following means.
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We have already initiated a 'Welsh Battlefield Campaign’ and as part of this on-going campaign would like to see a 'Welsh Battlefield Conference' being set up with the purpose of establishing a 'Welsh Battlefield Trust' that will then, as part of its role, continue the campaign to see that 'Cadw', registers 'Welsh Battlefields' and that they treat such as a case that demands urgent priority! After all, surely what’s good enough for English battlefields should be good enough for our Welsh battlefields and such should be no less the responsibility of ‘Cadw’ in Wales than ‘English Battlefields’ is to ‘English Heritage’ in England. * RCAMW is already surveying such.
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We are now seeking the support of all Welsh Political parties, individual Members of Parliament, M.E.P's, as well as the support of the First Minister and all other National Assembly of Wales Members on this issue. We would appreciate it if Assembly Members took this matter up and, without any further delay, furthered it along to a satisfactory conclusion via the National Assembly. In the meantime, we would appreciate the opinions and suggestions of all those aforementioned.
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There is still need for a Welsh Battlefield Conference and out of that see set up a Welsh Battlefield Trust, this is an initiative I will continue to promote in academic and other areas.

Yn Ffyddlon.
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G.Gruffydd.


I'r Gad: Postings Index.

Post 1: Introduction.
Post 2: This Index.

Postings:

3: Open Letter: Cause for Concern.
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4: Report on Advances and Proposed Action Ahead.
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Other postings on line.

Introduction.

Introduction: This new blog is under development, so just a brief welcome aboard and a little explanation, my work with Cofiwn included much to do with Welsh Medieval Military History and Welsh Battlefields. In latter years I became aware of an English Battlefields Trust campaigning for the defence, recognition and registration of English Battlefields motivated by need to defend such historic sites from Motorways, Windmill farms and even golf course. Following example of the English Battlefields Trust, I attempted to establish similar in Wales without much luck. I sought interest of Welsh Historians but they are pretty much compfortably at home in their Ivory Towers. I sought to interest Medieval Re-Enactors in Wales but as most of these are English, they do not seem to have much interest in Welsh Battlefields. I also ''bit my lip'' and sought interest of British Army ''Welsh Regimental'' Museums, certainly no joy there. I thought they may be mature enough to be interested at least in a Welsh Military History Society similar to that which they have in Ireland, this body does have an interest in Irish Medieval History to the later IRA struggles of Independence and includes both the ''Wild Geese'' and Irish Regiments in the Bitish Army. However, the aforementioned ''Brit Welsh Regiment Historians'' only have interest in the post 1536 Act of Annexation connection of the Welsh Fighting Spirit that fights on behalf of England from Azincourt to Afghanistan etc. You might have thought that ''Welsh Nationalists'' may have a great interest in persuing the above, but no! but these are not the ''Cofiwn Years'' when enthusiasm abounded in patriots having the effort and energy to get out and about in persuence of a patriotic cause, but like I said no! However, to be fair up to now, I have only attempted advancing my I'r Gad Campaign within a limited circle. Publicizing and promoting patriotic campaigns in these post Devoloution Dillettante Days, is not at all much assisted by a ''Welsh/Cymreig Media'' that most obviously has become the voice of the Cymry who have capitulated to neo - colonialism and supports fully the falsehood of a SHAM SENEDD aka Assembly of Appeasement with English Imperialism. Hopefully, this blog will reach out over ''Media Fire Wall China Cymru'', and reach out to true Welsh Patriots and yes, Radical Nationalists in seeking support for this SAVE OUR WELSH BATTLEFIELDS CAMPAIGN. Having read above it must be more than a little obvious that this campaign is clearly a NATIONALIST INITIATIVE, and guess what I have no intention of being a moderate in these matters, I can asure you that any ''Taffy Timidity'' will get us no where. Thus fellow patriot, quite simply the watch word is I'R GAD, so on with the campaign, and if wishing to aid and assist you can contact me via email: gethin.apgruffydd@ntlworld.com
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Other than including details and reports of our campaign, I will include material of historical interest on Welsh Military History from Celtic and Roman Times, Through the ''Dark/Heroic/Golden'' to early medieval age. This is not an area I have done much in, but patience and I will get around to it.




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I am more familier with the high Welsh Middle Ages, so much material will be published here on this period in the first instance of this blog development.

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Brwydrau Glyndwr, will also be quickly on line too. After which many of you will think' oh no! it all gets ''Taffy Tudor'' and ''Big Brit'', but not so, I have some suprizes in store for you? Unfortunatly you will have to await a while as I have much research to do, but it is looking patriotically promising and will be worth waiting for, to read and then know that the ''Welsh Fighting Spirit'' did not go all 'Ich Dien' on us. So hang on ok!




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To conclude: If wishing to work with this campaign or otherwise support, maybe contribute information or articles. Most contributions are welcome, including suggestions. Later in further postings you will find information on much that you can do locally, I cannot get every where, so local information and photographs of Battle sites would be welcome.

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Next Posting: Page for the Indexing of postings published.

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Other postings to follow in time, so revisit this blog every so often.

Hwyl!

Gethin.

I'r Gad.