To Establish a Welsh Battlefields Heritage Trust similar to those that already exist in England, Ireland and elsewhere. Such a Trust would work in association with other bodies such as Friends of Welsh Battlefields and Battle Field Memorial Groups as well as Historical Societies, Archaelogical Groups, University departments, The Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales, CADW, The Welsh Tourist Board and the National Assembly of Wales. The first step toward such an end would be the organisation and establishment of a Welsh Battlefield Heritage Conference possibly held annually in the area of Builth Wells appropriately on or about the occasion of the annual anniversary of the death of Llywelyn III at Aberedw on 11 Rhagfyr 1282. There is a further reason for locating such in the area of Buith as it is here, reputedly, the Battle/Massacre of Irfon Bridge took place on the same day as the assasination of Llywelyn III. This is not only seen as a most ‘’pivotel’’ military engagement in Welsh history but is now much debated as whether or not a battle actually took place. Thus it symbolises not only much to do with the ‘Battle for Wales’ during the middle ages but also the matter of the way that, up to now, we have ignored our historic battlefields. The question needs to be posed, would England have ignored Hastings as much as we have ignored the “Battle of Irfon Bridge” or, as some contend, the “Massacre of Irfon Bridge’’. (See the important work of Anthony Edwards, which can be found in a number of publications, on this subject)
Further Immediate Objectives are:
· Preservation: Best served by the National Assembly of Wales legislating for such.
· Protection: Best afforded by organisation & setting up of a Welsh Battlefield Register by Cadw & ?
· Promotion: Best afforded by A survey on Welsh battlefields by RCAHMW working with O.S.
NB: All the aforementioned interested parties would have a part to play in persuence of these objectives in association with lesiure, culture & education departments of the relevant local Authorities. Not least, the WTB (now visit Wales) needs to give careful attention to the advantages of ‘Welsh Miltary History Tourism’. The Proposed Welsh Battlefield Trust would, as well as organise the annual conference, work towards organising various other related events and activities as well as develop a publishing programme and the establishment of a WBT Resources database web site and will work long term towards the setting up of a WBT Interpretation Centre.
Following is a 2005 ‘update’ report on the above - accompanied with a few examples of the world wide interest in Military History and Battlefield preservation, protection and promotion and a variety of ways how such may be achieved.
The Welsh Battlefield Campaign 2005 Report:
· Cover: Inspiration and Aspirations.
P3. Introduction ''The Punctuation Marks of History''
· The background to issues facing battlefield heritage.
· The England Battlefield Trust and Register.
P4. Threatened Battlefields
· England, Europe and America.
P5. Battlefield Sites Defence. The First Step.
· Friends, Groups and Site Visit Surveys.
· English Heritage and the English Battle Field Register.
P6. A Scottish Battlefields Register.
· The Situation in Ireland.
P7. Wales – The Status Quo.
P8. Wales: What is to be done?
· A Welsh Battlefields Register.
· Immediate steps. Battle Site Friends & Groups.
· Assembly Legislation.
· Battlefields Trust Conference.
· Other related matters.
P9. Welsh Battles deserving Priority attention.
1081, 1136, 1257 and 1282 also Battle of Pwll Melyn 5 May 1405.
· Elegy for the Unknown Soldier.
· The published works of Anthony Edwards.
Introduction: “The Punctuation Marks of English history”.
The heading I have given this introduction has been borrowed from Sir Winston Churchill, a great English Patriot and a notable Military History enthusiast, In the use of this remark, he was referring to the sites of battles in England. It is thus perhaps suprizing that even with a heavyweight enthusiast such as Sir Winston Churchill available to point the way, it took England a long time to catch up with the important matter of battlefield preservation, protection and promotion. However, such was the case. It was the threat of a motorway being run through the English Civil War battle site of Naesby (14 June 1645) that alerted a wide and broad group of English Military Heritage Enthusiasts into action. This resulted in an English Battlefield Conference being held followed quickly by the setting up of an English Battlefields Trust. This Trust, in association with the Times newspaper, began a campaign for preservation, protection and promotion of English Battle fields. Such a campaign prompted English Heritage, in association with the National Army Museum, to survey English Battlefields and draw up a register of up to 43 English battlefields deserving of special attention. This register is now produced under the auspices of ‘English Heritage’. The register however, does not give legal protection to the listed battlefields; its intention was to merely produce a document that would, at least, alert the authorities of the presence of the listed battlefields and thus, help to defend from harmful developments such as roads, housing developments, windmill sites and golf courses (see battle of Irfon Bridge pp ).
Further, the register was intended to encourage Local Authorities to consider the potential of battlefield sites in interest of environment and local lesiure (see USA national Parks Service) and tourism - and again, it was ‘English Heritage’ that led the way in this area with wonderful work on their promotion of England’s most important and famous of battle sites, yes, the Battle of Hastings 1066. (This can lead to disputes too ).since some effort has also been made with regards to the ‘Battle of Bosworth 1485’ , Leicestishire. Another most pivotel battle in English & Welsh History as is the Battle of Culledon to both England and Scotland. There also, much work has been done to preserve, protect and promote the battle site. So, why does’nt Welsh Battlefields receive similar attention and in particular, the Battles of Mynydd Carn 1081, of Crug Mawr 1136 and most certainly the ‘’Battle/Massacre of Irfon Bridge’’ 1282 as well as a number of Owain Glyndŵr associated Battle fields such as at Bryn Glas 1402 and Pwll Melyn 1405. These Welsh Battles are certainly as important to Welsh history as, could be argued, they are to British History. So why this disinterest in Welsh Battlefields? I would conclude that there are a number of reasons for this oversight, one of the main being that Welsh Medieval History, the period in which most battles were fought in Wales, is a subject that has been treated as much “the poor relation” in Welsh schools. Then there is the fact that, in general, Welsh military history and battles are ignored by the publishers of military history books. Of course, It does’nt help that specialist books such as the ‘O.S. Book on British Battlefields’ does not unclude one Welsh Battlefield and that the O.S has very few Welsh Battlefields in their maps (see pp ) Likewise, It does’nt help that Sandhurst Military Historians make wrongful ignorant assertions that “Wales has no Battlefields only Killing grounds” . Add to this the fact that despite there being a few books published in recent times on the subject of Welsh Battlefields, very little attention has been paid to such on Welsh Television in comparison to the wonderful “war walks” series on British TV. Although, recently - and at long last, the ‘Battle of Bryn Glas (1402) got the excellent presentation it deserves on the BBC 2 series ‘Battlefield Britain’. So what now?
Wales: Welsh Battlefields Threatened ? Welsh Battlefields threatened? The truth is, we just do not know - as there is such poor interest, lack of knowledge and then no clear acceptance as to where Welsh battle sites are located. As a result, we are not in a position to know how many have already been developed on and lost for ever or how many are under threat at this present time. I am most certainly aware that the possible ''Battle/Massacre site of Irfon Bridge'' may be under a golf course whilst, at this very moment, private housing is slowly encroaching on Cilmeri’s sacred acre. To fully appreciate the problem of Battlesite destruction by modern development one has only to look at countries where there does exist a great interest in Miltary History and battlefields and see how numerous interest enthusiast groups, societies and agencies have joined forces to secure laws to preserve and protect their battlefields. Even so, battlefields have been destroyed and are continually under threat:
· England. Despite the existance of a Battlefield Register, battlefields are still under threat as is the case on the sites of the Battle of Worcester (1651) and Battle of Stamford Bridge; both threated by housing development encraochement. Even the Battle site of Hastings 1066 is threatened by a ‘By Pass’ and the erection of a new English Heritage Interpretation Centre disputed, by Battlefield enthusiasts, as being wrongly placed to the detriment of the battle field’s history. So, not all is sunshine but, at least, armed with a ‘Battlefield Register’ there does exist a first line of defence.(See Battle site defence)
· Europe. Recent reports show that even WWW I Battle sites are threatened as are other historic European battlefields such as the site of the Battle of Fontenoy (11 May 1745) much harmed by roads and building developments. Likewise, in Germany, the battlesite of Dettingen (27 June 1743) and again in the Czech Republic at the site of the Battle of Austerlitz (December 1805) As of 2004, this site has been threatened with plans for the erection of a 90ft high NATO Radar Station which will blight the view of the battlefield and overshadow the monument there. There are also wider environmental issues to consider as well as issues related to war today, all of which has enabled a broad campaign to defend the battlefield to be formed. This is a major issue and I forsee that the campaign will run for a long time and possibly lead to ‘direct action’ to protect the battlefield. (see in previous report threat to important Breton Battlefield).
· U.S.A. The U.S.A. being a “young Country” is absolutly fascinated by it’s history (as is the modern state of Israel) from the time of the 18th century revolutionary wars to the great and awful tragedy of the 19th century ‘American Civil War’. (Also see Native American Wars ). There is, in America, a huge ‘Miltary History Industry’’ promoted through film (see recent reconstruction of ‘The Battle of the Alamo’ and the American Civil War epic ‘Gods and Generals’, prior to that, the unforgetable epic ‘Gettysburg’ and, a third civil war epic is on the way) TV, Radio and publishing. Numerous Magazines and Journals are regularly published both of academic and popular variety (see Miltary History, published in America but with world wide interest content, they have published material on Wales). Further, American Education, from high school to Colleges, gives serious attention to America’s Miltary History (see National Parks Intern Schemes) plus, America has, perhaps, more ‘Miltary Interest/Battlefield Societies in existance than, possibly, the rest of the World put together. Add to this huge platform can be a programme of Military History/Battlefield preservation and protection Legislation, schemes and, most importantly, grants for Military Heritage Initiatives and yet, Even there, battle sites are constantly under threat or have already been destroyed (See Battlefield Defence).
Battle Fields Site Defence:
England: As stated earlier, not all is sunshine even in England but, what England does have is a well organised and supported ‘Battlefield Trust’ that is fully alert to the dangers that battlefields are facing and that is organised to defend battlefield interests by means of promoting the setting up of local ‘Battle Site Friends Groups’ with responsibilty for surveying battle sites and supplying information to a central ‘Battlefield Resources Database’. This is further backed up by a system of ‘initial survey’ and then regular ‘Battle field Site Visits’ requiring the local group to provide information on the site, not least ‘Battle Site Watch’ information regards any potential threats. The ‘Battle Field Trust’ organises this by means of having a ‘Battlefields Risk Assessment National Coordinator’ whom issues ‘Site Survey Forms’ which, when completed, are returned and the information fed into the aforementioned database. (see our ‘I’r Gad’ ‘Welsh Battlefield Defence’). The ‘Battlefield Trust’ also organises a range of events and activities which will serve to both arouse public interest in their work and in the battlefields plus thay publish a newsletter and other documents from time to time. Threats to battlefields are many, some I have already mentioned but others may also be considered as relevent such as quarries and metal detector vandalism of battle sites. Some levels of metal detection spinning out of control are listed as having taken place at 10 particular important Battle sites with possible disasterous consequece to future site archaeology. Now the Battlefield Trust, with the support of English Heritage, are attempting to resolve this problem via means of a broader and tighter ‘Portable Antiqities Scheme’. Hopefully such matters will be considered in Wales also! It is however the existance of an ‘English Battlefield Register’ which provides the first line of defence for English Battlefields and I will quote in full this Register’s brief:
“The English Heritage ‘Register of Historic Battlfields identifies forty three important battlefields. Its purpose is to offer them protection and to promote a better understanding of their signifigance. Each register entry is based on the available evidence and includes battlefield area information maps showing the position of the armies and features which were part of the battlefield. These maps are intended to be the starting point for battlefield interpretation by identifying the most visually sensitive areas.”
English Heritage goes on to point out why Battlefields are significant: (5 Reasons)
· As turning points in English History, for example the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings in 1066, or the turmoil of the Civil Wars in the 17th Century that changed the role of monarchy and parliament” (for Wales read 1081. 1136 and 1282)
· The reputations of great political and military leaders were frequently broken or made success in such battles” (for Wales see Llywelyn II and III plus relevant English Kings)
· Tactics and skills of war still relevant to the defence of the country evolved out of such battlefields” (for Wales see Gerald Cambrensis & Glyndŵr re Guerrilla warfare).
· Battlefields are the final resting places for 1000’s of unknown soldiers and commoners alike , whose lives were sacrificed in the making of the history of England” (for Wales see every hard fought over piece of ground down through the centuries)
· Where they survive, battlefields may contain important topographical evidence as well as arefacts which can increase our understanding of the momentous events that took place on their soil” (for Wales see bosse possibly from the bridle of Glyndŵr’s horse at the national Museum of wales).
Surely what’s said about and is good enough for England is equally true of Wales?
What of Wales? Before I deal with Wales in detail it will be illuminating to look at Scotland where at this moment in time ‘Historic Scotland’ (Scotlands equivalent of English Heritage and our own CADW) has, in recent years, drawn up plans for a ‘Scottish Battlefield Register’ following public disquiet at the Battlefield sites of Bannockburn (1314) which is threatened by mixed housing developments and Sherrifmuir (1715) which is threatened by Holiday Chalets. This Scottish Battlefields Register is inspired by its counterpart in England but with two major differences:
1. The Scottish Battlefield Register, due to the nature of warfare in Scotland will, as well as register well defined Battlefield sites, recognise those which only have broadly understood locations (for Wales see RCAHMW definations) It being noted that the site of the Battle of Prestopans (1745) is covered by a Industrial Estate and a railway line. I can just imagine this being the case of many possible sites in our Southern Industrial areas, if the 19th century Industrial revolution did not despoil them, today’s open casts and windmill farms are likely to contribute a great deal towards finishing off the job. The Scottish register “skirmishes” and any ‘Welsh Register’ must do likewise as “Skirmishes” are often as important as Battles as for example, is the skirmish of Coed Grwyne (1136) Work in preparing the proposed ‘Scottish Register’ has been carried out by Alan Mainnes, Proffessor of Scottish History at Aberdeen University.
2. Most importantly, recognising both successes - and failings of the ‘English Battlefield Register’, ‘Historic Scotland’ will be placing their draft register before the Scottish Parliament for approval and to decide if legislation is required to give the said ‘Scottish Register’ ‘’teeth’’ to make it work effectivelly - not only regards preservation but most importantly regards offering source of real protection. This, I would argue, should be the same approach regards a ‘Welsh Battlfields Register’. It should be placed before our National Assembly for they to pass effective legislation and legal address to defend Welsh Battlefields from any devastation and destruction.
Ireland: Ireland is, of course, may years ahead of Wales in retaining a working interest in their history so it is not suprising that with the aid & assistance of EURO GRANTS that they are well ahead in the setting up of excellent Heritage Centres, many with interest in Ireland’s Miltary Heritage. One such centre is in Wexford relating to the 1798 United Irishmen Rebellion. There is also in existance a well organised ‘Miltary Heritage of Ireland Trust’ based at Ireland’s Ministry of Defence in Dublin, this body concerns itself with ‘Irish Military History’ throughout the World. Indeed, if such ‘Welsh Miltary History Society’ were set up then they too could similarly have interests that extended beyond Wales - and not just contained to the Zulu Wars but beginning with the Welsh Mercenaries that served abroad in the continental causes of England, France or whomsoever. Not least, Gruffydd and his mercenary band in Flanders and Owain Lawgoch in France.
In passing it will be of some interest and signifigance to draw attention to examples of Battlefields interests and enthusiasm in areas of preservation, protection and promotion amongst a number of Indigenous peoples who fought wars of Liberation against European Imperialism: Many Welsh people will be familiar with the fact that the Battlefield sites of Kwa Zula – Natal are very well considered and cared for. Not so well known are the Maori Battlefield sites in New Zealand and, in particular, the bloody New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860’s battlefield sites which had been very much ignored untill 2001 when Massy University historian and students began a campaign to put mattrers right - and much work to this end is now being done - pioneered by Massy University History Department.
Wales: At Last! Since lauching this ‘Campaign’ essentially for a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ (given good publicity and support by the Western Mail but, per usual in such matters, ignored by BBC WALES) I have been encouraged by the sympathy expressed for the campaign but unfortunatly, up to now, I’ve not had the time to do much in regards to translating this passive sympathy into pro – active positive support. Over months ahead, during 2005, I will attempt to do so but first, matters re the continuing campaign for a ‘WBR’..
A). CADW the Agency I feel should be reponsible for sponsoring and producing a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ commented in reply to queries by a Western Mail reporter on the matter that they were busily employed on the production of a ‘Register of Welsh Bueaty Spots’ or such? I have since written to CADW asking a number of questions to which they have kindly replied promptly with letter from Richard Avent, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, with most satisfactory answers to my questions. Cadw needs now to be supported and if lack of funds is a problem then the Assembly needs to provide Cadw with the money to embark on a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ with some haste.
B). Ordnence survey. Mistakenly believing that they were resposible for locating Welsh Battlefield sites on their maps, I first wrote to them requesting more was added and was quickly informed that the initial responsibilty for surveying Welsh Battlefields was the work of the RCAHMW and if they made request for a Welsh Battlefield to be included on Welsh O.S. Maps then the O.S. would seriously consider the matter and more than likely do so as and when possible regards map reprints. However, in a reply to my second letter to the O.S. they agreed with me that it was greatly possible that the lack of Welsh battlefields being so marked on O.S. Maps depreciated their historical value and attention to them (especially in Miltiary History publishing) I quote from the letter… “I fully appreciate your oppinion about the fact that those Authors who are ‘setting’ out to produce such books may indeed first of all refer to what the O.S recognises as battlefields – and simply stop there. I do agree with your point here, and can only offer my apologies with regard to this matter”. Luke Hampson. Customer Advisor O.S. Well, that’s possibly a third of the battle to get ‘Welsh battle sites recognised. Now over to RCAHMW.
C). RCAHMW aka Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru. Raising matters already raised with O.S. I had a quick and illuminating positive reply from Brian Mathews, head of Archaelogical Mapping based at Plas Crug, Aberystwyth. Yes! They were responsible for surveying (and passing on information to the O.S.) Welsh battlefield sites and that such work was under way but had not, it seems, got very far for a number of reasons.
1.The O.S is moving over to digital mapping and in consequence this requires different scales of mapping to previous plus there are a number of complex technical issues to resolve before new sites can be added. So, there’s not going to be a quick fix! However, the matter looks positive but, we no need to keep it an issue to be constantly pursued and promoted.
2.The RCAHMW aka CBHC have, at this moment in time, been given brief by their commissioners to compile a list of principal battlesites most of them validated but still requiring accurate location of the sites to satisfy mapping requirements of the O.S. thus the RCAHMW were continuing with this work .Setting up of a ‘WBT’ could assist with this by provision of info.
However, The RCAHMW informs me it is not within their remit to produce a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register and they suggest we contact CADW about this as they will be supplying them with a list.
Well! Is that it? No! Not Quite. As illustrated in this paper hopefully, many, myself included, consider the matter of compiling a ‘Welsh Battlefield Register’ to be of the utmost importance and hopefully, CADW will agree and accept its responsibilty, as a body, for the comiling of such and most pressingly. So, It is a case, I hope, to meet with them to discuss. Further, I shall be seeking support of ‘all party’ A.M’s to move this fast forward via the National Assembly of Wales as it is they, after all, who are CADW’s bosses. At the same time, I shall be approaching A.M’s as to the possibilty of proposing that the Assembly passes Legislation, in any case, regards preservation, protection and promotion. Not least, I shall be requesting of the Assembly funds to establish a ‘Welsh Battlefields Trust’ and to finance a programme of work in persuance of a variety of objectives as outlined in this and other documents
Of course, it would lend far greater weight to this campaign if there was an actual body of enthusiasts organised to persue the above thus, with this in mind, I intend to organise an initial informal discussion meeting in association with the Battle of Pwll Melyn 1405 commemoration in May. Sufficient people have expressed an interest in participating in such a meeting that will have as its immediate practical aim, the organising of a provisional ‘Welsh Battlefield Conference’. Also, at this conference, it is hoped that an ‘Antur Brwydrau Cymru’ will be established with, as it’s purpose if necessary, the organisation of the first ‘Welsh Battlefield Conference’ in Builth Wells on or around 11 Rhagfyr 2006. I would appreciate it if all interested persons and parties wishing to attend any of these three meetings please let me know asap. Three meetings will allow ample opportunity for full and fruitful discussion of all requirements for the successful advance of the above as outlined. NB: I did not find time to carry this through but shall attempt again soon, possibly in association with 725th anniversary of 11 Rhagfyr 1282 this coming December 2007.
Further, I would recommend that as many ‘Battlefield Site Friends Groups’ be established throughout Wales as possible. Such ‘BSFG’s could, immediately, do some useful work. Embassy Glyndŵr has already, since 2004, been running a similar scheme ‘Tarian Glyndŵr’ where their members “Register Glyndwr Battlefields’’ as means of promoting attention to issues raised in this document. Untill such time as a WBT is set up and is working effectivelly, I would be prepared to issue ‘Site Visit Survey Forms’ to any one interested in embarking on such a Welsh scheme which would also inform as to a number of aims that could be taken up. Its, at the very least, a start - and perhaps, will prove to be an improvement on Embassy Glyndŵr’s valued but limited work to date.
· Bloody Battlefield of Cadfan, Coed Lathen 1257 (Search web for BBC S.W. Wales site)
Other issue effecting Welsh Battlefields: Reading Terry Breverton’s book on Welsh Saints my attention was drawn to the fact that the ‘European Union’ insists on surveying Welsh fields; a numbering system is used and not original native names. Such information being fed into data bases and to maps will militate against having a central source of information on Welsh names in the landscape. Most disadvantagous - not least for Battle siter research - as names of fields can point out locations of battles and Terry gives some good examples: Wyddigoed (shouting wood), Cae Caethas (field of enslaving), Gwern y Ciliaw (Swamp of retreat), Maescadlawr (The field of the floor of the battle) and so fourth. provision for such must be made record on ‘SVSF’s.
Related Matters: Who owns the past? Report on the rewitting of Iraq’s modern history by orders of the American backed Government leads to accusations of pro – American revisionism. See History Network News on the web. Same issue is given brief coverage in BBC History Magazine. Nov 2004 also, same issue item on ‘should history be used to teach citizenship? All these matters have bearing on Welsh History.
USA has, by far, the very best of Battlefield Preservation, P. P & P programmes of federal, States & county Initiatives, projects and schemes. Such provide huge Military heritage grant funding aid etc. (full info on line)
Battles that changed Welsh history:
Deserving of priority attention.
* Mynydd Carn 1081. At the time the Normans set to begin Conquest of Wales.(As important as 'Hastings is to the England). This battle - Is it ultimatly of greater benefit to the Welsh or to the Normans?
* Grogan 1165, A ''Welsh Thermopylae''? prior to the Berwyn Invasion 'Ffordd Y Saeson', Unity of Welsh Princes in 'Stand off' against one of Europe's largest military expeditions.
* Battles of Llwchwr ( Abertawe) and Crug Mawr (Cardigan) 1136. Immensely important as these battles finally halt the Normans from over running 'pura Wallie'. Consequences immense, politically and culturally, to the future of the ''unoccupied free Wales'' Principalities of Gwynedd and Dehuebath. This bought time for Welsh laws, customs, culture and literature to develop within these Principalities, leading to the growth of a 'Cymric consciousness'. It would be an interesting exercise for the Western Mail, in association with Yr Academy Gymreig to run an 'Alternative History' writing competition. 'What if the Welsh had lost the Battle of Crug Mawr 1136?. If we had lost, the Wales of today would possibly be very different. Not least, it would have been quite possible that if the Normans had won at Crug Mawr, then the Welsh Language may have gone into decline earlier and possibly gone the way of Gaelic in Ireland and Scotland and Cornish.
· Battle/Massacre of Irfon Bridge 1282. Now disputed as not taking place. An ''Historical Conspiracy'' to cover up the fact that Edward I, at a loss, in not being able to win a quick victory over Llywelyn III conspired to have Llywelyn Assassinated .This 'Assassination plot' is as intriguing to Wales, as the 'Kennedy assassination or Lincoln’s assassination is to Americans (Both subject to Conspiracy theories) and the ‘’Battle of Irfon Bridge’’ plays an important role in this history (Read the Anthony Edwards Theory)
· Glyndŵr's Battles: as Hyddgen 1401, Battle of Bryn Glas 1402 and Stalling Down 1403 (With reference to the Tywi valley ''Tet offensive'', to knock on head 'once and for all - the Shrewsbury heresy)
· Craig y Dorth 1404 and last - but not least, the Battle of Pwll Melyn 1405: taking into account the massacre of 300 unarmed Welsh prisoners (See Henry V and Massacre of unarmed French prisoners at Azincourt 1415). Was the ''bloody spring'' offensive in Gwent of 1405, the real turning point for Owain Glyndŵr during the Last Great War of Welsh Independence 1400 - 16 - 22. This year is the 600th anniversary of Battle of Pwll Melyn thus, urgent special attention needs to be given to the matter of this battle site.
See ‘Reference Wales’ compiled by John May UWP. Caerdydd 1994. pp 258 – 265. for excellent comprehensive list of battle sites.Other Welsh Battles to Consider:
· Battle of Coed Ysbwys, 1094.
· Battle of Coed Llathen, Ystrad Tywi, 1257.
· Battle of Llwchwr 1136.
· Battle of Maes Gwenllian 1136
· Battle of Bryn Derwin 1255.
Marwnad Milwr Dienw
In English translation;
Elegy for an Unknown Soldier.
Whence do they come, trouble, furious passion as grief?
A wise man may well ask for the story.
‘Lord God ! those thou takest away each night
Sadly are not seen the next day.
The next day from when he left for battle, sadly
He is sought but not seen.
It is grievious to follow a history of pain,
Of utter destruction from the loss of a man.
A man thou takest from the desperate straits, from pain
When he goes from here,
Dear Jesus, righteous unfailing lord,
Where does he hide ? where does he go ?
Whence do they come…
Gwernen ap Clyddno.
Written in first half of the 13th century.
Taken from ‘Cyfres Beirdd y Tywysogion VI – Gwaith Dafydd Benfraes ac Eraill.
Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru 1995.
I am much inspired by the Works of Anthony Edwards, which I suggest are read:
· Letters of a Peacemaker.
· Appointment at Aberedwy.
· The Massacre at Aberedwy.
· Marwolaeth Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.
· The Ghosts on the Fairway – The Army that Vanished.
Post Script: I wrote this ''update report'' in 2005, I have not had time to do another ''update''. However, the above should suffice to fully fill you in on a great deal, unfortunatly since 2005 I have not had much time to further this campaign greatly. Thus, I have not been able either to sustain interest and enthuse many people, but my mind and body is turning toward a renewed ''Do or Die'' effort. I will inform you of my ideas in this connection but first I have to recontact a number of concerned people and agencies, when I have recieved their replies I will ''update'' all of interest on the ''Status Quo''. Then, I will take it from there, very important if you wish to be kept informed then please inform me so firstname.lastname@example.org