September 2010 Archives
In the middle of August I saw an item on the Welsh magazine programme, "Wedi 7" (which I think is the best programme on S4C), on an event held in Aberystwyth about World War 1. This was part of a project run by Cardiff University School of History and Archaeology to gather information about Welsh experiences in WW1. The objective is to gather information, take digital images, catalogue and organise it so as to make it available on "The People's Collection" website. Part of this process is to hold Roadshows to give people the opportunity to bring their memorabilia to the researchers, discuss their significance and have documents copied. One Roadshow is to be held at the Welsh Slate Museum, Llanberis, on Saturday 2 October.
The TV item showed the Roadshow held in Aberystwyth and the hall looked quite full. There were interviews with the public who gave their reasons for being there and what they had brought with them. These included diaries, letters, postcards etc received from men serving in the armed forces during WW1 or items belonging to them. The stories were really interesting and I'm sure that the resulting entries on the website will worth while.>
Details can be seen on the website www.welshvoices.com or the Welsh language site www.rhyfelmawr.com. If you have the facilities to do so, these website enable you to send copies of your documents or photos of your artefacts directly to the researchers. If you don't have the facilities to do this, then you can take items that you think are of interest to the Roadshow and they can be copied or photographed there. Another advantage of going to the Roadshow is that you can discuss these with experts and get their views on the significance of your documents or artefacts. They will also give you advice on how you should care for your documents or artefacts so that your heirlooms can be well preserved for future generations. They are also interested in civilian experiences during WW1. In providing any copies or photos you have to agree that the University can use them and make them available to the public. They are also interested in stories that have been handed down over the generations and may take verbal stories. There are some good examples on their website.
My grandfather's brother, Thomas Williams (my mother's Uncle Tom), served in WW1 in the Liverpool Scottish Regiment (photo of him in his kilt above) and I have a number of postcards that he sent during his time of service. The first above is of the Regiment on the beach at Blackpool before embarkation. This, dated 9 April 1916, was sent to his father (William P. Williams of Gwiga, Penmachno) and on the back is written in Welsh, "Off to France tomorrow. See me behind the dot. Will write soon". The first card from France, dated 29 July 1916 was addressed to my mother, then aged 7, on which is written, "Just a card for your collection. Going on alright. Tom". All subsequent cards were addressed to my mother and it's difficult to imagine a child aged between 7 and 9 during 1916 to 1918 receiving postcards with such horrific photos. No letters have survived but the cards have done so because my mother was collecting them and my grandmother ensured that they were kept safely.
I shall be taking these and other postcards to the Roadshow and I hope that anyone within reasonable travel time from Llanberis will bring their memorabilia. The Roadshow is open 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 2 October. As far as I can see there are no other Roadshows planned in the north.
Gwynedd Family History Society, www.gwyneddfhs.org
Meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 5 October (In English, first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: Gareth Haulfryn Williams: "Edmund Glynne"
Caernarfon, 30 Medi (In Welsh, last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Wil Lloyd Davies: "Bachgen Bach o Felin y Wig"
Dolgellau, 14 October (In Welsh, second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: H Llew Williams: "Grym Ewyllys"
Conwy, 11 October (In English, second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn Rev Eirlys Gruffydd: "John Davies, Nercwys"
Llangefni, 21 October (In English, third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Nigel Thomas: "The last man publically hanged in North Wales"
Pwllheli, 15 October (In Wales, third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod: William Roger Jones: "Hugh Griffith a'i Oscar"
Clwyd Family History Society, www.clwydfhs.org.uk
The meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month (except August) at 2.00 pm at locations that rotate within the former county of Clwyd. The next meeting is as follows:
Saturday 9 October: at The Eirianfa Centre, Denbigh.
Phil Coops: "The murder of Mary Malpas - 1855"