No 47: The Great War Roadshow
I had an enjoyable time at the Roadshow at the Slate Museum last Saturday and met Gethin Matthews and his team from Cardiff University who are collecting documents, memorabilia and people's stories. We arrived towards the end of the afternoon and the University staff were all busy with people and it had been busy all day. There was a friend there with many well preserved letters from and regarding her father who had also been a member of the Liverpool Scottish Regiment. I had been told that the Regiment had been quite busy recruiting along the north Wales coast.
I enjoyed showing and discussing the photos and postcards with Gethin. As I had so many photos and postcards I had already scanned them and saved them on a disc which I handed over together with comments on each photo or card. I showed the first postcard from France in the last blog but there was a standard communication before that dated 12 June 1916 addressed to my mother aged 7. The back shows that only a very limited number of standard messages could be sent on these cards. It must have been frightening to have received one of these cards where the message chosen had been, "I have been admitted to hospital wounded." Fortunately Tom was alright at this time.
Amongst the items that I showed the experts was the postcard that was circulating in Wales to get people to show their support for the war. This was sent on 16 September 1916, to my great grandfather, William Pritchard Williams (father of Thomas Williams), by "Yr Awdur" (the Author). The "Awdur" was presumably the designer and publisher of the card, John Robert Gethin Jones, who was a son of Owen Gethin Jones, the civil engineering contractor, bard and local historian whose business partner was Owen Jones, one of my great great grandfathers. William P. Williams lived in Gwiga, Penmachno, which was the neighbouring farm to Tyddyn Cethin where John Robert had spent his childhood. John Robert would have known William well.
John Robert was a successful engineer and accomplished metrologist and the card is very detailed. If you double left click on the image you can get an enlarged image which is needed if you wish to examine the detail on this card. This is a chain postcard with the following instruction:
"TO WIN THE WAR, let us follow the example of the Modern David in a determined Push, and go out in earnest - Fight, Work and Economise - we can all do something. The service that I'm doing is - see the link between yours and LLOYD-GEORGE, - You know well that VICTORY depends on our UNITED PUSH. So please fill up the LINK received, retain it as a keepsake. Send another to your friend until the CHAIN will be long enough to surround the ENEMY. Beware of the gap."
The card has six hearts connecting the Kingdom of Heaven; David (slayer of Goliath); Saint David from the sixth century and David Lloyd George from the twentieth century. The fifth heart is from "The Sender" with the date 16 September 1916 with a promise written to "pay" and from this I assume that John Robert was making a financial contribution to the war. The final heart is for the recipient to complete and I note that William did not follow the instruction to sign this section!
Underneath this is "Ideal of the Little Nation". The design is full fascinating slogans such as that on the swords down the sides, "Kill for good" and on the pillars is "The Welsh. 1282. 1911. 1914." This really is a fascinating card and I believe that it will be worth it for you to enlarge the image by a double left click so that you can see the detail for yourself. I wonder how many copies of this card have survived. Does anyone reading this blog have one?
The Caernarfon Archives will be closed for maintenance for the week starting 11 October 2010
Gwynedd Family History Society, www.gwyneddfhs.org
Meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 2 November (In English, first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: Bryan & Heulwen Jones: "The Oregon Trail"
Caernarfon, 28 October (In Welsh, last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Dr Huw Roberts: "Oes yna le i hogyn fynd yn llongwr"
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 13 November: at Yale College, Wrexham.
Beryl Evans: "The National Library of Wales"
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