03 May 2007

Welsh Military History Writting and Publishing.

At least there are improvements in area of Welsh Military History Writing, see work of Paul Rempfrey (search Welsh Battles on web) also recently published book on Welsh Military Institutions, only problem the price; at £30 obviously it will not become mass popular reading. My concern about Welsh battlefields has been to the fore in my mind for quite some time, prompted by my finding out the disinterest that exists amongst the powers that be who should be concerned - and then also, by the attitude of military historians and publishers. On the subject of Welsh Battlefields, we were already aware of the fact that battlefields in Wales are particularly under threat, in the main, because the Welsh Monuments Board and CADW the bodies responsible for our ‘Heritage in the Landscape’ do not have Welsh Battle Sites down on their list of priorities, although due to the I'r Gad- Welsh Battlefield Campaign, they are sitting up and listening. Add to this the fact that there is an institutionalised thinking amongst ‘British historians’ and ‘military interest publishing’ that proclaims that there were no Welsh Battle fields only “Killing Grounds!” and no doubt then they usually go on to paint a picture of the Welsh as only being capable of fighting a guerrilla form of warfare. So very few books on military history ever mention Welsh battles. Go and have a look… you will be shocked that even a major work such as the O.S book of British battles mentions no Welsh battle Fields at all. However, there does exist some books on Welsh Battles.

Battles in Wales by Herbert Williams.

• The Battles of Wales by Dilys Gator.

• Famous Welsh Battles by Philip Warner.

• Glyndŵr's War by Gideon Brough.

• In Search of Owain Glyndŵr by Chris Barber.

• Glyndŵr’s First Victory by Ian Flemming.

Also must mention:

• For best account of the
‘Battle of Bryn Glas’ see book Owain Glyndŵr and the last war of welsh independence in the Welsh Borders, written by Geoffry Hodges and published by Logeston Press. I have suggested to the publishers they publish the chapter on battle of Bryn Glas as a pamphlet. It’s under consideration.

• Last but not least, suggest you buy 'Reference Wales', compiled by John May, published by UWP, Cardiff. Excellent pen ultimate list of Welsh Battlefields.

Other publications:

• The Normans in South Wales 1070 – 1171. Lynn Nelson. University of Texas.

• Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. J.B.Smith. UWP. Cardiff.

• The Taming of the Dragon. W.B.Bartlett. Sutton publishing.

• The Age of Conquest. R.R. Davies. Oxford U.P.


• Last year seen an item in ‘Western Mail’, about a group of Welsh Medieval re-enactors going off to ‘Azincourt’ to help save that Battlefield from ‘windmill developments. ''What about Welsh Battlefields?'' and they are closer. Indeed I would hope that Welsh Military/Medieval Living History and Re – enactment societies and Groups will follow the example of Samhain, who are the first of such to promise support for my campaign.

• Last year BBC 2 produced a T.V. series on subject of 'British Battlefields' and at least one episode covered battles fought by Glyndŵr. This episode largely about 'Battle of Bryn Glas' proved to be excellent. In passing, thought I would ask the question; why doesn’t BBC Wales or even ITV Wales producing, a long over due T.V. series on Welsh battlefields? Hello! BBC Wales programme ma
kers; I can supply you with a ‘treatment’ for such – No problem!

Footnote: The weathers great and looks to be remaining so, how about you getting out and about discovering Welsh Battlefields. Hopefully, then doing something useful to advance ''your?'' 'I'r Gad' - Welsh Battlefield Campaign, regarding what to do see, read following postings to this blog. Do let me know, if you can help and note local info and reporting with photos of Battlefields always welcome. Am I to be the only one bothered and pro - active in this important work?
I'r Gad!