26 April 2007

I'R Gad: Welsh Battle Field Campaign Objectives.

'I’r Gad'
Welsh Battlefields Campaign for

Preservation, Protection and Promotion.



Objective: To establish a ‘Welsh Battlefields Heritage Trust’ similar to those that already exists 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, Archaeological 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 Builth as it is here; reputedly, ''The Battle of Irfon Bridge'' took place on the same day as the assassination of Llywelyn III. This is not only seen as a most ''pivotal'' military engagement in Welsh history but it 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 information on pamphlets published by Anthony Edwards are detailed in other I'r Gad postings.

Further Immediate Objectives are:

· Preservation: Will be best served by the National Assembly of Wales legislating for such, Please all supporters of I'r Gad W.Bf .C work in this direction via your local A.M.

· Protection: Will be best afforded by organisation and setting up of a Welsh Battlefield Register by Cadw, as English Heritage has done for English Battlefields. Ditto above and letters to Cadw directly.

· Promotion: Will be best afforded by a survey on Welsh battlefields by RCAHMW working with O.S. Ditto above and letters direct to RCAHMW.

NB: All the aforementioned interested parties would have a part to play in pursuance of these objectives in association with leisure, culture and education departments of the relevant local Authorities. Not least, the WTB needs to give careful attention to the advantages of Welsh Military History Tourism’.
Long Term Objectives: The Proposed ‘Welsh Battlefield Trust’ would, as well as organise an annual conference, work towards organising various other related events and activities as well as develop a publishing programme and the establishment of a WBfT Resources database web site and will work long term towards the setting up of a WBfT 'Brwydrau Cymru' - Interpretation Centre, which I propose be established in Builth Wells.
Gethin Gruffydd.
I'r Gad Initiative Motivator.

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 you 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.

NB: This year, 725th Anniversary of the events of Rhagfyr 1282, Ysbryd Cofiwn will be advancing promotion of commemorations more in keeping with the writings of Anthony Edwards, a much truer patriotic account of events in central Cymru over three tragic days in December of that year. Commemorations proposed and promoted will take place at Rhosferig, Parc ar Irfon, Builth Wells and Aberedw. Hence, to be held annually on the Saturday following the 11Rhagfyr - National Day of Mourning, the commemoration programme will conclude on the Sunday Morning at Abaty Cwm Hir, with a service at the Cofiwn memorial at grave of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd - 'Tywysog Cymru'. Later in the day, there will be a visits to other sites associated in this history close by. Further information will be made available in due course.