14 October 2010

THE BOOK: WALES AND WAR addressing the question of Welsh Militarism and Pacifism.

This book e
dited by Mathew Cragoe and Chris Williams 
and  subject of this post might at first sight appear a million miles away from medieval Wales but then perhaps not, if you read on and certainly get to read this book. Whatever, as I am bringing to an end my work in this Welsh Battlefield Campaign and as I was involved in that 'Forgotten War' mentioned below it is perhaps apt I make this my last post to I'R GAD. Making it quite clear that there is no need ever again to go to battle in the 'Old Ways' be that of Medieval Wales or of the 'Sixties' armed Adfywiad Gwladgarol, the Welsh Patriots sword for ever must be beaten into ploughshares and though the pen might not quite be mightier than the sword' it's certailny less painful and bloody, not least to the innocent!

(ed., with Matthew Cragoe), Wales and War: Religion, Society and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ...
www.swan.ac.uk/staff/academic/.../williamschris/ - Cached

An excellent read on a number of varied subjects by a number of excellent writters of Welsh History, as follows in brief: 

Introduction by Editors.

1: A pacific People by John S.Ellis. (see extracts below)

2: Loyalties: State and Nation by Niel Evans.

3: Arming the Citizen by Paul O' Leary.

4: Garibaldi and the Welsh Political Imagination by Kees Windland.

5: A Brimful of Patriotism by Mathew Cragoe.

6: Taffs in the trences by Chris Williams.

7: Christ and Ceaser by Robert Pope.

8: The Second Armageddon by Angela Gaffney.

9: Do't Mention the War by Gerwyn Williams.

Selected Further Reading and Index.

Hope above has excited your curiosty enough to get down the library to lend and read an illuminating body of Welsh Historic Writting which even though I only had time to glance through informs me of what I know anyway. Welsh Pacifism is some what a blown out of it's minority scale, even today to make it appear as a major Welsh preoccupation it requires a kind of unholy alliance between religously minded 'Cultural Nationalism' and secular Socialists. On the whole whilst then Anti - War  marches look impressive the truth is that most Welsh People are pro war  and always have been, be it against Catholic Europe during the Reformation. Most certainly against the Americans, French and Irish in times of their Revolts and Revolutions, through WWI & II despite Penyberth and all that to the present day wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunatly, as chapters in this book clearly show that whilst the Welsh were sure enough great warriors in the struggles against the Anglo - Normans up to the age of Owain Glyndwr but there after for the most part became great Soldiers of the post Act of Union 1536 Tudor State and in time of the British Empire. Today, young Welshmen are quite willing to fight and die for an English Crown as they have done sine Bosworth 1484 and indeed before as at Battle of Irfon Bridge 1282, Yes! patriotically depressing?

However, to make up for it a little along came the Free Wales Army, led by our very own 'Garibaldi' Julian Cayo Evans along with the more dangerous Mudiad Amdiffyn Cymru led by our very own 'General Grivas' John Jenkins. The link between both men and others involved was for the most part they were or, had been British Army Service men as were others as  Glyn Rowlands whilst Toni Lewis served in RAF. Another common area of shared background was that they were in main 'English Speaking Welsh', if not all ex Brit Army service men. Further, many were from the South and well outside the traditional rural religious pacifist background, indeed I suspect that they had more in common with fellow B.A. service men than pacifist non - conformists. However, given the pro British Welsh Militarist Tradition of post 1536 Act of Union what on earth one may ask produced what John Humphries declares as 'Wales's Forgotten War'.

  1. Freedom FightersWales's Forgotten 'War', 1963-1993: Amazon.co.uk ...

    This review is from: Freedom FightersWales's Forgotten 'War', 1963-1993 (Paperback). We all remember the spoof Not the Nine O'Clock News item that made ...
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You might find some answers there in my blog:

Alternative Welsh Nationalist Archive: The Patriotic Front and the ...

29 Apr 2007 ... An Archive of material record informing on Alternative Welsh NationalismMovement and Struggle 1946 - 2006. This archive will contain a ...
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    In all these connections it is interesting to note conclusions of John S, Ellis in opening chapter of aforementioned book:

    Myself, put it all down to the times and circumstances, then maybe a case of cometh the hour cometh the man, not least Freedom Fighter Owain Williams, son of the soil and truely a Welsh Patriot of note whic the 'Crachach' establishment choose to kick into the Shadows of Welsh History as in first episode of Pen Talar?