Cardigan People 22: Goronwy Moelwyn-Hughes MP (1897–1955)

Goronwy Moelwyn-Hughes was born in Priory St* on 6 October 1897 the eldest son of the Revd J. G. Moelwyn-Hughes (1866–1944) who was the minister at Tabernacle Chapel. He attended the local schools before heading for UCW Aberystwyth. During WW1 he served with the West Yorkshire regiment, was wounded , transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and served as a pilot (1917–19). He then returned to Aberystwyth, graduated as BA, entered Downing College, Cambridge where he obtained first-class honours in the law tripos. He was called to the bar in 1922. He fought two unsuccessful general elections for the Liberals in the Rhondda in Nov 1934 and Cardiganshire in 1935. He was the elected unopposed at a by-election in Carmarthen in March 1941, a seat he held until 1945. He was then returned as Labour MP for North Islington in 1950 but retired due to ill health in 1951.

He was appointed as a commissioner for inquiry on to the Burnden Park, Bolton football disaster in 1946, when 33 spectators were crushed by the pressure of numbers. He recommended that football grounds be made subject to safety licensing.

*[Llwyn Onn according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, but according to 1901 Census Finch’s Sq. The family were living at Glasynys, Priory St. in 1911 (census)]

He frequently returned to Cardigan to visit his parents. Here is an interesting (silent) film he made of his visit in 1933.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-haf-1933-cardigan-1936-online

Cardigan People 19: Edward Vernon Mathias – Memoirs of a Cardigan P.O.W. 18826

Edward Vernon Mathias

18826 Memoirs of a P.O.W. during the years 1940–45, Edward Vernon Mathias.

Available to download on to your Kindle

Only £3.06  to download. All proceeds to be donated to the British Legion Organisation.

Before the war Vernon Mathias (Mr Mathias, Bon Marche) worked at John Lewis, Oxford Street in London. At the beginning of WW2 he joined the Queen Victoria Rifles Regiment. By May 1940 he was on his way to France. He saw action in and around Calais, was wounded and was captured. There followed a 5 year term of imprisonment at several camps eventually ending up in a POW camp in Poland. His detailed and honest account describes daily life in a POW, the hardships and hopes for a better future back in Cardigan.

 “We moved off stumbling over the railway lines, a stinking, dirty and dishevelled mob…”
“the Red Cross food parcel was the one thing that we looked forward to…”

“Physically I lost weight in a rapid an alarming manner and the side effects were weakness, an outbreak of skin sores, loss of some teeth and worst of all, one’s weakness encouraged the infestation of body lice which practically made life unbearable”

In the camp he meets up with another Cardigan boy – Jack Griffiths!

Autumn stretches out to winter: “The river Vestula froze to a great depth…”
“The frosty nights were marvellous and I would look at the stars and imagine Nan (later his wife) also looking at the same stars…”

He is then moved to Heydebreck. 1941 …1942… and 1943 beckons and life was hard – digging trenches while air raids were common especially throughout the summer of 1942. Then arrived a new medical officer – a Capt. James, originally from New Quay… (He died in 1981). There follows a failed attempt to escape from the camp… but leading only to (eventually three periods) of solitary confinement “ the room was roughly 6ft by 10ft…”

“1943 gradually came to a close and Christmas was here again…”
“whilst we POWs grumbled over our lot, it was as nothing compared to what the Jews suffered…”

22 January 1945 the march to freedom began, fleeing the Russian advance. After weeks of marching he eventually reached Burgermeistr, Bavaria.

“We flew home via Holland…when I arrived in Carmarthen railway station there was a taxi waiting for me. It took me the last 30 miles to Cardigan arriving in the evening where quite a few people were waiting to welcome me. My sister and my parents were waiting at the front door.”

“My journey was over” and it was time to look to the future.

Bon Marche c. 1984

A fascinating account of what life was like as a prisoner of war. 

Cardigan People 17: Dr James M. Phillips; Dr Llewellyn C. P. Phillips

Dr James Mathias Phillips M.D., M.R.C.S., L.S.A. (1839–1903)

Native of St Dogmaels. In 1870 he was surgeon to Morfa Colliery, Margam. Returned to Cardigan during the 1880s. Lived and worked from 10 Priory St. Mayor in 1882. By 1901 he was living in Bank House, 6 High St. Baptist, member at Blaenwaun, Buried at Blaenwaun. His son Llewellyn Caractacus Powell Phillips was also a doctor (see below).

Dr Llewellyn Caractacus Powell Phillips M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.S. (1871–1927):

This is what the British Medical Journal has to say about him:

He was born at Taibach, Glam. on July 28th 1871. In 1881 he was living in 10 Priory St. From Epsom College he went to Caius College, Cambridge, in 1889, obtaining first-class honours in Part I of the Natural Science Tripos of 1892, and then entered as a student at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He qualified as MRCS, LRCP, in 1894, took the MB and B.Ch Camb degrees, in 1895, and in 1897 obtained diploma of FRCS Eng. In 1903 he proceeded MD and obtained MRCP and in 1909 elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London. He practised for a while at Cardigan. (c.1898)
His career in Egypt began when he was appointed resident surgical officer of the Kasr-el-Aini Hospital Cairo. Elected Professor of Medicine in the Royal School of Medicine, Cairo. During WW1 he held a temporary commission as lieutenant-colonel RAMC, and commanded the British Red Cross Hospital at Giza; he was mentioned four times in dispatches. From 1914 to 1917 he held the appointment of physician to H.H. la Hussein Kamel, Sultan of Egypt, and for his services was made a member of the Orders of the Nile and of the Medjidie.
He made a remarkable collection of old Arab glass weights and coins, and died at his house in Cairo in January, 1927.
He contributed articles on tropical medicine to various medical journals including: “Phlebotomus Fever” in Bryan and Archibald’s Practice of Medicine in the Tropics, v Amoebiasis and the Dysenteries, 8vo, London, 1915.

There is a plaque in memory of this gentleman in St Mary’s Church:
https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6273412

Cardigan People 16: Ada Ince Williams; Revd William Jones; David J. P. Richards; Dr Selby Clare

Ada Ince Williams (1856–22.09.1923)

Native of Haverfordwest. Lived in Northgate Terrace. Wife of Captain Thomas Howell Williams.

David J. P. Richards: ‘One of Wales’ premier distance walkers of his generation

David J. P. Richards, son of Capt David & Annie Ida, Kelvin, St Mary’s Terrace. His brother George Ivor Milton Phillips was killed on 26.03.1917 at the First Battle of Gaza [David Griffiths, Cenotaph, p. 92]

Member of Newport Harriers. Holder of the Welsh 2-mile walk title [South Wales Argus] and 15-mile walk title for 3 yrs in succession in 2h 5m 8sec. A Welsh record for the distance. [CTA 19.8.38].

As a 42 yr old he won the Monmouth  open road walk of 14 miles in 2h 6m 2sec. – only 15 sec outside the record of W S Woode in 1936.  [CTA 17.6.1938]. Any Photos survive?

Dr Selby Clare (7.08.1880–11.11.1942)

Graystone, Priory St.

Cardigan People 15: Arthur Morris; H. H. Evans; Ivor Rees; Charles Mason; Fred Lewis

Arthur Morris (1908–1937)

Cardigan Man Dies Fighting for Spanish Government
Arthur David Morris grew up at Claverley, 2 Gordon Terrace, the son of Arthur Owen and Martha Jane (nee Wigley) and worked as an apprentice at James’ ironmongery at Pendre. In 1929, at the age of 21, he emigrated to Canada. He served in the army for two and half years before he eventually settled in Blairmore, Alberta, where he worked as a miner. He joined the Communist Party of Canada in 1933.
Arthur Morris left Canada in 1936 to enrol in the International Lenin School in Moscow. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War the students of the Lenin School departed for Spain, and Arthur made his own way across Europe sending postcards home from Warsaw, Paris and Perpignan. He crossed into Spain and joined the American contingent who were forming the Abraham Lincoln battalion at Albacete, midway between Madrid and Valencia.
The battle that raged in the Jarama Valley to the south of Madrid in February 1937 was one of the most ferocious of the war with the Fascists deploying German artillery.

In February 1937, at the age of 29 Arthur Morris met his death in the olive groves of the Jarama Valley, south of Madrid.
In May 1937 news of Arthur’s death finally reached his mother and made front page headlines of the Tivyside Advertiser, competing for space with the Coronation; ‘Killed in Spain –Cardigan Man Dies Fighting for Spanish Government’. His mother described him as a “beautiful boy, always fighting for what he thought to be right”.

https://www.oocities.org/irelandscw/docs-WelshMorris.htm

Henry Harries Evans (1872–14.05.1916, aged 45 yrs.)

A native of Solva, he moved to Cardigan when he was 20 years old. He was a bootmaker by trade. His workshop was in 8 St. Mary’s St. He was an excellent music teacher and conducted the Cardigan Choral Society for many years. He was also an accomplished artist in oil and watercolour. He composed a number of hymn-tunes for the local Singing Festivals e.g. Ar ei ben bo’r goron (1913); Cyfaill plant bychain (1909); Dewi (1914); Felinganol (1913); Induna (1913); Strathmore (1915); Ynys Dewi (1914). He disagreed with the decision to postpone the 1915 Cymanfa Ganu and strangely was buried on the very day that it was originally arranged to be held.

Ivor Rees (1935–84)

A native of St Dogmaels. Lived in Charlton House, North Rd. Local postman, and a keen sportsman – golf, snooker, football, and cross-country running. He played left back and was captain for Cardigan Town FC during its most successful period.

Charles Alfred William Mason (1900–82)

Born in Westminster. Fought with the 13th Royal Fusiliers during WW1. Joined the staff of the British Museum in 1922. Moved to Cardigan in 1956 with his wife Frances. They kept a second-hand bookshop at the Royal Oak, 1 Quay St.

Frederick David Lewis (d. Jan. 1983)

A native of Llandrindod Wells. Came to Cardigan in 1929. Amateur actor, Town Councillor, and mayor in 1952–3. A keen fisherman he kept a fishing tackle shop in Pendre. Accomplished golfer and excellent billiard player.

Cardigan People 14: Willie Morgan, Daniel Morris, Revd T. J. Morris, William A. Jenkins, John Evans

Willie Morgan, Adelphi (1904–87)

Confectioner and cafe at Adelphi, Pendre in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sunday school teacher at Bethania Chapel.

Daniel Morris, Llwynpiod (14.08.1876–1953)

Dairy farmer. Keen agricultural showman and judge.

Revd T. J. Morris, Capel Mair (10.02.1846–13.12.1908)

A native of Llanelli. Entered Carmarthen College in 1867. Ordained in Saron, Llangeler in 1871. Began his ministry in Capel Mair in June 1876, with a membership of 327. The chapel developed as a cultural and social centre traditionally associated with late 19c nonconformity. A vestry was built in 1885. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Herring in 1876. James Herring was the son of Revd John Herring, Bethania (1811–32).

William A. Jenkins, Mercantile. (d.02.02.1982)

Managing director of the Cardigan Mercantile Company. Town councillor. Mayor in 1966.

John Evans (1838–1903) (left)

Born on the Netpool. Boot and shoemaker in Pendre. Baptised 31.07.1892 by Revd John Williams, Bethania. He was a brother to Thomas (Telynog).

Cardigan People 13: Where’s Dai? Jan. 1936

Proclamation 22 Jan 1936. The new king on 20 January was Edward VIII.
I have enlarged the above photograph and divided it into sections to make it easier to see the faces. Please let me know if you recognize anyone (all suggestions welcomed).
Bottom Left 1
1 William Jones (Willie Binks); 2 Nancy May Williams, Feidrfair; 3 ?
Bottom 2
1 J G Watts; 2 John R. Daniel; 3 ?Bill Shewring; 4 Alec Richards, Feidrfair; 5 Golwyna Davies, Bron-y-dre; 6 Marjorie Owen, Cardigan Arms
Bottom 3
1 Gwilym Prosser, Royal Stores; 2 ?
Bottom 4
1 William Adams, Priory St; 2 Aneurin Jones, printer; 3 David Jones, Tivy-side; 4 Maida Rotie, St Mary’s St; 5 Gwladys Rotie, St Mary’s St; 6 John Prosser, Bron-y-dre; 7 Capt. Ladd, Aden Wen
Bottom 5
1 Miss Davies, North Rd; 2 Dai Williams, Rosario Hall
Top Left 1
1 Wynford Williams; 2 Trevor Williams, Pav; 3 Roland Peregrine, headmaster; 4 Nellie Sulman; 5 Margaret Sulman; 6 Revd D. J. Roberts, Capel Mair; 7 Vicar; 8 Pegi Rogers, Drawbridge
Top Right 1
1 Miss Gwyneth Morris, headmistress; 2 George Evans, Hardware Stores; 3 Marie Smith
; 4 Laurie Morgan
Top Right 2
Mayor and Councillors 1
1 Revd D. J. Roberts, Capel Mair; 2 Vicar; 8 David J. Rotie, mace bearer; 12 Dan Williams, Y Bwthyn; 14 Revd Eseia Williams, Bethania; 19 Mrs James Thomas, Commercial, mayoress; 20 James Thomas, Commercial, mayor
Mayor and Councillors 2
5 David Williams, Greenfield Row; 9 John Williams, mace bearer