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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Welsh Speakers Needed


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To aid me in my cross border adventures, could a forum member please translate the following into Welsh.

1, Killed in Action

2, Died of Wounds

3, France

4, Belgium

5, Germany

6, Great War

7, Prisoner of War

8, Fell in Action

9, Killed in the Great War

10, Died on Active Service

11, Lost at Sea


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Hello Neil

My Welsh isn't good enough to give you good translations, which other forum members can do so much better, but I thought that the University of Wales at Lampeter's Welsh-English English-Welsh online dictionary might be useful to you in your cross-border adventures.


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Let me have a crack Neil, on the grounds that if there's a better translation someone'll be along to correct mine in due course!

1. Lladdwyd ar faes y gad (lit., killed on the battlefield - but see also variants below no.8)

2. Bu farw o'i glwyfau (Lit., he died of his wounds)

3. Ffrainc

4. Belg, or more formally Gwlad Belg

5. Yr Almaen

6. Y Rhyfel Mawr

7. Carcharor rhyfel

8. Cwympodd ar faes y gad (as 1. above) OR C....yn y drin / ...yn y gad / ...yn y frwydr / ...yn yr ymladdfa (all meaning...in the battle or action) / ...yn yr ymladd (...in the fighting).

9. Lladdwyd yn y Rhyfel Mawr

10. Bu farw ar wasanaeth gweithredol (a clumsy phrase this), OR BF...yn y rhyfel (...in the war)...tra'n gwasanaethu (...while serving)

11. Collwyd ar y mor

Please note, nouns in Welsh can mutate at the start depending on what precedes them so don't worry if Gwlad Belg (Belgium) appears as "yng Ngwlad Belg / o Wlad Belg" (i.e., in/from Belgium respectively) - concentrate on the similarities of the rest of the word to what you're looking for!!

Other likely phrases you may encounter -

Milwr - soldier

Morwr - sailor

Llong - ship

Awyren / Awyrlu - Aeroplane / Air Force

Fflandrys - Flanders

Swyddog - officer

if you get stuck one of us'll attempt a translation anyway!

Happy hunting,


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LST-164's done a fine job there, to which I can add only a little. It's true that there are no direct translations for some of the phrases. Even when these can be 'forced', it doesn't mean you will find them in practice. Welsh, especially many years ago, was more poetic in its descriptions, particularly of death. Another complicating factor, though easy to overcome, is the past use of 'ph' (to sound 'f'), which is no longer used - it's now 'ff' (you can see this in the image below: 'Ei cyrph [today it would be cyrff] a gladdwyd mewn heddwch' - lit: 'their bodies that were buried in peace')

Other examples that do roughly translate are: 'Collwyd yn y Rhyfel Mawr' (literally: 'Lost in the Great War'). 'Lladdwyd tra'n amddiffyn ei wlad' (lit: 'Killed whilst defending his country') is also a common one, as is a hybrid of the two preceding ones, viz: 'A gollodd ei fywyd tra yn ymladd tros ei wlad' (Roughly: 'Who lost his life whilst fighting for his country'). As for many translations meaning and nuances can be subtle, and so lost in the process.

To throw you in at the deep end, here's my great uncle's inscription (Messach Rowlands, aged 17) on the family headstone at Penmynydd, Anglesey:


I may as well include the memorial at Llanfair P.G., Anglesey:


And finally his grave where he died, at Merville Communal Cemetery, near the France/Belgium border in France (note the day's discrepancy between this and the Penmynydd inscription):


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Wow i was only in Llanfair P.G last weekend.

Thank you for the brilliant info.


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Hi Neil.

I'm back in circulation following a six week work break. The postings provided are very authorative regarding Welsh phrasings and grammar for the War. Give me a pm if a specific item comes to mind.

Kind regards


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