Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Recommended Posts

Bernard_Lewis

Good to hear Geraint. Be sure to post a few more photos of your visit.

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

Here is a contemporary map of Mametz Wood from the collection of Captain J.S. Strange, 14th Welsh. For over 200 images on Captain Strange's service see my website.

Bernard

post-64-1215036893.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Garron

Very Lucky Man Geraint!

Hopfully I'll make it out there for the anniversary one day.

gaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trebrys

Er cof am y bechgyn!

In memory of the boys!

Trebrys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geraint

The following is a translation of a Welsh poem written by "Un o'r Ffosydd" A Lad From The Trenches which may be of interest.

Brwydr y Coed (The Battle of Mametz Woods)

The General's orders arrived in the trenches-

"Stand to with your bayonets attached.

We attack the Germans; dug deep in the woodlands;

From the trees he'll be swiftly dispatched."

The night turned to first -light, then dawn was upon us;

The most wonderous morning of all-

As we stood in close order awaiting the order

"Attack! Take those trees. Thats your goal!"

The CO said "Welshmen! Be proud of your homeland

The greatest of efforts' expected today.

Pray to the God of your parents and loved-ones

For the woods to be taken, and the Germans we slay!"

The lads started singing, a hymn full of longing,

The mournfull close harmonies cutting the breeze

Sweetly the melodies soared from the trenches -

As the seconds ticked down. Then we went for those trees!

Through horrors of fighting, the deaths and the screaming;

The Welsh were victorious; we'd done all we could.

Our ranks were depleted, friends unaccounted

As we buried their remnants at the edge of the wood.

The author is unknown, but probably belonged to the 16th RWF. He quotes Lt Colonel Carden's now famous "On Welshmen On" speech, and going into the attack singing hymns are quoted by both 14th and 16th RWF battalion diaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mick D

Bernard,

going back to your original posting, what did the lads sing ?

Mick D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

They sang several songs apparently, usually in Welsh. The two shown on this link were definitely sung - 'Jesu Lover of My Soul' and 'O Valiant Heart!'

They were the songs they would have sung in Sunday School and chapel.

http://swanseabattalion.net/index.php?opti...mp;limitstart=2

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mick D

thanks for that Bernard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trebrys

Rather annoyingly, I can't quite remember where I saw it, but I'm sure I read somewhere that one of the Welsh songs sung was "O Fryniau Caersalem." This is one of the "greats" and its words would no doubt have been very appealing to the men about to face the onslaught of the German weapons.

Trebrys.

ER COF AM Y BECHGYN HEDDIW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

According to David Jones' In Parenthesis, about to go over with the 15th (London Welsh), the "genuine Taffies" in the RWF unit to their right (??16th RWF) were indeed singing "Jesu Lover of My Soul..." (probably in its Welsh version "Iesu Cyfaill F'enaid i") to the tune Aberystwyth.

The hymn's opening lines "...Let me flee to your strong bosom/ while the flood waters rise/ and the storm tears the heavens/ Hide me O my Saviour, till / the great tempests are over ..." would have seemed very appropriate to them in the circumstances. Joseph Parry's strong melody was apparently inspired by the waves crashing onto the seashore at Aberystwyth, hence the title.

Got to say, the idea of those Welsh lads singing this while the shells were flying and in the face of all hell breaking loose does more for me than Ivor Emmanuel warbling "Men of Harlech" (much as I like the movie!)

If you want to see the words and hear the melody, go here:

http://emynau.co.uk/iesu_cyfaill_fenaid.html

The other choice of O Fryniau Caersalem ("From the hills of Zion") seems a little odd to me - it's generally a funeral hymn, albeit a popular one, where it says (I paraphrase) "we will one day look back on our wilderness/desert journey from the hills of Jerusalem...where we will rest in love and peace".

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geraint

Unfortunately, my visit will be this weekend.

The lads from Rhuthun who died at Mametz Wood. 5th-12th July 1916

Pte Edward Thomas Hughes 1st RWF 9th July.

Pte Robert John Evans 16th RWF 10th July (17 years old)

Sgt Gwilym Davies, 14th RWF, 10th July

Pte Richard John Evans, 16th RWF, 10th July

Pte Richard Evans, 14th RWF, 10th July

Pte John Jones, 16th RWF, 10th July

Pte John Fredrick Thomas, 16th RWF, 11 July, (17 years old)

His brother

Pte Harold David Thomas, 17th RWF, 14th July of wounds

Pte John Addis, 14th RWF, 10th July

Cpl Richard Raymond Roberts, 14th RWF, 10th July

Pte John Edwin Hughes, 13th RWF, 10th July

Pte Richard John Williams, 17th RWF, 10th July

Pte Willie Roberts, 16th RWF, of wounds 13 July

Pte Edward Thomas Traharne, 16th RWF 10th July

L.Cpl Robert Evans, 10th RWF, 11th July

LCpl Hughie Sanson Staines, 17th RWF of wounds 20 July

Pte Eddie Hughes 17th RWF, of wounds 21 July

Pte George Ellis, 17th RWF of wounds 21 July

"Y rhwyg o golli'r hogia"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NeilEvans

May i add

Second Lieutenant Brian Harrison 14th RWF 10/07/1916 Whitchurch Shrops

Lance Corporal George Cuthbert Vaughan 16th RWF 11/07/1916 Pontesbury Shrops.

It puts into context Ruthins loss.

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KIRKY

Bernard, on the great little map you have shown where there is a letter P north west of Mamatz wood ,and to the south of here in the corner below the road is quite a dip by the wood. Was this used as an Aid Post or anything? Always thought this would be great shelter?

tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hywyn

LST

Excellent Link!!

Spent ages there.

Hywyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

Tony - I wouldn't claim to be an expert on the terrain (only been there once, so far) but if you're talking about the strip above White Trench then I don't think there was any aid post there, at least not in the early stages of the fighting. It might have been exposed to fire from the Hammerhead feature of the wood which contained enemy machine guns.

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KIRKY

Bernard, it is the P below Pearl wood to North West of wood,

tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

Tony - on 10 July 1916 I don't think the British held the bit of terrain you are referring to? All my notes etc. are in the loft at present!

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Garron

No they didnt Bernard, that was still in the German lines would have been safe about the 13th or 14th after they pushed forward towards the bezantine petit and grande.

the were german counter attacks from that area, the 11th and I think 12th plus some heavy arty barrages.

Gaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

Cheers Garron.

(I hope the map i sent got through OK?)

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard_Lewis

Here's a link to the first page of the operational order for the attack on Mametz Wood:

http://swanseabattalion.net/index.php?opti...1&Itemid=62

Bernard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garethcaergwrle

would i be right in saying that Cpl William Frederick Maddock 17th RWF 25562 KiA 9/7/1916 would have been at Mametz?

Could anyone tell me where the 10th RWF where on the 16th August 1916 we lost two men from our village on that day Pte Samuel Wilcock 21495 & Pte Thomas John Bunnell 15087

thanks Gareth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geraint

Haia Gareth. Caergwrle ehh? Not far from here.

On 13th July, 10th RWF (3rd Division) were at Carnoy. On the 14th, they were involved in attempting to secure Longueval and remained there 'till the 18th 'till they attacked Longueval again, and pushed through towards Delville Wood. Your men would have been casualties of that constant attack/counter attack fighting for Longueval. The Records of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers describe it as "a critical situation". In the attack on Delville Wood the 10th won two VCs!

17th RWF (115th Brigade) 38th Welsh Division) were in the line between Marlborough Wood and Cliff Trench on 5th July. Orders for attack arrived late on the 6th, and an attack took place by the 17th at 8.30, the 7th of July. It would appear that William Maddocks was killed prior to that attack, and probably by enemy artillery as the battalions made themselves ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garethcaergwrle

thanks for that geraint but i have his DoD as the 9th!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
geraint

Damn yes! I missread it! I'll check the records again and get back to you for the 9th!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garethcaergwrle
Damn yes! I missread it! I'll check the records again and get back to you for the 9th!

Any Luck?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...