South African War
South African War
Quite a gloom came over the village when England went to war with South Africa the Boer War as it was called. Some men from the Glamorgan Yeomanry volunteered for service. Then the Committee got going, the same crowd for collections, raffles etc. for a send off, to the volunteers, (we all knew about this fiddle). A concert was arranged and it was held in the ‘Jersey’ crowded of course and they were given a good rousing time. Weeks went by, some-times bad news, then a good victory to cheer us up again, we now started practising songs composed on the War, one went like this ‘Cronge’, Kruger’, ‘Powell’, ‘Methuen’, ‘White’, ‘Maguba’ etc etc. Then we were very upset to hear of the Siege of Ladysmith, not long after we had very bad news again another Siege of Mafeking. Waiting for news of relief, week after week, now holding. (After Chapel services as they were called). After the evening service a prayer meeting was held, for anyone to take part. Being Sunday everybody stayed behind for the Prayer Meeting as it was called in fact you had nowhere to go (all ‘Pubs’ shut on Sunday in Wales). Then one after another would pray for the soldiers from ‘Pentrechwyth’ and ‘Bonymaen’ some times two would get up from different parts of the chapel, one very often from the gallery where they could not see the other, then there would be a din. One trying to pray louder than the other. It seemed very strange to me, that all these prayer meetings, now held week after week, with no mention of the generals and others serving, but the prayers were only for the Pentrechwyth & Bonymaen soldiers.
Then the Gossip of the neighbours passing remarks about the people who prayed. One would say Jane Phillips and Rachel Hughes prayed beautiful but didn’t Sarah Davies pray awful, I never heard a word she said, she had a cheek to stand up in the first place, because we have not forgotten what she done ten years ago. I would have liked to pray, says another only I had not practised so I did not know what to say, but I will try next Sunday, not to be beaten, the other would say I will to.
Then the good news would start coming in ‘Ladysmith relieved” cheers all round the place the day we waited for was now Mafeking to be relieved, we did not have to wait long a ‘special’ came up to the Village in the morning from the Cambri Daily Leader to state the great news Mafeking relieved. All downed tools, works shut down, and rejoicings everywhere. Now the Committee got going again, for the Welcome home of the soldiers. Raffles, a very big skittle tournament at the Gwyndy Inn, prizes every Saturday night. But play could go on all the week, two pence for 3 balls the prizes 1st a chicken 2/9 at that time and a pair of rabbits 2nd prize worth 1/- you could buy rabbits at this time for 4d to 6d each, all the week night score was kept for the final on Sat, you would be lucky to get in.