Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Resolven Boys of 1915

Members of the 9th Welsh Regiment from Resolven, July 1915

As the years commemorating the Great War of 1914-18 progress, Mr Glyn Davies has given the Society a cutting from the Aberdare Leader of 24th July, 1915, which refers to the above photograph.

It states: 

                   " The 9th Welsh - On Wednesday, the inhabitants of Resolven turned out in grand style to give a send-off to the boys of the 9th Welsh. Nearly a hundred Resolvenites have joined this particular regiment , in which one of them is colour sergeant, viz William Hawkins and three are sergeants, viz., T. Owens, Reggie Stroud and Jim Hooper. On Tuesday evening the boys had a smoker at the New Inn. Also Mr Jenkins the proprietor of  Vivian Hall, gave a free admission to them and their families. Some 50 presents of pipes and cigarette cases were presented to the boys by their friends.

At 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning a procession was formed , headed by the Resolven Brass Band, and after parading the streets speeches were made. Councillor T.W. Herbert  said that the inhabitants wanted to show their appreciation of the lads who had so nobly answered the call of the country. They were proud of them all, and were sure they would distinguish themselves - Councillor F.H. Beaman hoped that the boys who had proved their worth on the  football field would also cover themselves in glory on the battlefield - Dr R.D. Pritchard, whose only son is in the army, felt it difficult to speak. He remarked that these young men were doing a great duty in sacrificing their family ties for their country's sake. He hoped they would come back safe . - The following received presents : - Tom Owen, Reg Stroud, Arthur Hutchinson, Brychan Morgan, Tom Nicholls, Henry Lewis, Richard Evans, David Thomas, Evan J Jones, James Hughes, Joe Pickford, William Harris, Gwilym Morgan, Trevor Morgan, Richard Williams, William Hawkins, Tom Rewbridge, Jim Lewis,
J. Parry Evans, S. Bowen, Llew Jones, David Beynon, Richard Morgan, William Davies, Charlie Thomas, Fred Rowlands, Lee Hopkins, Walter Jones, Jim Hooper, T. Dorrington, W. Williams, Charlie Daidy, Fred Edwards and William Jones. 

After the presentation the recipients had to go through the ordeal of an all round hand shaking. The station was thronged . The band played selections during the wait. Some very touching farewells were witnessed. The train steamed out amid the booming of detonators. The boys are expected to be at the front this week."

What a terrific witness to a society now well and truly at war. This is written in heroic and even stoic terms with the atmosphere of an adventure. The only words of doubt came from the doctor who evidently knows of the horrors which are in front of the recruits. To compare a battle to a game of rugby seems banal to us, but fits the tenor of the time. The reference to detonators is also a reminder that even though a hundred Resolven men had gone to war, many more were working underground as miners since it was a reserved occupation.