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PWLL MAWR: AMGUEDDFA LOFAOL GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU BIG PIT: NATIONAL MINING MUSEUM OF WALES

GLO

W W W. AO C C . AC . U K

W W W. N M G W. AC . U K

C O A L

n i v e B s i o B s y o B n i Bev

1945 - 2005

60 M LY N E D D

COFIO’R RHYFEL REMEMBERING THE WAR

YEARS


Yng ngwanwyn 2005, gwnaeth y Pwll Mawr: Amgueddfa Lofaol Genedlaethol Cymru apêl i Fois Bevin oedd wedi gwasanaethu yng Nghymru i hel atgofion am eu Gwasanaeth Gwladol. Atebodd dros 30 o Fois Bevin, neu eu perthnasau. Canlyniad yr apêl honno yw’r cyhoeddiad hwn. Hoffai staff y Pwll Mawr: Amgueddfa Lofaol Genedlaethol Cymru ddiolch o galon i bawb gyfrannodd at y project. Mae arddangosfa RHYFEL Y MAES GLO, cylchgrawn GLO ac aduniad Bois Bevin yn bosibl diolch i gefnogaeth hael Cronfa’r Loteri Fawr, Persimmon Homes a Chymdeithas y Bois Bevin. During the Spring of 2005, Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales made an appeal for Bevin Boys who served in Wales to recall the memories of their National Service. Over 30 Bevin Boys, or their relatives, responded. This publication is the result of the appeal. The staff at Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales would like to offer their most sincere thanks to all who contributed to this project. The COALFIELD AT WAR exhibition, GLO publication and Bevin Boys reunion have been made possible with the generous support of the Big Lottery Fund, Persimmon Homes and the Bevin Boys Association.

CYNNWYS Rhagarweiniad Llythyr o Oakdale Atgofion o’r ‘Ffrynt Danddaear’ Bois Bevin yn adrodd eu straeon Digwyddiadau

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CONTENTS 4 10 12

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Foreword A letter from Oakdale Memories of the ‘Underground Front’ The Bevin Boys tell their stories Events


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RHAGAIR

FOREWORD

Mae Cymru yn genedl fodern a adeiladwyd ar werthoedd a thraddodiadau cadarn. Mae Amgueddfeydd ac Orielau Cenedlaethol Cymru yn chwarae rhan hanfodol yn y gwaith o gynnal ein diwylliant a’n treftadaeth er mwyn i genedlaethau’r dyfodol allu dysgu amdanynt a’u mwynhau, o hanes yr henfyd yn Amgueddfa’r Lleng Rufeinig, Caerllion i dreftadaeth ddiwydiannol fodern yn y Pwll Mawr: Amgueddfa Lofaol Genedlaethol Cymru ym Mlaenafon - enillydd Gwobr fawr Gulbenkian am Amgueddfa’r Flwyddyn. Mae’r amgueddfeydd yn adrodd hanes Cymru mewn ffordd gyffrous a blaengar, a diolch i gefnogaeth Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru, cewch fynediad am ddim i bob un o’u safleoedd. Dydy stori’r Bois Bevin ddim yn un cyfarwydd. Ni chafodd y dynion di-ri hynny a dreuliodd y rhyfel ar y ‘ffrynt danddaear’ eu cydnabod am bron i hanner canrif. Rydw i wrth fy modd fod y Pwll Mawr ac Amgueddfeydd ac Orielau Cenedlaethol Cymru’n dathlu 60 mlynedd ers diwedd yr Ail Ryfel Byd trwy dalu teyrnged i gyfraniad anghofiedig y dynion hyn.

Wales is a modern nation built on strong values and traditions. The National Museums & Galleries of Wales plays an essential role in maintaining our culture and heritage for future generations to learn from and enjoy, from ancient history at the Roman Legionary Museum in Caerleon to modern industrial heritage at Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales in Blaenafon – winner of the prestigious Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year. The museums tell the story of Wales in an innovative and exciting way, and thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government, entry to all NMGW museums is free of charge. The story of the Bevin Boys has been largely untold, those many men who spent their war on the so-called ‘underground front’ went unrecognised for almost half a century. I am delighted that Big Pit and the National Museums & Galleries of Wales is marking sixty years since the end of the Second World War by paying tribute to these forgotten conscripts.

Alun Pugh

Alun Pugh

GWEINIDOG LLYWODRAETH CYNULLIAD CYMRU DROS

WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT MINISTER FOR CULTURE,WELSH LANGUAGE AND SPORT

DDIWYLLIANT Y GYMRAEG A CHWARAEON

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Bois Bevin Fyddai’r un ohonoch chi’n osgoi ymladd â’r gelyn a dwi ddim yn credu y gallai neb ddweud bod yr un ohonoch chi wedi methu ag ymateb i’r galw am lo, y glo y mae buddugoliaeth yn dibynnu gymaint arno. ERNEST BEVIN, 1942

Bevin Boys None of you would funk a fight with the enemy and I do not believe that it would be said of any of you boys that you failed to respond to the call for coal upon which victory so much depends. ERNEST BEVIN, 1942

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Pan gyhoeddwyd y rhyfel ym 1939, ymunodd miloedd o lowyr profiadol â’r lluoedd arfog, neu drosglwyddo i’r ‘diwydiannau rhyfel’ oedd yn talu’n well. Erbyn canol 1943 roedd mwy na 36,000 o ddynion wedi gadael y diwydiant glo. Penderfynodd llywodraeth Prydain fod angen tua 40,000 o ddynion i gymryd eu lle. Ym mis Rhagfyr 1943, creodd Ernest Bevin, y Gweinidog dros Lafur a Gwasanaeth Gwladol, gynllun oedd yn cynnwys cynnal balot i anfon cyfran o’r dynion oedd yn cael eu galw i wasanaethu i’r pyllau glo yn lle’r lluoedd arfog. Byddai deg rhif yn mynd i’r het bob mis a dau’n cael eu tynnu. Os oedd rhif cofrestru Gwasanaeth Gwladol dyn yn gorffen

gyda’r ddau rif yna, fe fyddai’n mynd i weithio yn y diwydiant glo. Dechreuodd y dynion hyn gael eu galw’n ‘Bois Bevin’ ar ôl araith Bevin wrth iddo gyhoeddi’r cynllun: ‘Mae angen cadw 720,000 o ddynion yn y diwydiant yma drwy’r amser. A dyma’r lle i chi bois. Fydd y dynion sy’n ymladd ddim yn llwyddo os na fydd digon o lo gyda ni.’

When war was declared in 1939 thousands of experienced miners joined the armed services or transferred to higher paid ‘war industries’. By mid 1943 over 36,000 men had left the coal industry. The British government decided that it needed around 40,000 men to take their places. In December 1943, Ernest Bevin, the wartime Minister of Labour and National Service, devised a scheme whereby a ballot took place to put a proportion of conscripted men into the collieries rather than the armed services. Every month ten numbers were placed in a hat and two drawn out; those whose National service registration number ended with those numbers were directed to the mining industry. These ‘ballotees’ became known as ‘Bevin Boys’ after the speech made by Bevin when announcing the scheme: ‘We need 720,000 men continuously employed in this industry. This is where you boys come in. Our fighting men will not be able to achieve their purpose unless we get an adequate supply of coal.’ Alongside the ballotees were the ‘optants’, men who

had volunteered for service in the coal mines rather than the armed services. Between 1943 and 1948, 48,000 young men were conscripted for National Service Employment in British coal mines. Contrary to a common belief at the time, only 41 of them were conscientious objectors. Bevin Boys, therefore, came from all social classes and regions in Britain, not just the mining areas, and many had only been vaguely aware of the mining industry before being drafted. Most had set their sights on a career in the armed services and were horrified to be sent to the collieries instead.

COSB Yn ogystal â’r rhai a gafodd eu dewis yn y balot, roedd yna wirfoddolwyr hefyd. Roedd y dynion yma wedi gwirfoddoli i wasanaethu yn y pyllau glo yn hytrach na’r lluoedd arfog. Rhwng 1943 a 1948,

PUNISHMENT Conscripts who refused to go into the coal industry were punished. In April 1944 the Colliery Guardian reported that 135 ballotees had been prosecuted for failing to comply with the direct labour order. Thirty two went to prison, although 19 of them were released when they eventually agreed to go into the mining industry.


cafodd 48,000 o ddynion ifanc eu galw i’r Gwasanaeth Gwladol mewn swyddi ym mhyllau glo Prydain. Yn groes i’r gred gyffredin ar y pryd, dim ond 41 ohonyn nhw oedd yn wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol. Roedd Bois Bevin yn dod o bob dosbarth cymdeithasol a phob rhan o Brydain – nid dim ond yr ardaloedd glofaol. Rhyw wybodaeth ddigon niwlog oedd gan lawer ohonyn nhw am y diwydiant glo cyn cael eu drafftio. Roedd y rhan fwyaf wedi gosod eu bryd ar yrfa yn y lluoedd arfog ac roedd yn gas ganddyn nhw gael eu hanfon i’r glofeydd. Roedd y dynion oedd yn gwrthod mynd i’r diwydiant glo’n cael eu cosbi. Ym mis Ebrill 1944, dywedodd Gwarcheidwad y Glofeydd fod 135 o ddynion y balot wedi cael eu herlyn am fethu ag ufuddhau i’r gorchymyn llafur uniongyrchol. Aeth 32 i’r carchar, er bod 19 wedi cael eu rhyddhau yn y pen draw ar ôl cytuno i fynd i weithio i’r diwydiant glo. Ar ôl cael eu dewis, câi’r dynion eu hanfon i un o 13 o lofeydd hyfforddi i gael hyfforddiant sylfaenol am fis. Wedyn bydden nhw’n cael eu hanfon i’r lofa. Byddai’r dynion yn byw naill ai mewn llety neu mewn hostel arbennig. Glofa Oakdale oedd y ganolfan hyfforddi yn y de. Doedd dim glofa hyfforddi ym maes glo’r gogledd ac felly roedd dynion oedd yn gweithio yno’n cael eu hyfforddi mewn canolfan yn Lloegr, fel Walkden ger Manceinion.

CAIB A RHAW Yn wahanol i’r glowyr cyffredin, oedd yn gwisgo’u dillad eu hunain, roedd Bois Bevin yn cael oferôl, helmed ddiogelwch ac esgidiau gwaith. Ond roedden nhw’n gorfod talu am eu hoffer eu hunain ac ambell un yn cwyno nad oedd y milwyr yn gorfod prynu eu drylliau eu hunain, felly pam ddylen nhw orfod talu am gaib a rhaw! Dim ond cyfran fach o Fois Bevin gafodd eu cyflogi i dorri glo ar y ffas, er bod rhai’n helpu’r glowyr i lenwi dramiau. Roedd y rhan fwyaf yn gwneud gwaith cynnal-a-chadw ar yr hewlydd tanddaear,

yn clymu ac yn datod dramiau neu’n rheoli symudiadau’r cludiant tanddaear. Byddai nifer fach oedd wedi cael profiad o waith trydan neu waith peiriannu’n gwneud gwaith tebyg yn y glofeydd. Ym 1943, roedd un o bob pedwar glöwr yn cael ei ladd neu ei anafu, ac roedd cael eich cyflogi i gludo glo neu offer bron mor beryglus â chynhyrchu glo ar y ffas. Roedd trin a thrafod dramiau’n dal i achosi llawer o anafiadau i’r bysedd a’r dwylo ac, yn fwy difrifol, fe allai arwain at farwolaeth pe bai rhywun yn cael ei wasgu o dan y cerbydau cyflym. Glowyr anfodlon oedd y rhan fwyaf o Fois Bevin. Doedd ganddyn nhw fawr o ddiddordeb yn y gwaith, ac roedd gweddill y gweithwyr yn tueddu i gredu eu bod yn ddiwerth. Roedden nhw’n amhoblogaidd ymhlith teuluoedd glofaol lleol, oedd wedi gweld eu plant eu hunain yn cael eu drafftio i’r lluoedd arfog a gweld pobl o’r tu allan yn cymryd eu lle.At hynny, os nad oedd dynion ifanc mewn lifrai, fe allen nhw gael eu poeni gan y cyhoedd, a gallai’r heddlu amau eu bod nhw wedi dianc o’r fyddin neu eu bod nhw’n sbïo ar ran y gelyn. Does dim syndod bod llawer ohonyn nhw’n mynd yn absennol heb ganiatâd. Nifer fach iawn arhosodd yn y diwydiant glo ar ôl y rhyfel: roedd y rhan fwyaf ar dân eisiau rhoi’r gorau iddi.

After being selected, the conscript was sent to one of the 13 training collieries for a month’s basic training before being sent to a colliery. He would either live in lodgings or a purpose built hostel. The training centre for south Wales was at Oakdale Colliery. There was no training centre in the north Wales coalfield so conscripts who worked there were trained in English centres such as Walkden near Manchester.

SHOVELS Unlike the ordinary miners, who wore their own clothes, Bevin Boys were issued with overalls, safety helmet and working boots. However, they still had to pay for their own tools and equipment which led to complaints that the infantry were not expected to supply their own rifles so why were they expected to buy picks and shovels! Only a small proportion of Bevin Boys were actually employed cutting coal on the coal face although some worked as colliers’ assistants filling tubs or drams. The majority worked on the maintenance of haulage roads,

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Daeth y balot i ben ym mis Mai 1945 a chafodd y canolfannau hyfforddi eu cau’r mis wedyn. Ers mis Ionawr 1944 roedd Oakdale wedi hyfforddi 5,615 o ddynion, ac roedd 5,400 ohonyn nhw’n dal i weithio. O’r rhain, roedd 1,465 yn wirfoddolwyr. Cafodd yr olaf o Fois Bevin eu rhyddhau ym 1948 ond, yn wahanol i’r dynion eraill oedd wedi cael eu gorfodi i wasanaethu, doedd dim hawl ganddyn nhw i fynd nôl i’w hen swyddi. Chawson nhw ddim medal am wasanaethu, dim siwt o ddillad ‘demob’, na hyd yn oed llythyr o ddiolch. Cafodd y cofnodion swyddogol eu dinistrio yn y 1950au, ac felly dyw

Bois Bevin ddim hyd yn oed yn gallu profi eu bod wedi gwasanaethau os nad ydyn nhw wedi cadw eu dogfennau eu hunain. Cafodd aduniad swyddogol cyntaf Bois Bevin ei gynnal yn Amgueddfa Fwyngloddio Chatterley Whitfield ym 1989 ac mae mwy wedi bod yma ac acw ers hynny. Serch hynny, dim ond ym 1995, 50 mlynedd ar ôl Diwrnod Buddugoliaeth yn Ewrop, y rhoddodd llywodraeth Prydain gydnabyddiaeth i’w gwasanaeth yn y rhyfel a chaniatáu i Fois Bevin gymryd rhan swyddogol yn y gwasanaeth ar Sul y Cofio yn Whitehall.

attached and detached drams or tubs or generally controlled the movement of underground transport. A small number who had previous electrical or engineering experience were given similar work in the collieries. 1 in 4 mineworkers who were killed or injured, were employed on transport of coal and supplies. A job almost as dangerous as working on production coal faces. The continuous handling and movement of drams or tubs caused many injuries to fingers and hands and, more seriously, could result in death from being crushed under swiftly moving vehicles.

high absentee rates.A very small number stayed in mining after the war but most couldn’t wait to leave. The ballots were suspended in May 1945 and the training centres closed a month later. Since January 1944 Oakdale had trained 5,615 conscripts, 5,400 of them were still at work. Out of these 1,465 were optants. The last Bevin Boys were demobbed in 1948 but, unlike other conscripts, they had no right to go back to their previous occupations, they received no service medals, ‘demob’ suit, or even a letter of thanks. Because the official records were destroyed in the 1950s, former Bevin Boy ballotees cannot even prove their service unless they have kept their personal documents.

Most Bevin Boys proved to be reluctant miners. They had little interest in the work and were generally regarded as useless by the rest of the workforce. They also suffered from resentment from local mining families who had seen their own children drafted into the armed services only to be replaced by ‘outsiders’. In addition, just being young men out of uniform could lead to abuse from the public or attention from the police as possible deserters, ‘army dodgers’ or even enemy spies. It is not surprising that they suffered from

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The first official Bevin Boy reunion was held at the former Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum in 1989 and more have been held at various venues since then. However, it was not until 1995, 50 years after Victory in Europe Day, that the British government finally recognized their service to the war effort and former Bevin Boys are now officially allowed to take part in the Remembrance Day service at Whitehall.


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OAKDALE MINERS HOSTEL MAES–Y-GARN ROAD OAKDALE, MONS S WALES 9 OCT 1944

Dear Mum & Dad After having been a "Bevin Boy" for a week it’s not at all a bad life. We have to get up at 6.30 in the morning which is rather a blow. We are a dozen to a dormitory. The beds are liked shelter bunks (single storey) with a wardrobe in between each one. The camp consists of Nissan huts which are linked together in blocks by short brick passageways. One block consists of the canteen, snack bar, reading room, games room, reception room and offices. The canteen is a nice place and we get good grub. The inside of the huts are beaver-boarded and panelled. The wardrobe and racks are blue, the ceilings cream, the walls orange with a blue line round where it meets the ceiling colour also the curtains are green, as you see it is all rather gay. The hostel charge is 24/6d a week, two meals on workdays and three on Sunday. For breakfast we have a bowl of porridge, bacon and fried bread or something similar and bread and marmalade to finish also tea of course and sometimes coffee. At five o’clock we get a hot meal consisting of soup, meat course, sweet course and tea. At mid day we can either get a hot meal at the Training Centre canteen for 1/1d, (these are the same as the Hostel canteen) or get a snack at the colliery canteen, here you can buy as much milk as you can drink a half pint at a time. I generally have a mid-day meal at the canteen as the one hot meal at night is good enough and also I like the milk. If we want anything more in the evening after five we have to buy it at the Hostel snack bar. I have been down the mine three times now. When you get to the colliery you go in one entrance and upstairs to the clean lockers where we take off our clothes, take our towels and soap round to the "dirty lockers". Here we change into our pit clothes. We have been issued out with pit-boots, a safety helmet and boiler suit. Could you send one of my old boiler suits down as mine here is a little small and in any case we have to give our suits in when we finish training. Also could you send my pair of grey shorts and those coloured shirts of mine as my battle-dress is rather big to wear underneath overalls. When you are dressed you go and collect your lamp and then line up for the cage (left). They go down about two feet quite normally and then they just drop. Funny enough you don’t get any pull in your stomach like you get in ordinary lifts but you get a slight pressure in the ears, in fact it is rather like travelling in a tube train. When I first went down I was quite surprised for the main haulage way is quite big, it is rather like being in a shelter. When you get to the "working face" the height is only the height of the coal seam usually about four feet although the seam we are working in now is only about two feet six but we don’t work in it for very long stretches at a time. When we come up again we give in our lamps and collect our "checks" to show that we have left the pit-bottom O.K. and not been left behind. We go into the dirty-clothes lockers, undress collect our towel and soap and go into the showers to clean up. After this we dress in our clean clothes and proceed on out. All the lockers are heated so that the towels dry out and are lovely and warm. I forgot to say there are rotary brushes where we clean our pit boots as we come in from the pit. We have to be at work at eight and each day we have P.T., a lecture, and an afternoon or morning at the colliery either underground or on the surface. Surface work is mainly unloading logs, barking them and learning practically what to do underground on full scale models. I have palled up with four blokes in particular. They are Don (the chap who sat directly opposite me on the train coming down), Pete and Len. Pete likes walking and is quite a good hiker. On Sunday * we left the Hostel at about ten and walked about fifteen miles then bussed Pete and I home. If you want to see it on the map we left Oakdale and walked up the Sirhowy * (Pete and I)

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Valley towards Tredegar. When we got to Mynydd Bedwellty we climbed up to where it is 1607 ft, the view from here was smashing. I have never seen anything as terrific. You feel miles away from anywhere and as if you could knock down a house. These mountains are partly bare limestone rock at the top, the rest is springy grass. We then walked down into the valley of Rhymney which was rather marred by a terrific slag heap and sprawling mining villages. Some of the houses here are about the same height as our huts and have a front and back room, the majority of side streets are cobbled and overgrown with grass. We then went up Cefn-y-Brithdir and lay up on the top for some time taking it all in. The sides of the hills and mountains are light green, the woods dark green mainly on the bottom slopes. There are large patches of ferns which are now russet brown and the outcrop of limestone near the top varies between dun-yellow to grey. There are deep clefts of about 10’ to 15 ft near the top with streamlets running down along the bottom and down in the valley the river meanders with the road alongside meandering worse than the river. We then walked down again into Rhymney and caught two buses round into Blackwood. We lived all day on a bar of chocolate and three apples as all tea shops and cafÊ are closed on Sunday in Wales, incidentally so are the pictures and the pubs. We manage our own washing down here so I will only send back stuff I can not manage. When we are handling large bits of rock and logs your hands get rather cut about if they slip so please could you send down a pair of my old gauntlets also while I remember it, I could do with a "housewife" of sorts to darn a hole in my socks and maybe sew on buttons. Also could John either go to Smiths at Putney or in someway procure Bartholomews Map No 12 & 17 which is S. Wales and Cardigan (cloth backed if possible) as we want to explore further West then the Wye Valley map extends. We have a nice long evening as we pack up at four and have been for some nice short walks also we went to the pictures in Blackwood last night. It is only about fifteen minutes walk across country or sixpence return on the bus which runs once an hour and goes all round the houses to get there. There are two cinemas in Blackwood which of course show rather old pictures. The streets there are lit by big electric lamps and it is as bright as day at night, this seems strange after London blackout. They also make darned good coffee in the cafes here. As regards coming home I understand that most chaps take a week unofficial leave at the end of our four weeks training here before we move to a real mine. As this is unofficial you do not get a pass. I do not know what view the authorities take of this as of course the boys do not come back to this Hostel as it is only for trainees. What do you advise me to do. I think I will wait the four week as I have decided I do not want by (sic) bike until I get to my working colliery otherwise I might have to leave it here till I can collect it. By the way I spoke of four weeks training, you see we do four weeks here and then move to our working colliery where we do two more weeks under special supervision after which we work with an experienced man. Any how maybe you can think of what I shall do, maybe a long weekend? Well I think I have covered everything for now so Cheerio! Your loving son,

David 11


‘Roedd y cyfan mor erchyll!’ Rhyw gyflwyniad digon diniwed o’dd hyfforddiant mwyngloddio swyddogol ni’r Bois Bevin. O’dd ’na sgyrsiau mewn stafell ddosbarth a gemau ac ymarfer ^ corff i wneud yn siwr eich bod chi’n iawn yn gorfforol yn Oakdale. Doedd y mis yna ddim yn rhy ddrwg ar y cyfan. A phan elech chi dan ddaear roedd hi’n’ itha glân a threfnus. Ond pan ges i fy nhrosglwyddo i Benallta wedyn, fe weles i mor erchyll oedd y cyfan. GEORGE HEARD, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA PENALLTA 1944–45

Bydden i wedi bod yn 18 yn y mis Mai. O’n i’n aros am y papurau i gael fy ngalw i fyny, ac yn gobeithio mynd i’r RAF. …. Ond o’dd cynllunie gwahanol gan Mr Bevin. Roedd e wedi cyhoeddi’r cynllun ’ma, doedd e ddim yn golygu rhyw lawer i fi ar y dychre. …. Ond daeth fy rhif i fyny ac o’dd hi’n dipyn o ergyd a dweud y gwir. Felly bant â fi i Oakdale…. Doedd y mis cyntaf yn Oakdale ddim yn rhy ddrwg. Fel wedes i, rhyw gyflwyniad digon diniwed oedd e mewn ffordd. Mae rhyw frith gof gen i imi ofyn a gawn i aros ar y wyneb – am fy mod i’n glostroffobig! Ond ches i ddim chwaith: a lawr â fi! O leia, er nad o’n i’n gwybod bryd hynny, o’n i yn y rhan ore o’r pwll, o ran bod modd i ddyn sefyll ar ei draed. Ond doeddwn i ddim wedi paratoi ar ei gyfer y pellter fyddai’n rhaid i mi ei gerdded i gyrraedd y ffas ar ôl mynd i lawr yn y caets. O’dd hi’n mynd ymlaen am

oesoedd. Dwi ddim yn gwybod pa mor bell o’dd hi. O’dd hi fel petasech chi wedi’ch torri i ffwrdd o’r byd i gyd, criw bach yn rhyw lusgo mynd. Roedd hi’n sych ac yn feddal dan draed. Rwy’n cofio bod tipyn o wynt ym Mhenallta. Roedd hi’n anodd agor y drysau oherwydd y system awyru ac o’dd hi’n oer, hyd yn oed wrth y ffas. Dwi ddim yn cofio bod yn dwym a chwyslyd …. Byddai’r glöwr wrthi’n gwithio ar y ffas. Roedd y glo fel petai’n dod i ffwrdd yn itha rhwydd. Fi o’dd yn ’i ddodi fe yn y dramiau, yn rhoi marc ar ochr y ddram. Byddai’r ponis yn mynd ag e o dipyn i beth. O’dd ofn y ponis arna i a dweud y gwir. Pan fydden i’n eu gweld nhw’n dod ar hyd yr hewlydd, bydden i wastod yn chwilio am y twll agosaf i ddianc iddo – achos doedd dim llawer o le. O’n nhw’n anferth! O’dd lot o barch ’da chi iddyn nhw pan o’n nhw’n symud. O’n nhw’n cael gofal da ac i’w gweld yn ddigon bodlon eu byd. O’n nhw jyst yn gwneud eu gwaith a doedden nhw ddim yn aflonydd neu’n nerfus na dim byd fel ’na. Fe fydden nhw’n byta’ch bwyd chi ’tasech chi ddim yn gofalu amdano fe. O bydden, bydden nhw’n mynd â’ch bwyd chi reit i wala! ……. …..Bydden i’n colli un shifft bron bob wythnos. Felly gelen i’n symud o’r naill löwr i’r llall ac o’dd hynny’n creu problemau wrth ffeindio ’nghyflog i’r wthnos

‘The horror of it all!’ The official mine training you received as a Bevin boy in a training centre was really a gentle introduction to it. In Oakdale there were some classroom talks and games and physical exercises to make sure you were physically OK. So that month wasn’t too bad. And when you went down it was pretty clean and tidy and orderly and organised. But after that, when I was transferred to Penallta, then the horror of it all hit me. GEORGE HEARD, BEVIN BOY, PENALLTA COLLIERY 1944–45

I would have been eighteen in the May and I was waiting for my call-up papers hoping to get in the RAF. …. In the meantime Mr Bevin had other plans. He had announced this scheme, which still didn’t register much on me. …. So up came my number and it was a bit of a shattering blow really. So off I went to Oakdale…. The first month in Oakdale wasn’t too bad. As I say it was more of a gentle introduction in a way. I have a vague memory that I asked if I could go to the surface

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– that I was claustrophobic! But there was no dice there, I was straight down! At least, although I didn’t know it, I was in the best part of the pit in that I could stand up. What I didn’t bargain for was the huge walk to get to the coalface once I’d gone down in the cage. It seemed to go on for ages. I don’t know how far it was. You seemed to be totally cut-off from the world completely, just this little group trudging along. It was dry and sort of soft under foot. I can remember that there was quite a lot of wind in Penallta. It was quite hard to push those doors open because of the ventilation system and it was quite cold, even at the coal face. I can’t remember being hot and sweaty…. There was the miner there working away at the coalface. The coal seemed to come away quite easily. And I was putting it in the drams, put a mark on the side and off it would go in batches with the ponies. I was always scared of them really as they were coming along the roads. I always had it in my mind where was the nearest manhole - because there wasn’t much room. They were big! You had a great respect for them when they


wedyn! Prin oeddwn i’n nabod y dynion oeddwn i’n gweithio gyda nhw, ac o’dd rhaid i fi gasglu amlen fach ac arian ynddi am un diwrnod neu ddau neu dri gan wahanol bobl. D’on i byth yn mynd heb fy nghyflog, ond fyddech chi ddim yn ei chael hi’n gyflym iawn. Doedd dim gelyniaeth. Ond o’dd rhywfaint o gydymdeimlad â’r picil oeddech chi ynddo. Ddes i byth i nabod neb yn dda iawn o gwbl. O’n i’n byw mewn hostel felly ddes i ddim i nabod y teuluoedd Cymreig. Dim ond yn y gwaith fyddech chi’n eu nabod nhw. Dwi ddim yn teimlo bod neb wedi dweud y drefn wrtha i am beidio â thynnu ’mhwysau lawr ’na. Rwy’n credu fy mod i wedi gweithio’n weddol dda pan oeddwn i yna. …..

Is-glerc yn swyddfeydd y dociau ym Mryste oeddwn i ac o’n i’n gwybod bod glo yn rhan o fasnach y porthladd. Heblaw hynny, do’n i’n gwybod dim amdano. O’n i’n gwybod bod y swydd yn un ofnadwy. Pan fyddwch chi’n gwybod eich bod chi’n cloddio glo o grombil y ddaear, does dim angen ichi wybod nag y’ch ch’n mynd i’w fwynhau e, os e? …. ….ar ôl rhyw 12 mis neu ychydig mwy, ges i fy rhyddhau o’r pwll am resymau meddygol …. ac o’n i mewn limbo am ddwy neu dair wythnos. A dweud y gwir, o’n i ar y dôl nôl ym Mryste. O’n i’n meddwl beth wna i nawr? Wedyn ges i’r papurau i fynd i gael prawf meddygol i’r lluoedd. Fe bases i. O’n i’n hapus iawn, o’n i’n mynd i’r fyddin!

Rwy’n cofio’r sioc ges i wrth fynd i faddondy pen y pwll. Rhaid bod fy mywyd i wedi bod yn ddiniwed iawn, achos ges i’n syfrdanu o weld cymaint o ddynion noeth. Chi’n gwybod, dwi ddim yn credu i mi weld dyn noeth fel bachgen eriôd. O’dd hi’n dipyn o syndod gweld pawb yn cerdded o gwmpas heb eu dillad. O’dd hi’n system dda, ac oeddech chi’n teimlo’n dda ar ôl dod o’na. Byddai pethau wedi bod llawer gwaeth taswn i wedi gorfod dod o’r pwll a dal bws fel roeddwn i. Ond o’dd gyda chi deimlad rywsut eich bod chi’n gadael y pwll ar ôl, o’ch chi’n lân nawr, wedi ymolchi a bant â chi. Ond pan fyddech chi’n chwythu’ch trwyn, byddai’r hances yn ddu! O’dd y baddondy’n dipyn o chwyldro ar y pryd, on’d oedd? Roedd yr adeilad bron yn antiseptig o lân, gyda’r teils yn wyn i gyd. Bois bach, roedd y gwahaniaeth yn drawiadol – hyd yn oed yr adeilad. Fyddech chi byth yn dweud ei fod e ar ben pwll glo, fyddech chi? ……

were on the move. They were well cared for and they seemed content. They would just do things and they didn’t seem restless or twitchy or anything like that. They would have your food if you put it down and didn’t take care of it. O yeah they’d have your food all right! ……. …..I’d certainly miss a shift most weeks. Consequently I’d sort of be shoved around from miner to miner and that produced problems when it came to finding my pay the following week! I hardly recognised who I’d been working with and I had to collect a little envelope with some money in it for whether it was for a day, two days, or three days from various people. It was never a case that I didn’t receive it but you didn’t always get it very quickly perhaps. There was no hostility. There was a certain amount of sympathy to the predicament I was in. I never got to know anybody really well at all. I was living in a hostel so you didn’t get to know Welsh families or anything like that. You just knew them at the workplace. I don’t feel that I was ever told-off for not pulling my weight while I was down there. I think I worked reasonably well when I was there. ….. I remember a shock when I went to the pithead baths. I must have led a very sheltered life because I was quite

staggered at seeing so many nude men walking around. As a boy, you know, I don’t suppose that I had ever seen a nude man. Everyone strolling around and it was quite surprising. It was a good system, you felt really good when you came out. It would have felt a lot worse if I had just had to come out of the coalmine and get on a bus as I was. But you did feel somehow that you had left it behind, you were tidy now, you were washed, and off you go. Still, when you blew your nose it was black! The baths was quite a revolution at the time, wasn’t it? The building was almost antiseptic in its cleanliness, with its white tiles. I thought goodness me, the contrast was striking, even the building. You’d never say that it was on top of a coal mine would you? …… I was a junior clerk in the docks office in Bristol and I knew that coal formed part of the trade at the port. Other than that I knew nothing about it. I knew it was a job that was horrible. When you know that you are digging coal out from the bowels of the earth you don’t need to know that you are not going to enjoy it do you? ….after a twelve month, or a bit more, they released me from the mines on medical grounds …. and I was in limbo for two or three weeks. I was on the dole actually, back in Bristol. I thought what do I do now? Then I received call-up papers for a medical in the services. I passed. I was happy in that sense. I was in the army!

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Dyn i’w ddilyn Fe wnes i sawl swydd ar ôl i Ernest Bevin fy anfon i’r pwll glo yn lle’r RAF. Bues i’n gweithio gyda chywirwr a haliwr, gyda thaniwr, ac fel y cyd-deithiwr ar y dramiau – wastad yn wrthryfelwr, yn anfodlon, a heb unrhyw ddiddordeb o gwbl yn y gwaith. Erbyn hyn, o’n i ar y ffas lo gyda hen löwr oedd yn gadeirydd ar gyfrinfa’r glowyr – arweinydd y glowyr yn y pwll….. Wrth i’r dyddiau fynd heibio, bydden i’n edrych arno fe’n gweithio, a gweld mor daclus a gofalus oedd e wrth weithio. Os nad ydych chi’n gyfarwydd â gwaith y glöwr, mae’n edrych yn ddigon didoreth ond mae’n waith crefftus iawn, bron yn esthetig weithiau. O’n nhw mor ofalus wrth drimio llawr, wyneb a thop y stent, cadw’r pyst a’r trawstiau’n syth ac o’n nhw mor browd o adael y stent yn daclus i gyd ar ddiwedd y shifft. MEL HARRIS, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA CWM 1944-47

patrwm i’w ddilyn i edrych ar fywyd mewn ffordd fwy cytbwys ac optimistig. Doedd dim llawer o addysg ganddo, ond roedd e’n ddyn deallus iawn a barn glir iawn ganddo am hawliau a chyfrifoldebau. Fe ofynnes iddo unwaith sut roedd e, fel cadeirydd y gyfrinfa, yn trin a thrafod y cytundebau tâl gyda’r ^ rheolwr. Dyma beth ddwedodd e "Fe wna i’n siwr ei fod e’n cadw ei ochr e o’r fargen - ac os bydd unrhyw un o’r dynion yn ei thorri hi, fyddan nhw’n ateb i fi." Roedd yn gas gen i fod yn Bachgen Bevin o hyd, ond fe helpodd e fi i edrych arno fel profiad a fyddai o les i fi yn nes ymlaen yn fy mywyd.

Er fy mod i’n gweithio’n galed gyda Mr David – ac alwes i ddim byd arall arno byth – wnaeth fy nheimladau i am fyd y lofa ddim newid. O’dd fy ffrindiau i gyd yn lifrai’r lluoedd ac yn gwasanaethu dros y môr, a minnau mewn dillad bob dydd heb yr un iwnifform ond y sgidie mawr a’r helmed. Digon tlawd oedd y bwyd hefyd, roedd y gyflog yn bitw ac roedd pobl yn y’ch galw chi’n llwfrgi. Er i mi wneud sawl ymgais i symud i swyddi milwrol, ges i f ’atal bob tro ac roedd y rhagolygon at y dyfodol yn ofnadw o ddu. Yn yr anobaith ’ma, o’n i’n dal i weithio gyda Mr David ac yn araf bach fe ddaeth e â heddwch i fi a helpu fy agwedd i hefyd. Dechreues i ei weld e fel

A role model I had done many jobs since Ernest Bevin forced me into the coalmine rather than the RAF. I had worked with a repairer and a haulier, with a shot firer, as a rider with journeys of drams – always reluctant, uninterested and rebellious. Now I was on the coal face with a senior collier who was also chairman of the miners’ lodge – the union leader at the colliery….. As the days passed, I watched him at work, noticing how neat and careful he was in everything he did. To the uninitiated the work of the collier appears rough and ready but it is really skilled and, at times, almost aesthetic. The care taken to keep floor, face and top of the stent well trimmed, the posts and cross pieces in line and the pride taken in leaving the stent neat and tidy at the end of the shift.. MEL HARRIS, BEVIN BOY, CWM COLLIERY 1944-47

Although working hard with Mr David – never called him anything else – my feeling about coal mining did not

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MEL HARRIS YN Y 1940AU MEL HARRIS IN THE 1940S

change. All my friends wore the uniform of one of the Forces and serving overseas, whilst I was in civilian clothes with no uniform provided except boots and helmet. I was on meagre rations, a very small wage and open to accusations of cowardice. Various attempts to get re-assigned to military posts were thwarted so that future prospects seemed bleak. In this feeling of despair I continued to work alongside Mr David and gradually he brought me some peace and resolution of my attitudes. I began to see him as a role model for a balanced and more optimistic view of life. He was a poorly educated, very intelligent man with clear views on rights and responsibilities. Once I asked him how, in his role as lodge chairman, he dealt with the payment agreements with the manager. He told me "I will see that he keeps to his side of the agreement – and if any of my men break it they will answer to me." I still hated being a Bevin Boy but he helped me to look at it as an experience which would benefit me in later life.


Barn y glowyr am Fois Bevin Doedd dim tamed o ots gyda’r Bois Bevin ’na. Byddai’n well ganddyn nhw fod yn y lluoedd. Nawr roedd un gyda ni - Trevor Farmer – o’dd yn gweithio yn mesur a chasto, y siort yna o beth, gwaith clarco tanddaear, sawl dram o lo ac ati. Roedd e’n lico’r gwaith cymaint nes iddo fe fynd i’r Ysgol Lofaol yn Nhrefforest ac ennill ei ME (tystysgrif rheolwr glofa). Daeth e’n ddarlithydd yn yr Ysgol Lofaol erbyn y diwedd. IVOR DAVIES,TRYDANWR TANDDAEAR, GLOFA PENALLTA

Roedd sawl un ohonyn nhw gyda ni. A gwastraff amser oedd lot ohonyn nhw a dweud y gwir. Byddech chi’n rhoi rhaw iddyn nhw ac roedd hi fel neidr yn eu dwylo nhw. Ond roedd ambell un yn olreit. Wnaeth rhai aros yma ar ôl y rhyfel hyd yn oed. VINCE COURT, GLOFA PENALLTA

What the miners thought of Bevin Boys These Bevin Boys, they didn’t trouble, not one bit. They would rather have gone to the services. Now there was one – Trevor Farmer – who was working measuring and counting, that sort of thing, clerical work for underground, how many drams of coal and so on. He liked it so much that while he was doing that he went to the Trefforest School of Mines and got his ME (colliery manager’s certificate) and he finished up lecturing in the School of Mines. IVOR DAVIES, UNDERGROUND ELECTRICIAN, PENALLTA COLLIERY

We had quite a number of them. A lot of them to be honest were a waste of time. You’d put a shovel in their hand and it was like a snake in their hand. But some of them were all right. Some even stopped there after the war. VINCE COURT, PENALLTA COLLIERY

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Absenoliaeth a salwch Gweithio’r shifft prynhawn oeddwn i’n benna, ac acha diwrnod twym o haf mae’n rhaid dweud ei bod yn boen mynd lawr y pwll. Fe weles i rai yn troi nôl a cholli dau ddiwrnod o bae. Buon ni’n sefyll mewn hostel ar gyrion Ystrad Mynach ar yr hewl i Lanbradach. Roedd bwrdd i’w gael i gadw llygad ar y ffigurau absenoldeb, ac fe aethon nhw ag un aelod ^ o grwp oedd yn eistedd drwy’r dydd yn chwarae ^ cardiau i’r llys. Gofynnodd y barnwr ‘Shwd ych chi’n llwyddo i fyw’, ac atebodd e ‘Wrth fy ngreddf syr’. A mynte’r barnwr ‘Mae’n well felly i chi gael chwe mis i fyw wrth eich greddf ’ – ac fe gododd hynny aml i wên yn yr hostel pan glywodd y bechgyn. RICHARD HENRY EVERITT, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA PENALLTA, 1945-48.

Roedd y tair blynedd geso i oddi cartre’n iawn ac

rwy’n dal yn cofio wynebau rhai o’r bechgyn y bues i’n gweithio gyda nhw – Owen Roberts, taniwr, Windsor Davies, gyrrwr pâr o sicstins ar y brif hewl, Passmore, roedd ein stâl ni oddi ar ei hedin e ac en o’dd gweithio gyda Bert Phillips, a Ianto bach aeth i ymuno â’r RAF. Un nosweth yn y gwaith geso i boen ar y frest wrth rofio. Daeth y Swyddog Iechyd a Diogelwch rownd a phenderfynu hala fi i stafell y cleifion yn yr hostel. Roedd hyn yn oriau mân y bore. Roedd hi’n oer ac yn rhewllyd a tipyn bach o ffordd o Ben-y-bryn. Pan gyrhaeddon ni, dyma Bill, hen blismon wedi ymddeol oedd yn cadw golwg yn dweud ‘Mae’n rhaid bod syched arnoch chi ar ôl cerdded mor bell’. Roedd y swyddog yn disgwyl rhywbeth cryf i’w gynhesu ar noson fel hyn, felly o’dd y cynnig gafodd ^ e’n dipyn o siom - glased o ddwr!

Absenteeism and sickness I mostly worked the afternoon shift and, on a hot summer’s day, I must say that it was a torment to go down and I saw some turn back and lose two days pay. We stayed at a hostel on the outskirts of Ystrad Mynach on the Llanbradach Road. There was a board to oversee absentee figures and one of a group that seemed to sit around all day playing cards was taken to court. When asked by the judge ‘How do you manage to exist’, he replied ‘By my wits sir’. The judge said ‘Then you’d better do six months by your wits’ - a great source of amusement around the hostel when heard. RICHARD HENRY EVERITT, BEVIN BOY, PENALLTA COLLIERY, 1945-48.

My three years away from home was bearable and I still remember the faces of some I worked with – Owen Roberts, fireman, Windsor Davies, driver of a pair of sixteens on the main, Passmore, our stall was off his heading, working with Bert Phillips, and young Ianto who left to join the RAF. One night whilst working I had a pain in my chest shovelling and the Health and Safety Officer happened to come around and decided to take me to the hostel sick bay. It was early hours of the morning, cold and icy, and a fair walk from Penybryn. When we arrived Bill, an elderly retired policeman who was the watchman, said ‘I expect you’re thirsty after that walk. The officer, expecting something strong and warming on such a night was most upset and put out on receiving a glass of water!

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RICHARD EVERITT YNG NGLOFA PENALLTA RICHARD EVERITT AT PENALLTA COLLIERY


Bachgen Bevin yn troi’n Bobydd Ges i fy ngeni ar y 10fed o Orffennaf 1926 yn Oake, ger Taunton yng Ngwlad yr Haf. Ym mis Awst 1944 ges i ’ngalw lan i fod yn Bachgen Bevin ac off a fi i Oakdale i hyfforddi am chwe wythnos. Ar ôl hyfforddi fe fues i’n gweithio ar y ffas lo gyda glowyr Pwll Llanbradach am y rhan fwya o ’ngwasanaeth i. Ges i drosglwyddiad i Lofa Penallta am y 12 mis ola. Un o’r atgofion penna sy gen i yw’r llygod mowr oedd yn rhedeg i bobman yn y pwll. Fe fues i’n byw yn Hostel y Glowyr yn Ystrad Mynach nes cael mynd adre ym mis Tachwedd 1947. Yn y Butchers Arms ym Maesycymmer ges i ’mhenblwydd i’n 21 oed. ARTHUR JOHN CABLE, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFEYDD LLANBRADACH A PHENALLTA, 1944-47.

ARTHUR CABLE A’R BOIS BEVIN ERAILL YN AROS AM FWS Y GWAITH ARTHUR CABLE AND FELLOW BEVIN BOYS WAITING FOR THE WORK’S BUS

Cafodd y llun ei dynnu tu allan i’r hostel yn Ystrad Mynach – aros am y bws i’r gwaith o’n ni, mae’n debyg. Yn y llun mae Max Morgan o’r Drenewydd yn y crys gwyn, fi yn y canol a bachgen o’r enw Dennis o Gernyw. Dyw’r llun ddim yn glir iawn ond dyma’r unig un sy gen i o’r cyfnod. Ar ôl gwneud y Gwasanaeth Gwladol, fe es i’n bobydd, a dilynes i’r proffesiwn yna wedyn nes i mi ymddeol yn 1991.

From Bevin Boy to Baker I was born on 10th July 1926 in Oake, nr. Taunton in Somerset. In August 1944 I was called up to become a Bevin Boy and sent to Oakdale for six weeks training. Following training I worked on the coal face alongside the colliers at Llanbradach Colliery for the majority of my service. I transferred to Penallta Colliery for the last twelve months. One of my strongest memories is of the rats which ran loose in the pits. I lived at the Miners’ Hostel in Ystrad Mynach until I returned home in November 1947. I spent my 21st birthday in the Butchers Arms in Maesycymmer. ARTHUR JOHN CABLE, BEVIN BOY, LLANBRADACH AND PENALLTA COLLIERIES, 1944–47.

The photo was taken outside the hostel in Ystrad Mynach – we were probably waiting for the work’s bus. In the photograph is Max Morgan from Newtown in the white shirt, me in the middle and a chap called Dennis from Cornwall. The photo is not very clear but is the only one I have from this time. After my National Service I became a baker, a profession I followed until I retired in 1991.

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HAROLD GIBSON BACHGEN BEVIN

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HAROLD GIBSON, BEVIN BOY


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‘Byddwn i wedi bod yn ddigon bodlon Ges i ngeni yn Herstmonceux, Dwyrain Sussex. Gadawes i’r ysgol yn 14 oed i fynd i weithio mewn ffatri oedd yn gwneud rhannau i geir. Pan ddes i’n 18 oed, ges i alwad i fynd i Brighton i gael prawf meddygol. Roeddwn i eisiau ymuno â’r fyddin, ond a dweud y gwir bydden i wedi bod yn ddigon bodlon aros gartre! RAYMOND GEORGE ISTED, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA ROSEHEYWORTH 1943-49

RAY ISTED 1940AU RAY ISTED 1940S

Daeth fy rhif i lan yn y balot i fynd i’r pyllau glo ac fe anfonon nhw fi i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale. Fues i’n lletya gyda Mrs Jones yn Rhisga, fi a Wyndham Jones, cocni oedd â pherthnasau yn Abertyleri. Cawson ni chwech wythnos o hyffordiant yn Oakdale (roedd Wyndham ‘fel menyw’ ar y rhaw) a’n hala wedyn i Lofa Roseheyworth. Roedd rhaid inni wisgo’n dillad ein hunain yn y gwaith. Fy rhieni roddodd fy nillad i fi ac roeddwn i’n arfer eu hala nhw adre i Sussex bob wythnos i mam gael eu golchi nhw. Roedd hi’n arfer dweud “Byddai’n well gen i weld Raymond yn mynd i’r fyddin na lawr y pwll” – roedd hi’n meddwl bod y cyfan yn ofnadwy, a bod y Cymry’n byw mewn ogofâu. Ar ôl sbel es i i weithio gyda Sid Fox ar hedin lle bydden

‘I would have been

‘CERDYN GRADDIO’ RAYMOND ISTED RAYMOND ISTED’S ‘GRADING CARD’

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LLUN PRIODAS RAY A PHYLLIS, 1947 RAY AND PHYLLIS’S WEDDING PHOTO 1947


yn aros gartre’ ni’n llanw 13 neu 14 dram bob shifft – byddai Sid yn rhoi rhyw £3 o ‘arian cnoco’ i fi. Pan fyddai Sid yn sâl, fydden i’n gweithio ar yr hewl gyda Gerald Williams. Gerald gyflwynodd fi i Phyllis ar ryw noson mâs roeddwn i’n swil ac yn ffaelu dawnsio a dyna’r unig ffordd i’w gwneud hi yn y dyddiau hynny. Ond yn y diwedd, dyna’r unig ferch i fi fynd mâs gyda hi erioed ac r’yn ni’n briod ers 58 o flynyddoedd mis Awst yma (2005). Priodas dawel geson ni, roedd fy rhieni i’n sâl ac yn ffaelu dod lawr a doedd neb arall yna ar fy ochr i o’r teulu. I Weston Super Mare aethon ni ar ein mis mêl. Doedd y wraig newydd ddim am setlo yn Eastbourne, felly aros yng Nghymru wnaethon ni. Roedd hi wastad yn “Helo Ray” bob deg munud yng Nghymru - yn Eastbourne gallech chi gerdded o gwmpas am chwe mis a fyddai neb yn torri gair â chi! Bues i’n gweithio yn y pyllau am chwe mlynedd. Rwy’n cofio goruchwyliwr yn pwyntio ata i a dweud wrth rywun “Chi’n gweld y bachan ’na? Bachgen Bevin sy’n dal i weithio yma – ni’n ffaelu cael gwared arno fe!” Fe godes i’r acen hyd yn oed i ryw raddau, ond i atal pobl rhag gwneud hwyl ar ben fy acen Sussex i y gwnes i hynny. Erbyn hyn rwy’n teimlo’n fwy o Gymro na’r wraig!

RAY A PHYLLIS AR EU MIS MÊL YN WESTON SUPER MARE RAY AND PHYLLIS ON HONEYMOON IN WESTON SUPER MARE

quite happy stopping at home’ I was born in Herstmonceux in East Sussex; I left school at 14 and worked in a factory making automotive parts. When I reached 18, I was called up and sent to Brighton for a medical, I wanted to join the army although to be honest I would have been quite happy stopping at home! RAYMOND GEORGE ISTED, BEVIN BOY, ROSEHEYWORTH COLLIERY 1943–49

I was actually balloted to go into the mines and sent to Oakdale Training Centre. I lodged with a Mrs Jones in Risca along with Wyndham Jones, a cockney who had relations in Abertillery. We trained for six weeks at Oakdale (Wyndham proved to be ‘like a woman’ on the shovel) and then sent to Roseheyworth Colliery. We had to wear our own clothes at work, mine were supplied by my parents, and I used to send them back to Sussex every week by my mother for washing. She used to say "I would rather my Raymond go to the army than the pit" – she thought it was all terrible, thought that Welsh people lived in caves. After a while I worked with Sid Fox on a heading where

we were filling 13 or 14 drams a shift – Sid used to give me around £3 ‘knocking money’. When Sid went on the sick I worked the road with Gerald Williams. Gerald introduced me to Phyllis on a night out – I was shy and couldn’t dance so that was the only way to do it in those days. But it ended up that she was the only girl I ever went out with and we’ve been married for 58 years this August (2005). We had a quiet wedding, both my parents were ill and couldn’t come and there was no one else from my side of the family there. We went to Weston Super Mare for the honeymoon. My new wife didn’t want to settle in Eastbourne so we stopped in Wales. It was always "Hello Ray" every ten minutes in Wales - in Eastbourne you could walk around for six months and no one would talk to you! I worked for 6 years in the pits. I remember an overman pointing me out to someone and saying "You see this boy here? A Bevin Boy and still working here – we can’t get him from here!" I even picked up the accent a bit although that was to stop me getting ribbed about my Sussex accent. I feel more Welsh than my wife does now!

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‘Y peth gorau ddigwyddodd yn fy rhyfel i’ Do, fe fues i’n un o’r ychydig anffodus – roedd y rhif ges i ar ddiwedd fy mhrawf meddygol yn gorffen gyda’r digid anghywir! Roeddwn i wedi gwasanaethu yn yr ATC (Corfflu Hyfforddi Awyr) oddi ar pan fues i yn yr ysgol ac roeddwn i’n ofnadw o browd fy mod i wedi ennill trwyddedau gleidio A, B ac C. Dywedes i hyn wrth y swyddog oedd yn cynnal y cyfweliad yn y prawf meddygol – mae’r garden yn dal i fod gen i, wedi’i stampio ag A1 – ac ysgrifennodd e ‘Waive’ mewn inc coch ar y garden (sy gen i o hyd). Roeddwn i ar fy ffordd i ymuno â ffrind bore oes yn yr RAF.

G. CAMPBELL JONES, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA MARKHAM, 1944-47

Byddai wedi bod yn anodd i fi ddisgrifio’r siom ges i pan glywes i wedyn y byddwn i’n gwneud fy Ngwasanaeth Gwladol danddaear – a doedd dim byd arall i’w wneud. Dyma ddyfyniad i chi (ac mae hwn gen i o hyd):Ministry of Labour and National Service – form E.D. 383 (C.T.C.) Emergency Powers (Defence) Acts, 1939-1940. Direction under Regulation 58A of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939. Any person failing to comply with the direction Regulation 58A of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939 is liable to summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding £100 or to both such imprisonment and such fine. Any person failing to comply after such a conviction is liable to a further conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every day on which the failure continues. Rhyw £3.00 oedd y gyflog wythnosol ar gyfartaledd i grefftwr bryd hynny ac felly roedd hyn yn dipyn o ddirwy, heb sôn am y carchar. Am fy mod yn ifanc a disgybledig, fel roedd pawb yn y dyddiau hynny, fe ddilynes i’r gorchmynion, ac ar 16 Tachwedd 1944 fe es i i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale, Coed-duon, Sir Fynwy, i gael hyfforddiant. Ar ôl pythefnos o sgyrsiau – allech chi mo’u galw nhw’n ddarlithoedd – gan lowyr oedd wedi’u recriwtio o’r pyllau lleol, ac ar ôl symud tunelli lawer o lo o’r naill domen fawr i’r llall – ‘I chi ddod yn gyfarwydd â chael rhaw yn eich dwylo’ ac un daith lawr pwll glo go iawn, cafodd pawb orchmynion i fynd i wahanol byllau i ddechrau gweithio. Ces i fy anfon i bwll Markham, ychydig i’r gogledd o’r Coed-duon. Roedd y pwll yn perthyn i gwmni Haearn a Dur Tredegar, a’r

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unig ddewis arall i fi oedd mynd i’r carchar. O edrych nôl nawr, rwy’n sylweddoli y gallwn i fod wedi cael y gorau ar yr awdurdodau drwy wrthod ymuno ag undeb y glowyr - roedd llyfr yn cael ei wthio dan ein trwyn ar ein diwrnod cyntaf yng Nghanolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale i ni ei lofnodi. Fyddai dim perygl o gwbl y byddai glowyr unrhyw bwll yn derbyn neb heb aelodaeth lawn o’r undeb, hyd yn oed yn ystod y rhyfel.

ffrindiau ’nhad oedd yn cadw fferm a llawer o seidr da!!! Doedd dim llawer o betrol ar gael felly roeddwn i’n mynd ar gefn fy meic i’w gweld nhw a chael diferyn …… ond un noson fe ges i ormod, cwympo oddi ar y beic a thorri fy mawd. Aeth fy nhad â fi at y doctor drannoeth (roedd hi’n boenus ar y diawl drwy’r nos) ac ymlaen wedyn i Ysbyty Orthopedig Agnes Hunt yn ymyl Croesoswallt lle dwedon nhw y bydden nhw’n ceisio achub y bawd!!!

Wedyn ces i dipyn o lwc dda. Fe gofiodd modryb i fi fod bachgen o’n pentre ni yn Sir Amwythig wedi mynd i dde Cymru i chwilio am waith cyn y rhyfel, i fynd yn löwr. Fe setlodd Jim Acton ym Markham, ac ar ôl clywed am fy sefyllfa i, fe roddodd e a’i wraig Win groeso cynnes i fi fel lletywr am £2.75 yr wythnos. Fe fynnodd e hefyd y dylwn i weithio gydag e ar yr un ffas lo ‘er mwyn imi gadw llygad ar y bachgen o Sir Amwythig a gwrando ar ei acen’ (wyddwn i ddim bod acen gen i!). Ar adegau fe fyddai Jim am gael hoe a byddai’n dweud wrtha i am adrodd cerdd neu stori a byddai’n dweud wrth y lleill ‘Gallwn i wrando ar y crwt yma drwy’r dydd: mae’n f ’atgoffa fi am gartre’. Un gerdd (lân) roeddwn i’n ei gwybod, ‘How Horatio held the bridge’, wedi’i dysgu hi wrth gael fy nghadw i mewn ar ôl yr ysgol, credwch neu beidio, ond roedd e’n cadw Jim yn hapus.

Am y bythefnos nesa, fe dreulies i rai o wythnosau gorau fy rhyfel yn cael tendans gan nyrsys ifanc a deniadol (y gorau o ferched Sir Amwythig yn ôl fy nghefnder) a’r holl fwyd y gallwn ei fwyta. Pan fyddai’r tywydd yn dda, byddai’r gwely’n cael ei osod ar y feranda i fi gael bod yn yr haul. Yn lle’r wyneb gwelw, roedd gen i liw haul braf a des i nabod ambell ferch oedd yn hyfforddi i fod yn nyrs – hyfryd o fyd …..

Roeddwn i’n gwybod o’r dechrau’n deg nad dyma’r bywyd i fi ac ar yr esgus lleiaf, salwch neu rywbeth arall, gan gynnwys tywydd drwg, i ffwrdd â fi i Sir Amwythig ar fy meic modur Triumph Speed Twin ffyddlon. Roedd Jim yn gwybod sut roeddwn i’n teimlo ac fe drefnodd e fod y goruchwyliwr yn rhoi gwaith i fi yn ^ helpu gweithiwr i osod systemau taenu dwr, oedd i fod i helpu i gadw’r llwch glo marwol i lawr. Roedd rhaid drilio twll dwy fodfedd gan ddefnyddio dril glo chwe throedfedd o hyd a hwnnw’n cael ei yrru gan y modur cywasgu aer mwya swnllyd glywsoch chi erioed. Roedd y cywasgwr yn cael ei gario ar yr ysgwydd, yn union ar bwys eich clust, oedd yn golygu bod y ^ yn llythrennol yn fyddarol (‘ear muffs’ swn erioed wedi clywed amdanyn nhw!). Wedyn ^ oedd yn ei selio’i hun yn byddai piben dal dwr cael ei gosod i mewn a bydden ni’n gadael i’r ^ lifo am ryw funud. dwr Aeth y job yma ymlaen drwy’r gaeaf i gyd a dim ond ar ddydd Sul y byddwn i’n gweld golau dydd. Codi am chwech y bore, i lawr y pwll am saith a nôl am dri o’r gloch y prynhawn yn syth i’r bath. Tywyll, tywyll, tywyll. Fe es i o fod yn fachgen bochgoch o’r wlad i bryd a gwedd gwelw fel petai’r dicléin arna i. Ddechrau’r gwanwyn nesa roeddwn i ar fy ffordd nôl i Onibury ac yn mynd yn aml i weld

‘Beth yw’ch gwaith chi?’ holodd un o’r ymgynghorwyr. ‘Glöwr’ ‘Bydd eich anaf chi’n cymryd cryn amser i wella, ac yn y cyfamser mae’n amhosibl ichi godi caib a rhaw.’ ^ ‘Ydy syr, mae’n siwr’. Dyna ddechrau dau fis o leiaf o segura digywilydd, nes i fi gael llythyr maes o law gan yr arswydus WEINYDDIAETH LAFUR oedd am gael gwybod pam nad oeddwn i yn y pwll yn Markham. ‘Ewch i Gaerwrangon ar xx/xx/xx’. Os na fyddwch yno o fewn y saith diwrnod nesaf, ni fydd gennym ddewis ond eich galw i’r lluoedd arfog gan fod yna brinder dybryd o ddynion yn y llu awyr.’ A dyna chi wedi dyfalu, aros a gorweddian yn yr haul yn Onibury wnes i ac felly yn y pen draw fe ysgrifennon nhw eto. ‘Wedi adolygu’ch achos chi a’i ystyried eto, rydyn ni wedi penderfynu nad oes arnom angen eich gwasanaeth chi …..’ Hwrê!! Ond roedd un tro olaf yn y gwt. Fe benderfynodd y Weinyddiaeth Lafur na fyddai bechgyn Bevin, yn wahanol i bawb arall oedd wedi bod yn y lluoedd, yn cael hawlio’u hen swyddi oedd ganddyn nhw cyn y rhyfel yn ôl, felly roedd hynny hyd yn oed wedi’i golli. Dim siwt demob. Dim tocyn trên adre. Dim addysg bellach ar gost y wlad. Doedd y Lleng Prydeinig ddim am eich nabod chi chwaith - nhw na neb arall. Diolch yn dalpe i chi wleidyddion, lywodraethau a phawb. Ond fel mae’n digwydd, dyna’r peth gorau i ddigwydd i mi yn y rhyfel. Dechreues i mewn maes gwaith arall ym 1947 a gwneud yn dda. Fe wnes i hyd yn oed briodi nith Jim Acton - ond stori arall yw honno.


‘The best thing that happened in my war’ Yes I was one of those unfortunate few - the number given to me when I had my medical ended with the wrong digit! I had served in the ATC (Air Training Corps) since my school years and was proud to have earned my A, B and C gliding licences. I told this to the interviewing officer at my medical- I still have my medical card stamped A1- and he wrote ‘Waive’ in red on my card (which I still have). I was on my way to join a great boyhood friend in the RAF. G. CAMPBELL JONES, BEVIN BOY, MARKHAM COLLIERY, 1944-47

It would have been difficult for me to describe my disappointment to be informed subsequently that I was to spend my National Service underground – and there appeared to be no way out. I quote from (which I still keep):Ministry of Labour and National Service – form E.D. 383 (C.T.C.) Emergency Powers (Defence) Acts, 1939-1940. Direction under Regulation 58A of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939. Any person failing to comply with the direction Regulation 58A of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939 is liable to summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding £100 or to both such imprisonment and such fine. Any person failing to comply after such a conviction is liable to a further conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every day on which the failure continues. The average weekly age for an artisan in those days was around £3.00 so this, apart from the imprisonment was a hefty fine. Being young and disciplined, as we all were in those days, I did as I was told and reported on 16th November 1944 to the Oakdale Training Centre, Blackwood, Monmouthshire, for training. After two weeks of chats – they couldn’t possibly be called lectures – given by miners recruited from local mines for that purpose and after moving many tons of coal from one large heap to another – ‘To give you the feel of a shovel butty’ and one trip down a real coal mine we were all given our orders to report to various pits to start work. The pit I was sent to was at Markham, just north of Blackwood and owned by The Tredegar Iron and Steel Company Limited and the only alternative for me was prison. Looking back now I know that I could have

called the authorities bluff by refusing to become a member of the miners’ union – a book for us to sign was thrust in front of us on our first day at Oakdale Training Centre. There was no way that miners at any pit in the country would accept anyone without full union membership, even in wartime. Now comes a stroke of good fortune. An aunt of mine recalled that a boy from my village in Shropshire, finding work pre- war, had gone to south Wales to become a miner. Jim Acton settled in Markham, and hearing of my plight, he and his wife Win welcomed me with open arms as lodger at £2.75 per week. He insisted too that I worked with him on the same coal face so that ‘I can keep an eye on this Shropshire Lad and listen to his accent’ (I didn’t know I had one!). There were occasions when he would want a breather and tell me to recite a poem or tell a tale when he would tell the others ‘I could listen to this lad all day, he reminds me of home’. I only knew one (clean) poem, ‘How Horatio held the bridge’, which I had learned in detention in school would you believe, but it kept Jim happy. I could tell from the start that this was not the life for me and on the slightest excuse, illness or otherwise, bad weather included, I would be off to Shropshire on my trusty Triumph Speed Twin motor bike. Jim knew how I felt and got an Overman (big boss) to give me a job assisting a worker to install water infusion systems which were supposed to help keep the killer coal dust in check. A two inch hole had to be drilled using a six foot long coal drill driven by the noisiest compressed air motor you have ever heard. The compressor was shoulder mounted right by your ea, which meant that the noise was literally deafening (ear muffs – never heard of them!). A watertight self sealing pipe was then inserted and the water left to flow for a minute or so. The job lasted one whole winter during which I only saw proper daylight on Sundays. Up at 6am, down the pit at 7am and back up at 3pm straight into the pit head baths. Dark, dark, dark. My complexion went from rosy cheeked country boy to a tubercular like pallid face.

devil all night) and then on to the Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry where they said they would try and save my thumb!!! The next two weeks I spent there were some of the best weeks of my war. Cosseted by young attractive nurses (my cousin called them ‘the flower of Shropshire womanhood’) given all the food I could eat. Weather permitting my bed would be pulled onto a veranda where I soaked up the sunshine. I replaced my ashen complexion with a tan and got to know a trainee nurse or two – what bliss….. ‘What is your occupation?’ asked a consultant there. ‘Coal miner’ ‘Your injury will take some while to mend, in the meantime you could not possibly handle a pick and shove.’ ‘No sir, I’m sure’. That was the start of at least two months of unashamed malingering until I received a letter from the dreaded MINISTRY OF LABOUR wanting to know why I was not at Markham pit. ‘Report to Worcester on xx/xx/xx’. If you do not report there within the next seven days we shall have no alternative but to draft you into the forces as they are desperate for air crew.’ Well you guessed, I was still soaking up the sun in Onibury so they eventually wrote again. ‘We have reviewed and considered your case and have decided we do not require your services …..’ Yippee!! One last sting in the tale. The Ministry of Labour decided that Bevin Boys would not, unlike all other ex-servicemen, be able to claim back the jobs they had prior to their call-up so even that was lost. No demob suit. No rail fare home. No further education at the expense of the state. The British Legion did not want to know either – no one did. Thanks a lot politicians, governments et tout. But it turned out to be the best thing that happened in my war. I took up another line of work in1947 and did well. I even married Jim Acton’s niece - but that’s another story.

At the start of the next spring I was off back to Onibury and often went to see my father’s friends who had a farm and much good cider!!! As petrol was rationed I rode my bike over to see them and imbibed…… one evening I overdid it, fell off my bike and fractured my thumb. My father took me to the doctors next morning (it hurt like the

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Fy mis fel Bachgen Bevin Yng Nghanada y ceso i fy ngeni; roedd ’nhad wedi cael niwed cas ar ei gefn yng Nglofa Nant-y-glo ac roedd e am dengid o’r pwll glo. Fe ymfudodd e yn 1920 a geso i fy ngeni yna yn 1926. Daeth Mam â ni’r plant nôl i Gymru ar ein gwyliau yn 1930 a gwrthod mynd nôl, felly gorffodd nhad ddod nôl hefyd. Ond osgoi’r pyllau glo wnaeth e eto, drwy fynd yn ffiter moduron. Ar ôl i fi adael yr ysgol, fe hyfforddes innau i fod yn saer cerrig bedd. Rhoies i’n enw lawr i ymuno â’r lluoedd ym mis Mawrth 1944, gan obeithio cael mynd i’r RAF. Yn lle hynny, dyma alwad yn dod i fynd i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale i gael gwaith rhyfel yn y pwll. WILLIAM OWEN BEVAN, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA OAKDALE, 1944

Dechreues i weithio dan ddaear fel cynorthwyydd glöwr ar hen hedin digon caled. Roedd yr hedin yma wedi torri mewn i hen weithfeydd llawn llygod mowr ac, ar ôl mis dan yr amgylchiadau yna yn cymysgu clai i lanw’r tyllau ar ôl i’r ffrwydron fynd i mewn, fe ddalies i glefyd Weil. Geso i’n hala i Ysbyty’r Eglwys Newydd yng Nghaerdydd oedd yn ysbyty milwrol bryd hynny. Achos bod fy nghyflwr i mor ddifrifol, buo i ar foddion tawelu am dair wythnos ac fe wedson nhw mod i’n lwcus i ddod drwyddi. Erbyn i fi gael fy rhyddhau o’r ysbyty, roedd y rhyfel ar ben a gorffes i ddim mynd nôl dan ddaear, ond mynd nôl i’r grefft oedd gyda fi cyn y rhyfel, fel saer cerrig bedd.

WILLIAM OWEN BEVAN YN YMWELD Â PHWLL GLO LLEOL CYN Y RHYFEL (BLAEN CHWITH) WILLIAM OWEN BEVAN VISITING A LOCAL COLLIERY BEFORE THE WAR (FRONT LEFT)

My month as a Bevin Boy I was born in Canada; my father had badly injured his back in a Nantyglo Colliery and wanted to get out of the pits. He emigrated in 1920 and I was born there in 1926. My mother brought us children back to Wales for a holiday in 1930 and refused to go back again, so my father had to come back as well but still avoided the coal mines by becoming a motor fitter. After I left school I trained to become a monumental mason. I registered for the forces in March 1944; I was hoping to join the RAF. Instead I was called up to Oakdale Training Centre for war work in the coal mines. I startWILLIAM OWEN BEVAN, BEVIN BOY, OAKDALE COLLIERY, 1944

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ed underground working as a collier’s assistant in a hard heading. The heading had tapped into old, rat infested workings and, after a month in these conditions mixing and handling clay stemming for ramming explosives, I contracted Weil’s disease. I was sent to Whitchurch Hospital near Cardiff which was then a military hospital. Because of the seriousness of my condition, I had to undergo sedation for three weeks and was told that I was lucky to survive. By the time I was discharged from hospital the war was over and never had to go back underground but continued my pre-war trade as a monumental mason.


Fe briodes i â Bachgen Bevin Fe geso i ’ngalw lan i wneud Gwasanaeth Gwladol ym 1942. Gweithio ar y tir o’n i fod i’w wneud ond doedd dim chwant byw oddi cartre arna i ac felly dewises i fynd yn docynnwr ar y bysys lleol - ‘clipi’ fel ro’n ni’n cael ein galw. Saer coed o’dd fy nghariad i Oswald John Wall, neu ‘Ozzie’ fel o’dd pawb yn ei alw fe, ac o’dd e wrth ei fodd â’r rhyfel ac yn awchu am gael mynd i’r lluoedd - y fyddin, y llynges, unrhyw beth, ond iddo gael joino. Pan gas e ei alw lan ym mis Ionawr 1944 fe basodd e’r profion meddygol i gyd ond dyna chi ergyd o’dd cael ei hala i’r pwll glo. I Oakdale i hyfforddi yr aeth e gynta, wedyn i Lofa Blaensychan. Bydde fe yn aml iawn ar y bws gyda fi’n mynd i’r gwaith – o’n i’n siarad gyda fe oddi ar y bws un noson, a dyma’r gyrrwr yn gyrru bant a ’ngadael i yn Abersychan! Doedd dim llawer gyda fe i’w ddweud wrtha’i am y lofa achos ei fod e’n casáu’r lle gymaint. Buon ni’n waco o tua 1942 ymlaen ond doedd e ddim am inni MRS DOREEN WALL, GRIFFITHSTOWN

briodi nes iddo fe gwpla yn y pwll. Cas e’i ryddhau ym mis Ionawr 1946; fe ddyweddïon ni ychydig wedyn a phriodi ym 1948. Aeth e ymlaen wedyn i fod yn glerc gwaith. Mae’n braf gwybod bod Bois Bevin wedi cael eu cydnabod o’r diwedd ar ôl 60 mlynedd. Er ei fod e’n casáu ei amser dan ddaear, fe fyddai wedi bod yn ^ â’r dathlu. frwd ynglyn DOREEN WALL MEWN IWNIFFORM ‘CLIPI’ DOREEN WALL IN HER ‘CLIPPIE’ UNIFORM

OZZIE WALL YN GWEITHIO FEL SAER COED CYN Y RHYFEL. (AR Y CHWITH) OZZIE WALL WORKING AS CARPENTER BEFORE THE WAR. (ON LEFT)

I married a Bevin Boy I was called up for National Service in 1942. I was supposed to become a land girl but didn’t fancy having to live away from home so instead I opted to become a conductress or, as they were known, a ‘clippie’ on the local buses. My boyfriend Oswald John Wall, or ‘Ozzie’ as everyone called him, was a carpenter and joiner was very war oriented and was itching to go into the forces – army, navy, anything just to join up. When he was actually called up in January 1944 he passed all the medicals but was devastated to be directed to the coal mines. He went to Oakdale first for training then to Blaensychan Colliery. MRS DOREEN WALL, GRIFFITHSTOWN

He often used to be on my bus going to work – I was talking to him off the bus one evening and the driver drove off and left me in Abersychan! He didn’t say much to me about the colliery as he hated being there so much. We were courting from about 1942 but he didn’t want to get married until he got out of the pit. He was demobbed in January 1946; we got engaged soon after and married in 1948. He went on to become a clerk of works. It’s nice to know that after sixty years the Bevin boys have been recognised at long last. Even though he hated the time he spent underground he would have been enthusiastic about the celebrations.

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‘Gofalu am y pwll’ Yn Rhaglan o’n i’n byw yn ystod y rhyfel ond, gan mai yn Llundain o’n i wedi cofrestru ar gyfer y Gwasanaeth Gwladol, ges i ’ngalw i ganolfan hyfforddi Glofa Askern yn Doncaster i wneud y mis cyntaf o hyfforddi. Ces i lety yn Doncaster – oedd yn debycach i westy mewn gwirionedd er ei bod yn rhyfedd cael pâr o esgidiau mawr a blaenau dur i chwarae pêl-droed – er mwyn inni ddod i arfer â nhw mae’n debyg. Wedyn ces i’n anfon i Bwll Cadeby Main i weithio, ar HENRY LUMLEY, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA CADEBY MAIN, 1944-45

‘tipler’ glo i ddechrau ac wedyn o dan ddaear gyda’r trydanwyr, i hyfforddi i fod yn wifrwr. Mae’n debyg mai fi yw’r unig un o holl Fois Bevin sy’n gallu honni iddo gael ei adael ar ei ben ei hun i ofalu am y gwaith trydan dan ddaear ar shifftiau prynhawn. Des i nôl adre ar fy ngwyliau ar ddechrau’r haf yn 1945 ac am fy mod i’n teimlo’n dost fe es i at y meddyg. Yn y pen draw fe ges i fy rhyddhau o’r pyllau, ar sail afiechyd. Ond roedd hi’n beth rhyfedd eu bod nhw wedi dweud ym mhen y mis ’mod i’n A1 yn feddygol, ac es i i’r Llynges yn y pen draw!

‘Left in charge of the pit’ I was living in Raglan during the war but, as I had registered for National Service in London, I was called up to Askern Colliery training centre in Doncaster for my initial month’s training. I was billeted in Doncaster – it was like a hotel there although it was strange to be given a pair of steel toe capped boots to play football in – I suppose it was to get us used to them. I was then sent to Cadeby Main Colliery to work, first HENRY LUMLEY, BEVIN BOY, CADEBY MAIN COLLIERY, 1944-45

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on a coal tippler then underground with the electricians to train as a wireman. I probably have the unique claim as a Bevin Boy to be often left in sole charge of electrical work underground on afternoon shifts. I came back home on holiday in the early summer of 1945 and, feeling ill I went to the doctors and was eventually discharged from the pits on ill health. However it was a bit strange that a month later I was declared to be medically A1 and ended up in the Royal Navy!


Cwmnïaeth

Comradeship Wrthi’n dysgu bod yn grydd oeddwn i pan ges i lythyr yn dweud bod rhaid mynd i Gasnewydd i gael prawf meddygol. Fe bases i gyda Gradd Un ond doedd dim dewis i gael: o’dd rhaid i fi fynd i’r pyllau fel Bachgen Bevin ac nid i’r lluoedd. Dwedson nhw wrtha i wedyn am fynd i’r Gyfnewidfa Lafur yn y Coed-duon, lle ro’dd hyd at 30 o ddynion a bechgyn, rhai wedi dod o’r fyddin. Wedyn fe aethon nhw â fi i 21 Albany Road i gael llety gyda Bachgen Bevin arall o’r enw Dan Rogers o Bontypridd. Gorffes i wneud mis yn y pwll hyfforddi yn Oakdale. Yn yr wythnos ola, fe aethon ni i weld Pwll yr Ocean

yn Nhreharris. Wedyn geso i wybod bod rhaid mynd i weithio i Lofa’r Navigation yn Oakdale, yn lle mynd sha thre i Flaenafon a Big Pit. Fe drïodd fy nhad gael trosglwyddiad i’r Pwll Mawr i fi sawl tro, ond lwyddodd e fyth. Bues i’n gweithio yn Oakdale am dair blynedd. O’dd yn gas gen i feddwl mynd dan ddaear ond cyn hir fe ddes i i fwynhau cwmnïaeth y bech-gyn eraill. Yn nes ymlaen fe ges i fy anfon i Big Pit a dyna lle gwples i, ar ôl 42 o flynyddoedd.

I was learning my trade as a shoe repairer when I received a letter to go to Newport for my medical, which I passed Grade One but I had no choice, I had to go to the mines as a Bevin Boy and not to the forces. I was then told to report to Blackwood Labour Exchange where there were up to thirty men and boys, some from the army. I was then taken to 21 Albany Road which was to be my lodgings and joined by another Bevin Boy named Dan Rogers from Pontypridd. I had to do a month at the training pit at Oakdale. On our last week we visited the Ocean Colliery at Treharris.

I then received notice that I had to report for work at Oakdale Navigation Colliery instead of my home town of Blaenafon and Big Pit. My father tried on numerous occasions for my transfer to Big Pit but was never successful. I worked at Oakdale for three years. I hated the thought of going underground but soon started to enjoy the comradeship of my workmates. I was later sent to Big Pit where I finished after forty two years.

W. A. HEAL, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA OAKDALE 1944-47

W. A. HEAL, BEVIN BOY, OAKDALE COLLIERY. 1944-47

O’n i’n ffodus iawn cael llety da a chadwes i gysylltiad â’r teulu hefyd nes iddyn nhw farw. Licen i ddiolch i bob un o’m hen gydweithwyr am wneud bywyd gwaith mor hapus i fi.

I was fortunate to have had really good lodgings and kept in touch with the family until they passed away. So I would like to give a vote of thanks to all my old workmates for my making my working life happy.

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O Bulawayo i Hafodyrynys Ymunodd Desmond Samuels â’r Great Western Railway fel clerc ym 1941 cyn gwirfoddoli i ymuno â’r RAF ym mis Gorffennaf 1943. Ar ôl cyrraedd mor bell â De Rhodesia (Zimbabwe bellach) ffeindiodd bod y cyrsiau hyfforddi i beilotiaid i gyd yn orlawn. I hwyluso pethau, gallai peilotiaid oedd wedi gwneud rhan o’u hyfforddiant naill ai ailhyfforddi fel peilotiaid gleiders neu gael eu rhyddhau i fynd i ddiwydiant. Wedi gwirfoddoli i fynd i’r RAF, doedd e ddim am fynd i’r fyddin fel peilot gleider, felly fe wirfoddolodd e i wneud gwaith diwydiannol. Dyna pryd cafodd wybod bod hynny’n golygu gweithio o dan ddaear. D.V. SAMUELS, GWIRFODDOLWR, GLOFA HAFODYRYNYS 1945-47

Ar ôl wythnos o wyliau fe ddechreuodd e yn Ysgol Hyfforddi Oakdale ym mis Mai 1945 a gweithio wedyn yng Nglofa Hafodyrynys tan fis Hydref 1947. ‘Allwn i byth deall pam roedden ni’r ‘amaturiaid’ yn cael lampau diogelwch gyda fflam oedd yn diffodd pe baech chi’n ei tharo hi, a’ch gadael chi yn y tywyllwch, yn lle cael lamp drydan fel y dynion ‘proffesiynol’. Ond o leia roedd y lampau’n gweithio,fel y dangosodd fy myti i pan aeth i chwilio am nwy mewn cornel fach heb awyr ar y prif hedin roedden ni’n ei ddatblygu – bu ffrwydrad bach tu mewn i’w lamp! Ar fy niwrnod cynta yn Hafodyrynys fe aethon nhw â fi i’r ffas a chyflwyno fi i’r glöwr y byddwn i’n gweithio gydag e, ‘Wock’, oedd yn tyllu o dan lwmpyn anferth o lo ar y ffas heb ddim byd i’w ddal e ond ambell i brop. Tipyn o agoriad llygad! Wrth lwytho dram y ces i fy anap cyntaf. Wrth geisio gwthio lwmpyn mawr o lo i’r lle uwchlaw ymyl

uchaf y ddram roedd fy nghefn i yn erbyn prop i gael gwthio yn ei erbyn. Yn lle gwthio’r lwmpyn i’w le, y prop ddaeth yn rhydd, a daeth y to lawr. Drwy lwc a bendith, dim ond ychydig bach o rwbel rhydd ddaeth i lawr, ond rwy’n cofio meddwl tybed pa mor uchel lan fy nghorff y byddai’r pentwr yn dod. Un bore cofiadwy iawn, daeth fy myti (sy’n cael aros yn ddienw) i’r gwaith yn dioddef pen tost ar ôl y noson cynt. Fe gadwes i’r lle i fynd ar fy mhen fy hun, gan fod digon o brofiad gen i fy hun erbyn hynny. Quack oedd enw un o’r ceffylau dan ddaear yn Hafodyrynys a phe bai ei gefn e’n cyffwrdd â’r to neu un o’r trawstiau dros ben byddai’n cicio dros y tresi ac ^ yn gwneud dwr. O achos hynny, roedd ei haliwr (Jack Turton oedd ei enw e rwy’n credu) yn awyddus iawn i gael digon o le uwchben ble bynnag y byddai’n mynd. Yn ystod gaeaf 1946/47 gyda’r eira mawr, roedd trên ^ y glowyr yn methu mynd o Bont-y-pwl i Hafodyrynys, am dri diwrnod rwy’n credu. Pan gyrhaeddon ni’r gwaith yn y pen draw, y dasg gynta oedd clirio’r eira er mwyn cyrraedd pen y pwll i ofalu am y ceffylau. Roedd yr eira’n ddigon dwfn i guddio’r wagenni yn y seidins yn llwyr. £5 yr wythnos oedd y gyflog, cyn talu treth, ond weithiau fe fyddai’ch glöwr chi’n rhoi hyd at hanner coron yn fwy ichi, os oedd e wedi cael wythnos dda neu os oedd yn credu’ch bod chi’n ei haeddu fe. Fe briodes i ym mis Awst 1947, felly fe gafodd fy ngwraig rai misoedd o brofiad o olchi dillad glöwr cyn imi fynd nôl i’r rheilffyrdd yn y mis Hydref, am lai byth o arian. Ond stori arall yw honno.’

From Bulawayo to Hafodyrynys Desmond Samuels joined the Great Western railway as a clerk in 1941 before volunteering for RAF aircrew in July 1943. After getting as far as Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) he found that pilot training courses were oversubscribed. To ease the congestion partially trained pilots could either be retrained as glider pilots or released to industry. Having volunteered for the RAF he didn’t want to go into the army as a glider pilot so volunteered for industrial work instead.This is when he discovered that it meant working underground.

‘I could never understand why we ‘amateurs’ were issued with flame safety lamps which were extinguished if knocked, leaving you in the dark, instead of electric ones like the ‘professionals’. That the lamps actually worked was demonstrated by my ‘butty’ when he tested for gas in an unventilated corner of the main heading we were developing - there was a miniature explosion inside the lamp!

After a weeks leave he started at Oakdale Training School in May 1945 and then worked at Hafodyrynys Colliery until October 1947.

My first fright occurred whilst loading a dram. Trying to force a large lump of coal into position above the top edge of the dram I had my back against a prop for pur-

D.V. SAMUELS, OPTANT, HAFODYRYNYS COLLIERY 1945-47

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On my first day at Hafodyrynys I was shown to the face and introduced to my collier ‘Wock’ who was holing underneath a huge lump of coal in the face only held in position by some props. An eye opener!


chase. Instead of the lump going into place, the prop slipped out and the roof came down. Luckily for me it was only a small amount of loose rubble but I remember wondering how far up my body it would come. One memorable morning my butty (who shall be nameless) came to work with a huge hangover. I kept the place going on my own having gained sufficient experience by then. One of the haulage horses at Hafodyrynys was called Quack and if he ‘roughed’ (i.e. his back touched the roof or an overhead girder) he would squeal, buck and urinate. His haulier (I believe his name was Jack Turton) was therefore very keen on ample headroom wherever he was going.

the miners train was unable to get from Pontypool to Hafodyrynys for, I think, three days. When we eventually got to work our first job was to clear away the snow to get to the pithead so that the horses could be attended to. The snow was deep enough to completely cover the wagons in the sidings. The wages of £5 per week before stoppages were sometimes supplemented by up to half a crown by your collier if he had had a good week or thought that you deserved it. I got married in August 1947 so my new wife had a few months experience of washing miners’ clothes before I returned to the railway in October, for even less money. But that’s another story.’

During the winter of 1946/47 with the heavy snowfall,

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Achubodd penisilin fi WARWICK TAYLOR MBE, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA OAKDALE, 1944-46

Er gwaethaf tair blynedd a hanner yn y Corfflu Hyfforddi Awyr yn paratoi i wasanaethu yn yr RAF, cafodd Warwick Taylor ei alw yn hytrach i fod yn Bachgen Bevin. Cafodd ei anfon i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale ym mis Hydref 1944.

“Pan o’n i yn fy wythnos olaf yn Oakdale, fe ddalies i’r ffliw ac o’n i’n methu codi o’r gwely. “Cwyd a cher i’r gwaith” gwaeddodd Warden yr Hostel. “Alla i ddim, rwy’n teimlo’n sâl” atebes innau.“Cer i stafell y cleifion” meddai e. Gyda chryn anhawster ac yn benysgafn iawn, fe lwyddes i rywsut i lusgo yn fy mhyjamas drwy’r glaw trwm i stafell y cleifion. Roeddwn i’n wlyb diferol wrth sefyll o flaen desg y Sister a dweud mewn llais egwan, “Rwy’n sâl”. “Steddwch ac arhoswch eich tro” oedd yr ateb, wrth imi gwympo i’r llawr yn anymwybodol. Y cof nesaf sydd gen i yw deffro mewn gwely glân yn stafell y cleifion ac yno yr arhoses i am y pum niwrnod nesaf, gan fynd yn waeth ac yn waeth, a’m system yn gwrthod pob math o fwyd a moddion. Roeddwn i’n gwaedu o’r ysgyfaint ac ar y pumed dydd fe benderfynon nhw fy anfon i i’r ysbyty.” Ar ôl mynd mewn tacsi i Gasnewydd, gan gynnwys gwyriad i godi menyw oedd ar fin rhoi genedigaeth, dyma Warwick yn cyrraedd yr Ysbyty. “Edrychodd uwch-ymgynghorydd arna i ar unwaith a dweud bod arna i niwmonia dwbl. Roeddwn i i gael

pigiad penisilin bob wyth awr. Heb yn wybod i mi, ychydig iawn o obaith oedd gen i o ddod drwyddi ac fe alwon am fy rhieni a dweud wrthyn nhw na fyddwn i’n byw drwy’r nos. Drwy lwc, llwyddodd y penisilin, oedd yn gyffur newydd bryd hynny, i ostwng fy nhymheredd o 106.7 i normal bron mewn 24 awr. Roeddwn i’n teimlo’n wan a heb fwyta ers bron i wythnos ond fe ddwedon nhw y byddai argyfwng arall yn dilyn mewn ychydig ddyddiau. Dyna a fu, a phopeth yn digwydd yr eilwaith … sy’n normal mae’n debyg ond fe ddes i’n well o dipyn i beth dros y chwe wythnos nesaf. Roedd y pum claf arall yn y ward yn aelodau o’r lluoedd oedd wedi’u clwyfo’n ddifrifol yn ymladd yn erbyn yr Almaenwyr yn Ffrainc. O weld y dynion hyn, oedd i gyd yn debyg i mi o ran oedran, a threulio amser gyda nhw, roeddwn i’n sylweddoli fy mod i o leiaf mewn un darn a bod eu sefyllfa nhw lawer yn fwy difrifol na f’un i. Pan ges i fy rhyddhau o’r ysbyty o’r diwedd, roedd rhaid i ’nhad ddod â dillad sbâr ata i gan fod rhywun wedi torri i mewn i’m locer (yn yr hostel) a dwyn popeth. Fel rhywbeth i gofio amdano, fe roiodd yr ysbyty y ddwy nodwydd oedd wedi cael eu defnyddio i roi 56 pigiad penisilin i mi. Ar ôl cyfnod byr o absenoldeb salwch, pryd dechreues i golli fy ngwallt o ganlyniad i’r pigiadau, a cholli fy nghariad, fe ges i fy anfon am archwiliad meddygol.” Yn lle cael ei anfon yn ôl i’r pwll glo ar unwaith, cafodd Warwick ei anfon i weithio ar adeiladu safle ar gyfer gynnau atal awyrennau ar gyrion Llundain.

Saved by penicillin In spite of three and a half years in the Air Training Corps preparing for RAF service, Warwick Taylor found himself called up as a Bevin Boy instead. He was sent to Oakdale Training Centre in October 1944. “When in my final week at Oakdale, I developed influenza and was unable to get out of my bed. "Get up and go to work" shouted the Hostel Warden. "I can’t, I feel ill" I replied. "Go to the sick bay" he retorted. I managed with considerable difficulty and dizziness to stagger in my pyjamas through pouring rain to the sick bay. Dripping wet, I stood in front of the Sister’s desk and said in a weak voice, "I’m ill". "Sit down and wait your turn" came the reply as I collapsed in a heap on the floor lapsing into unconsciousness.

After a taxi ride to Newport, including a diversion to pick up a woman in the advanced stages of labour, Warwick arrived at the Infirmary. “A senior consultant examined me immediately diagnosing double pneumonia and I was to be given penicillin by injection every eight hours. Unknown to me, apparently my chances of survival were highly unlikely and my parents were called for and informed that I would not live through the night. Fortunately penicillin, a new drug at that time used as a powerful antibiotic, reduced my temperature from 106.7 to almost normal in 24 hours. Feeling very weak and not haven eaten for almost a week, I was told that a crisis would follow within a few days. This duly happened when everything repeated itself all over again…this is apparently normal and gradually recovery followed during the next six weeks.

The next recollection was waking up in a clean bed in the sick quarters where I remained for the next five days, becoming progressively worse, with my system rejecting every type of food and medicine thrust upon me. I was haemorrhaging from my lungs and on the fifth day they decided to send me to hospital.”

The other five patients in the ward were army servicemen who had been seriously wounded in action against the Germans in France. Seeing and being with these men, all similar to my age, made me realise that at least I was in one piece and that their plight was far more serious. When I was finally discharged from the hospi-

WARWICK TAYLOR MBE, BEVIN BOY, OAKDALE COLLIERY, 1944-46

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Ar ôl ychydig wythnosau, ac er iddo obeithio am rywbeth gwahanol, fe gafodd ei anfon yn ôl i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale ac yn y pen draw i Lofa Oakdale. “Treuliais i’r rhan fwyaf o’m hamser yn gweithio dan ddaear ar feltiau cludo, yn cadw’r troedffyrdd yn glir pan fyddai glo yn cwympo arnyn nhw a llwytho a symud dramiau. Roeddwn i, fel y Bois Bevin eraill, yn mynd yn absennol ambell waith, yn aml drwy aros yn rhy hir ar y penwythnos.” Ym 1946 llwyddodd Warwick o’r diwedd i berswadio’r Weinyddiaeth Llafur a Gwasanaeth Gwladol i adael iddo gwblhau ei wasanaeth gwladol yn yr RAF. “Wna i ddim anghofio’r dyddiau yn gwneud fy ngwasanaeth bylchog braidd fel Bachgen Bevin am ddwy flynedd ond, fel llawer o rai eraill, roeddwn i’n credu mai ffars oedd y cyfan, ar ôl cael ein gorfodi i’r diwydiant yn erbyn ein hewyllys tra bod y glowyr eu hunain yn gwasanaethu yn y lluoedd arfog. Er hynny, mae ffawd yn beth rhyfedd ac fe allwn i fod wedi mynd yn syth i’r RAF a chael fy lladd neu fy saethu i lawr mewn awyren …..Tybed beth ddigwyddodd i’r dynion i gyd yn y ward yna a beth ddigwyddodd i’r fenyw feichiog ar y diwrnod oer yn Ionawr 1945? Doedd Bois Bevin ddim yn boblogaidd ymhlith y bobl leol, am eu bod nhw’n teimlo ein bod ni wedi dod i Gymru a chymryd swyddi eu tylwyth nhw oedd yn y lluoedd. Anfantais arall o fod o oedran milwrol ond heb iwnifform oedd y sarhad ar lafar gan y cyhoedd, oedd yn amau ein bod ni’n osgoi mynd i’r fyddin, neu wedi rhedeg i ffwrdd o’r lluoedd neu’n wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol, yn ogystal â chael ein herio’n aml gan yr heddlu lleol. Roedd y cyfan yn brofiad bywyd ac rwy’n meddwl yn aml tybed beth ddigwyddodd i’r holl Fois Bevin eraill a’r glowyr yng Nghymru a fu’n ein goddef ni.”

IS-LYWYDD CYMDEITHAS BOIS BEVIN, WARWICK TAYLOR, MBE YN PLANNU CERDDINEN YN Y GOEDFA GOFFA GENEDLAETHOL, ALREWAS, 18 EBRILL 2004. MAE’R GERDDINEN YN CYNRYCHIOLI’R HOLL FOIS BEVIN FU’N GWEITHIO YM MEYSYDD GLO CYMRU. BEVIN BOYS ASSOCIATION VICE-PRESIDENT, WARWICK TAYLOR, MBE, PLANTING A MOUNTAIN ASH TREE AT THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM, ALREWAS, ON 18 APRIL 2004. THE MOUNTAIN ASH REPRESENTS ALL BEVIN BOYS WHO WORKED IN THE WELSH COALFIELDS.

tal, my father had to bring spare clothes from home as my locker (in the hostel) had been broken into and stripped of everything. I was given, as a souvenir from the hospital, the two needles used to inject me 56 times with the penicillin.

“My days serving my somewhat broken service as a Bevin Boy for two years will not be forgotten but, like so many, I looked on the whole thing as a farce having been forced into an industry entirely against our will whilst the regular miners were serving in the armed forces. Fate, however, plays a strange game for I could have gone straight into the RAF and been killed or shot down in an aircraft…..What happened to all those men in that ward and what became of the woman expecting a child on that cold January day in 1945?

After a short spell of sick leave, during which my hair started to fall out as a result of the injections, and losing my girlfriend, I was sent for a medical examination.” Instead of immediately being sent back to mining, Warwick was directed to work on the construction of an anti-aircraft gun site just outside London.After a few weeks, in spite of his hopes to the contrary, he ended up back in Oakdale Training Centre and was eventually sent to Oakdale Colliery. “The majority of my time working underground was spent on conveyor belts, keeping the walkways clear of coal spillage, and the loading and movement of drams. I, like other Bevin Boys, went absent on a number of occasions, often overstaying weekends.” In 1946 Warwick eventually persuaded the Ministry of Labour and National Service to allow him to complete his national service in the RAF.

Bevin Boys were not popular amongst the local people as they understandably felt that we had come down to Wales to take away the jobs from their own kith and kin who were serving in the forces. Another disadvantage of being military age and not in uniform brought about verbal abuse from the public who suspected us of being draft dodgers, deserters or conscientious objectors as well as often being challenged by the local police. It was all an experience of life and I often wonder what has happened to all those fellow Bevin Boys and to the Welsh miners who tolerated us.”

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‘Falle y dylen i ddiolch i Ernest Bevin wedi’r cwbwl!’ Cafodd Raymond Ballard ei eni yn Reading. Pan gafodd ei benblwydd yn 18, er ei fod yn awyddus i ymuno â’r Llynges, cafodd ei anfon i Ganolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale. ‘Ar ôl inni setlo, fe ddechreuodd yr hyfforddi, sef darlithoedd, ymarfer corff ac ychydig oriau dan ddaear. Doedd yr hyfforddiant yma ddim yn baratoad o fath yn y byd ar gyfer gwaith pwll glo. Y tro cyntaf i fi fynd i lawr y pwll oedd wedi’i ddewis i fi, roedd arna i ofn am fy mywyd. Ar ddiwedd fy hyfforddiant i, fe ddwedon nhw ym mha bwll y bydden ni’n gweithio. Pwll Ynysowen ym mhentref Aberfan ac Ynysowen oedd f ’un i. Ces i lety yn Hostel Glowyr Rhydfelen yn ymyl Pontypridd. I fynd i’r gwaith byddech chi’n dal bws. O’r gyflog bitw oedd yn cael ei thalu, roedd y bechgyn i gyd yn gorfod talu am lety, oedd yn cynnwys brecwast a swper. Roeddech chi’n talu hefyd am y bws yn ôl ac ymlaen i’r gwaith. Ac roedd rhaid ichi brynu unrhyw brydau RAYMOND BALLARD, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA YNYSOWEN, 1944-47

bwyd eraill a bwyd i lanw’ch tun bwyd. Roedd gyda chi gost prynu tywelion a sebon hefyd ar gyfer y baddondy a’ch dillad gwaith eich hun. Doedd hynny ddim yn gadael llawer o arian parod yn eich poced. Pan ddechreues i weithio ar y ffas lo, fe ges i fy rhoi gyda glöwr profiadol, oedd yn cael lwfans bach am dderbyn bachgen. Roedd e hefyd yn talu am bob llathen y byddai e a fi’n eu clirio. Ar y dydd Gwener bob wythnos fe fyddai’n talu fy nghyflog i fi. Os oedd yn ddyn teg, fe fyddai’n rhoi swllt neu ddau yn ychwanegol. Yn y dyddiau hynny doeddech chi ddim yn ennill cyflog dyn nes cyrraedd eich 21 oed.’ Ar ôl ychydig fisoedd yn yr hostel, fe symudodd Raymond a’i gyfaill Billy Hillier, un arall o Berkshire, i lety gyda phâr ifanc lleol, Doreen ac Idris Evans. ‘Roedd eu ty^ nhw gyferbyn â’r pwll. Allech chi ddim cael llety gwell. Roedd gyda ni stafell wely gyffyrddus, y parlwr i’w ddefnyddio os oedden ni am gael awr dawel i ysgrifennu llythyr neu sgwrsio gyda ffrindiau. Roedd Doreen yn wych yn y gegin - gallai wneud gwyrthiau gyda’r rasiwns. Roedden ni’n cael ein trin fel rhan o’r teulu o’r diwrnod cyntaf un. Gyda’r teulu yma a chymdogion hyfryd, roedd hi fel cartref oddi cartref. Fe sefon ni gyda nhw o ganol 1945 nes inni gael ein rhyddhau o’r gwasanaeth yn Rhagfyr 1947. Drwy fyw yn y pentre y cwrddes i â Violet a ddaeth yn wraig i fi wedyn. Roedd hi’n gweithio fel ‘usherette’ yn y sinema yn Nhroedyrhiw ac roedd ei thad a’i brawd yn gweithio yn Ynysowen hefyd. Gan fy mod i’n gweithio shifft ddydd a hithau’n gweithio ar ddiwedd y prynhawn ac yn y nos, dim ond ychydig oriau o gwmni’n gilydd oedd gyda ni bob dydd. Aethon ni mâs gyda’n gilydd nes imi gael fy rhyddhau o’r pwll’. Aeth Raymond yn ôl i Reading ar ôl ei Wasanaeth Gwladol, ond cadwodd mewn cysylltiad â Violet ac fe briodon nhw ym mis Rhagfyr 1948. Ar ôl cyfnod yn Reading daeth y ddau yn ôl i Gymru ac ailymunodd Raymond â Glofa Ynysowen. Bu’n gweithio o dan ddaear ac ar yr wyneb ac, ym 1965, bu’n rhan o’r gwaith achub yn ystod trychineb Aberfan – ‘Amser ofnadwy, amser fydd neb oedd yno byth yn gallu ei anghofio.’ Fe ymddeolodd ym mis Gorffennaf 1986. Erbyn hyn mae’n dad-cu i bedwar o wyrion ac wyresau, ac fel mae’n ei ddweud ‘Falle y dylen i ddiolch i Ernest Bevin wedi’r cwbwl.’ PAPURAU GWASANAETH RHYFEL R. A. BALLARD, BACHGEN BEVIN, PWLL MERTHYR VALE, 1944-47 PAPERS CONNECTED WITH THE WARTIME SERVICE OF R A BALLARD, BEVIN BOY, MERTHYR VALE COLLIERY, 1944-47

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‘Maybe I should thank Ernest Bevin after all!’ Raymond Ballard was born in Reading. On reaching his eighteenth birthday, in spite of wanting to join the Royal Navy, he was directed to Oakdale Training Centre to be trained as a coal miner. ‘Once we were settled in we began our training. This consisted of lectures, physical education and a few hours underground. This training in no way prepared you for a proper working mine. The first time I went down my selected pit I was scared out of my wits. At the end of my training we were told which pit we were assigned to. Mine was Merthyr Vale in Aberfan and Merthyr Vale village. I was billeted in the Rhyd y Felin Miners’ Hostel near Pontypridd. RAYMOND BALLARD, BEVIN BOY, MERTHYR VALE COLLIERY, 1944-47

To get to work you travelled by coach. Out of the meagre wage we were paid, all the boys had to pay for lodgings, which included breakfast and dinner. You also paid the fare for the coach to and from work. Also you had to buy any other meals you needed and food to fill your ‘tommy box’. There was also the expense of buying towels and soap for the baths and supply your own clothes for work. This did not leave a lot of cash in your pocket. When I started work at the coal face. I was put with an experienced collier. This man was paid a small allowance for taking a boy. He was also paid for the yardage both he and I cleared. On the Friday each week he would pay me my wages. If he was a fair man he would give you a few shillings extra. You were not paid a man’s wage until you were 21 in those days.’ After a few months in the hostel, Raymond and his friend Billy Hillier, also from Berkshire, moved into lodgings with a young local couple, Doreen and Idris Evans.

What with this family and some lovely neighbours it really was home from home. We stayed with them from mid 1945 until our release from service in December 1947. It was living in the village that I met Violet my future wife. She was working as an usherette in a cinema in Troedyrhiw and her father and brother also worked in Merthyr Vale. With me working dayshift and her working late afternoon and evening we only had each others company for a few hours daily. We courted until my release from the pit’. Raymond returned to Reading after his National Service, but kept in touch with Violet who he married in December 1948. After a spell in Reading they returned to Wales and Raymond signed back on at Merthyr Vale Colliery where he worked until July 1986. He worked both underground and on the surface and, in 1965 he took part in rescue operations during the Aberfan disaster – ‘A terrible time, one in which anyone who was involved will never forget.’ He is now a grandfather to four grandchildren and, as he sums up ‘Maybe I should thank Ernest Bevin after all.’

‘Their home was right opposite the colliery. A finer lodging you would never find. We had a comfortable bedroom, use of the parlour if we wanted a quiet hour to write letters or chat with friends. Doreen was an excellent cook – she could do wonders with rations. We were treated as part of the family from day one.

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Darlunio brwydr y glo ‘Fe rannais i’r profiad â naw o Fois Bevin eraill am dair blynedd. Fe wynebon ni sialensiau newydd, gweithion ni’n galed, a gwnaethon ni bob tasg gystal ag y gallen ni. Pan gawson ni ein rhyddhau o’r pwll, arhosodd tri yn y diwydiant, a daeth un yn rheolwr pwll. DEWI BOWEN, BACHGEN BEVIN, GLOFA ELLIOT 1945-47

Ar ôl profi’r gwaith bôn braich ar y ffas lo am dair blynedd, cefais i’r cyfle i ddarlunio byd glo a’r coliers gyda’u cynhesrwydd, eu hiwmor a’u hwynebau wedi’u mowldio gan frwydr y glo. Gobeithio y bydd fy lluniau - y mae llawer ohonyn nhw yn archifau’r Imperial War Museum - yn cyfuno balchder llafur caled a’u bod nhw’n deyrnged addas i bob glöwr, teulu glofaol a Bachgen Bevin.’

Illustrating the struggle for coal ‘I shared my experience with nine other Bevin Boys for three years. We faced new challenges, worked well and undertook every mining task to the best of our ability. When released from the colliery three remained in the industry, one becoming a colliery manager. DEWI BOWEN, BEVIN BOY, ELLIOT COLLIERY 1945-47

Experiencing the hard physical work at the coal face for three years I had the opportunity to illustrate the world of coal and the daily life of the colliers – with their warmth, humour and stained features moulded by their struggle for coal. I hope that my illustrations – with many in the archives of the Imperial War Museum – are a synthesis of the pride of human labour and a fitting tribute to every miner, miner’s family and Bevin Boy.’

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O’n i’n cysgu yn fy ngwely fy hun Ges i fy ngonsgriptio trwy falot i’r diwydiant glo, a dechreuais i yn yng Nghanolfan Hyfforddi Glofa Oakdale ar 18 Medi 1944. Ar ôl cyfnod byr o hyfforddiant, es i i weithio yng nglofa Ty^ Trist, nes i mi gael fy niswyddo ar 1 Ebrill 1949. Am 4 1/2 mlynedd roeddwn i’n gwneud sifft nos rheolaidd fel byti’r ffitiwr, cyn dod y ffitiwr fy hun yn Ysgol Lofaol Britannia.. JOHN LEWIS ADAMS, BACHGEN BEVIN, 1944-49

Fe ddes i o’r gymuned lofaol, a gan fod fy nheulu’n gweithio yn y pyllau lleol eisoes, roedd hi’n haws i fi setlo ar ôl y sioc cyntaf. Mae gormod o atgofion i’w rhestru yma, ond gallai dau fod o ddiddordeb. Doedd yr holl lygod mowr gerllaw ddim yn beth neis, ond anghofiwch chi fyth y profiad o deimlo un yn cerdded dros eich croen. Gollyngais i’n lamp a’n bag llawn twls ar y llawr a gwasgu’r llygoden mowr yn farw â dwylo noeth – torrais i ei wddf yn y diwedd.

trawst 3-modfedd dros ben yr olwynion weindio, roedd y peirannau torri glo ar ben y pwll yn edrych fel tiniau o sardins! Roeddwn i’n teimlo’n ddigon prowd wrth sefyll nôl ar y ddaear eto, nes i mi edrych i fyny a gweld bod y gwynt wedi codi ac wedi lapio’r faner o gwmpas y polyn felly doedd hi ddim yn hedfan mwyach! Lan a fi eto i’w ryddhau e. O’n i’n lwcus – o’n i’n byw gartref, yn cysgu yn fy ngwely fy hun, ac fe ddysgais i grefft – roedd ffrindiau eraill yn Lluoedd Ei Fawrhydi’n gwasanaethu ar draws y byd, mewn amodau ofnadw; cafodd rhai eu hanafu, a rhai eu lladd. Gadawodd y rhan fwyaf o Fois Bevin eu cartrefi i weithio yn amodau dychrynllyd y pwll. Efallai y gwnaeth y profiad i rai ohonyn nhw sylweddoli sut beth oedd bywyd wedi bod i’r cenedlaethau o ddynion oedd wedi bod yn gweithio dan y ddaear er pan oedden nhw’n 14 oed, ond oedd hefyd yn teimlo bod eu gwasanaeth nhw yn ystod y rhyfel wedi cael ei gymryd yn ganiataol.

Efallai nad fi oedd yr unig un o Fois Befin i ddringo i ben y gwaith i godi’r faner ar y bore pan gymrodd y Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol drosodd. Wrth sefyll ar y

I slept in my own bed I was conscripted by ballot to the coal mining industry, commencing at Oakdale Colliery Training Centre on 18 September 1944. After the short training period, I worked at Ty Trist colliery, Tredegar, until demobilisation on 1st April 1949. For 4 1/2 years I was on a regular night shift as a fitter’s mate, later qualifying as a fitter at Britannia Mining School. JOHN LEWIS ADAMS, BEVIN BOY, 1944-49

As I came from within the mining community, and with family already working in local collieries, it was perhaps much easier for me to settle in after the first few weeks initial shock. There are too many memories to list here, but two may be of interest. The close presence of so many large rats was never pleasant, but having one crawl on the skin will never be forgotten. Dropping my lamp and bag of tools to the floor, I crushed the rat to death with my hands – finally snapping its neck.

Possibly, I may be the only Bevin Boy to have climbed to the top of the sheaves on the morning the National Coal Board took over the industry, to fix and raise the flag. Standing on the 3-inch girder above the winding wheels, the coal cutters on the pit top looked like tins of sardines! Feeling a sence of achievement when I stood again at ground level, that soon vanished when I looked up and saw that the breeze, which had picked up, had wrapped the flag around the pole and therefore it was not flying - another climb to the top to release it! I was fortunate – I lived at home, slept in my own bed, learned a trade – other friends who were in His Majesty’s Forces served in several areas of the world in harsh conditions; some were wounded, some killed. Most Bevin Boys left home to work in the hostile environment of pit life. Perhaps many of them appreciated their experience of what life had been like for the generations whose working life from 14 years of age had been below ground, but who also felt for 60 years that their war service had been taken for granted.

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‘Fe fentron ni’n dwp weithiau’ ‘Ces i ngalw lan ym mis Ionawr 1944 i weithio fel un o Fois Bevin. Y ddau rif olaf gafodd eu dewis o’dd 0 a 9 - 0 o’dd ‘da fi. Fe apeliais i i fynd i’r llynges, ond yn ofer. Ar ôl yr hyfforddi gyda’r lleill ym Mhwll Oakdale, fe ddechreues i ar y sifft prynhawn yng Nglofa Viponds Lower Varteg (Deakins Slope). Bues i’n gwithio ar yr Hen Wythïen Lo a byddai’r ceffyl y pwll a’r dram yn pasio ’da’r haliwr yn aml. Fi o’dd yn gwthio’r pwmp llaw i gadw ^ i lawr – stwff digon cyntefig – gyda Les lefel y dwr Jones (‘Painter’) a Darnas Freeman. O’dd hi’n wythïen frwnt a gwlyb ofnwdw. O’dd hi mor wlyb bod rhaid i ni adael yn gynnar, ond do’dd dim baddonau ar ben y pwll felly fydden ni’n mynd â’r holl fudreddi sha thre. DERRICK HYNAM, BACHGEN BEVIN, PWLL LOWER VARTEG, 1944-47

Ar ôl gorffen y wythïen, ges i a Fred Collins y gwaith o godi rheils y dram ac unrhyw beth arall oedd werth ei gadw. O’dd y lle ar lethr, a bob bore, ^ brwnt wedi codi gan yrru’r llygod mowr byddai’r dwr yn agosach aton ni. Wedyn es i i witho ar wythïen y Garw am sbel fach cyn mynd i’r Top Pits i helpu i agor ffas newydd yn y Big Vein. Gorffes i a Billy Skipsy fynd i’r pwll ddwyweth yr wythnos i lwytho pren i’r caetsh ar gyfer y ffas newydd. Roedd reidio yn y caetsh yn gyffrous a dweud y lleia’, sleids pren oedd ar yr ochrau â bolltau’n eu hoelio wrth ochr y pwll. Oherwydd y traul dros y blynyddoedd, roedd pennau’r bolltau’n dangos, a’r caetsh yn ratlo yn erbyn y metel wrth fynd i fyny ac i lawr. ^ weindio yn Viponds Top Pits Rwy’n cofio mynd i’r ty

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i weld injan yn sgleinio â phres a phaent gwyrdd. Roedd Archie Williams y peiriannydd yn falch dros ben ohono fe. Wrth ddod allan o’r pwll ar ddiwedd shifft prynhawn â mhocedi’n llawn coed tân, stopiodd plisman y pwll fi. Rhoddodd rybudd i mi beidio cael fy nal eto – dan wenu. Methiant oedd menter y Big Vein, ond rwy’n cofio Jim Grist yr haliwr yn dod i mewn gyda phoni a dram yn ffaelu anadlu ac yn dal ei geg dros y biben blast - yr unig gyflenwad awyr! Symudais i draw i Wythïen ‘bac’ y Garw (2’9" neu lai) am brofiad! Fe helpais i’r coliars am sbel yn rhoi props ac yn trio gwneud unrhyw beth o iws. Wrth gwrs, byddai’r gweithwyr ar eu pennau gliniau neu ar eu hochrau. Wedyn es i i yrru injan drydan bach oedd yn tynnu’r dramiau dan y ‘dymp end’ i gael eu llenwi â glo o’r belt - bron i Will Forward golli ei fys fel hyn am iddo fel ballu gwrando! Fe fentron ni’n dwp weithiau - fel reidio’r ‘journey’ (trên o dramiau) allan o’r pwll. O’dd hi’n brofiad a hanner. O’n i’n gwithio mewn lle ^ ofnadw, ond gyda grwp o ddynon arbennig. O’dd ysbryd y bois yn grêt. O’dd gweld sut ro’dd rhai dynon yn ennill eu bara menyn yn brofiad pwysig i fi. Roedd dad a datcu wedi gorfod gwitho dan ddaear ac yn siarad am eu gwaith. Ond wrth witho yno am bron i bedair blynedd, ces i brofi’r peryglon a’r sgiliau o weithio yng nghrombil y ddaear fy hunan.


‘We took some silly risks’ ‘I was conscripted in January 1944 for work as a Bevin Boy, the two end numbers selected were 0 and 9 – mine was a 0. I appealed to go into the navy but to no avail. Having undertaken training with others at Oakdale Pit, I started on the afternoon shift at Viponds Lower Varteg Colliery (Deakins Slope). I worked for six months in the Old Coal Seam (stall and heading) with regular visits from the pit pony and dram driven by the haulier. My job was to work a manual pump to keep the water level down – pretty primitive stuff – working with Les Jones ‘Painter’) and Darnas Freeman. This was a particularly dirty and wet seam. It got so wet that we used to leave early but, as there were no pit head baths we took the dirt home. DERRICK HYNAM, BEVIN BOY, LOWER VARTEG COLLIERY, 1944-47

When the seam finished, Fred Collins and I were left to pick up the dram rails and anything else worth salvaging. This was on a slope and each morning the dirty water had risen driving the rats further up towards us. I then went to the Garw seam for a short while before going to the Top Pits to help open a new coal face in the Big Vein seam. Billy Skipsy and I had to go up the pit twice a week to load timber into the cage for use in the new face. The ride in the cage was exciting, the slides guiding the cage were wooden and bolted in to the pit sides but wear and tear over the years meant that the bolt heads were exposed so, as the cage ascended and descended, it rattled against these bolt heads. I remember going into the winding house at Viponds Top Pits to see an engine gleaming with shining brass and

bright green paint. It was the pride and joy of engineer Archie Williams. Emerging at the top of the slope after an afternoon shift, I was stopped by the mine policeman who, noticing my bulging pockets, enquired what was in them. It was small blocks of ‘Norway timber’ for firewood – he smilingly gave me a warning not to be caught again. The venture in the Big Vein seam did not succeed but, before it finished, I remember Jim Grist the haulier coming in with pony and dram gasping for breath and holding his mouth over the blast (compressed air) pipe – the only air supply! I moved from there to the ‘back’ Garw Seam (2’9" or less) – quite an experience! I helped the colliers for a short time supplying props and generally trying to be of some use - work here, of course, was on knees or sides. Afterwards I drove a small electric engine which pulled the drams under the ‘dump end’ to be filled with the coal coming off the conveyor – one nearly slicing Wilf Forward’s finger off through him not listening carefully! We took some silly risks such as riding the’ journey’ (a train of drams) to have a lift out. This for me was a marvellous experience, working in some horrible conditions with a fine body of men. The camaraderie was great. I have always valued being able to see at close quarters how some men earned their living. My father and grandfather had worked underground and used to speak about it. Being there for almost four years enabled me to experience the dangers and skills required to work in the bowels of the earth.

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Rhyfel y meysydd glo Mehefin 1940 Cwymp Ffrainc yn golygu bod 12,000 o lowyr de Cymru allan o waith. Llawer o’r glowyr yn gwirfoddoli i fynd i’r lluoedd, ac eraill yn mynd i ennill cyflogau gwell yn y ffatrïoedd. 1941 915 o lowyr yn cael eu lladd a 2,883 yn cael anafiadau difrifol ym mhyllau glo Prydain. Cyflwyno Gorchymyn Gwaith Hanfodol i atal glowyr rhag gwirfoddoli dros y lluoedd ac i orfodi’r glowyr yn y lluoedd arfog i fynd nôl i’r pyllau. Y glowyr yn cwyno am brinder baco cnoi. Y Ddeddf Pwerau Argyfwng yn cyfyngu ar yr hawl i streicio.

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Tanchwa yng Nglofa Cwmgors yn lladd dau. Tanchwa yng Nglofa Onllwyn Rhif 3 yn lladd un. Tanchwa yn lladd pedwar ac yn anafu tri yng Nglofa Llantrisant. 1942 Ionawr - Allbwn glo 10% yn is na’r targed, mae angen 114,000 o ddynion mewn glofeydd yng Nghymru. 16 Ionawr - Llywydd Bwrdd yr Ymddiriedolwyr yn gwneud apêl am fwy o ymdrech gan lowyr Cymru. Chwefror - Gorchymyn Gwaith Hanfodol yn dod â gwarant cyflog i lowyr, ac yn ffurfio

pwyllgorau cynhyrchu o’r rheolwyr a’r dynion i roi hwb i’r diwydiant. Gosod mwy o gantîns yn y glofeydd. 26 Rhagfyr - cyfraddau absenoliaeth o 50% yn y glofeydd (10 – 12% oedd y gyfradd arferol) 1943 Mehefin - 24 haliwr yng Nglofa Tareni ar ‘go slow’ dros gyflogau.Yn cael eu herlyn a’u dirwyo £20 neu’n cael dewis mis o garchar – 20 yn dewis y carchar. Gorffennaf - Glowyr yn mynnu mwy o glociau larwm am eu bod nhw’n cael eu cosbi am fod yn hwyr i’r gwaith, ond dim clociau ar gael.


The coalfield at war June 1940 Fall of France puts 12,000 south Wales miners out of work. Many miners have volunteered for forces but some get better paid work in factories. 1941 915 miners killed and 2,883 seriously injured in British coal mines. Essential Work Order introduced to prevent miners volunteering for services and return miners in armed forces to the collieries.

Two killed in explosion at Cwmgorse Colliery. One miner killed in explosion at Onllwyn No.3 Colliery.

miners, production committees formed from management and men to boost production. More colliery canteens to be installed.

Explosion kills four miners and injures three at Llantrisant Colliery. 1942 January - Output of coal 10% below target, 114,000 men needed in Welsh collieries.

Miners complain about shortage of chewing tobacco.

16 January - President of the Board of Trade makes urgent appeal for greater effort by Welsh miners

Right to strike restricted by Emergency Powers Act.

February - Essential Work Order brings in guaranteed wage for

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Diffyg esgidiau diogelwch yn golygu bod llawer o lowyr yn gwisgo hen esgidiau oedd wedi torri. Y Llywodraeth yn penderfynu drafftio dynion ifanc i’r pyllau glo.

Cyflogau cyfartalog oedolion yn wythnos talu olaf 1943:-

wrthod cael eu consgriptio i byllau glo Cymru.

Glowyr Trwsio cerbydau Adeiladau llongau Diwydiannau’r Llywodraeth Gweithwyr tunplat

Y glowyr oedd yn ennill y lleiaf o 29 swydd!

Awst - Pwyllgor Cyfunol Glowyr Powell Duffryn yn datgan mai tri phrif achos yr allbwn isel oedd; diffyg gweithwyr, gwastraff llafur a Bois Bevin. Rhwng Medi 1939 a Hydref 1944 cafwyd 514 o streiciau ym maes glo’r de.

1944 Ionawr - Y Bois Bevin cyntaf yn cael eu drafftio i’r pyllau.

1945 Mai - Gwahardd y bleidlais i Fois Bevin.

Mawrth - Y Weinyddiaeth Fwyd yn cynnig mwy o ddognau toddion i’r glowyr.

Mehefin - 5,615 o bobl ifanc wedi cael hyfforddiant ers ago Canolfan Hyfforddi Oakdale.

Ebrill - Arolygwr Rhanbarthol Cymru’n datgan y bod rhywfaint o ‘anfodlonrwydd’ am ddiffyg diddordeb rhai Bechgyn Bevin yn eu gwaith.

Rhwng 1939 a 1945, cafodd 5,394 eu lladd yn y gwaith a 204,376 eu hanafu. Ar ben hynny, bu farw dros 4,000 o lowyr o silicosis neu glefyd y llwch.

£5.11/0d £7.8/7d £6.10/8d £6.1/1d £5, 17/1d

Mehefin - Hyd yma, roedd 15 o bobl wedi cael eu herlyn a 12 wedi mynd i’r carchar am

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26 December - 50% absenteeism in the collieries (normal rate was 10 – 12%) 1943 June - 24 hauliers at Tareni Colliery go slow over wages. They were prosecuted and fined £20 or could instead go to prison for a month – 20 chose prison. July - Miners demand more alarm clocks as they were being punished for being late for work yet could not obtain them. - The shortage of safety boots led to many miners wearing footwear that was broken and worn out. Government decide to draft young men into the mines. Average earnings of adults in last pay week of 1943:Coal Mining £5.11/0d Motor vehicle repairs £7.8/7d

Shipbuilding £6.10/8d Government Industrial Establishments £6.1/1d Tinplate workers £5, 17/1d Coal mining was at the bottom of 29 occupations! 1944 January – First Bevin Boys drafted into mines. March - Ministry of Food offers extra dripping rations for miners. April – Regional Controller for Wales states that there was a small amount of ‘unsatisfaction’ over Bevin Boys who had no interest in their work. June – To date there had been 15 convictions and 12 imprisonments for refusing conscription into the mines of Wales.

were; shortage of labour, wastage of labour and Bevin Boys. Between September 1939 and October 1944 there were 514 strikes in the south Wales coalfield 1945 May ballot for Bevin Boys suspended. June Since Oakdale Training Centre was opened, 5,615 youths had been trained. Between 1939 and 1945 no less than 5,394 miners were killed at work and 204,376 were injured. In addition over 4,000 miners died from silicosis or pneumoconiosis.

August – Powell Duffryn Miners Combined Committee stated the three main causes of low output

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D I G W Y D D I A D A U AT Y D Y F O D O L FORTHCOMING EVENTS

1 Medi - 31 Hyd: RHYFEL Y MAES GLO Arddangosfa i gofio cyfraniad maes glo de Cymru at ymdrech y Rhyfel.

1 Sept - 31 Oct: THE COALFIELD AT WAR An exhibition commemorating the contribution made by the south Wales coalfield to the War effort.

24 Medi: ADUNIAD BOIS BEVIN Dyma gyfle i Fois Bevin ddod at ei gilydd i hel atgofion am eu Gwasanaeth Gwladol. Os hoffech chi gael gwahoddiad, cysylltwch 창'r Pwll Mawr: Amgueddfa Lofaol Genedlaethol Cymru.

24 Sept: BEVIN BOYS REUNION An opportunity for Bevin Boys to get together and share reminiscences of their National Service. If you would like an invitation, please contact Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales.

CYNLLUNIO DESIGN: MO-design

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ARGRAFFU PRINT: Gwasg Gomer


Pwll Mawr: Amgueddfa Lofaol Genedlaethol Cymru, Blaenafon,Torfaen. NP4 9XP. Ffôn: 01495 790311, Ffacs: 01495 792618, E-bost: pwllmawr@aocc.ac.uk ORIAU AGOR: Saith diwrnod yr wythnos, 9.30am–5pm. Teithiau danddaear 10am–3.30pm. Ar gau Rhagfyr 25 a 26, Ionawr 1. Ffoniwch am oriau agor dros y gaeaf.

Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales, Blaenafon,Torfaen. NP4 9XP. Tel: 01495 790311, Fax: 01495 792618, Email: bigpit@nmgw.ac.uk OPENING TIMES: Seven days a week, 9.30am –5pm. Underground tours:10am–3.30pm. Closed, December 25 & 26, January 1. Please call for winter opening times.

AMGUEDDFEYDD AC ORIELAU CENEDLAETHOL CYMRU NATIONAL MUSEUMS & GALLERIES OF WALES


GLO Issue / Rhifyn 1  

GLO is a people's history magazine produced by Big Pit: National Coal Museum. 'Glo' is welsh for 'coal'. Issue 1: 'Bevin Boys' - Remembering...

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