Amgueddfa Blog: Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

A selection of emotive, thought-provoking images from the period of the First World War has been added to the National Museum Wales Commercial Picture Library and Museum Wales Prints service.

In 2014, National Museum Cardiff held an exhibition, The Great War: Britain’s Efforts and Ideals, which displayed a complete series of 66 lithographs of artistic propaganda prints commissioned by the Bureau of Propaganda (later renamed the Ministry of Information) in 1917. 

The aim of the series was to encourage a war-weary public and to raise support for the war effort. The lithographs were published under the two titles ‘Efforts’ and ‘Ideals’ and contain work contributed by 18 artists including Frank Brangwyn, Muirhead Bone, George Clausen and A. S. Hartrick.

Under the ‘Efforts’ section, nine of the artists were commissioned to produce six works under a heading, including Making Guns, Women’s Work and Wounded. Within the ‘Ideals’ portfolio, the 12 artists illustrated the ambitions and aims of the war. The artists were given subjects to work within and each of the images had to pass censorship regulations.  

Each image shows people going about their daily lives during the war. Like so many others, they were ordinary people living in extraordinary times, selflessly sacrificing for others and all of us today.

To read more about this collection, please open the following link by Rhodri Viney, Digital Content Assistant at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales:

Blog by Rhodri Viney

To reflect upon the centenary of the end of the First World War, National Museum Cardiff is holding an exhibition entitled Poppies for Remembrance. This exhibition will explore how the poppy became the symbol for remembrance, provide an opportunity for contemplation and reflection on loss and recovery, as well as look at the science of poppy biodiversity, the many species of poppies worldwide and the threats to their existence.  The exhibition will run from 21 July 2018 to 3 March 2019. Details below:

Poppies for Remembrance Exhibition

 

Commercial Picture Library

Museum Wales Prints

Ebrill 1 2018 yw canmlwyddiant ffurfio’r Awyrlu Brenhinol, ac i gyd-fynd â hyn hoffwn rannu stori ryfeddol o’r casgliadau. Yma yn Sain Ffagan, mae gennym gasgliad o lythyrau a thelegramau a anfonwyd i ac oddi wrth Eli Evans o Gaerdydd. Maent yn ymwneud â phrofiadau mab Eli, Arthur Wellesley Rees Evans, yn y rhyfel. O’r ohebiaeth hon, rwyf wedi gallu olrhain yr hanes.

Ganwyd Arthur Wellesley Rees Evans ar 18 Mehefin 1898 yn Llaneirwg, Caerdydd. Roedd yn byw gyda’i rieni – Eli a Laura Evans – ar 204 Heol Casnewydd, Caerdydd ac yn gweithio i Mr D. P. Barnett, perchennog llongau, yn Baltic Buildings yn y dociau.

Ym mis Rhagfyr 1916 derbyniwyd Wellesley ar Gwrs Hyfforddi Swyddogion, ond fe’i gwrthodwyd yn Whitehall oherwydd twbercwlosis ar ei ysgyfaint. Yn y pendraw, cafodd ei dderbyn i’r Fyddin Brydeinig a chafodd ei ddatgan yn ffit i ymuno â’r Corfflu Awyr Brenhinol ar 22 Awst 1917. Flwyddyn yn ddiweddarach cafodd ei yrru i Gaer-wynt at Adran Cadetiaid rhif 2, cyn cael ei drosglwyddo i Sgwadron Hyfforddi rhif 25 yn Thetford, Norfolk.

Ar 9 Ionawr 1918, dechreuodd Wellesley ar ei hyfforddiant hedfan ac ymladd yng Nghanolfan Hyfforddiant Old Sarum, yr Amwythig, a graddiodd gyda 103ydd Sgwadron yr Awyrlu Brenhinol ar 5 Ebrill 1918, bedwar diwrnod wedi ffurfio’r RAF. Aeth yn ei flaen i Ysgol Llywio Awyr a Gollwng Bomiau rhif 1 yng Nghôr y Cewri, cyn gadael am Lundain ar 24 Medi ar ei ffordd i Ffrainc.

Cyrhaeddodd Wellesley ym Mharis ar 28 Medi 1918, ac oddi yno cafodd ei symud i ‘rywle yn Ffrainc’ i ymuno â 110fed Sgwadron yr RAF ar 15 Hydref. Cymerodd ran yn ei ymgyrch gyntaf chwe diwrnod yn ddiweddarach, ar 21 Hydref. Hedfanodd y sgwadron i fomio Cwlen (Köln), ond ni ddychwelodd Wellesley. Roedd ef a’i wyliwr, Is-gapten Thompson, wedi’u saethu i lawr.

Derbyniodd Eli a Laura Evans wybodaeth swyddogol gan y Weinyddiaeth Awyr fod eu mab ar goll ar 21 Hydref. Anfonodd Eli lythyrau a thelegramau i’r Weinyddiaeth ac i’r Asiantaeth Garcharorion Rhyngwladol yn Genefa yn gofyn am fwy o wybodaeth. Rhyddhad mawr oedd darganfod fod Wellesley yn fyw ac yn iach, ond yn garcharor rhyfel yn Limburg, yr Almaen.

Yn ffodus i Wellesley, byr fu ei gyfnod fel carcharor. Daeth y rhyfel i ben yn dilyn cadoediad 11 Tachwedd, lai na mis wedi iddo gael ei ddal. Ar 3 Rhagfyr, gadawodd yr Almaen gan fynd adref trwy Swistir a Ffrainc ac i Dover ar 10 Rhagfyr. Ar 7 Chwefror 1919, cafodd ei ryddhau o’r fyddin ac wythnos yn ddiweddarach roedd yn ôl yn nociau Caerdydd gyda D. P. Barnett. Ychydig fisoedd wedi i’w fab ddychwelyd adref, bu farw Eli Evans yn 52 oed. Mae’n bur debyg fod straen a phryder y cyfnod hwn wedi dweud arno.

Wedi’r rhyfel arhosodd Wellesley yng Nghaerdydd fel Swyddog Marchnata i’r Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol. Priododd â Gladys Gwendolyn Mitchell a chawsant ferch. Bu farw Arthur Wellesley Rees Evans ar 5 Ionawr 1965 yn 66 mlwydd oed, yng Nghyncoed, Caerdydd. Mae wedi’i gladdu gyda’i wraig yn Eglwys Blwyf Llaneirwg.

Archibald H. Lee was the first Secretary appointed to National Museum Wales in 1909 and held the post for 44 years. His professional life began in 1899 when he entered the service of the Cardiff Corporation as a junior clerk in the old Town-hall on St Mary Street. During this time he would have worked on the City’s case for the establishment of a National Museum, so it must have been gratifying for him to join the fledgling staff of the new Museum.

After a few quietly productive years, the outbreak of WWI saw a large number of staff leave the museum for military service and Lee was no exception. He commanded a company of the 5th Welch Regiment and was awarded the Military Cross after the Battle of Gaza.

After the war, Lee resumed his position as Secretary and the Library holds a great number of photographs showing him at the forefront of important events and gatherings. In 1927 the new building at Cathays Park was officially opened by King George V and Queen Mary and Lee lead the Royal party up the steps to officially knock on the door with the ceremonial staff.

He established a life time bond with the Cardiff Naturalists’ Society when he joined in 1909, going on to hold the posts of Honourable Secretary, Council Member, President [1931-2] and finally Honorary Member in 1954. Some highlights during these years were helping to organize and celebrate the Society’s Diamond Jubilee, contributing an article titled Museums in Cardiff for the Society Transactions [1932] and being awarded the Honorary Degree of M.A. by the University of Wales [1937].

During WWII, he was an active member of the 16th Glamorgan Home Guard ‘National Museum Wales Section’. The Museum suffered some damage through enemy air raids on Cardiff and extensive precautions were implemented to protect the collections. These involved the transfer of important specimens to the basement strong room, sandbagging of sculptural and bulky exhibits, the protecting of all glass cases and windows with gummed strips, and night time ‘fire-watch’ duties, all of which  Lee would most likely have been involved in.

In 1953 Lee retired as Secretary with a civic luncheon held in his honour and the award of an O.B. E [Officer of the British Empire].

He passed away in 1970, aged 87 years.

 

The collection at St Fagans National Museum of History includes numerous archives relating to the Welsh experience of the First World War. While working with colleagues to produce a digital database to commemorate the centenary of the conflict, I found an intriguing bundle of documents associated with a young soldier with connections to Penarth who died, serving with the Grenadier Guards, exactly 100 years ago today. His name was Oscar Foote and in this blog I have pieced together his last 24 hours from the archives we hold at the Museum.

On the night of 6 July 1917 an exhausted Oscar Foote had just returned from fighting in the trenches of Ypres for some well-earned rest and recuperation in a nearby camp. This camp was well within range of German artillery and on occasions they would shell the area. The morning of 7 July had begun like any other morning for Oscar. He had just put away his shaving kit when shells suddenly started bursting in the vicinity. A shell landed close to Oscar’s hut, creating murderous splinters in its aftermath. One of these splinters caught Oscar in the head and neck. Although his comrades desperately went to his aid, their efforts were in vain. He had been killed instantly. That afternoon, Oscar was buried by his comrades in Canada Farm British Cemetery, near Elverdinghe. A card dated 3 January 1918 includes a photograph of a simple wooden cross marking his resting place. 

The Oscar Foote archives came into the national collection in 1946 – a donation from a Mrs Maillard of Penarth who had been corresponding with him during the War. It appears that Mrs Maillard also donated material to the Imperial War Museum (IWM), possibly in response to the Bond of Sacrifice initiative. More research is needed to unpick how letters addressed to Mrs Maillard from the IWM came into our possession in 1946, but both institutions were actively collecting war memorabilia from soldiers and their families during and immediately after the conflict. Another blog for another day.

The digitisation of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’ First World War collection is supported by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme.

Os ydych yn un o ddilynwyr selog @DyddiadurKate, ’da chi’n siŵr o fod wedi sylwi nad oedd Mrs Rowlands mor gyson â’i chofnodion yn 1946. Pam? Gallwn ond ddyfalu. Gofynion teuluol, dim awydd … pwy a ŵyr. Gan fod mis o dawelwch o’n blaenau  — does dim cofnod tan 10 Hydref! — dyma gyfle i ni lenwi’r bwlch gyda rhagor o hanes Kate Rowlands y Sarnau.

Yn gynharach eleni, daeth pecyn drwy’r post i ni yma yn Sain Ffagan gan Eilir Rowlands, un o wyrion Kate. Ynddo roedd toriadau papur newydd, hen luniau, coeden deulu a llythyr yn llawn atgofion amdani. Felly, dyma i chi grynodeb o'r llythyr arbennig hwnnw yng ngeiriau Eilir Rowlands: 

Fy ofynwyd be fyddai fy nain yn feddwl o hyn i gyd – syndod mawr mi dybiaf, gyda’r ebychiad lleol ‘brenshiach y bratie!’ Ond dw i’n siwr y byddai yn hynod falch bod ardal cefn gwlad y Sarnau a Chefnddwysarn yn cael gymaint o sylw yn genedlaethol ac yn fyd eang, a bod y pwyslais ar gymdogaeth glos gyda gwaith dyddiol yn cael y sylw haeddiannol.

Fe sonir am y dyddiadur mewn sgyrsiau yn yr ardal a mae’r enw KATE yn ddiarth i bawb. Fel KITTY TY HÊN y byddai pawb yn ei chyfarch a'i hadnabod… Ni wyddwn fy hun tan yn ddiweddar ei bod yn cael ei galw yn KATE pan yn ifanc!! KITTY ROWLANDS sydd ar ei charreg fedd yng Nghefnddwysarn gyda’r cwpled:

’Rhoes i eraill drysori

Ei chyngor a’i hiwmor hi

Mae'n amlwg oddi wrth dyddiadur 1946 fod cymaint o fynd a dod ag yn 1915 a'r gymdogaeth yr un mor glos. Y gwahaniaeth mwyaf mi dybiaf oedd fod ceir a bwsiau a'r ffordd o drafeilio wedi datblygu oedd yn golygu fod pobl yn mynd ymhellach i ymweld â'i gilydd. Hefyd roedd tripiau wedi dod yn ffasiynol yng nghefn gwlad.

Ganwyd fi yn 1950 felly cof plentyn sydd gennyf am nain a taid yn byw yn Ty Hên, ond yn cofio’n dda am ddiwrnod dyrnu, cneifio a hel gwair. Ty hynod fach oedd Ty Hên, ond clud a chysurus. Bob tro yr oeddwn yn cerdded y milltir o’r Hendre i Ty Hên roedd nain bron yn ddieithriad yn crosio sgwariau ar gyfer gwneud cwilt i hwn a llall. Llygaid eitha gwantan oedd gan nain erioed ond roedd pob sgwar bach yn berffaith. Wrth roi proc i'r tân glo hen ffasiwn ei dywediad fydde 'fyddai'n mynd â hwn efo fi sdi' gan chwerthin!

Roedd safle Ty Hên mewn lle hynod o brydferth. Mae'n edrych dros bentre Sarnau a mynydd y Berwyn yn y pellter. Mae'n cael haul peth cynta yn y bore. Ffordd ddifrifol o wael oedd i Ty Hên ers talwm, rhan ohoni ar hyd ffos lydan a elwid yn 'ffordd ddŵr' ac yn arwain i allt serth a chreigiog. Mi glywais nain yn dweud sawl tro am yr adegau y byddai fy nhaid wedi mynd i nôl nwyddau gyda cheffyl a throl ac yn dod adre i fyny'r allt byddai'n gweiddi ar fy nain (a oedd yn disgwyl amdano ac yn ei wylio wrth ddrws y tŷ) 'SGOTSHEN'. Beth oedd hyn yn ei feddwl oedd os oedd fy nhaid wedi gor-lwytho'r drol ac yn rhy drwm i'r ceffyl ei thynnu fyny'r allt a'r drol yn cychwyn ar yn ôl, byddai'n rhaid cael 'sgotshen' (wejen o bren) tu ôl i'r olwyn i arbed damwain a thamchwa. Byddai nain yn disgwyl am y waedd ac yn gorfod rhedeg yn syth gyda'r 'sgotshen' yn ei llaw a'i gosod tu ôl yr olwyn.

Mae Ty Hên erbyn heddiw yn hollol wahanol o ran edrychiad oherwydd fe unwyd y tŷ gyda’r beudy a’r stabl ac mae yn awr yn un tŷ hir. Perchnogion y tŷ yw par ifanc o Loegr sydd â chysylltiadau Cymreig ac maent wedi dysgu Cymraeg. Maent wedi addasu yr adeilad allanol ar gyfer beicwyr sy’n dod ar wyliau. Medraf glywed fy nain yn dweud ‘brenshach y bratie’ pe byddai yn gweld Ty Hên heddiw ac eto yn falch bod bwrlwm a bywyd yn dal yn yr hen gartre.

Gyda diolch i Eilir Rowlands, Cefnddwysarn.