Amgueddfa Blog

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.

As Lambcam comes to a close for another year, we look back at the history of lambing in Wales.

 

Voices from the Archives is a series of articles with sound clips based on recordings in the Oral History Archive of St Fagans National Museum of History. They accompany agricultural activities and events at the Museum. The speakers were farmers who had usually lived all their lives in the same locality as where they had been born and grown up. Their descriptions, experiences, recollections, voices, accents were authentic and distinctive, from different parts of Wales, and from different times.

 

March is lambing time at the Museum’s working farm, Llwyn-yr-eos. Lambing time on a farm at the foot of the Black Mountains, south east Wales was described by William Powell when interviewed in 1978. He farmed Gellywellteg, near the village of Forest Coal Pit, a few miles north east of Abergavenny. To the north of the farm were the Black Mountains, and Sugar Loaf mountain to the south.

 

He kept 140 ewes, home-bred Hill Radnor sheep, the predominant breed in the area during his farming life. They had brown-grey faces, no wool on their heads, convex noses, sturdy legs, and were compact and hardy. Two or three Hill Radnor rams were also kept, brought in, and changed every two years.

 

In the first selection of clips from the interview, William Powell describes when lambing took place and how:

The ewes about to give birth had to be checked regularly in case they had any difficulties. Ideally lambs would be born by their two front legs and head coming out first. There could be complications if one or both front legs were pointing backwards, or if the two legs were coming out but not the head. William Powell gained a reputation locally for his expertise:

Sometimes a weak lamb could be adopted by a ewe whose own lamb had died using an age-old method:

 

Young lambs could be vulnerable to illnesses and diseases, such as running noses, known locally as ‘snuff’:

 

 

And finally, how many lambs could be produced from a flock of 140 ewes:

 

 

You might have heard of various archaeological artefacts being declared treasure by coroners, but what exactly does this entail?

Treasure hearings are one of the most cheerful aspects of a coroner’s job. Amongst all the heartache and mourning that goes with knowing the ins and outs of people’s (sometimes tragic) passing, many coroners look forward to declaring pieces of the past treasure. Not only do these items bring the coroner pleasure, but they are landmark pieces of local history that have been hidden from us for hundreds of years.

Last Thursday, 15th March, Mark Layton, HM Coroner for Pembrokeshire, declared 6 local discoveries treasure at Milford Haven Coroners Court - and I was privy to the process. First and foremost, I learned that what goes on in the court is mostly a formality. The experts at NMW offer thoroughly researched reports and advice on whether each item is treasure and Coroner’s Clerk, Gareth Warlow, compiles all the evidence prior to the hearing.

This particular hearing was full of some really stunning pieces, including a beautiful 16th Century gilt ring and a fragment of a silver Viking arm ring. The arm ring is an important piece in the puzzle that is Pembrokeshire’s possibly Nordic-influenced past. Finder, Ken Lunn was there to witness the confirmation of his landmark discovery being officially declared treasure.

But it was a post-medieval silver scabbard chape that really drew in the crowds. With the landowner attending as well as the finder’s entire family! While it may sound surprising for this to be a family affair, it is certainly exciting to see a piece of metal you have discovered on an old patch of land be confirmed as an important enough part of local history to have it marked as treasure. If only more finders would attend and take part in celebrating their role in helping the experts to build up a bigger picture of Wales’ rich history – even if it was a quick stop before Birthday lunch!

After recording each artefact and offering any comments or objections to be voiced by both landowner and finder, Mr Layton declared all the objects treasure and they will now be sent on the intrepid journey to the British Museum for valuation. They will then be acquired by Welsh museums thanks to the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It may be a long, arduous road for these little glimpses of history, but it’s important they are accurately recorded so we don’t miss on any little glimmer of light they may shine on the past.

Click here for more information on Saving Treasures; Telling Stories.

Hi, Eirini here – I am a student intern in the Archaeology and Numismatics department at NMW, Cardiff. I’ve been taking a look at the museum’s extensive coin collection and will be creating a series of blogs on each of them.

Today I am looking at ancient coins from my home country of Greece. The collection of Greek coinage dates back to over 2000 years ago, but the designs are in great condition. They are all made of silver or gold and we can see the development of currency through them – beginning with rough coins that look like ingots to detailed chunky coins featuring Emperors faces, some from Macedonia and Byzantium as well as famous leaders like Alexander the Great.

I’ve picked my two favourite coins from the collection:

Alexander the Great, Macedonian Drachma

4 Drachum from Pella, Macedonia (dating to 315BC) features Alexander wearing a lion skin, the symbol of Greek hero Hercules, on the front with Alexander’s name inscribed on the back next to an image of Zeus. This design was mimicked by Emperors following Alexander’s death.

I like that this coin is in such good condition. We can see the details of Alexander’s face – it’s impressive considering the tools they had! You can read the inscription clearly despite how old it is.

Byzantine Empress Theodora, Constantinople Nomisma

 A gold tetarteron dating from the reign of Theodora (AD 1055-1056) featuring a portrait of Theodora holding a sceptre and orb, on the other side is a depiction of Jesus Christ. The same iconography of Jesus was used on other Byzantine emperors’ coins, but with their own portraits in place of Theodora’s.

I like how this coin is also in great condition, however, the artwork is much simpler on Byzantine coins with less intricate detailing.

Next week, I will be looking at some Roman coins - a common metal detectorist find in Wales. Greek coins, unfortunately, aren't found in Wales as Greece never invaded the British Isles! Remember to always report any findings to the Portable Antiquities Scheme to allow us to keep learning from the past.

Yn ystod y 1970au cynnar aeth staff yr amgueddfa ati i recordio hen ffermwyr yn disgrifio ffermio yng Nghymru ar ddechrau’r ugeinfed ganrif cyn datblygiadau peiriannau ffermio o’r 1950au ymlaen. Mae’r recordiau yn cael ei chadw yn Archif Sain yr amgueddfa.

Yn 1975 holodd John Williams Davies y ffermwr Dan Theophilus am y profiad o ffermio defaid ar ddechrau’r ugeinfed ganrif.

Roedd Dan Theophilus yn byw ar fferm Allt Yr Erw, Rhandirmwyn, pentref yng ngogledd-ddwyrain Sir Gaerfyrddin.

Mae Dan Theophilus yn sôn am ofalu am y defaid adeg ŵyna, yr achosion mae’n meddwl sydd yn arwain at ddefaid yn cael trafferth i ddod ac ŵyn, a’r tywydd gwaethaf ar gyfer y tymor ŵyna.

Mae’n dweud sut oedd perswadio defaid i fabwysiadu oen, y perthynas rhwng y ddafad a’r oen a pha mor ffyddlon byddai’r defaid i’r ŵyn ar ôl ŵyna wrth iddo droi’r defaid i’r mynydd.

Dan Theophilus, Allt Yr Erw, Rhandirmwyn