Alfred Thomas Griffiths

Background

In February 2014 an article for Wales Online by Sion Morgan told the story of the photo-journal of a soldier, Alfred Griffiths, wounded in the First World War (http://bit.ly/1EXhG0c). The journal had been found in a charity shop in Cornwall by Robert Aindow. From the details provided in the journal and information in the 1911 census Robert Aindow identified the soldier as Alfred Thomas Griffiths, the son of David and Rosetta Griffiths of 13 Comet Street, Cardiff. An appeal was made for further information on Alf and, in a further article on 7 October (http://bit.ly/1K08QTM), it was confirmed that the Journal had been bought by a Cardiff historian, Derek Gigg, from Llanishen. Derek had been able to add to the detail on Alf’s war service with the Devon Regiment and again made an appeal for any further information.

The Roath Road Roamer

Copies of ‘The Roath Road Roamer’, published from 1914-19 by the Roath Road Wesleyan Church and held at Glamorgan Archives, have helped to flesh out Alf’s story. Drawing on letters and photographs from men and women in the armed forces and news gleaned from soldiers on leave, ‘The Roath Road Roamer’ tracked the war service of 460 men and 19 women from Cardiff. It was produced monthly, distributed throughout the area and sent overseas.

Alf Griffiths was a ‘Roath Roamer’ and the magazine follows his war time experiences, and those of the men from the Roath area of Cardiff who fought alongside him in France. It also tracks Alf’s personal battle to recover from the wounds sustained at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and his eventual discharge from the Army in 1918.

Alfred Thomas Griffiths first featured in ‘The Roamer’ in December 1914. His name was included in the Roll of Honour of those serving in the armed forces who were formerly on the Sunday School roll. The entry confirms that, at the outbreak of war, the Griffiths family were still living at 13 Comet Street and that Alf joined the 11th Battalion of the Devon Regiment (Vol.2, p.7).

Alf’s family, therefore, almost certainly attended the Roath Road Wesleyan Methodist Church situated on the corner of City Road and Newport Road (previously known at Roath Road). Along with other families from Comet Street, including the Townsend family at 40 Comet Street, Alf would have attended services and Sunday School at the Church. Records for the Roath Road Wesleyan Church held at Glamorgan Archives confirm that up to 850 children attended Sunday School each week, supervised by 40 teachers and 50 helpers (DWESCR299). ‘The Roamer’ contains details of three members of the Townsend family who fought in the War – Fred, who joined the Army, and his sisters Edith and Gladys, who later in the War joined the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps.  It is likely that Fred and Alf were friends as ‘The Roamer’ records that they were both members of the Church Boys’ Brigade (the 14th Cardiff Company) and both enlisted early in the War with the Devon Regiment. However, in the photograph of Alf featured in ‘The Roamer’ in February 1915 (Vol.4, p.4) he is pictured alongside three other recruits to the Devon Regiment, Lance Corporal John W Laidlaw, Private James Brixton and Private Herbert J Morrisey.

Alf Griffiths group photo

Unusually ‘The Roamer’ does not record what happened to John Laidlaw. However, we do know that Alf, Jim Brixton and Bert Morrisey were also close friends. They had all attended the same class of the Roath Road Sunday School taught by Mr Haime (Vol.2, p.7) and had been members of the Church Boys’ Brigade. The picture in Alf Griffiths’ photo journal of the Boys’ Brigade parade is almost certainly a photograph of the 14th Company of the Cardiff Battalion – the Roath Road Company.

Boys Brigade

The Brigade was well supported with around 50 members at any one time. The boys were required to attend Bible Class on Sunday mornings with meetings every weekday evening for drill and band practice, gymnastics and first aid. As young men they had maintained their links with the Church and at the outbreak of the war Bert Morrisey was the Staff-Sergeant in the Boys’ Brigade (Vol.25, p.2). Given that they joined the 11th Battalion of the Devon Regiment it is very likely that they had taken the decision to enlist in Kitchener’s New Army together. It was with some pride that the Church magazine claimed the four as ‘Roath Roamers’ and the caption for the picture described the new recruits as:

‘Four Fine Fellows who have all done well in the 14th Cardiff Company of the Boys’ Brigade and who are now serving King and Country….’

The Brixtons were a local family from Treharris Street, Roath although, by 1914, Jim was living at Thesiger Street. All three sons served in the armed forces. Their sister, Dorothy, helped with the Sunday School at Roath Road (DWESCR299) and later joined the Land Army. She was featured in ‘The Roamer’ as one of the ‘Lady Roamers’.  It is likely that, after the photograph was taken, the four men were separated for, in May 1915, ‘The Roamer’ reported that Jim Brixton was with the 2nd Battalion of the Devon Regiment and had ‘…the honour of being the first Roath Road man in Kitchener’s New Army to go to the Front’ (Vol.7, p.6).

By April 1915 ‘The Roamer’ reported that Bert and Alf had both been promoted to Lance Corporal (Vol.6, p.8) and by November 1915 they were both ‘at the Front’ with Bert recently promoted to Corporal (Vol.13, p.8). In addition, they had transferred to the 9th Battalion of the Devon Regiment. In the build up to the offensive on the Somme in July 1916 Alf was promoted to Corporal and Bert to Sergeant (Vol.20, p.8). They may have been reunited with Fred Townsend who had returned to the 9th battalion after recovering from a wound (a bullet through the thigh) sustained in October 1915 (Vol.20, p.8 and Vol.13, p.3).  Jim Brixton was also at the Front at this time having returned to the 2nd Battalion of the Devon Regiment (Vol.20, p.5).

The Battle of the Somme opened on 1 July 1916 and ‘The Roamer’ reported that Alf was seriously wounded on the first day of the offensive when serving with the 20/1 Trench Mortar Battery. A month later, in August 1916, ‘The Roamer’ printed a letter from Alf written from his hospital bed in Aberdeen.

Vol22 p3

‘I am wondering if you have heard the bad news that I am lying in hospital wounded. The wounds are not of the worst. I had one bullet wound in the face and it has broken the lower jaw-bone. The second one is a bullet wound in the in the left foot…. I was wounded on the July 1st, the first day of the Big Advance unfortunately. I am very lucky to be alive as many young fellows alongside me were killed’ (Vol.22, p.3).

The photograph in Alf’s Photo Journal of Red Cross nurses, dated August 1916, was probably taken at Aberdeen. Reflecting on the launch of the offensive ‘The Roamer’ noted:

‘Of all months July of course has been the most anxious for us. The number of those actually in France at the time the Big Push started was as follows – Officers 8, NCO’s 18 and men 58. A total of 84. Why the run on the figure 8 we do not quite know but there it is. Some of those who profess to draw omens from such things can perhaps help us. The days have been dark ones for us from a personal standpoint , though bright and glorious enough with Victory. As we go to press not much news of our lads has come to hand, and while we might fear some may be bad enough when it reaches us, we hope and pray for the best’ (Vol.22, pp.2-3).

Alf would also have been in Aberdeen when the news arrived that Bert Morrisey was missing and later reported as killed in action on 4 September at the Somme.  He was 21 years old and, at the time, the 13th Roamer to be killed in action (Vol.25, p.2 and Vol.26, p.6). He was also one of the 22 former members of the 14th Boys’ Brigade Company killed during the war (DWESCR302). In the same month Jim Brixton had been recommended for the Military Medal for ‘…some very plucky work as a stretcher bearer one night on the Front, in the open facing the German machine guns ….’.

Alf’s wounds were more serious than portrayed in his letter. On January 10 1917 he was still in hospital at Aberdeen.

Vol29 p6

‘Instead of that operation I told you about, the doctor through the X Rays, has found it necessary to put the splint back in my mouth and cement it. That means I shall have to go through the cure again. It is very disappointing but I intend to have the proper cure. I expect to be here some little time yet. Am anxiously waiting for the Roamer’ (Vol.29, p.6).

It was not until May 1917 that ‘The Roamer’ reported that Alf was home in Cardiff – ‘…his patience has been rewarded at last’ (Vol.31, p.8). By July 1917 ‘…he was back at the Front again’ (Vol.33, p.7) but reported as wounded and in hospital in September 1917 along with his Boys’ Brigade Pal, Jim Brixton (Vol.35, p.5). ‘The Roamer’ took a dim view of Alf’s treatment by the Army:

‘As we expected Corporal Alfred Griffiths (9th Batt Devon Regiment) is back from France and is in hospital in London. He was badly wounded in the jaw on 1st July 1916, but after nearly 12 months in hospital was sent out again before he was right’  (Vol.39, p.4).

‘The Roamer’ continued to keep a close watch on Alf’s progress. In July 1918 it reported:

‘Corporal Alfred T Griffith (Devon Regiment) who was wounded on 1st July 1916, on the first day of the Big Push of two years ago, had been hospital most of the time since except for a short revisit to France. At present he is in London and he has recently undergone another operation on his jaw, which we trust will be more successful than the previous ones’ (Vol.45, p.8).

Alf never fully recovered from the injuries sustained at the Somme and two months later ‘The Roamer’ noted:

‘Corporal Alfred T Griffiths after a long and trying time in hospital, as mentioned in previous issues (it is two years and two months ago that we was wounded) has been fortunate in getting his discharge from the Army’ (Vol.47, p.8).

Of Alf’s pals both Fred Townsend and Jim Brixton survived the War. However, Fred was badly wounded at Ypres in November 1917. In a letter to ‘The Roamer’ he set out the details:

‘I was rather unlucky for we had been through two attacks and we were being relieved that night. I was sent back to guide the relief up when I got hit. It made a bit of gash from my shoulder down half way to the elbow, and cut the artery, and so made me lose a lot of blood’ (Vol.38, pp.2-3).

After a lengthy period in hospital he was discharged from the 9th Battalion of the Devon Regiment in November 1918 but, as a result of the damage to his left arm and shoulder, his arm was ‘still unfortunately not much good’ (Vol.48, p.7). Lance Corporal James Brixton featured in the Roamer’s ‘Page of Smilers’ in March 1919 – those who had been recently demobbed. He was awarded the Military Medal in 1917  for bravery in the field in September 1916. It was later confirmed that this included bringing in a wounded officer under heavy shell fire (Vol.27, p.3 and Vol.43, pp.3-4). The award was made at a public presentation in Cardiff on 26 November 1917. Jim’s brother Alfred was also awarded the Military Medal later in the same year (Vol.38, p.8 and Vol.39, p.2).

‘The Roamer’ held its first ‘Welcome Home’ reunion for demobilised servicemen in April 1919. Jim Brixton was one of the first to write to ‘The Roamer’ setting out his hope that the magazine and regular reunions be continued (Vol.54, p.5). We know from records held at Glamorgan Archives that although the last edition of ‘The Roath Road Roamer’ was in October 1919, the Church continued to run a series of reunion meetings including regular meetings for former members of the Boys’ Brigade (DWESCR302). There is no evidence but it is just possible that Alf, Jim and Fred were able, therefore, to get together to reminisce about their days in the Boys’ Brigade and their war time experiences.

If you want to discover more about the 460 men and 19 women from the Roath area who served in the First World War, Glamorgan Archives holds copies of the 57 editions of ‘The Roath Road Roamer’ produced from November 1914 to October 1919 (DAWES6).

Tony Peters, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

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The Aussies from Cardiff

ANZAC day on 25th April commemorates the sacrifices of the Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women killed in military operations. It was first marked in 25 April 1916, exactly one year after Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the Gallipoli peninsular as part of an Allied offensive to open the Dardanelles to allied navies. Throughout this period the Australians and New Zealanders fought with great bravery. Australian casualties numbered 26,000 of which 8,000 were killed in action or died of wounds or disease. Gallipoli became a symbol of the courage and heroism of the ANZAC soldiers. However, it was also a grim reminder of the many servicemen and women killed and wounded during the First World War.

Many men from Wales fought with the Royal Navy and British Army during the 8 month campaign at Gallipoli. The heroism of those who took part in the landings at Cape Helles in April 1915 and Suvla Bay in August of the same year was recorded in the press at the time and has been detailed in subsequent accounts of the Gallipoli campaign. However, less is known about the Welshmen who fought and died with the Australian Army at Gallipoli and later in France. Records held at Glamorgan Archives provide an insight into the stories of young men from Cardiff who, having emigrated to Australia in the pre-war years, volunteered for military service with the Australian Army. ‘The Roath Road Roamer’, published from 1914-19 by the Roath Road Wesleyan Church tracked, through letters and photographs, the war service of 460 men and 19 women from Cardiff. It was produced monthly, distributed locally and sent overseas. ‘The Roamer’ identified and followed the fortunes of a number of young men from Cardiff who joined the Australian Army. They included Wilfred Shute, William Lydiard, Charles Richards and John Albert Guy from Cardiff who all fought in France. In addition, ‘The Roamer’ also tells us of two young men, William Poyner and Fred Salmoni, who fought and died with the Australian Army at Gallipoli.

Fred Salmoni was the son of William and Mary Salmoni of Elm Street, Cardiff. Although originally from Wells, the Salmoni family had lived in Cardiff for many years. William Salmoni was a self employed painter and decorator but his two sons worked at a local colliery  – the elder as a clerk and Fred as a “fitter’s helper”. William Poyner was born in Kidderminster and lived there for most of his life. Although most of his family worked as weavers in the carpet industry, William moved to Cardiff in 1911 and was employed, probably as a porter, at Cardiff railway station. While in Cardiff he attended the Roath Road Church and ‘The Roamer’ embraced him as ‘one of its own’. We know from ‘The Roamer’ that he received copies of the magazine while with the Australian Army in Egypt. In March 1915 ‘The Roamer’ included a photograph of William set against an outline of a map of Australia with the caption:

‘Private William Poyner emigrated to Australia from Mr H G Howell’s class two or three year ago. It is a great pleasure to us to know, that he is now in Egypt on his way to the Front to fight for the old Country, with the 1st Australian Division’.  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.5, p.8.

William Poyner

William Poyner had emigrated to Western Australia in 1912 and in the same year Fred Salmoni sailed for Brisbane in Queensland. Like many young men, at the time, they were no doubt attracted by the opportunities and adventure offered by a country that was growing rapidly and, in particular, the prospects for employment in mining and farming in western and northern Australia. However, within two years of their arrival war had been declared and, although conscription was not introduced in Australia, some 400,000 young Australians volunteered  for the armed forces – approximately 1 in 3 of those aged from 18-40 years. Fred Salmoni and William Poyner were amongst those who rushed to enlist once war was declared. In August 1914 both were single and aged 21. William was as a railway worker, living at Midland, a key railway junction on the outskirts of Perth. Fred was a labourer and working In Brisbane. Such was the rush to join the colours that the Australian Army was able to insist on rigorous standards and as single, fit and healthy young men, both would have fitted the bill perfectly. In particular, William’s previous military experience with the 7th Worcesters would have been seen as a bonus. Fred enlisted in Brisbane with the 15th Battalion of the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade. William Poyner joined up at Blackboy Hill, the training camp in the foothills of the Darling Range outside Perth established as the base for the 11th Battalion of the Australian 3rd Infantry Brigade. After basic training they left Fremantle on board ship for Alexandria on 2 November 1915. The troops were in high spirits and had smuggled on board as mascots 4 kangaroos and a cockatoo for the journey to Alexandria. After 5 weeks at sea, that included a skirmish with the German cruiser, Emden, which ran aground after being shelled by one of their escorts, they landed in Egypt and set up camp close to Cairo. The official record of their time in Egypt includes a photograph of the 11th Battalion – 1000 strong – in front of a pyramid. However, unofficially, although they trained hard in the heat of the desert by day, the stories of the Australians ‘lighting up’ Cairo by night were legion and included tales of panic amongst the locals on their first sighting of the kangaroos.

It was anticipated that their next destination would be England, with the opportunity for those born in Britain, almost a third of the 11th Battalion, to catch up with friends and family. So it would have been with surprise that Fred and William would have discovered on leaving Egypt that they were bound for the Greek island of Lemnos in preparation for the assault on the Dardanelles. The attempt to use the guns of the British and French fleets to subdue the Turkish defences had failed and it was decided landings would be made at two points on the peninsula. Fred and William were both in the early waves of the landings at ANZAC Cove on 25th April. Against enormous odds they secured the beachhead and made some progress inland before being held by the Turkish defences. However, the progress made was at enormous cost. Fred Salmoni died on the second day of the landings on 26 April at what came to be known as “Shrapnel Valley”.  William Poyner was reported as killed in action on 2 May. It is likely that his body was never recovered although his death is now marked at the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Lone Pine. An indication of the ferocity of the fighting and the numbers of those killed and wounded was given by the head count taken of William Poyner’s Battalion on 5 May while still under heavy fire. Of the 1000 men that had landed on 25 April, 435 were dead, wounded or missing.

‘The Roamer’ reported:

Poyner and Salmoni

‘Two of our brave fellows have fallen. By a strange coincidence both left Cardiff, three or four years ago for Australia, both joined Australian contingents when war broke out and hastened back at the call of the Motherland. Both were sent to the Dardanelles and both have fallen on the field of battle. Private Will Poyner of Mr H G Howell’s class and Lance Corporal Fred S Salmoni an old member of the 14th Cardiff Company of the Boys’ Brigade. May God comfort those who mourn their loss today. The last time we heard from our old friend Will Poyner was on the 2nd June when he asked us to forward the Roamer containing his photo to his mother who lives in Kidderminster. She had it the next day. He wrote how pleased he was with the photo that he was ‘going on very well and in the best of health, so that’s everything’. And today he is in the presence of the King’.  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.10, p.8.

The letter received by ‘The Roamer’ on 2nd June was probably written while William Poyner was en route to Gallipoli. His personal effects, passed to his mother in Kidderminster, were limited to cards, a match box, handkerchief and a stone. However, although he had left some years ago, he had kept up his links with friends in Cardiff . In his will, of the £40 that he asked his mother to disperse, £30 was passed to Mabel Major of Broadway, Roath. ‘The Roamer’ did not provide any clues as to the connection with the Major family. Possibly William lodged with the family while working in Cardiff or he may have met Mable though the Roath Road Church. If anyone can help in adding to this story we would be interested to hear.

‘The Roamer’ did, however, provide further insight into the fighting at Gallipoli through the letters from the many Cardiff men who fought with the Royal Navy and British regiments during the course of the campaign. The experience of Arthur James, a Cardiff docker before the war and fighting with the Hawke Battalion of the 1st Royal Naval Brigade was typical:

‘I have had a terrible time. All my chums killed and wounded …. Nearly three months of fighting has knocked me up’.  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.10, p.6.

In a similar tone Archie McKinnon, of the Royal Engineers wrote to ‘The Roamer’ about the conditions in Gallipoli:

‘…when our lads are relieved from the trenches they only have dugouts to rest in. No billets of any sort are available and the whole of the land we occupy is subjected to shell fire’.  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.12, p.6.

John Hunt of the Royal Army Medical Corps wrote:

‘Collecting the wounded in a rough country like this is not exactly a picnic. All our transport is drawn by mules, they stand the hot climate better than horses. Very little Ambulance transport is done owing to the hills and that there are no roads. This means a lot of stretcher work for bearers’.  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.14, p.5.

Despite the ferocity of the fighting there was a great deal of respect for the Turkish defenders – both for their fighting qualities and their humanity. Will Dance of the 2nd Welsh Field Ambulance, RAMC wrote:

‘We have been under fire about 19 days now….The Turks do not wilfully fire on the Red Cross and I can honestly tell you that… they are out and out gentlemen… We are expecting the War in the Dardanelles to finish anytime now they are whacked to the world, so it is only a matter of time’  Roath Road Roamer, Vol.12, p.6.

Will Dance’s optimism was not well placed for at the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated. The plans to open the Dardanelles to the Allied navies were abandoned and the campaign, despite the heroism of the troops, was seen as an expensive failure. Perhaps the last word should go to one of the many Aussies who arrived in Cardiff to receive treatment for their wounds at the 3rd Western Hospital, Howard Gardens, Cardiff.  Many, including Harry Sketcher-Baker, had fought at Gallipoli in 1915. In an autograph book kept by Emily Connell, a Nursing Sister at the Hospital (held at the Glamorgan Archives) he added a poem that would have been well known amongst troops and especially the Australians who went into action for the first time at Gallipoli in 1915:

DX744-1-18

‘The lad stood on the troop ship And gazed across the sea And wondered what his home would be Ruled under Germany. Now everything went lovely While out upon the sea Till we were brought to anchor Out off Gallipoli’.  Autograph Book of Nurse Emily Connell, p.24

‘The Roath Road Roamer’ went on to record of the experiences of many more Aussies from Roath during the First World War who fought in France with the Australian Army. If you want to know more about the experiences of men and women from the Roath area of Cardiff who fought in the First World War Glamorgan Archives holds copies of the 57 editions of ‘The Roath Road Roamer’ produced from November 1914 to October 1919 (DAWES6).

Tony Peters, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

Blaenclydach Boys and the Chocolate Potato Biscuits

The pupils of Blaenclydach Boys’ School were no strangers to coping with the food shortages during the First Wold War.

ER3_2 p117

After all, they had received lessons on how to supplement the family diet by growing their own potatoes (ER3/2, p.117) and how to cut back on foods in short supply including bread, sugar and meat (ER3/2, p.120).

ER3_2 p120

The school had even used Food Production Pamphlets on the storage of potatoes for reading practice! (ER3/2, p.123).

ER3_2 p123

The boys were also very aware of how the shortages impacted on the local Red Cross hospital, and they had collected food to supplement the diet of the servicemen who were patients there. On the 22nd March 1917 the Head Teacher, John Lewis, recorded:

ER3_2 p118

A collection of fruit and eggs was made by the scholars for the wounded soldiers at the local Red Cross Hospital. The collection consisted of 59 eggs, 143 oranges, 26 apples, 31 bananas, 1lb rice, nuts, chocolate and 2/7 in money.  Blaenclydach Boys School, log book (ER3/2 p.118)

Leaflets and pamphlets to be taken home to parents extolling the virtues of potatoes and the need for food economy were, therefore, nothing new. However, there must have been a slight air of disbelief and amusement at the three leaflets distributed to the boys on 21st February 1918:

ER3_2 p128

Leaflets from the Food Economy Department distributed for school children throughout the school area. These leaflets were (1) Thirty Four Ways of cooking potatoes (2) Delicious Soups (3) All About Stews.  Blaenclydach Boys School, log book (ER3/2 p.128)

Produced by the Food Economy Department of the Ministry of Food established in 1916, the leaflets were seen as a practical guide to help families circumvent the ever increasing shortages resulting from the sinking of allied merchant ships and the shortage of labour on the land. A copy of ‘Thirty Four Ways of Using Potatoes’ still exists, and can be found on line at the Manchester Archive Plus website www.manchesterarchiveplus.com (ref.: FE40).  The advice within, even in wartime, must have raised a few eyebrows. The leaflet began with a rallying call to families to make the best use of the ‘unprecedented surplus of potatoes’:

This is the immediate duty of everyone – to learn how to make potato-foods to take the place of bread-foods and to use them now instead of bread and butter, toast, rolls and all cakes and puddings which require flour.

The advice on how to prepare the potatoes may well have come as an unpleasant surprise to many:

.. a potato should never be peeled before it is cooked. People who cut the peel from a potato before they cook it actually throw away 85 per cent of its flesh forming and vital elements.

It is also difficult to believe that the Blaenclydach boys would have been convinced by the bold statement that ‘People who have once used potato bread, for instance, never wish to return to bread which is made solely from flour’.

It is generally accepted that ‘the proof is in the pudding’. For the boys of Blaenclydach this probably meant ‘Potato and Fruit Pudding’ ‘Treacle and Potato Pudding’ and ‘Congregation Pudding’, as recommended in the pamphlet. They might also have sampled the Chocolate Potato Biscuits – possibly as part of the school’s St David’s Day celebrations in the week following the arrival of the leaflets.

Chocolate Potato Biscuits

4oz potatoes (washed, cooked, peeled and sieved), 1oz flour, 4oz ground rice, half a teaspoon of cocoa, one and a half oz. fat, half an egg (dried can be used), a little vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon of treacle, half a teaspoon of baking powder.

Mix the flour and ground rice and rub in the fat. Add the potatoes and cocoa and stir the dry ingredients together; then put in the half egg and treacle and flavouring and beat thoroughly. Finally add the baking powder and mix well. Turn the mixture on to a floured board, roll out (half inch) and cut into rounds and bake in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

The Blaenclydach Boys School log book does not record the response to the recipes either from the boys or their parents. Along with other initiatives such as the ‘Win the War Cookery Book’ the three pamphlets were just one part of an ongoing campaign to combat food shortages. However, if you want to gauge their reaction we will be happy to provide details of any of the recipes mentioned above in exchange for a review of the end product!  Similarly, if you have a copy of ‘All About Soups’ (MF 38) and ‘Delicious Stews’ (MF 39) let us know and we will add the details to our collection of wartime fare.

The Blaenclydach Boys’ School log book (ER3/2) is just one of a series of school log books for the Rhondda area held at the Glamorgan Archives. If you want to know more about life in school and the Rhondda in 1914-18 you can read summaries of the log books on line or the original copies can be accessed at the Glamorgan Archives

Tony Peters, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer