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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gareth UK Minister insults folkmusic: complain! (115* d) RE: UK Minister insults folkmusic: complain! 05 Dec 01

BTW Little known fact.

Historically there is a strong link between Sommerset and South Wales. Firstly many Sommerset Folk came into the Coalfield at the end of the 19th centuary to find work, be it in the coal or the railways.

Secondly, during the various army occupations of the Rhondda, in 1911, and again in 26 the Sommerset Regiment was used as the "garrison troops".

Folk memories, and documentation, suggest that in 1926 the Sommerset Regiment had, from the comanding officer downwards, a feeling and sympathy for the population.

There were complaints from the Coal Owners Association, and the then Chief Constable of Glamorgan - one Captain Lindsay - That the Sommersets were neglecting their duties and fraternising with the locals. In fact refusing to act as the armed wing of the Coal Owners, turning a blind eye to the scavenging of small coals from the tips etc., and in the words of one South Wales Miners Federation Official "Protecting the Population from the Police".

The commanding officer refused to allow his officers to dine, or be entertained, by the Cheif Constable, or the Colliery Owners.

Needless to say when the Sommersets left it was with, not a few, local recruits, and brides - And a lot of good will.

Inrerestingly whilst that regiment was stationed in Ireland in 1918 onwards, similar complaints were also made. The comanding officer was the same when the regiment was engaged in Ireland, and the Rhondda. I wish I could remember his name. Can any Catter recall him, it was the same man who told his officers and men to apply for, (and they got) "safe Conduct" passes from the IRA to engage in Sporting or Social activities.

All of which is massive thread drift, but may put the remarks of Dr Howells in context.


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