Huw Llywelyn Rees


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13th January

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By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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Born on this day 1887  in the Trawsfynydd area of Meirionydd.

Hedd Wyn (Ellis Humphrey Evans) - Welsh language poet 

Hedd Wyn worked on his father's farm and was an active poet from an early age, being a regular competitor in Eisteddfodau.  In 1916, he enlisted in the British army and was killed in the Battle of Pilken Ridge, the following year in 1917, he was awarded the bard's chair at the National Eisteddfod, where in his absence, the Chair was draped with a black cloth.


Dr. Richard Griffiths (1756–1826)  was christened 0n this day 1756 in Llanwynno in the mountains between the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys. 

He is notable for building the first recognised transport links ( the Griffiths Tramroad) into the Rhondda Valley, a significant development that heralded the start of the coal mining boom in the Welsh mining Valleys.  His Tramroad, built in 1809, was to service early coal ‘levels’ in the Rhondda, allowing the coal to be carried to the Glamorganshire canal at Treforest, which linked the ironworks at Merthyr Tydfil to the port of Cardiff. 

Griffiths' youngest sister was married to a farm estate owner in the Lower Rhondda  and in 1808, Griffiths obtained a lease for the mineral rights for the farm.  Griffiths then decided to improve the site's transportation link to the newly opened Glamorganshire Canal, as the existing system of transporting coal to the canal was through the use of pack horses, which was inefficient and time consuming

Griffiths' new transport link proved itself when Walter Coffin, who is recognised as the first person to sink deep mines in the Rhondda obtained the rights to use Griffiths' tramroad.  

  St_Elian's_Church,     Armorica

Today is the feast day of Saint Elian.

The Legend of St. Elian says he was related to Ismael and labored in the missions of Cornwall, England.

Born c.450. Allegedly a descent of Isfael, who was an AD 6th-century medieval Welsh bishop of Rhos and also a Breton prince of Armorica. Tradition holds that Elian came to Anglesey by sea from Rome, landing at Porth yr Yehen, where he built the church of Llanelian.  One folk tale says that he forbade people from keeping greyhounds, as one had killed a doe in his care.

Armorica is the name given in ancient times to the part of Gaul between the Seine and Loire rivers, that includes the Brittany peninsula.  


Born on this day 1866 in Llandaff  

Frank Hill - former Wales rugby international and captain who was part of 1893 side that won Wales' first Triple Crown.  He was a solicitor by trade and had a practice on Cardiff High Street.

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On the 13th January 1879, just before midnight, dense clouds of smoke and multi coloured fumes billowed from the main shaft of Dinas Colliery, the first deep coal mine of the Rhondda Valleys, which had been sunk in 1832.  This had followed a terrific explosion, that shook not only the colliery buildings but also the nearby houses.  It ripped through the mine leaving 63 men and boys dead.  Thirty five of them were buried in a mass grave at Llethr-Ddu (Trealaw) Cemetery, fourteen of them were so unrecognisable their names are entered in the burial register as 'UNKNOWN'.


On 13th January 1919 - The Red Flag was hoisted during a naval mutiny on HMS Kilbride at Milford Haven.

Mutinies in the British Royal Navy are not well documented, but a series of them occurred in the aftermath of World War One (1914 - 1918) when agitation for trade union representation was spreading throughout the Navy.  News of these mutinies was suppressed because they highlighted the poor material conditions of British sailors and also their reluctance to fight Russia after the British government had pledged to a policy of peace.

*  Between 1852 and 1917 there had only been one pay increase.

*  Contrary to what the people were being told, the Foreign Office and Admiralty were making arrangements to intervene in post-revolution Russia and the feeling among servicemen was that those who did not volunteer were left with no option but to mutiny.

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