Huw Llywelyn Rees



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15th April

By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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Born this day 1939 in Merthyr,

Howard Winstone, MBE, a former world featherweight boxing champion.

As a teenager, he lost the tips of three fingers on his right hand, which caused him to adapt his style to rely much more on a straight left. He turned professional in 1959 and was managed by former European welterweight champion, Eddie Thomas and over his career went on to claim the British, European and World featherweight titles. After his retirement, he was made a Freeman of Merthyr and voted "Greatest Citizen of Merthyr Tydfil". In 2011, the story of his life was made into a feature film called Risen.


The RMS Titanic, a passenger liner, sank in the North Atlantic on 15th April 1912 during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, causing the deaths of 1,502 out of the 2,224 passengers and crew on board.

Welsh connections to the Titanic;

* Artie Moore, an amateur wireless enthusiast from Blackwood was one of the few people to hear the first distress signals from the Titanic.

* Harold Godfrey Lowe of Llanrhos in Caernarfonshire was the Fifth Officer of the RMS Titanic and was the only officer who rowed back to save drowning passengers.

* David John Bowen, a former collier and Welsh lightweight champion, from Treherbert perished in the sinking, he was travelling to the USA under contract for a series of boxing contests, he had written a letter to his mother dated 11 April 1912, which included the words 'This is a lovely boat, she is very near so big as Treherbert.'

* The silverware on the Titanic was Elkington silverware from Burry Port.

* Most of the coal on the ship came from the Bynea coal mines.


Artie Moore, an amateur wireless operator from Blackwood, was probably the first person to hear the distress signals from the Titanic.

In the early hours of 15 April 1912, he received a faint Morse Code signal on his homemade radio from a distance of 3000 miles.

Moore relayed the news to the police, who simply refused to believe his explanation that he could pick up a “message in the air” and it was two days before the news reached the UK.

As a result of this incident, he was offered a scholarship to the British School of Telegraphy in London, where he came to the attention of Marconi, the "father of wireless", who came to Gelligroes to meet Moore. Moore joined the Marconi Company, where he worked on several innovative projects, and patented an early version of the sonar system of measuring ocean depths, called the Echometer. He worked at the Marconi company until his death in 1949.


Born this day 1944 in Cardiff,

Dave Edmunds, singer, guitarist and record producer. He is best known for his UK number-one hit "I Hear You Knocking."


Born on this day 1856 in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia,

James Bevan, who was the first Welsh international rugby captain. The James Bevan Trophy was named in his honour to celebrate 100 years of Test Rugby between Wales and Australia.


Brunel's South Wales Railway linked Gloucester with Neyland. It was originally intended to run to Fishguard but financial problems meant that in Brunel's lifetime it only reached Neyland. The need for the railway was;

* To ship coal from the South Wales Valleys to London,

* To complete Brunel's vision of linking London with New York,

* To connect Ireland to South Wales and London.

1850 - The initial part of the line between Chepstow and Swansea was opened.

1852 - The bridge at Chepstow was opened, which completed the connection from Swansea to Gloucester and London.

1856 - The line west of Swansea reached New Milford (Neyland).

1886 - The route was improved with the opening of the Severn Tunnel.

1906 - Fishguard Harbour was opened when the Waterford and Cork and ferry and rail services were transferred there from Neyland.


Born on this day 1919 in Prestatyn,

Emyr Humphreys, who was a leading Welsh novelist, poet and author. A conscientious objector during the Second World War, he later became a teacher, worked as a radio producer at the BBC and became a lecturer in drama at Bangor University.

He published over twenty novels, including The Land of the Living, a sequence of seven novels exploring the political and cultural history of twentieth-century Wales.

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