Edith Louisa CAVELL was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides in the Great War. She did this without discrimination. She also helped over 200 allied soldiers escape over the Belgian border, from German troops, a truly brave and compassionate lady who was betrayed by a man named QUIEN, a German collaborator.
Edith Louisa CAVELL
Drawn into conflict, no fault of her own,compassion her forte, to her, never shown.Soldiers of all nations, were treated as equals,betrayed in the end, by a collaborator evil.
Edith Cavell was her name, a woman so...
I remember it well, as if yesterday,
my master cried, but he had to obey.
Uniformed men, they stole me that day,
my future now destined, a land far away.
Down to the port with thousands like me,
winched on a ship, our fate history.
We landed in France, not knowing our worth,
paddocked together, no peace on earth.
Shell blasts I hear, far away in the distance,
all new to me, the night sky it glistens.
That is the night, death hit home to me,
a War horse my fate, that's how it would be.
The following day, a task I was given,
pulling a gun, it was so...
MAMETZ WOOD REMEMBERED
That futile war, never forgotten.the Somme a hundred years on.Battle lines drawn, no man's land,brave men preparing to die.
Birdsong fell silent, that fateful day,slaughter, it surely did follow.Machine guns nesting, deep in the wood,barbed wire protecting the enemy.
The 38th Welsh led that fatal charge,their orders to take Mametz wood.Chaos abounded, their lives sacrificed,like lemmings, to their holy maker.
The mortars rained down,a shell hole, one's only safe haven,Bodies piled high, deep in the mud,as blood flowed, a deep poppy red.
At 8.20am an explosion occurred at the Parc Slip Colliery, Aberkenfig, near Tondu. One hundred and twelve men and young boys lost their lives, may they all R.I.P.
PARC SLIP REMEMBERED
One hundred and twelve, at peace in heaven,
in their day the heartbeat of Cefn.
Parc Slip the mine where they all worked,
way down below, their destiny lurked.
Men and boys taken that day,
firedamp and flame, the usual way.
Generations lost, without any say,
deadly fire and gas, took all air...
I was four when I started, my life underground,
stabled below, coal dust would abound.
Miners my friends, they treated me well,
for one, oh so young, the face was like hell.
The dust and the gas, the air putrified,
the miners would crawl on their bellies and sides.
After pulling the journeys for eight hours a day,
I lay in my stable, on soft and warm hay.
Fifty weeks of the year we'd work together,
think what I'd give for fresh air, fine weather.
Then it would come, two weeks on top,
roaming the fields, a nice gentle trot.
The air I took in, so fresh and clean,
She's a jewel in the crown, a snow covered peak,
a stairway to heaven, though in winter so bleak.
An everlasting reminder, of a glacial past,
formed out of sandstone, dark shadows cast.
A Bronze age cairn, on her summit stands proud,
elements defied, mystical views they astound.
'Ashes of the dead' long ago there entombed,
meadowsweet flowers, now sadly exhumed.
She's a sight to behold, when shrouded in mist,
when covered by snow, she's a peak to resist.
She's a taker of life, when her spirits are stirred,
hail, rain and snow, killer elements converge.
To modern day...
At 9.15 am on Friday the 21st October 1966, a colliery spoil tip collapsed into many
homes, and the Pantglas Junior School, killing 116 children and 28 adults.
This poem is dedicated to them. May they all Rest In Peace.
Slag and slurry, the devil incarnate,
robbed a village of lives and didn't abate.
On that early morn, the sun fell from the sky,
a giant black shadow drowned their small cries.
Teachers’ and children fighting for air,
the slag and the slurry laid the school bare.
Completely covered by the river of...
AmeriCymru: Hi Arthur and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to tell us a little about your Welsh background and upbringing?
Arthur: I was born and bred in Caerau, a small mining village situated at the top of the Llynfi Valley, Maesteg. My father was a miner, as were many of my immediate family. I am the third of six children.
During the second world war my mother worked at the Bridgend munitions factory, until she married my father. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but our parents gave us all values and manners which stood us in good stead for the rest of our lives and careers. We had a very happy childhood, and at the time Caerau colliery was flourishing and there was plenty of work in the village, unfortunately the colliery is no longer, which is very sad indeed.
In September 1967, at the age of 17, I joined the Glamorgan Constabulary, which subsequently became the South Wales Constabulary in 1969. I retired from the police service as a Detective Sergeant in 1997 having investigated all form of major crime and counter terrorism. I then became a gardener. I worked mostly in nursing homes for individuals suffering with dementia. I retired completely in 2015.
AmeriCymru: When did you decide to write? What inspired you to take up the pen?
Arthur: After retirement I joined many coalmining sites on Facebook. One day I read a poem that had been posted. It was then that I decided to pen my first poem entitled ‘ABERFAN’ and from that day I haven’t stopped writing.
My main genres are Coalmining and the First World War, however I am able to pen poems about any subject.
My love of literature stems back to my time in comprehensive school, my biggest influence being my English Literature teacher Mr. David John, who was an inspiration, introducing me to all the war poets including Wilfred OWEN. Although I enjoyed poetry my career in the police service and my family took all of my time therefore I never did anything with the writing until I wrote ‘ABERFAN’.
AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your collection:- 'An Industry Now Lost'?
Arthur: My first book of poems titled ‘AN INDUSTRY NOW LOST’ describes numerous mining disasters, and what it was like to work underground during the Victorian times, when lives meant nothing. I suppose you could say that my back ground growing up in a Welsh mining valley inspired me to write the 50 poem book.
AmeriCymru: How would you describe the effect of the loss of mining jobs in the Maesteg area and the valleys generally?
Arthur: After the miner’s strike of 1985, the death knoll of mining in the Welsh valleys sounded, and all the pits were subsequently closed, leaving a great deal of unemployment and poverty, even to this day, some thirty odd years later the scars are there for all to see. Our valley towns have been decimated, and now younger generations have to travel far and wide for work.
AmeriCymru: You have also written a series of novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Terry McGuire. Care to tell us a little more about the character and his cases?
Arthur: In February 2016, I was trawling through a closed Police site on Facebook, when I read a post from Nigel Williams, also a retired police officer and an author in his own right, who had self published books he had written. In the post he asked if anyone would like to write a book, so I thought to myself, I wouldn’t mind a crack at that, so I got in touch and we began corresponding over the internet. I wrote the first book ‘UNETHICAL CONDUCT’ in ten days and Nigel ‘polished it up’ and put it all together.
The first time I actually met Nigel in person was when he gave me the book. I had no intention of writing another book, until Nigel asked if we could write together. That day ‘The Terry McGuire Crime Thrillers’ were created.
Terry McGuire began as a Detective Inspector in the series and is now a Detective Superintendent. He is in charge of a major crime unit in South Wales and he has hand picked his team. McGuire is a workaholic, who must always get to the truth. He is empathetic with an edge about him. He is a family man with two grown up children who live abroad. He is supported by his long suffering wife Molly who loves him to bits.
People who have read the books, and know me say that McGuire is modelled on me, to some degree he is, however when I created him, I didn’t have that in mind. All the cases that McGuire and his team deal with are serious and steeped in murder and corruption, and the stories are mostly set in and around South Wales.
At present there are eight books in the series:-
‘Unethical Conduct’ ‘Edge of Integrity’, ‘Death and Depravity’, ‘Angel of Death’, ‘Nest of Vipers’, ‘Nighthawker’, ‘Redemption’ and ‘Betrayal’.
Nigel and I are just editing the ninth in the series, ‘Ravwn’, which will hopefully be published later in the year.
AmeriCymru: You have donated the proceeds from some of your book sales to charity. What good causes have your readers supported by buying your titles?
Arthur: When we began self publishing the books, we donated the royalties amounting to around £2,000.00 to both ‘Marie Curie’ and ‘The Garnwen Trust’, Maesteg.
AmeriCymru: What's next for Arthur Cole? Any new titles in the works?
Arthur: In May 2017 I was lucky enough to sign a book deal with ‘Wordcatcher Publishing, Cardiff’ owned by David Norrington. David published my first two poetry books ‘An Industry Now Lost’ and ‘Poems for a Lost Generation - A tribute to those who fell in the Great War 1914-18’.
I have just completed my third book ‘50 Famous People’ which includes many famous Welsh people, which will be published in May this year.
Nigel and I have also signed a deal with David, who is in the process of re-publishing the first eight books in the Terry McGuire series. The books will have a more consistent professional presentation. The titles will not be changed, so that readers who have already bought them, will not purchase them a second time.
‘Unethical Conduct’ has recently been published on kindle, with a new cover. The paperback will hopefully be published within the next few weeks. All available via Amazon or from Wordcatcher Publishing.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Arthur: I would like to thank you Ceri, for giving me the opportunity to write about our literary exploits thus far, and hopefully members who may read the books will be able to enjoy and reminisce about their homeland.
I was born in Caerau a small mining village at the top of the Llynfi Valley, Maesteg. My dad was a miner as were all my close family. I joined the police service in 1967 and served over 30 years , retiring as a detective sergeant.
At the end of 2015 I began writing poetry, the genres being coal mining and the First World War. In February 2016 I wrote a crime thriller titled 'Unethical Conduct' with the help of my now co-author Nigel Williams.
I never intended writing another book, it was just a bucket list effort, however Nigel and I then began writing together. We self-published the next eight books on Amazon, donating the royalties (nearly £2,000) to charity.
In May last year I was lucky enough to get my poetry published by 'Wordcatcher Publishing' Cardiff, owned by David Norrington.
As well as my poetry David then decided to re-publish all our books, giving them brand new covers, but keeping the same titles, so that our readers wouldn't re-purchase.
The first book 'Unethical Conduct' has just been released on Kindle and the paperback should be available in a few weeks.
We hope to release the series at regular intervals.
I have my own poetry page on Facebook which is public, so anyone can view and join. There are over 280 poems on the site 'Arthur's Poems And Anecdotes'.
Nigel and I also have a separate page for the thrillers itled 'The Terry McGuire Thrillers'. Again a public page that anyone can view.