From the land of warriors, poets and song one could expect men from the rank and file to show some or all of these talents.
3519 Private William Williams of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers was just such a man, for he was awarded the Bardic Chair for poetry at the 1913 Pentraeth Eisteddfod. He won his accolade under the Bardic name of "Glan Cefni" for his poem entitled "Peace". It is a pity that the powers that be did not heed his poem as the following year saw the outbreak of the war to end all wars.
THE BARDIC CHAIR OF WILLIAM WILLIAMS IN THE ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS MUSEUM AT CARNARFON CASTLE.
INSCRIPTION ON THE BACK OF THE CHAIR
3519 Private William Williams was born in 1873 at Amlwch, Anglesey and was living at Llangefni when he attested to the RWF at Wrexham on 7th April 1892 aged 19.
He was a farm labourer who had previously served with the Royal Anglesey Engineers. At 5' 6 1/4" he weighed in at 131lbs of fresh complexion with hazel eyes and brown hair. He had a scar on top of the back of his head.
He was entitled to the Queen's South Africa medal with clasps Tugela Heights and Relief of Ladysmith. He served for a total of 8 years and 102 days, being involved with the Occupation of Crete prior to the South African campaign.
Further military service during the Great War and the effects of Boer War service is revealed by the following extract from his service records when his occupation was given as Platelayer (working on the railway):
"This man was invalided home from South Africa and discharged from the army for defective eyesight in 1900.
For 10 years after this his sight kept fairly good. Rejoined army in 1914. In March 1917 he contracted a severe chill and on coming off duty could scarcely see anything. His sight has been very bad since this day."
He was then recommended as unfit for guard or night duty but able to do little duty as an orderly.
After the war years, he apparently kept a long association with the Ynys Mon Gorsedd.(Anglesey Throne).
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