My Wartime Memories
Sheila Marson (Nee Hamer), born in Llangadog
"During the Wartime, we used to have weekly concerts in the village hall. When local soldiers came home on leave, we would have a collection for them. The money would be put in a little material home-made pouch and presented to them. The soldier sat in a big chair, centre stage. Local people would perform – singing, poetry, dancing – to entertain them.
My Mum (Gladys Hamer, nee Morris) would recite one of the poems she had written. Llangadog lost 6 men during WWII. She wrote a poem in their memory, which she recited many times at village gathering. Her poem, “Remember our fallen heroes, Our own dear, gallant six” is a vivid memory.
Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the names of the six who lost their lives in Battle (but my daughter Dawn has researched them on the Internet!) Our gallant six were: Pershing Davies, Gwyn Hughes, Norman Jackson, Gwynne Jackson, Ronald Perkins, Daff Wood.
Llangadog also had one soldier who returned home from an Italian hospital. I don't remember his name, but my Mother wrote a poem to welcome him home.
To mark this 75th Anniversary of VE Day, I wanted to share two of Gladys Hamer's poems with you. One in memory of the six fallen, who were welcomed home only in the hearts of their loved ones, and the other more joyous – the soldier who had recovered after being in an Italian hospital.“
WELCOME HOME TO SIX LLANGADOG SOLDIERS – 1945
Ye dear sons of old Llangadog
Who for six weary years have fought
And have come home safely to us
With victory, so dearly bought.
We salute you gladly, proudly,
For the noble deeds you have done,
For the way you've freed all Europe
From the mighty grip of the ‘Hun'.
The road you've travelled, so bravely,
Has been thickly with danger fraught,
Yet some of you've wrestled glory
But not for its own sake sought.
So be sure we shall value, truly,
The gift of our freedom restored
By the valour of you dear boys,
Whose blood was on the battlefield poured.
In the midst of great rejoicing
And thanksgiving for your return,
Let us pause – and lay a tribute
To those who we, so sadly mourn.
They gave of their all, so freely,
‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS'
Remember our fallen heroes
Our own dear, gallant six.
Ye children of old Llangadog
Have a heritage to uphold
And though these men gained victory
O'er a foe so fearsome and bold,
Yet the wrong will not be righted
If a war should occur again,
So let's plight our troth to our valiant lads
‘You shall never have died in vain!'
By Gladys Hamer, Llangadog 1945
A WELCOME HOME FROM AN ITALIAN HOSPITAL
Now you're safely home among us
With your children and your wife,
May we wish you all God's blessings
Now you're finished with the strife.
Through the weary months of waiting
Often sufff'ring pain untold,
Prayers of loved ones came swinging
Cheering nights so long and cold.
Not the war is won and over,
We look forward to the time
When our children, surely wiser,
Keep the lamps of peace ashine.
May you settle down among us
And be granted strength to live,
Bravely, as before you battled,
Giving all you had to give.
God grant this the Yuletide Prayer
Of Llangadog – old and young,
Ever grateful to our hero,
Long may be his praises sung.
By Gladys Hamer, Llangadog