Thursday, 15 November 2018

Crisis in the British State - Welsh Opportunity

In 2016 we presented  the Democracy and Class Struggle position on the European Union

Any real Welsh National Movement would be calling for a Welsh  Independence Declaration from the British State today - just as people in British Isles declared independence from the European Union.

Given the servility of the representatives of that extension of the British State in Wales in the Welsh Assembly that is not likely to happen.

However we make the call  because for us politics is not just the Bismarkian politics of the bourgeois possibilities but we must open up proletarian ones.

Because for the bourgeoisie politics of socialism is impossible.

We call for genuine socialists and nationalists to seek support and call for Welsh Independence - with the passing of precursor legislation to create a Public Welsh Banking System, A Welsh Land Commission and A Welsh Water Act.

Crisis in the British State - A Welsh Opportunity 




Combat Liberalism - No to the Neo Liberal European Union by Nickglais


"People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma.

 They approve of Marxism, but are not prepared to practice it or to practice it in full; they are not prepared to replace their liberalism by Marxism. 


These people have their Marxism, but they have their liberalism as well--they talk Marxism but practice liberalism "


Mao Zedong - Combat Liberalism

The debate In UK over the European Union and Brexit reveals a profound gulf between Liberal Social Democrats and Revolutionary Marxists over both the class and national questions that arise over the question of UK Brexit.

The entire European Union Project from its inception was based upon a commitment to free market liberalism and of late neo liberalism.

The EU  had a slight detour a few decades ago when Jacques Delors talked of a Social Europe but that has ended as quickly as it started with Delors being responsible for introducing neo liberal privatisation into French political life.

Socialism as an idea is inimical to the common market and market ideology which is central to the European Project whether the ideology is expressed in the European Commission, The European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank.

International Labour rights were established by working class militant struggle and codified by the United Nations International Labour Organisation.

The European Union has found its recent anti working class labour rights judgements pronounced in the European Court of Justice in conflict with the United Nations International Labour  Organisation

The European Court of Human Rights which is not an EU organisation but organised by the Council of Europe  is also  in conflict with the neo liberal  EU European Court of Court of Justice on human  rights

It is clear even to the blind which class the EU institutions represent after years of liberal and neo liberal practice.

So why does the erratic Marxist ? ( Liberal Social Democrat)  Yanis Varoufakis who says in his interview with Owen Jones  he likes Marx's liberalism ! and not his science go along with Paul Mason and of course the new flip flopper Jeremy Corbyn to announce a desire for aReformed European Union.

It is not a reformable institution and only liberals would spread that big reformist lie about the European Union.

It is a highly structured bureaucracy where the European Commission decides what is legislated not the European Parliament It is a bureaucracy not a democracy.

It cannot be reasoned away the Varoufakis way.

From a class point of view we need to smash the neo liberal European Union and the class it represents in Europe and free our class from its austerity and legal constraints.




Now we come to the National Question and the European Union.

We should not support British Nationalists like Nigel Farage, George Galloway and the Tories Brexit scum of Boris the Bastard and Ian Duncan Smith.

We should expose British Nationalism and stand up for democracy for all the nations of the British Isles, Scotland, England,Wales, Kernow and Manxx, we should call for democratic self determination upto and including separation from the British State.

It should also be noted that the Tory opposition does not represent a British national bourgeoisie that we can ally with - it is a faction of the Finance Capitalists that want less regulation on the Banks and City of London represented by City Slicker Boris the Bastard.

The contradictions within the finance capitalist class in the City of London with Osborne representing one faction along with Cameron and Boris the Bastard and City scum Farage representing another should be welcomed - we should study and expose their internecine fighting.

There can be no joint platform with our class and national enemy in the UK or left cover being given to Boris and Farage's anti EU positions which is precisely what Galloway is providing - even saying Farage is no racist.

Therefore in summary

(a) Our class position is not to just oppose the neoliberal European State but to smash it.

(b) Our position on the national question is to expose British Nationalism and support self determination and democracy for the all the nations of these islands.

(c) Given that the capitalist class in British Isles and particularly its finance capitalists are divided on this Brexit issue we should exploit the divisions and not unite with them under any circumstances.

Both factions are our enemies and are inimical to the interests of the working people of these islands.

We must call for the smashing of the British State just like we call for the smashing of the European superstate as both  represent our class enemies.





Given that we have just celebrated Lenin's Birthday on 22nd April let us look at the Question posed in 1915 by Lenin in his polemic with Trotsky who supported the United States of Europe slogan and its relevance today.

Lenin wrote

"Of course, temporary agreements are possible between capitalists and between states. In this sense a United States of Europe is possible as an agreement between the European capitalists ... but to what end?"

Lenin's answer was

" Only for the purpose of jointly suppressing socialism in Europe, of jointly protecting colonial booty against Japan and America, who have been badly done out of their share by the present partition of colonies"

Trotsky disagreed with Lenin in 1915 and and again in 1923 repeats

“The United States of Europe”, is a slogan in every respect corresponding with the slogan “A Workers’, (or Workers’, and Peasants’, Government”. ( shades of Varoufakis and Owen Jones)

History has a way of clarifying the past as well as the present - the road of Lenin and anti imperialist revolution or the road of Trotsky and the revisionist swamp and liberalism,

VOTE NO - VOTE AGAINST THE IMPERIALIST EUROPEAN UNION

THE CAPITALIST EUROPEAN SUPERSTATE AND BRITISH CAPITALIST STATE ARE ENEMIES OF WORKING PEOPLE


SMASH CAPITALISM - BUILD SOCIALISM

A United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary - VI Lenin



SEE ALSO: 

http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-nature-of-european-union-and-its.html

http://greatunrest2012.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/sos-save-our-sovereignty-campaign-vote.html


http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/yanis-varoufakis-confessions-of-erratic.html

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Gethin ap Gruffydd exposes the Cambro Brit lickspittles past and present



CAMBRO BRITS WAS A TERM BROUGHT INTO USE LARGELLY BY POST TUDOR WELSH POETS AND WRITTERS WHO WERE TRYING TO ACCOMMODATE THEIR IN MAIN CULTURAL CLINGING ON TO  A CULTURAL  CAMBRIAN PAST BUT AT SAME TIME MAKING SURE THEY OBSERVED  CAREFULLY AN ALLEGIENCE TO THE TUDORS AND A NEW ENGLISH POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC  REALITY FOR THEIR SELF ADVANCEMENT. 

LATER FULLY OBSERVED BY THE CAMBRO - BRIT 'SOCIETY OF ANCIENT BRITONS'AS WELL 'Y CYMRODORIAN' AND LATER WELSH VICTORIAN ESTABLISHMENT CULTURAL NATIONALISTS. 

THEY UNLIKE THE SCOTS AND IRISH DID NOT HAVE AN INDEPENDENT MIND THAT DID NOT REQUIRE SIMILAR TERMS OF IDENTITY BUT THE WELSH OF POST  TUDOR TIMES WERE PRETTY GUTLESS AS THEY ARE TODAY AS WITNESSED BY THE DISGUSTING GROVELLING IN CAERNARFON BEFORE ENGLISH ROYALTY AT TWO INVESTITURES AND NOW A NETFLIX REPLAY. 

UNDERSTAND THAT SINCE TUDOR TIMES THE ENGLISH HAVE BEEN QUITE HAPPY TO ADOPT TERM 'BRITISH' AKA EQUALLY SEEN SIMPLY AS 'ENGLISH'. 

LETS NOT BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH WAFFLING ON ABOUT 'STRATHCLYDE BRITONS' ALL LATER ACADEMIC TERMS APPLIED TO TRIBAL PEOPLES BUT LETS SAY IT AS IT WAS AND  STILL IS IS THE 'CAMBRO - BRIT' MENTALITY STILL PREVAILS AS BASICALLY IMPLYING A 'CULTURAL IDENTITY' BUT NOT A POLITICAL NATIONALIST IDENTITY. 

THUS IT IS A USEFUL TERM TO USE FOR TRAITORS AS LLOYD GEORGE, GEORGE THOMAS AND DAFYDD ELIS THOMAS. 

NOT GOOD JUST CALLING THEM 'BRITS' AS SUCH PEOPLE ON THE WHOLE STILL SADLY LOVE TO CLING TO A 'CYMRAEG' CULTURAL IDENITY THAT FALSELY MAKES THEM APPEAR 'CYMRO DA'. OTHERWISE THE TERM 'Y CYMRY' SHOULD BE SUCH THAT SATISFIES PATRIOTS AND NATIONALISTS.




Tuesday, 13 November 2018

How Cambro Brit Traitors will be Remembered : A Warning to Cambro Brit Traitors in 2018



The Era of the Cambro Brits domination is coming to an End.

Long Live Welsh Socialist Republicanism which is recreated with each new Welsh Generation. 

Mae'n Hen Bryd Deffro 

Forward to 2019 and Celebrations of the Anti Investiture Protests and the further exposure of Cambro Brits

Cambro Brits are Welsh lickspittle's who serve the British State like Lloyd George and George Thomas and before that the English State like Rhys ap Thomas - in the Tudor Period - they falsely represented the Tudor's as Welsh.

At the same time the English Tudors aka Beauforts were hunting down the last Welsh Princely bloodline and publishing their falsified History of Cambria.

The use of Cambria is a classic expression of Anglicising Wales and those that use the term should understand its history and its implications - it reveals who they are.

Our View of Tudors is expressed here :

Rhys ap Thomas : Godfather of the Crachach

https://greatunrest2012.blogspot.com/2015/05/rhys-ap-thomas-godfather-of-crachach.html











Friday, 9 November 2018

Wales and First World War - AJ Cook - Class not Nation Part 3 by Nickglais


War against War must be the Workers Cry
AJ Cook in 1917

It is argueable that the South Wales Coalfield reached it highest degree of class consciousness in the period called The Great Unrest - Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in 1910 to 1912.

Its historic moment was the publication of Miners Next Step a document still worth reading with a section about leadership which has lessons for today and certainly anticipated the personality effect on the leadership of Socialist and Communist Movements in the 20th century.

The Miners Next Step was a product of the Miners Unoffical Reform Movement and one of  the authors of this collective work was A J Cook a Miner from the Rhondda Valley.

However this class consciousness was to evaporate into thin air in 1914 amid a welter of Anti German propaganda and a parade of Union Jackism.

Members of the Unoffical Reform Movement were stunned into silence by the patriotic fevour Noah Ablett and AJ Cook outstanding leaders of the Miners Unoffical Reform Movement remained silent in 1914.

W.F Hay was the exception that made a stand and put his head above the parapet and declared that he was opposed to the War and that War was :

"The Sport of Kings, the hired assassins trade"

Charle Gibbons of the URC joined the Medical Corp and people like Frank Hodges and George Parker who were linked to the URC declared themselves pro War urging Miners and others to enlist in the forces and fight for King and Country.

The Social Imperialist Robert Blachfords "Merrie Englanders" were converted into "Murdering Englanders" and the obscenity of working people murdering each other was urged on by Christian Churches and the British Social Imperialists.

AJ Cook did not make any patriotic jingoistic speeches but choose to remain silent, he had written articles in 1913 in the South Wales Worker criticising the military build up but that was his limit.

We stressed in our First Chapter the psychological war in which the mass media principally the Northcliffe Press played in creating the anti German hysteria and how the radical population was stunned into silence with the honourable exceptions of Niclas y Glais and W F Hay in Wales.

1915 began to see some movement when the Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) refused to be part of a Treasury Agreement giving up the right to strike and against a so called "Industrial Truce".

In March 1915 the MFGB demanded a 20% wage increase to compensate for the rising inflation during wartime.

The coalowners flatly refused and the South Wales Miners struck alone in 1915.

The Government intervened and agreed to an eighteen and half percentage rise.

                                                                  AJ Cook

In South Wales it was as if the Unoffical Reform Committee was brought back to life and by 1916 AJ Cook was making his opposition to the war apparent and stated :


"Daily I see signs amongst the working class with whom I move and work of a mighty awakening. The chloroforming pill of Patriotism is failing in its power to drug the mind and consciousness of the worker.


He is beginning to shudder at the stupidity of allowing himself to be party to such a catastrophe as we see today.


The chains of slavery are being welded tighter upon than ever.The ruling classes are ever overreaching themselves in the hurry to enslave us.


Economic conditions are forcing the workers to think- the scales are lifting from their eyes.


Men are wanted who will give he lead.


Comrades I appeal to you to rouse your union to protect the liberties of its members.


An Industrial Truce was entered into by our leaders behind our backs which has opened the way to an encroachment upon our rights and liberties.


Away with the Industrial Truce !


We must not stand by and allow workers to be exploited and our liberties taken away".


AJ Cook has been described as a lightening rod for the Lewis Merthyr Colliery men and this speech in 1916 was indicating that he was going to be part of something bigger in future an anti War movement.


When the Government planned to lift War exemption for Miners and conscript 20,000 of them into the forces AJ Cook turned up his anti War speeches and actions. Notices appeared at Pit Heads telling Miners not to report for medical examinations for military service.

Soon after the Chief Constable of Glamorgan Captain Lionel Lindsey had Arthur Cook in his sights and requested the prosecution of AJ Cook under Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), but his requests were turned down.

AJ Cook was becoming more bold everyday and in 1917and declared :

" I am no pacificist when war is necessary to free my class from the curse and enslavement of capitalism.

What then is my opposition to the "comb out".


As a worker I have the interests of my class than any nation.


The interests of my class has not benefited by the war, hence my opposition.


Comrades let us take heart, there are thousands of Miners in Wales who are prepared to fight for their class.


War against War must be workers cry"



On April 17th 1917 a mass meeting of Lewis Merthyr chaired by AJ Cook called on the SouthWales Miners Federation Conference:


"To get a resolution passed in favour of peace by negotiations"

In June 1917 AJ Cook and other Rhondda militants attended the Leeds Convention summoned to welcome the Foreign Policy of the Russian Provsional Government.


AJ Cook spoke in Ynyshir and Porth and declared :

"Since the day of declaration of war I have unflinchingly opposed the same. To hell with everbody bar my class. To me the hand of the German and Austrian is the same as the hand of my fellow workman at home. I am an internationalist. Russia has taken the step, and it is due to Britain to second the same and secure peace and leave the war and its cost to the capitalist who made it for the profiteer."


Certainly his silent opposition in 1914/15 had now become very vocal in 1917 and his explicit Marxist views were reaching the authorities again.


Deputy Chief Constable of Glamorgan John Williams reported that the economics classes that AJ Cook was giving were "an insdious campaign against law and order"

Captain Lindsey of Glamorgan Police said of AJ Cook.

"Anyone with the slightest knowledge of human nature must be aware that to punish a conceited upstart of this type always gives universal satisfaction"

At a meeting at Ynyshir on the 20th January 1918 AJ Cook declared :

" Are we going to allow this war to go on ? The Government wants a 100,000 men, they demand 50,000 immediately and the Clyde workers would not allow the Government to take them. Let us stand by them and show that Wales can do the same.

I have two brothers in the army who were forced to join but I say No ! I will be shot before I fight. Are you going to allow us to be taken to the war, If so I say there will not be a ton of coal for the Navy."


In March 1918 the Home Office agreed with Captain Lindsey's request for AJ Cook to be charged under DORA along with his said accomplice George Dolling.


AJ Cook was sentenced at a crowded Pontypridd Police Court to three months in prison and George Dolling was acquitted.There were a few sporadic strikes in protest at AJ Cook's imprsonment but AJ Cook only spend two months in prison before being released and was back in the Rhondda by July 1918.
                                                                AJ Cook
                                                          

This later period also saw the formation of the South Wales Socialist Society really a revival of the old Rhondda Socialist  Society with AJ Cooks help.

The South Wales Socialist Society was open to all who accepted the class war theory and the society was composed of groups or trades that would consider their own problems and recieve the co-operation of the whole in bringing about reforms in their own industries.

The South Wales Socialist Society was strongly anti Parliamentarian and Syndicalist in outlook.This outlook was to dominate AJ Cook's thinking even in short lived further incarnations of his ideas like the Communist Party of Wales and the West of England.


Summation

We do not tire of repeating the immense hostility to anyone who questioned the First World War in Wales in 1914 and while we can be proud of Niclas Y Glais and W.F Hay we should not dismiss AJ Cook who bided his time until he could have some effect - which he certainly did from 1916 -1917 onwards.

The South Wales Coalfield like the whole of Wales and the British Isles succumbed to the worst excesses of Jingoism and Union Jackism. AJ Cook unlike Niclas y Glais did not have deep Welsh roots to fall back on has he came from West of England and the saw class struggle through British eyes and not the Welsh eyes of Niclas y Glais.

Essentially AJ Cook could not oppose British Imperialism or deconstruct and destroy it like James Connolly did in Ireland and John Maclean did in Scotland because he thought in terms of a BritishLabour Movement and absorbed the ideology of the centralising British Imperial State even though he was a syndicalist, even Niclas y Glais the best revolutionary Communist Wales produced joined theCommunist Party of Great Britain, and the historic revolutionary moment following the Russian Revolution was stabilised by the British State precisely because the ideology that could have combined national and social liberation in these islands was not developed at the critical hour.

In fact the British State shot Connolly to death in 1916 and caused early the death of John Maclean in 1923 by forcing rubber tubes down his throat, the very men that combined national with social liberation were treated with the utmost brutality.

It made sure that revolutionary ideology of national and social liberation in the British Isles never got a grip in peoples consciousness has that would be end game for the British Imperial State.

The Left in Britain basically pursued Reform of the British State after 1920 and were scared to death of smashing the British State which would have been a consquence of revolutionary movements in Scotland and Wales and Kernow for national and social liberation in the 1920's.

The deconstruction of the notion of Britishness a practical 18th Century social construct that merged with the idea of British with the idea of Empire has origins with London Welsh trying to sell the idea of Brythonaeg from Tudor and Stuart times to the English as ideological preparation for Empire.*

Learning the lessons of revolutionary failure can be instructive if we have the will to revisit our past mistakes and draw lessons for the future - the movement that arose in opposition to the First War World throughout the British Isles is instructive in that respect and nowhere more so than Wales.


*Unpublished paper of David Lawrence

Wales and Naval Muntiny on Patrol ship Kilbride at Milford Haven part of the working class led Naval Mutinies to end First World War.

The slaughter of World War One would only be ended some four years later by the wave of military mutinies and revolution that swept across Europe

Celebrating the Workers Ending the First World War not the Capitalists who caused it


Democracy and Class Struggle on November 11th honours the miltant working class struggle of those who brought the First World War to an end.

 We salute our working class brothers in Kiel and Wilhemshaven in Germany who raised the  Red Flag , we are proud that the  Red Flag was hoisted on the patrol ship Kilbride at Milford Haven in our country Wales and for French comrades of the Black Sea Fleet raising the red flag of solidarity with our Russian brothers and sisters.

A magnificent demonstration of what Chairman Mao Zedong reminds us that people and the people alone are the motive force of history.

Despite November 11th being the last day of the war, on many parts of the Western Front fighting continued as normal. This meant, of course, that casualties occurred even as the people of Paris, London and New York were celebrating the end of the fighting.



The slaughter of World War One would only be ended some four years later by the wave of military mutinies and revolution that swept across Europe. 


By 1918 even the establishment in London feared revolution, as Adam Hochschild revealed 


"At times the writers of these confidential Weekly Intelligence Summaries sounded as if they, like the Bolsheviks, expected revolution to sweep across Europe. 


“There is scarcely a community or group of people in England now,” reported a gloomy officer of the London District Command in early 1918,


 “among whom the principles of Socialism and extreme democratic control are not beginning to be listened to with ever increasing eagerness. . . . There is no gathering of working people in the country which is not disposed to regard Capitalism as a proven failure. 

Of preparations being taken against a possible revolution in Britian Hochschild adds "Four Royal Navy battleships, for example, were stationed in the Thames estuary, for no visible military purpose. 


Still more revealing, at the beginning of 1918 there were roughly 1.5 million soldiers in Britain itself. 


After taking into account troops in Ireland, in training, recovering from wounds, underage for overseas service, or serving in antiaircraft units, Millman calculates that this still left 175,000 fully trained extra troops on army bases at home. 


Contingency deployment plans showed them being sent, if need be, to districts adjacent to, but not actually within, areas of trade union militancy, such as Scotland’s River Clyde. 


Millman suggests that this would have put soldiers close enough to be rushed in for strikebreaking duties, but not so close that, when off duty, they could mingle at local pubs or soccer fields with the very people whose strikes they were breaking, who might remind them of the old socialist saying that a bayonet was a weapon with a worker at each end. 


In July 1918, a month of many strikes, the boundaries of British military command districts were redrawn to coincide with those of national police districts. 


The authorities secretly drew up lists of people who, when the order was given, were to be imprisoned."



To End All Wars: A Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War




13 years of Mutiny in British Navy to Invergordon in 1931 

Mutiny in the German Navy at Kiel and Wilhemshaven 

Shot at Dawn : The 15 Welshmen executed during the First World War by their own side by Rachel Misstear

Celebrating Welsh Resistance to Carnage of First World War

                                                                           William Jones is on Left of Picture

Yr  Aflonyddwch  Mawr says its is time to  have a monument in Wales to those who heroically resisted the First World War on the Western Front as well as at Home.


We are aware of mutinies in three Welsh Regiments on the Western Front which have been edited out of regimental histories.



The executed and dead will have their say and will not remain excluded from history for  ever.



Private William Jones was probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) induced by the horrors of the Great War.
But after deserting the young solider turned himself in – and later found himself blindfolded and put before a firing squad.
The young solider from the Vale of Neath was one of 306 young British soldiers – 15 of them serving in Welsh ranks – who received the ultimate punishment for military offences such as desertion, cowardice, falling asleep or striking an officer.

They were all shot at dawn.
In 2006 a blanket pardon was issued for the men who died this way following a petition in the years after the First World War.
Now a new book by Neath author Robert King, who campaigned and supported the petition, portrays the brutality faced by the 15 Welshmen who all faced this terrifying end.
Shot at Dawn looks at how during the First World War the concept of ‘shell shock’ – now known as PTSD – was not known and was not accepted as an excuse for desertion or any of the other offences which resulted in men being shot..
Pte Jones’ name has since been inscribed on Glynneath war memorial nearly 90 years after he was executed.

Suspected to have been too young to join the army, Mr King thinks Pte Jones was one of the many hundreds of volunteers who lied about their age and signed up by a desperate army.
“Private William Jones, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was a Kitchener volunteer who hailed from Glynneath,” said Mr King.
“Jones was a stretcher bearer in France who went missing on June 15, 1917, after taking a wounded soldier to the dressing station.
“The job of a stretcher bearer entailed going out into no-man’s-land collecting wounded and dead soldiers and their body parts and returning them to the dressing station.
“It was a horrendous duty for such a young man and it could have unhinged him, causing him to desert.”
During the early days of September 1917, having been away from his battalion for about three months, he handed himself in to Neath Police Station – possibly encouraged by his family – and the officers there promptly sent him to the assistant provost marshal in Bristol.
“If he had not made the decision to surrender it is probable that he would have been undetected for the duration of the war,” said Mr King.
Pte Jones was executed a month later. In a foreword to the book Neath MP Peter Hain said the men who died had been victims of war rather than failures at war.
Mr Hain supported a proposal in the House of Commons to grant a blanket pardon to the men.
“The terrible injustice suffered by 306 British men executed under the Army Act has been like a deep festering sore,” he said.
“Their ‘offence’ was quite likely to be suffering from shell shock – now called post-traumatic stress syndrome. Through no fault of their own they downed arms and could not serve, so breaching the regulations stipulated by the Army Act.”
In the years following the First World War the executed soldiers’ cause was raised with great passion in the House with Labour MP Ernest Thurtle being one of the first to do so in the early 1920s.
He argued that the executed soldiers should be laid to rest in graves alongside those men who fell in action after responding to a petition submitted by a soldier who felt that they should be honoured in the same way.
Mr King, a local history author from Neath, has been campaigning since the 1970s to have the soldiers pardoned and placed on memorials to those who died in the First World War.
“My attention focused on those Welshmen who had been regulars, volunteers or conscripts and then faced a firing squad for committing one of the variety of offences either through, in some cases, alcoholic inebriation or shell shock (now called post-traumatic stress syndrome).”
Mr King said soldiers who made up the firing line were also mentally scarred by the dawn shootings.
“It must have been horrendous to be instructed to carry out this duty – in some cases the members of the firing party would have known the condemned. To be involved in a firing party would often leave a mark on a man who had knowingly shot someone who had been fighting on the Allied side.”
Four of the 15 Welshmen executed by the British Army had been convicted of murder and were not subject to the blanket pardon that was granted for other offences.
However the court martials they faced were nothing like a civilian murder trial and did not take into account any of the mitigating circumstances surrounding the killings.
Corporal George Povey, from Flintshire, became the first Welshman to be executed and the first soldier to face the firing squad for the offence of leaving his post. He was just 23.
He was executed at Saint-Jans-Cappel in France on February 11, 1915. His immediate grave was lost during the confusion of the war and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate.
Private Major Penn and Private Albert Troughton, both regular soldiers and single men serving in the 1/Royal Welsh Fusiliers, became the fifth double-execution of the war.
Both had been involved in the fighting around Ypres when the battalion of 300 or so soldiers came under an intense attack from the Germans who, it seemed, had almost penetrated the Allied line. The commanding officer, according to Troughton, told him his brother had been killed along with hundreds of others in the attack.
Troughton said his commanding officers shouted ‘Everyone for himself’ so Troughton and, one assumes, Penn wandered off.
Troughton, along with Penn, was found guilty of deserting his post and executed on April 22, 1915.
Private James Grist Carr was a regular serving in the 2/Welsh 1 Division and was executed for desertion on February 7, 1916.
The circumstances surrounding his alleged desertion are vague. Reasons that led to his desertion are sketchy or nonexistent.
Private Anthony Victor O’Neill (some documents spell his surname as Neil) was a Kitchener volunteer serving with the 1/South Wales Borderers.
The reasons that led to his desertion are, again, sketchy or nonexistent. He was executed on April 30, 1915.
Private John Thomas, a reservist with the 2/Battalion Welsh Regiment 1 Division, was executed for desertion.
The 44-year-old from the Pembrokeshire village of Lamphey was married with three children.
In his defence he argued that, being much older than the majority of soldiers in the ranks, he found it difficult to keep up with them and had expected to be given a job behind the front line.
The argument was not received sympathetically – nor was his marital status nor that he was the father of three children.

He was executed on May 20, 1916.
Private George Watkins was a reservist with 13/Welsh Regiment who was twice wounded and then returned to the action following a period of convalescence.
He deserted his battalion, which was resting behind the lines, during December of 1916. The 32-year-old was shot on May 15, 1917.
Private William Jones, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was executed on October 25, 1917, for desertion.
Private Thomas Henry Basil Rigby – known as Harry – served with the 10th Battalion South Wales Borderers.
He was a brigade runner on the front line when he absconded from the recently-captured enemy trenches on the Ypres Salient in August 1917.
He was a recidivist already serving a three-year suspended sentence for desertion. The 21-year-old was executed at Armentières on November 22, 1917.
Private William Scholes, 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers, was a conscript born in 1893.
He became the last man serving in a Welsh regiment to be executed for desertion or any other offence during the war.

He was executed on August 8, 1918, for desertion.
Sub-Lieutenant Edwin Leopold Arthur Dyett of Albany Road, Cardiff, 21, was shot dead on January 5, 1917 for desertion.
Another four soldiers were executed for murder.
Private Richard Morgan and Lance Corporal William Price were both serving with the 2/Welsh Regiment and were both from Rhondda. They were aged 32 and 41 respectively.
The two soldiers got drunk on the evening of January 20, 1915, and shot Company Sergeant Major Hugh Hayes.
Reports say Hayes had been victimising the pair. Both were executed on February 15, 1915.
Private Charles William Knight 28, was a Kitchener volunteer from London, serving with the 10th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
He killed Private Alfred Edwards when he shot at his platoon while drunk. He was executed on November 15, 1915.
Private James Skone was a Kitchener volunteer from Pembroke attached to the 2/Welsh Regiment. He was placed on arrest for absence from duty got drunk and shot a man.
He was found guilty of murder and shot on May 10, 1918.

Wales and First World War Part 2 by Nickglais - The Heart and soul of the Anti War Opposition

Wales and First World War by Nickglais Part 2 : The Heart and Soul of the Anti War Opposition Niclas y Glais


                                                             Niclas y Glais


 "Not one public figure … including ministers was a pacifist. I travelled a lot through Wales talking about peace and correcting some of the deceitful remarks that were being made about the cause of war."

Niclas y Glais


In January 1914, Niclas y Glais ( Niclas of Glais) left Glais near Swansea  - a village whose name he would carry for the rest of his life  - for the Cardiganshire village of Llangybi, to be pastor of two Welsh Independent churches, Ebeneser, Llangybi and Llanddewi Brefi.

By August 1914 the quiet was shattered even in  peaceful Llangybi by the outbreak of the First World War.

At once Niclas y Glais turned his efforts to condemning the War.


In Part 1 of this study we showed how War emotions and anti German feelings were running at fevour pitch in Wales as well as the rest of Britain and no public figures or Church leaders in Wales opposed the War with  Germany, so it took strong moral and personal courage to take the stand against the war that Niclas y Glais did in 1914.

In November 1914 Orders in Council from the Government forbid publishing anything against the War.

‘forbid publishing anything that is likely to retard recruiting or reflect in any way on the actions of the Government with regard to the war. The penalty is suppression of publication and
confiscation.
’ 


However this did not stop Niclas y Glais writing a series of articles on ‘The Unjust War’ in The Merthyr Pioneer.

In 1915 his  close friend Keir Hardie died,  it is said his heart broken by working class acceptance of all the anti German  hysteria and the emotional Jingoism of the time. Kier Hardie was booed at public meetings beacuse of his anti War stance.

Niclas y Glais  preached the sermon in the memorial service for Kier Hardie at Siloa Chapel in Aberdare in 1915 , with police in the congregation taking notes. 


Niclas y Glais was then summoned for sedition under the notorious Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) for his sermon.

In the end the  Home Office refused to proceed with the prosecution has it was a service to commemorate a prominent pacifist and socialist.


                                                       


Again in  1918 the authorities used DORA to bring him before the Lampeter magistrates for a
sermon he had preached in his own church but he succeeded in getting the case dismissed by
showing that the comments which caused offence were in fact a quotation from Philip
 Gibbs.

At the beginning of January 1918 Nicholas as a minister of religion received a circular from the National War Aims Committee requesting him to engage his congregation on a certain appointed Sunday in a 'Day of Prayer' to the 'Lord of Hosts' for his blessing on the war effort. He refused.
"I cannot subscribe to a single item set forth in your letter; and I think it is only right that you should know that. When I think of Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles and Ireland, I cannot admit that God has been with us. When I think of the treatment meted out to the Conscientious Objectors, and to the Peace Workers, I cannot ask the Father of all men to bless the methods of the country. I believe that Germany did as much as any country to avoid the war in 1914; and I know that Germany has done more than any country to bring the war to an end. I feel it my duty to let you know that the desire for peace is very strong; and the churches have seen their mistake in committing themselves to the War Aims of the War Cabinet without knowing what those aims were"
On Sunday, 29 September 1918, Niclas y Glais and W. C. Anderson M.P. were to address a
meeting of ILP at  Mountain Ash but the meeting had to be abandoned because of the trouble
caused by discharged soldiers, whose abuse included such sentiments as ‘You would let the
Germans come here’ and ‘Get these conscientious objectors off the stage or else we will come
down and do it.’

A certain Captain Lindsay who saw it has his mission in life to "get"  Niclas y Glais in October 1918 sent a dossier on the Special Branch containing transcripts of some of Niclas’s recent speeches in Glamorgan, claiming that he found sedition in the speaker’s abuse of Prime Minister Lloyd George, his description of King George V as  ‘an individual who has not sufficient talent to be Chairman of a Parish Council’ 'and his attacks on the whole capitalist system.

However, this was overtaken by the event of the Armistice of 11 November 1918


Niclas y Glais  received an invitation from the ILP to stand as a candidate in the Aberdare constituency in the 1918 election. His opponent was a local man who had won the seat in succession to Keir Hardie.

Stanton stood for the group called the National Democratic Party (NDPNiclas y Glais  was reportedly mistreated. He won 6,229 votes to Stanton's 22,824, a majority of 16,595.

During this period Niclas also had been active in organising the Cardiganshire lead miners and the 
establishment of  an Agricultural labourers Union in North Pembrokeshire and Cardigan in 1918.

He resigned from the religious ministry in 1918 and established himself as a dentist in Pontardawe and by 1920 was one of those present that founded the Communist Party in Wales. 

Niclas y Glais was a spokeman for the Gwerin the Folk or Common People of Wales and not for the Crachach to which everything Welsh is just an opportunity for personal ambition - Lloyd George epitomises this opportunist current in Welsh Life national life which on the back of Welsh issues climb into politics but when London calls shed Wales for the Empire or the British in line with the Cymmrodorion in the 18th century.

It is time we realised that in Wales the real enemies are not the English but the Crachach who Speak Wales or Welsh, but Practice England and English .

Just like the First World War gave us in the Labour Party of Socialists in words but Imperialists in deeds - Social Imperialism.

Niclas y Glais connected to the Gwerin and built his politics on a solid base and hated the pro Imperialist Crachach and the Social Imperialists  - we would do well to emulate him today.