Abergele District Action Group’s Springfest, Pentre Mawr Park

Alison Pring has been in touch with news that the newly formed Abergele District Action Group is organising a Springfest at Pentre Mawr Park Abergele on Saturday27th and Sunday28th of February from 10am to 5pm.

Pentre Mawr Park. Photo by Sion Jones.

There will be attractions and Entertainment for all the family.
*Kiddies FunFair. *Bushcraft, *Dog show, *Craft Stalls, *Forest School Games. *Chainsaw carvers, *Birds of prey, *Snakes and reptiles,*Medieval Knight School, *Tea tent-cake stall…and much more.

Extra entertainment on Sunday 28th will be Glan Clwyd Hospital Radio, also a cake baking competition. Entrants are required to hand make a Classic Victoria Sandwich Cake no larger than 8” in diameter. £1 entry fee, cakes must be entered by 12.30pm on Sunday. More information available on the cake stall at the event.

Friday 26th February from 10am the Eco-groups from the local Primary Schools will be planting Autumn coloured trees in the park. There will be a chance for Mums and Dads to plant on Saturday! We would like to thank Conwy Borough County Council for their assistance and to Jan Williams, Tesco Community Champion for the refreshment on the day.

Abergele District Action Group is a group of volunteers (fully constituted) to arrange events/help in the Community of Abergele. Our aim is to bring cohesion to our communites of Abergele, Pensarn, Belgrano and St George. Our next event will be The Pensarn Prom Day on Sunday August 21st. Contact : Secretary Judith Hudson 01745822153.

The building of Abergele Woolworths

The building of Abergele Woolworths is shown in this photo from the Dennis Parr Collection. This moment marks the end of an era in Abergele. There used to be a grocer’s shop called Canol Dre (middle of town) which was the last to cut and sell butter. This photo shows the coming of a new store to town: F. W. Woolworth…

Photo from the Dennis Parr Collection of grocer's shop called Canol Dre in Abergele.

Harp Court, Abergele

Harp Court, Abergele. These flats were built here by Eldon R. Gorst, Abergele. Gorst bought the site from Richard Pearce, Auctioneers. Previously, the site had been used as a pig market.

Harp Court, Abergele. Adeiladwyd y fflatiau yma gan Eldon R. Gorst, Abergele. Prynnwyd Gorst Y safle oddi wrth cwmni arwerthwyr Richard Pearce, Abergele. Ynghynt ‘roeed y safle yma yn cael ei defnyddio yn farchnad moch.

Harp Court, Abergele
Abergele’s Harp Court photographed in 2012 by Sion Jones

1916-2016: Abergele & District Commemorations: Hugh Thomas Davies

Private 16023, Hugh Thomas Davies, 10th Battalion, 76th Brigade, 3rd Division. Died of Wounds, 26 February 1916, aged 21. Buried Plot IV. D. 13A. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Commemorated on the Abergele War Memorial and Abergele Town Memorial. The inscription on his headstone reads: Death Divides but a Loving Memory Ever Clings, Mother & Father.

Son of John and Matilda Davies, of 15, Mount Pleasant, Abergele. Born Abergele, April 1894, enlisted Colwyn Bay. Arrived in France 27 September 1915. The family was living at Nelson Terrace in 1911, at Mill House c.1917, and at 15, Mount Pleasant, towards the end of the war and immediately afterwards. In 1911 the family had consisted of 7 children, and the oldest three boys all served. Based on the 1911 Census their details were: Hugh Thomas, aged 16 and a Fishmonger’s Errand Boy, Robert Edward aged 14 and a Telegraph Messenger, and John Christopher, aged 12 and at school. A younger brother, David William, aged 10 in 1911, probably narrowly escaped conscription towards the end of the war.

Hugh was badly wounded in the same artillery barrage on 17 February 1916 that fatally wounded John Robert Davies (click here for further details of what was happening at the time). Both Hugh and John lie buried in the same grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Poperinge, about 7 miles west of Ypres

1916-2016: Abergele & District Commemorations: John Robert Davies

Private 15470, John Robert Davies, 10th Battalion, 76th Brigade, 3rd Division. Died of Wounds, 20 February 1916, aged 23. Buried Plot IV. D. 13A. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Not commemorated in the Abergele district, but commemorated on the Llanfairfechan War Memorial. The inscription on his headstone reads: Y peth yr wif fi yn ei wneuthur ni wyddost ti yr awrhon, Ioan XIII.7 (You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand).

Born in Llanddulas, the son of John and Ann Davies who both died whilst he was young. In 1901 he was living with his grandparents at 17, New Street Abergele. By 1911 he had become the adopted son of his Aunt, Sarah Jones, of Washington House, Llanfairfechan.

As an original volunteer member of the 10th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, John had arrived in France, at Boulogne, 27 September 1915. Until December 1915 the battalion’s experience had been one of routine periods in the front line trenches, south of Ypres, and periods of rest in rear area billets. It was during the battalion’s third stretch in the trenches that Richard Maurice Evans, the battalions first Abergele casualty, had been killed.

The battalion returned to the trenches 17 December 1915 until Christmas Eve and, as before, daily casualties from occasional shelling and the ever-present German snipers were incurred. That stint cost 4 men killed, 14 wounded and a further 4 who died of wounds. The steady erosion of the battalion through the attrition of trench warfare led to the battalion receiving it’s first batch of reinforcements from the 3rd (Reserve) RWF battalion at this time.

On New Year’s Eve, 10th RWF returned to the trenches. Over the next few weeks the usual rotation between being in and out of the trenches continued, and the usual casualties were incurred. January saw 4 men killed, 18 wounded, a further 3 who died of their wounds and 1 sent home as physically unable to continue.

The start of February saw the battalion less frequently in the line as a period of movement and relocation followed. However, by 15 February they were in Poperinge, Belgium, and the following day returned to the trenches. Sadly, a new Adjutant’s hand had taken to the writing of the battalion war diary. Whereas before it had been very detailed, the entries now become rather vague. All that is noted for 17 February, the day that John was fatally wounded, is that the battalion experienced it’s first major trauma above and beyond the routine casualties of trench warfare, and yet the diary merely names the deaths of two officers, the wounding of 3 others and then blandly states “other ranks – 18 killed and 35 wounded” . The following day is little different: “casualties – other ranks 6 killed and 6 wounded” . The following day, 19 February 1915, the battalion were relieved from the trenches.

What exactly had happened? Following a period of rest the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers re-entered the front line trenches north-east of St. Eloi, Belgium, on 16 February 1916. The trenches they inherited were old and in poor condition. At 5.30 a.m. on the 17th a furious German artillery bombardment began falling on the battalion’s part of the front line. Over the next half an hour there was little that the men could do other than ride the storm and hope for the best. Casualties were heavy. Eighteen men were killed and 35 wounded. Amongst the wounded were two local men, John Robert Davies, who died three days later 20 February 1916, and Hugh Thomas Davies. The two Abergele and district men are buried in the same grave.