The impact of the Second World War on the people of Wales and England up to 1951

Resource for WJEC History A Level Unit 1, Option 4
POLITICS, PEOPLE AND PROGRESS: WALES AND ENGLAND c.1880-1980

Debate the impact that the Second World War had on the people of Wales and England up to 1951

All wars have significant social and economic impacts but this is especially so in the case of the First and Second World Wars. Their impact was very different to previous European conflicts that Britain had been involved in because of their scale, the involvement of the civilian population, and the extended powers and actions of the state. Because the state operated at a British level, many of the war’s impacts did not differ between England and Wales. However, the war did heightened Welsh national consciousness, despite the power of popular and political Britishness. Yet this was actually an existing long-term process and many of the impacts of the war were a quickening of trends already taking place.

Conscription and the Armed Forces

Conscription was introduced for all British men between the ages of 18 and 41 from the outbreak of war. Some men were exempt because they were in ‘reserved occupations’ which were important for the war effort. This was particularly common in the south Wales valleys where the coal industry dominated employment. The scale of mobilisation meant it might be months before some men were actually called up. This added to the sense of the early months of the conflict as a ‘phoney war’, where little was happening.

By the end of the war, some 5 million British men and women were in uniform. Of these, perhaps 300,000 were Welsh, although there was never any attempt to come up with an official number. This in itself was a sign of how the war effort was perceived as a British one.

Only a minority of men in the armed forces actually saw combat. For those who did and survived, the experience could be frightening but it also often created a deep camaraderie and it was sometimes even seen as exhilarating. That camaraderie deepened the sense of loss felt when comrades were killed. Over the course of the war, almost 300,000 British members of the armed forces and merchant navy lost their lives. Estimates of the number of Welshmen killed are around 15,000.

Whatever their experience, service in the armed forces usually left a profound mark on men and women that stayed with them for the rest of their lives. For some it was a proud time when they had contributed to something that changed the world for better. Others, however, were frustrated at the routine, the discipline and the disruption it brought to their lives and plans.

The Home Front

The war affected every aspect of daily life, and not always in negative ways. Wages increased and unemployment virtually disappeared.  But that was small compensation for the hardships and sacrifices everyone endured. Working hours grew longer, entertainments were curtailed, the blackout cast a gloom over the evenings and there were shortages of everything from food and clothes to beer and paper. People’s weariness with these hardships was as much a threat to popular morale as the very real physical dangers of war. 67,635 civilians were killed in air raids on Britain, 984 of whom were in Wales.

One hardship that touched everyone was rationing, although it was stoically accepted by most, no matter how much they grumbled. Wartime diets were limited in quantity and rather plain and tedious. Nonetheless, rationing and price controls meant much of the working class actually saw their diets improve after the interwar years of unemployment and poverty.  The fact that rationing affected everyone also created a sense of shared sacrifice that cut across class lines. However eating at restaurants was not rationed at first, and thus those with money had access to more food, an example of how there was a more complex reality beneath the veneer of national unity.

The combination of everyday austerity, the worry over friends and family serving abroad, and, early in the war, the fear of invasion, meant that small pleasures like a pint, a dance, a film or a kiss became all the more important to people. The cinema, in particular, saw its position as the central pastime of the people enhanced. It also developed a new role as a medium of propaganda. A steady stream of films of varying quality tried to convince viewers of the righteousness of the British cause and the importance of everyone all pulling together in its pursuit. Audiences were not always impressed and there was a general skepticism about anything too overtly propaganda-like. Such things were felt unBritish and more appropriate for the fascist countries being fought.

Women

Propaganda encouraged women to join the war effort in factories, farms and the forces and they were conscripted to do so from 1942. Equally important was their role as mothers, housewives and volunteers, helping with everything from dealing with air raids and evacuees to cooking and cleaning for the troops. Indeed, during the war, there were more women in Britain who were housewives than there were in full-time paid employment.

The biggest demand for female labour came from the new munitions factories. In Wales the largest such factories were in Hirwaun, Glascoed and Bridgend which employed over 60,000 people between them, the majority of whom were women. There was patriotism in the factories and women were sustained by the knowledge they were doing something that contributed to victory. Factory work also paid well and many of the early volunteers were motivated by the desire to earn money. This was especially true for women from the south Wales valleys who had shouldered the burden of running a home during the inter-war years of mass unemployment.

Despite the extra money, the experience of working was not all positive. Leaving home could be traumatic, especially for Welsh-speakers sent to English factories. Munitions work could turn women’s hair and skin yellow. Factory hours were long, the commuting tedious, and the work itself monotonous. Many still had domestic commitments and finding time for shopping became a particular cause of complaint. The ‘land girls’, women sent to work on farms, also often endured a difficult war. Long hours, poor food, hard physical work and the isolation of rural farms were all common complaints.

Men were also not always happy with their women working. Some husbands could no longer expect dinner on the table when they got home.  There was indignity among some miners when they discovered that they were earning less than their wives or daughters. There were also accusations that the children of factory workers were being fed from tins and not disciplined properly.

Coping with the problems of war work was made much easier by the camaraderie that existed in all spheres of employment. Female workers also had money to spend in a climate where the social rules on what women could do were changing. The cinema, the dance hall and even the pub were all important places where women could relax. To cope with the hardships and tragedies of war, many women adopted a philosophy of living for today, spending freely and worrying less about what others thought and what the future held. One result was, at least according to some disapproving voices, a slackening of sexual morals. What was certainly happening was that gender was no longer quite as constraining as it once had been, although the fact that not all approved showed the limits of this shift. Moreover, the post-war aspirations of most women remained overwhelmingly traditional: a nice home, a good husband and healthy children.

National identities

Many of the experiences of everyday life during the war crossed regional, cultural and class barriers in Britain and created a strong shared sense of purpose and experience. Rationing, bombing, conscription, the loss of a son or husband – all these trials and tribulations fell on rich and poor, Welsh and English alike. Money and social position still mattered in civilian life and the armed forces, but the sense of solidarity and mutual-interest across Britain was strong, even if it was not always matched by reality.

Central to the idea of the united British nation was the BBC. Its news service, prime ministerial broadcasts and comedies all attracted huge audiences and were key parts of the shared British wartime experience. However, there were still many, especially in rural Wales, without radios. There were also over 40,000 Welsh people who could not speak English. The BBC did broadcast some twenty minutes a day in Welsh. This helped ease some of the annoyance caused by the BBC broadcasters who sometimes spoke of England’s rather than Britain’s war.

Such rhetoric again illustrates how the idea of British solidarity was often stronger than the reality. It also shows how Welsh identity remained important within a wider Britishness.  Those conscripted into the forces or English factories were often nicknamed ‘Taffy’, heightening their sense of difference to the English. But it also probably showed people that the actual cultural differences between the Welsh and English were relatively minor. In this sense, the armed forces both strengthened and undermined popular Britishness. Something similar happened with class. Increased contact between peoples of different backgrounds simultaneously broke down social barriers and heightened an awareness of them.

Not all the Welsh people saw British and Welsh identities as compatible. There was a small but vocal group of Welsh nationalists who thought the British war effort was destroying Welsh nationhood. They complained about evacuees introducing English manners and the English language into rural Wales. They bemoaned the conscription of Welsh girls into English factories and were horrified at the forced eviction of a Welsh-speaking community in Breconshire after the War Office requisitioned the land. But these were the views of a small minority. During and after the war, Nazism was widely seen as evidence that all nationalism was dangerous.

Looking to the future

The war created a strong desire to build a better world, where everyone had access to a job, healthcare and education, a future where the war’s solidarity and spirit of cooperation continued. The practical consequence of this was a landslide victory for Labour in the 1945 general election. The party promised to deliver a fairer society based on the principles of the 1942 Beveridge report which stressed the role of the state in supporting citizens from cradle to grave. The fact that the report had been commissioned at all was a sign of the wartime coalition government’s awareness of the need and popular desire for change and, although Churchill’s interest in welfare was rather minimal, the Conservatives would also have implemented a programme of social reform had they won.

However the Conservatives had dominated government during the economic problems of the 1930s and they were also blamed by some for the appeasement policies that had allowed Hitler’s expansionism. Their election campaign was lacklustre and concentrated on the leadership of Churchill and the apparent dangers of socialism. In contrast, Labour were forward looking and optimistic, concentrating on how a fairer society could emerge from the sacrifices of war.  This message was extremely popular with the working classes and those who had served in the armed forces but it also won support from some middle-class individuals across Britain who had previously lent towards the Conservatives but now felt a new social obligation and a need for things to change. Their votes were key to the scale of Labour’s victory.

It is important not to exaggerate the extent to which the war had moved the British people to the left. The Conservatives still won 36 percent of the British vote. Many of these voters were middle class and they, like parts of the British press, greeted Labour’s victory with suspicion and nervousness. The war may have boosted the British reputation of the USSR but there remained a fear that socialism would deny people their freedoms and property.

In contrast, much of the working class was already committed to Labour before the war. This was especially true in heavy industrial areas such as the south Wales coalfield where Labour’s representatives had earned reputations for standing up for their communities against the blights of unemployment and government indifference.  In such areas, the 1945 election was merely a continuation of long-standing commitments to Labour rather than any kind of political or social earthquake brought about by the war.

Other parts of Wales were also testimony to the limits of any shift to the left brought about by the war. The Conservatives won a quarter of the Welsh vote in 1945. The tradition of voting Liberal remained strong in Welsh-speaking rural areas demonstrating that the war had not eradicated the conservative chapel culture that the party was rooted in.

Whether or not the war had created a new widespread desire for social and economic change, the new government did try to deliver that. It implemented a generous new welfare state, with universal free healthcare at its heart, that would gradually raise living standards and take away the fear of sickness and unemployment. It also nationalised key industries, sought to revitalise the economies of traditional industrial areas, and put full employment at the centre of its goals. This all became political orthodoxy until the 1970s and was made possible by the new political circumstances delivered by war.

Back home

For six long years had people coped with the daily hardships of war, as well as the constant fear for the safety of their loved ones who were serving abroad. When it all ended and the soldiers, sailors and airmen returned home, often looking tanned and well fed, there was even some resentment that those in the forces did not understand how hard life on the Home Front had been. Many, though not all, women left the workforce, not always of their freewill, as the economy adapted to peacetime and military production came to an end.  In some cases, men struggled to accept the new freedoms and confidence that their wives had gained while they had been away. It was little wonder then that some families did not survive and divorce rates would have been higher still had there not been some stigma around it, especially in Wales where the chapel morality remained powerful.

To make things worse, rationing got stricter before it got better, there was a devastatingly bitter winter in 1947 and the nationalisation of the coal industry did not prevent the closure of small mines or bring any immediate improvement in miners’ day-to-day conditions. Added to this was the fear of another war, this time fought with atomic bombs against the USSR. Thus the optimism that had greeted Labour’s victory in 1945 was quickly tempered by cynicism and a fear that the promises had been too good to be true.

Legacies

The impact of the war on people across England and Wales was significant but varied. There were huge personal costs but also new freedoms and a sense of purpose.  For all the talk of a people’s war where everyone pulled together, there was no gender or class revolution. Nor was Wales’ position in the UK altered in any significant way, despite a growing awareness of the ways Wales was both different and similar to England. The structures of society remained in place and the social reforms of the new Labour government did not change that or even attempt to, despite the new security they offered to the working class. The UK remained deeply unequal, with privilege ingrained in its political and social character.

Yet the lack of any kind of social revolution does not mean the war did not change things. Families saw their makeup and dynamics shift. Personalities and outlooks were altered. Even those who sought to return to pre-war normalities could not simply forget what had happened. This was all a very individualised phenomenon and generalizations about the precise personal impacts of war are impossible.

It was not always apparent to people at the time, but the war’s biggest legacy for Wales and England was  probably the welfare state that emerged out of it. It was certainly far from perfect, and right-wing historians argue it damaged the economy with its expense, but it did take away the worst of the fear and realities of interwar poverty with a security blanket for the most vulnerable and a healthcare system that benefited nearly everyone. The pre-war state may have already begun intervening to improve living conditions and fight unemployment but it was the political and personal disruption of the war that enabled it to act so quickly once the conflict was over.

Welshness, Welsh Soldiers and the Second World War

This paper was presented at “Fighting for Britain? Negotiating identities in Britain during the Second World War”, a conference held at the University of Edinburgh in June 2012.  It is largely based on chapter 1 of Martin Johnes, Wales since 1939 (Manchester University Press, 2012). 

When David Beaty Cos returned to his home village of Trefor after five years as a POW in Germany, children gathered flowers and sang the Welsh national anthem.  He was carried shoulder high through the village to a party at his home behind a banner saying ‘welcome home to the hero’.[1]  Such moments were primarily about individuals but, as the singing of the Welsh anthem illustrated, they were also inter-related with a sense of national identity.  InWales national identity had never been straightforward or singular and this was especially true during the Second World War. Some historians have interpreted the conflict as a time when Wales’ Britishness was at a highpoint and most memoirs by Welsh servicemen do not make any reference to a sense of Welshness. Yet the war was also a time when, for some, an awareness of Wales and Welshness was exacerbated.

At one level, the argument that war enhanced a sense of Welshness is counter-intuitive. After all, this was a British war. Moreover, research by Chris Williams on the First World War has argued that the camaraderie and pressures of active service created bonds between men that overrode national differences between the different parts of the UK. Furthermore, his careful empirical analysis of the composition of battalions has shown that despite their national titles Welsh units were actually far more cosmopolitan, while many Welshmen also served in English regiments.[2] This thus exacerbated the effect of the war on creating a sense of Britishness rather than Welshness.

Yet Welsh identities still existed within the British military.  The Welsh identity of the Welsh regiments was inescapable from their name, traditions and insignia. A notice in The Times in memory of the soldiers of the 6th battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers who were killed in northwest Europe in 1944 finished with the words ‘Cymru am Byth’ (Wales forever).[3] This was a case of what social scientist Michael Bilig called banal nationalism, the subconscious flagging and reminder of the existence of the nation. But it was also more than that because troops felt a sense of loyalty to their regiment. What might seem on the surface to be about Wales was more complex than that. A sergeant recalled that during the war recruits from outside Wales were still made to feel part of the Welsh Guards: ‘They are Welsh Guardsmen and once they joined us they were treated equally, the same as if they had been born and bred in Wales. They also learned that the family spirit is more binding in the Welsh Guards than in any other regiment … I think it’s just the way we are in Wales’.[4]

The assimilation of non-Welsh servicemen into this fraternity suggests that it was a personal loyalty to comrades rather than a sense of Welshness that was the primary driving factor.  Another officer who served with the Welsh Guards during the war argued that he had a very close relationship with his men from their time training together and that he knew many of them better than his own family. The pride in themselves and fear they might let their comrades and friends down intensified that and led, in his opinion, to many of the acts of bravery. One of his sergeants similarly argued ‘We developed an obsession to help each other, sharing ourselves without expecting reward’.[5]  Thus the war certainly developed a sense of group consciousness but it was not necessarily just based on the nation, even in national units.

Most Welsh servicemen were not in Welsh units. Unlike in the Great War, the armed forces made no effort to keep local men together.  Instead, recruits were sent to whatever units needed the skills or bodies individuals offered. For at least some this was a cause of resentment.  For Glyn Ifans, a Carmarthenshire RAF man, it was part of a process of politicization that he experienced through the war. With no units existing just for Welsh troops he exclaimed ‘Are we a nation? Certainly the authorities running this war do not believe so’.[6] In 1941 Wyn Griffith, a civil servant, broadcaster and former captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, noted,

That young Welshmen should join the armed forces is, of course, only right and proper. They have no wish to shelter behind the sacrifices of others, and they are proud of the fighting qualities of their race. They remember their fathers. All they ask is that they should be allowed to serve in Welsh units, as Welshmen. But this is denied to them, not out of malevolence, but out of sheer indifference: it does not seem important enough for any great trouble to be taken to contrive it.[7]

Quite how far such sentiments extended is unclear. Griffithwas what might be called a cultural nationalist, someone deeply committed to the identity of Wales. At the end of the war the Western Mail, a Conservative-leaning Welsh newspaper, remarked more temperately ‘if there had to be a dilution of the Welsh regiments there was no dilution of the Welsh fighting spirit.’[8]  Yet one Welsh-speaking Meirionnydd man, who found himself in the South Lancashire Regiment, wrote in his memoirs, ‘this did not really bother me: the army was the army, and it hardly made any difference which badge I was given’.[9]

For those who were fighting within such regionally diverse units, the constant danger created a powerful bond between men that may have transcended any differences arising from different cultural backgrounds but this does not mean that individuals’ Welshness or personal beliefs were completely subsumed beneath a wider Britishness or loyalty to one’s comrades. Class tensions remained in the forces. Those from strict Nonconformist backgrounds could feel uneasy with the drinking and swearing of their comrades. The 1931 census showed that 37 percent of the Welsh population spoke Welsh and 156,000 people did not speak English.  It is thus unsurprising that Welsh was spoken and, by and large, tolerated in the forces.  It was included in BBC broadcasts to the forces and from 1941 the secretary of the National Eisteddfod organised a newsletter Cofion Cymru which was distributed with official support to Welsh-speakers in the forces.  The Western Mail even thought Welsh had been used to ‘deceive the Germans on the Western Front and confound the Japanese in the swamps and jungle of Burma’.[10]  There were moments, however, when chauvinism, misunderstandings or the needs of censorship led to a less welcoming attitude to Welsh and one RAF serviceman found a telegram he sent to his parents returned because it was Welsh.[11]

But whatever the attitudes they encountered, servicemen for whom English was a second language were hardly going to forget they were Welsh. Indeed, being surrounded by people from other parts of the UK, probably for the first time in their lives, could make servicemen and women more aware of their own Welshness and the diversity of Britain.  A Welsh member of the WRNS, recalled ‘I don’t think I’d ever heard of a Scouse person or a Geordie until I joined up.  Then, suddenly, all these different accents all around you.  A lot of people didn’t know my accent.  I’d be asked what part of Scotland I came from.  Or Ireland– was I north or south?’[12]  Indeed, many men and women spent their war being known by everyone as Taff or Taffy, making their nationality central to who they were.

The war also created a situation where some people at least contemplated their place in the world, the meaning and relevance of where they came from and the future. In 1943 one literary solider wrote in a new journal entitled Wales that he was setting up:

This is a time when members of the fighting generation everywhere should be expressing themselves and their opinions strongly-without cynicism-and nowhere more forcibly than in our small green oblong country. For the war has made the Welsh realise that they are a nation with a country, a people, a culture and a tradition different from England’s to fight for. There is a new wave of national feeling about among our people. There is, in truth, a Welsh renaissance.[13]

Back home too that intensifying awareness of Welsh difference was beginning to be felt through greater contact with people from other parts of the UK. The isolation that had kept Welsh strong in the west and north was being eroded not just physically but psychologically too, as people took a greater interest in global affairs. More people listened to the wireless. English evacuees were arriving in rural Wales, whilst young women were being sent from Wales to English factories.  There was some concern about the impact of people moving in and out of Waleson traditional Welsh-speaking culture.  W. J. Gruffydd, a professor of Celtic languages and the Liberal MP for the Universityof Wales, remarked that ‘England can win the war and Wales can lose’.[14]

Concern about the cultural damage the war might be inflicting on Wales was strongest in Plaid Cymru, the small Welsh nationalist party formed in 1925. The war proved deeply divisive for Plaid Cymru and the Welsh-speaking intelligentsia that was its constituency.  The party declared itself neutral but many Welsh nationalists were deeply hostile to Nazism and members of Plaid Cymru did serve in the armed forces.[15]  The alleged anti-Semitism and fascist sympathies of Saunders Lewis, Plaid Cymru’s founder, became a targetfor opponents of the party and an embarrassment to some of its supporters.  In 1945 one man said of Plaid Cymru:

This was the party that saw more peril to Walesfrom English evacuee children than from Hitler’s hordes. They were ‘neutral’ in the greatest war for human freedom. They, a handful of fanatics, presumed to speak for Walesfrom their safe jobs and safe hide-holes when 250,000 Welshmen were risking their lives to resist the greatest military despotism the world has ever seen.[16]

Such points made clear not just the multiple understandings of what Welshness constituted but how a sense of Welshness during the war extended, as it always had done, far beyond nationalists.

Plaid Cymru complained that the ‘English government’ did not have the right to conscript Welshmen but the government did recognize Welsh nationalism as grounds forconscientious objection.  However, the two tribunals that covered Walesdid not always put this into practice and decisions could depend on whether people were willing to do other forms of war work.  Of the mere two dozen or so who refused to serve on nationalist grounds, around half ended up in prison.  The acknowledgement of nationalism as grounds for not being conscripted is further evidence that the government was sensitive to the nuances of nationality within the UK.  The Ministry of Information told the BBC not to say England when it meant Britain, it passed an act allowing Welsh to be used in court, the first Welsh day was organized at the House of Commons and there were attempts to give Princess Elizabeth some form of Welsh title or role. Yet ultimately these were piecemeal concessions to Welsh pressure born from a fear of undermining British unity.[17]

If anyone from the government had visited the 1944 National Eisteddfod they would not have worried about Wales’s loyalty. There they would have seen how Wales and Britain were inextricably interwoven.  The festival, the first full one since the start of the war, had a distinct international flavour with performances from other Allied countries.  Welsh and British flags flew alongside each other and there were many attacks on separatism in the presidential speeches.[18]  This popular inter-weaving of Britishness and Wales was also evident on less organized occasions.  After news of the Japanese surrender came through, a crowd of several thousand gathered in Tonypandy’s main street and sang Land of Hope and Glory, while a reporter recorded that he must have sung Hen Wlad fy Nhadau a hundred times over the VE holidays.[19]

The Western Mail’s celebrations of VE day clearly showed Wales’s dual sense of nationality.  At one level, it celebrated how the British had contributed something very real to the future of the world, telling its readers that they had served a ‘humane and righteous cause’.  But it also published a page looking proudly at what the Welsh had contributed to the victory at home and abroad.[20]  To readers of the article, it was evident that the Welsh had fought, worked and died for a greater cause, and many had sung while doing it. Megan Lloyd George told an Anglesey eisteddfod that the Welshmen who had fought were ‘worthy successors of the heroes of Wales, such as Llewelyn and Owain Glyndwr, and others who fought not only for the independence of Wales, but of nations as well’.[21]

In the aftermath of the war even the London press occasionally celebrated Welshness too. The Daily Mirror, for example, proudly told the story of POWs inThailand who each week held a meeting of a Welsh society:

In the heart of Thailand jungle there rose the voices of the choir of the dying men, the old songs of Wales. Slowly they sang them, “Land of my Fathers” and the hymns Welsh miners sing. Men who would never again see the valleys and towns of Wales, men almost too exhausted to speak, took up the refrain. And some died singing.[22]

Such stories represented how the people of Britain had been fighting, not just to defeat Nazism, but for their own homes and their own traditions too.  People had fought their Britain, whether that meant the mountains of Snowdonia or the side streets of Cardiff.  As historian Angus Calder points out, the idea and use of ‘us’ in propaganda was widely accepted but it was interpreted in different ways by different audiences.  As he puts it, for ‘the miners it meant the miners; [and] for the working class it meant the working class’.[23]  The war was a British one but Britain meant many different things and Wales was as much a part of it as anywhere else. Yet Wales itself also meant many things.  For some servicemen the experience of war increased their sense of Welshness, politicized it even, but for others it was simply part of the complex mix of ingredients that made them who they were.


[1] Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald and North Wales Observer, 25 May 1945.

[2] Chris Williams, ‘Taffs in the Trenches: Welsh National Identity and Military Service, 1914-1918’, in M. Cragoe &  C. Williams (eds.), Wales and War: Religion, Society and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Cardiff, 2007), 126-164. On Welshness and the Great War also see Tony Thacker, A Corner of a Foreign Field which is Forever Wales? Welsh Identities in the Great War. Online at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/share/resources/Welsh%20identity%20in%20the%20Great%20War.pdf

[3] The Times, 1 August 1945.

[4] Trevor Royle, Anatomy of a Regiment: Ceremony and Soldiering in the Welsh Guards (London, 1990), p. 87.

[5] Royle, Anatomy of a Regiment, p. 92. That sense of belonging continued after the war too. A Welsh Guards NCO injured at Normandy in 1944 recalled with the pride the importance of wearing the regimental tie after the war: ‘You’re never alone when you wear this. You can be anywhere in the world and soon as they see it someone will talk to you.’ Royle, Anatomy of a Regiment, p. 90

[6] Quoted in Gerwyn Williams, ‘Continental excursions’, Planet, 129 (1998), 85.

[7] Wyn Griffith, Word from Wales (London, 1941), p. 33.

[8] Western Mail, 9 May 1945.

[9] Selyf Roberts, Tocyn Dwyffordd (1984). Quoted in translation in Williams, ‘Continental excursions’, p.87.

[10] Western Mail, 9 May 1945.

[11] Gerwyn Williams, ‘Continental excusions’, Planet, 129 (1998), 85.

[12] Quoted in Phil Carradice, Wales at War (Llandysul, 2003), p. 98.

[13] Wales, vol, III no. 1, July 1943.

[14] Quoted in translation in J. Graham Jones, ‘The attitude of the political parties towards the Welsh language’, in Jenkins and Williams (eds.), ‘Let’s do our best for the ancient tongue, p. 262.

[15] A. O. H. Jarman, ‘Plaid Cymru in the Second World War’, Planet (1979), 21-30.

[16]Western Mail, 21 April 1945.

[17] See Martin Johnes, Wales since 1939 (Manchester, 2012), ch. 1.

[18] Kimberly J. Bernard, Visible Welshness: Performing Welshness at the National Eisteddfod in the Twentieth Century (University of Wales Swansea, PhD thesis, 2003), ch. 6.

[19] Western Mail, 16 August, 11 May 1945. Liverpool Daily Post, 9 May 1945.

[20] Western Mail, 8 May 1945.

[21] Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald and North Wales Observer, 11, 25 May 1945.

[22] Daily Mirror, 13 September 1945.

[23] Calder, The People’s War, p. 138.