Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

HMS Rosalind Plaque Presentation, Ystradgynlais 1943

HMS Rosalind was a Royal Navy trawler-minesweeper, adopted by Ystradgynlais and district in 1943 after a National Savings fund-raising campaign during Warship Week.

The fundraiding campaign also raised money during the associated Wings Week to allow Ystradgynlais, through the scheme, to 'purchase' a Wellington bomber, 3 Spitfires and an air/sea rescue launch

The awards ceremony was attended by local dignatories, members of the armed forces, and apparently a goodly crowd of locals. The article from The South Wales Voice for Saturday July 31st 1943 records it in detail:-

YSTRADGYNLAIS AND DISTRICT SAVINGS PRESENTATION CEREMONY

Saturday was an important day in the history of Ystradgynlais and district Savings movement, when presentations of plaques to and from the Admiralty and the local National Savings Committee, and of a trophy by R.A.F. to the committee took place. The presentations were made at the Ystradgynlais Welfare Hall in the presence of a large and representative gathering, member of the Royal Navy and R.A.F. being present.

Mr J Price Evans, J.P., chairman of Ystradgynlais Rural Council presided, and was supported by Mr. W. Seth Owen, chairman, Messrs William H.G. Jeffreys and Oswald Morgan, joint secretaries of the committee; Capt. C.S. Inglis, Royal Navy; Commander Mahoney, R.N.; Commander Crockett, R.N.; Lieut. Batley, R.N.;Squadron Leader R.S. Davies, R.A.F.; Second Officer Harding, W.R.N.S.; Messrs Douglas A Worgan, Regional Commissioner; and L. Bryn Evans, assistant commissioner.

In a forward to the proceedings, Mr Jeffreys said that it was the first time in the history of Ystradgynlais that such a ceremony had taken place: it cemented the definite and permanent link that existed between the district and the Navy and R.A.F. by reason of the people's achievements during Warships and Wings Weeks. It was a proud moment for all who had been concerned in the great objectives attained. The district had exceeded its target during Warship Week by investing £46,274, and thus adopting the trawler-minesweeper H.M.S. Rosalind.The plaque to be presented for hanging in the Rosalind bore a model in relief of Craigynos Hospital. It was fitting that such prominence should be given to the hospital, as under the guidance of Dr. Fenwick Jones and Mrs Jones, the staff and patients had played a remarkable part in the campaigns.

Dealing with Wings Week, Mr Jeffreys said that more than £50,000 was invested, and the district was able to 'purchase' a Wellington bomber, three Spitfires, and an air/sea rescue launch, and several other things. All this proved that the people of the district stood right behind the country in its great fight. Mr Jeffreys paid tribute to the group secretaries, schools, members of the Civil Defence, banks, Post Offices, Pressm, the Commissioner and his deputy and assistant, council officers and staff, South Wales Power Company, Mr J. Price Evans, Mr. Oswald Morgan, the cinemas and Welfare Associations, and Mr Charles Edwards for their work in various directions. In conclusion, he said that if the district was asked to take part in another campaign he could assure the National Savings Movement that the people of the area woul not fail for want of trying.

ADMIRALTY PLAQUE PRESENTED

Handing over the Admiralty plaque to Mr J. Price Evans, Captain Inglis said he regarded it as a privilege and an honour to do so. The plaque bore a replica of the badge of Rosalind. The Admiralty were hopeful would provide better understanding between the people ashore and their husbands, brothers and sons afloat. He had been in this part of the country only 18 months, and was in time to the see the Warship and Wings campaigns starting: he was very much impressed by the enthusiasm of the people and the surprising results obtained.

Reeceiving the plaque, Mr Evans handed back a plaque from the people of Ystradgynlais and district to the Rosalind, with the best wishes of the people for the crew and all concerned.

R.A.F. PLAQUE AND CERTIFICATE OF HONOUR

Squadron Leader R.S. Davies, R.A.F., claimed relationship with the district as his father was born in Brecon. He accepted the invitation to attend the ceremony with grateful thanks for the opportunity of visiting the district. He also remembered with gratitide the lavish hospitality extended to him while here for the Wings Week parade. He then deputised Wing Commander Rabaiotti, who unfortunately lost his life while on operations. He handed over to Mr. Seth Owen a trophy and certificate of honour on behalf of the Air Ministry.

On receiving the gifts, Mr Owen pointed out that there was a Welsh saying, 'Nid da lle gellir gwell.' Although the district had done well, there was room for greater efforts, and he was convinced people would rise to the occasion if they were asked. Mr Owen handed over to Squadron Leader Davies logbooks in which will be kept records of the operational activities of the planes provided by the district. Mr Davies said he hoped to be present at the ceremony, at the end of the war, of the re-presentation of the logbooks to the district.

Certificates of Honour were presented to secretaries of local National Savings Groups by Mr Worgan, who remarked on the informal manner in which they had been handed over. He emphasized, however, that there was no informality in the ceremony: it was an expression of thanks for great work done. It was a pleasure for him to attend the meeting that day in as much as the joint secretaries had shown such clear and knowledgeable understanding of what was required. He had been admirably supported by Mr Oswald Morgan, while good work had also been done by Mr Charles Edwards, who was thhat day sitting in a retired position. The Service visitors had not come there that day out of a sense of pleasure but of futy, and he (the Commissioner) was grateful to them for their continued and unselfish work. Referring to the fine tribute paid by Squadron Leader Davies to the Wing Commander Rabaiotti, Mr Worgan said that when he heard of heroes losing their lives in the service of their country, we realised how paltry was our contribution to the war effort in comparison. The people of the district had done well; but they should not think they had grown wings. The money that had been invested was only being loaned to the country on perfect security.

Thanks were accorded the visitors for their presence, and special mention was made of the Regional and Assitant Commissioner. This was done by Mr Oswald Morgan, and in responding, Mr Bryn Evans said another campaign would start in September for increasing membership. Itwas called 'Raise the Standard'.

The proceedings ended with the singing of the British and Welsh National Annthems, Mr Alfred Webb being the accompanist.

A naval guard of honour was provided by ratings and members of the W.R.N.S.

The gathering was entertained to refreshments, the catering being carried out by Mrs E. Williams, Newmarket Stores.



More about HMS Rosalind can be read at:-

http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/6601.html
http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=2086

whilst
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespearian-class_trawler
has general information on the type of ship and service history of the class



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