Snippets: Family History

Family History

Last weekend my mother-in-law brought a bag of her late father's belongings for D. He was already given his log book and medals - including the DFC - but this was a more personal collection of photos and things he'd saved over the years. Included in the parcel were D's great grandparents' wedding rings - his great granddad's was worn throughout his service and imprisonment during the first world war. He was one of those fabled people who did actually have his appendix removed in a PoW camp without anaesthetic. D has started wearing the ring, which fits perfectly, as a reminder that however bad his day gets, it's never THAT bad.

Today is the centenary of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster. My great great grandfather, Evan Hopkin James, was one of 440 men killed in the explosion which devastated the village my grandparents still live in. One of our family members, Lindsay, was interviewed for this short documentary about the tragedy...

I've heard my grandparents talking about this disaster and the long term effects on the families of the village since I was a child. As a wife and mother it's upsetting to think of those women, including my own family members, who lost one or two generations of men in this disaster and went on to lose the next generations in the wars. 

Our recent ancestors went through so much. It puts the dissatisfaction of Generation Y (really interesting article) into perspective. I don't know how the next 100 years of our combined family history will unfold, but feel it's important to remember these snippets of the past, for ourselves and our children. 


  1. What wonderful treasures D has received, family memories are so important. The centenary was talked about on the news this morning. I wasn't aware of it but listening about how so many people had lost their lives and how the women left behind had to struggle to feed their children I was pleased that a memorial was being erected. We should never forget our own history. I read the Gen Y article and have to agree expectations can be far too high for some. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Ali x

  2. Very cool history. We are spoiled with today's technology and have not had to live hardships like those in the past. Today's generation even note. Those stupid cable commercials are so annoying.

  3. Thank you for sharing---this was so interesting. I have felt the same things when I reflect on how my country has pulled together in the past (WWI & WWII), the Depression and the Dust Bowl---people had a common goal and worked together to make it through. Today? I just don't see it being able to happen. Everyone has their own agenda and there is no common ground. What a wonderful tribute Wales has made to this terrible tragedy. We should not forget the past and we should be sure to pass it on to the younger generations.

  4. It's easy to forget that life was so much tougher, very recently.
    Loved the Generation Y article - now to get a few more to read it!

  5. I love Social History , it must be saved for future generations.The generation Y article was brilliant!

  6. I wondered if you were a bit Welsh with the cwtch in your title. I live not far a away from Senghenydd and I used to live nearer. Thanks for sharing!


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