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Tree planting commences to create a new Agincourt Wales Trail

AGINCOURT WALES TRAIL LAUNCHES WITH TREE PLANTING ON BRECON PROMENADE

Mayor of Brecon David Meredith and Councillor Matthew Dorrance will be present at the planting at 12.30pm on 13 February when 60 trees, supplied by the Woodland Trust, will be placed along the Promenade by the Green Valleys and community volunteers, to commemorate Brecon’s role in the Battle of Agincourt.

Brecon is one of eight sites across Breconshire, Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean that form the new Agincourt Wales Trail. The Trail tells the story of the men from the region who travelled to France in 1415 to fight in the famous battle as part of Henry V’s army.

The planting at Brecon Promenade and the formation of the Agincourt Wales Trail will recognise the Agincourt story and its local relevance. People can learn more by visiting nearby Brecon Cathedral, home to more information and artefacts, including the indenture list of the Breconshire men who travelled to France and a stone reputedly used by the archers to sharpen their arrows.

Breconshire supplied 10 men-at-arms, 13 mounted archers and 146 foot archers to Henry V’s troops, part of a force of more than 600 men from across the region who made the long trip to France.

Oak tree planting will also be carried out at Trecastle Village Hall (13 February) and Tretower Court and Castle (on 12 February 1pm) to establish two more sites on the Agincourt Wales Trail

Cllr Graham Brown, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for Outdoor Recreation, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this project and that the Agincourt Wales Trail project will be using the Promenade and planting trees to commemorate this historical event.”

 Cllr Matthew Dorrance, county councillor for St John’s, said: “The Prom is a much loved community space. It’s good news that Plan Brecon and the Woodland Trust are working with the Council to plant these trees commemorating Brecon’s Agincourt links. It’s a popular spot for visitors and residents and it’s so close to Brecon Cathedral, where people can learn more about the Breconshire contingent.”

The Woodland Trust added: ‘We’re really happy to be involved with the Agincourt Wales Trail. Planting these trees is a great way to commemorate the people and places involved with the Agincourt story. The trees are a living memorial to the men who travelled to France all those centuries ago.’

Sir Trefor Morris, Chair of the Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group said: ‘The Trail gathers local community stories with links to significant people and places associated with Agincourt. The activities and events programme put together by community groups during the 2015 600th anniversary celebrations of the battle has created interest not just in Wales but worldwide. We hope to develop this interest further as a substantial legacy through initiatives like this new Trail.’

The list of locations on the Agincourt Trail include Brecon Promenade & Brecon Cathedral, Trecastle Village Hall, Tretower Court & Castle all in Powys, St Mary’s Priory Church Abergavenny, Raglan Castle, Caldicot Castle, The Tump opposite St Briavels Castle and Monmouth Castle. www.agincourt600wales.com

For more information on the Agincourt Wales Trail in Powys visit www.breconbeacons.org/agincourtand www.midwalesmyway.com

Editors for more information or pictures contact Gaynor Thomas Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy on 07885 369054

For more information on the Woodland Trust contact Paula Keen on 07831 880 027 or 0343 770 5762

LANSIO LLWYBR AGINCOURT CYMRU TRWY BLANNU COED AR BROMENÂD ABERHONDDU.

Bydd Maer Aberhonddu, David Meredith a’r Cynghorydd Matthew Dorrance yn bresennol pan fydd 60 o goed, a gyflwynwyd gan Goed Cadw, yn cael eu plannu ar hyd y Promenâd am 12.30pm, 13 Chwefror.  Gwirfoddolwyr cymunedol a’r Cymoedd Gwyrdd fydd yn plannu’r coed i goffau rôl Aberhonddu ym Mrwydr Agincourt.

Mae Aberhonddu’n un o wyth safle ar draws Brycheiniog, Sir Fynwy a Fforest y Ddena sy’n ffurfio Llwybr newydd Agincourt Cymru.  Mae’r llwybr yn adrodd stori dynion yr ardal a deithiodd i Ffrainc yn 1415 i ymladd yn y frwydr enwog fel rhan o fyddin Harri’r Pumed.

Bydd plannu’r coed ym Mhromenâd Aberhonddu a chreu Llwybr Agincourt Cymru yn cydnabod hanes Agincourt a sut mae’n berthnasol yn lleol.   Gallwch ddysgu mwy trwy fynd i’r Eglwys Gadeiriol yn Aberhonddu, lle mae modd gweld gwybodaeth ychwanegol ac arteffactau, gan gynnwys rhestr indentur dynion Sir Frycheiniog a deithiodd i Ffrainc, a charreg a honnir i fod wedi’i defnyddio gan y saethwyr i hogi eu saethau.

O Frycheiniog roedd 10 o ddynion arfog, 13 o saethwyr-farchogion a 146 o saethwyr ar droed yn rhan o fintai Harri’r Pumed – rhan o dros 600 o ddynion o bob cwr o’r ardal a deithiodd y ffordd bell i Ffrainc.

Bydd coed derw hefyd yn cael eu plannu yn Neuadd Bentref Trecastell (13 Chwefror) a Chwrt a Chastell Tretŵr ar 12 Chwefror 1pm i sefydlu dau safle arall ar Lwybr Agincourt Cymru.

Meddai’r Cynghorydd Brown, Aelod o Gabinet Cyngor Sir Powys sy’n gyfrifol am Hamdden yn yr Awyr Agored: “Mae’n bleser cael bod yn rhan o’r prosiect hwn a gweld prosiect Llwybr Agincourt Cymru’n defnyddio’r Promenâd i blannu coed i goffau’r digwyddiad hanesyddol hwn.”

Dywedodd y Cynghorydd Dorrance, Cynghorydd Sir ar ran Ward Sant Ioan: “Mae’r Prom yn le cymunedol poblogaidd.  Mae’n newyddion da bod ‘Plan Brecon’ a Choed Cadw’n gweithio gyda’r cyngor i blannu’r coed i goffau’r cyswllt rhwng Aberhonddu ac Agincourt.  Mae’n le poblogaidd gydag ymwelwyr a thrigolion ac mor agos i Eglwys Gadeiriol Aberhonddu lle mae modd gwybod mwy am fintai Sir Frycheiniog.”

Dywedodd Coed Cadw: “Mae’n braf cael bod yn gysylltiedig â Llwybr Agincourt Cymru.  Mae plannu’r coed hyn yn ffordd wych i goffau’r bobl a’r lleoedd sy’n rhan o stori Agincourt.  Mae’r coed yn gofeb byw i’r dynion a deithiodd i Ffrainc ganrifoedd yn ôl.”

Dywedodd Syr Trefor Morris, Cadeirydd Grŵp Treftadaeth Cymru Agincourt 600: “Mae’r Llwybr yn casglu straeon cymunedol lleol sy’n clymu pobl a lleoedd sydd â chysylltiadau sylweddol ag Agincourt.  Y llynedd, wrth ddathlu 600 mlynedd ers y frwydr, mae’r gweithgareddau a’r digwyddiadau a drefnwyd gan grwpiau cymunedol wedi ennyn diddordeb nid yn unig yng Nghymru ond ar draws y byd.  Y gobaith yw datblygu’r diddordeb hwn ymhellach fel etifeddiaeth sylweddol trwy fentrau megis y Llwybr newydd hwn.”

DIWEDD

Mae’r rhestr o leoliadau ar Lwybr Agincourt yn cynnwys Promenâd Aberhonddu ac Eglwys Gadeiriol Aberhonddu, Neuadd Bentref Trecastell, Cwrt a Chastell Tretŵr – i gyd ym Mhowys; Eglwys Priordy’r Santes Fair yn Y Fenni, Castell Rhaglan, Castell Cil-y-coed, ‘The Tump’ gyferbyn Castell Briavels a Chastell Mynwy. www.agincourt600wales.com

Am ragor o wybodaeth ar Lwybr Agincourt Cymru ym Mhowys, ewch i

www.breconbeacons.org/agincourt a www.midwalesmyway.com

I olygyddion sydd am ragor o wybodaeth neu luniau, cysylltwch â Gaynor Thomas, Etifeddiaeth Agincourt 600 Cymru ar 07885 369054 www.agincourt600wales.com

Am ragor o wybodaeth ar Goed Cadw, cysylltwch â Paula Keen ar 07831 880 027 neu 0343 7705762

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) commemorate AGINCOURT 600

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) commemorate AGINCOURT 600

The Battle of Agincourt, on 25 October 1415, is one of the best-known events in British history. The story of Henry V’s forces epic defeat of the French army has been commemorated in plays and poetry ever since. What is perhaps less well known is the role played by the more than 500 Welsh archers who travelled to fight in France. Many of these brave men came from the area around Monmouth and Cwmbran

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) is the successor to these courageous soldiers, these towns now being home to RHQ and 100 Field Squadron (M). The Regiment has served the Crown continuously at least as far back as 1539 and probably further as the first militia levy was formalized in 1181. If you have ever visited RHQ you will probably know that Henry V was born just off our parade square in Monmouth Castle and may have noticed the Agincourt Oaks growing either side of our Regimental Cenotaph.

It will be no surprise then, that when the 2IC Maj Graham Owen received an email forwarded through Corps HQ requesting units to bid for funding to attend the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the Battle, he sprang straight into action with a nifty piece of staff work.  This managed to secure £2750 to fund a contingent of 11 from the Regiment to attend a joint French and British Army parade on the battlefield. The funds were granted by the Agincourt 600 Committee.

Eleven gallant descendants to the archers of Monmouth left RHQ at 0500 on Saturday morning 24 October on EX MILITIA AGINCOURT. They arrived at the ferry port in Dover via a diversion to the Channel Tunnel terminal to retrieve a phone (a long and boring story which luckily has no part in this article) with time to spare.  A short journey the other side saw us arrive in Albert on the Somme just in time to watch the World Cup Rugby Semi Final with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the Kiwi opera star who just happened to be making a TV documentary in the area.

There then followed the 2ICs first major language test. He had booked dinner at a local hotel the previous week! With some trepidation the group turned up and were amazed to be expected for an enjoyable dinner. The smug look on the 2ICs face was not a pleasant sight neither was the broad smile on Major Gareth Stockman’s face when once more his wallet stayed firmly in his pocket!  It was then early to bed after a long days travel and some final kit preparation for the following day’s parade, details of which were a bit sketchy……

The party arrived early at Agincourt on Sunday 25 October and following a quick recce by Capt Geoff Banham all gathered at the café. It was full of re-enactors in 600 year old Osprey and some quite authentic and nasty looking weaponry. Following coffee, with much saluting and more of the 2ICs questionable French the RMON RE (M) contingent and a detachment from 5 Regt RA fell in on the battlefield site next to the French 1st Regiment of Infantry and a mounted detachment and band from the Republican Guard.   Capt Steve Gadd passed on the news that “the parade should be quite short with about 10 minutes of speeches….”

After 90 minutes of engrossing French oratory the more senior ranks present were feeling a little stiff! The stirring renditions of the National Anthems and Last Post drew the first part of the parade to a fitting end. The large crowds of French and British enthusiasts were visibly relieved when we marched off for the next parade in Agincourt Town Square. This was a review by the District General and wreath lying at the local memorial. The Band of the Republican Guard again delivered several spectacular performances of both anthems and with some final salutes the commemoration parade was over. All agreed that it was an honour to attend such an event, which recognized the sacrifices and bravery on both sides, such a long time ago.

It was then a pleasure to meet the Agincourt 600 Committee, a group of enthusiastic academics, who have spent their careers studying this key event in Anglo-French history and they were thanked them for the generosity of their grant. We were made to feel very welcome and were pleased to see contingents of both armies meeting on the historic battlefield, now both firm allies. We discovered that the event was also celebrating a meeting in 1915 between the French and British Army, who were serving together on the nearby Western Front, who met to commemorate the 500th anniversary in very different circumstances. We knew that the Agincourt Oaks on our parade square had grown from acorns brought back during the Great War, could this have been their origin?

Following a reception at the Agincourt museum we were hosted at a spectacular lunch where we were treated to some more fine French cuisine. Much to his regret we then had to leave just as Spr Al Khameri was getting to know some of the local Mademoiselles!

We were up early next morning for a brief visit to the Beaumont Hamel and Hawthorne Ridge battlefields on the Somme. Here we received presentations on the part Sappers played in the battles of 1916 and to remember the sacrifice of so many soldiers then and in 1415 at Agincourt. Not a sign remains of the 1415 battlefield and we all agreed that these monuments to the Great War of 14-18 are a fitting long term memorial to the selfless commitment of so many of our forbearers.

Our long journey ended back at Monmouth and this once in a life time opportunity to attend such a significant anniversary was over.  The Exercise had been more than worthwhile and all ranks learned a lot more about the history of the Battle of Agincourt and the part our forbearers, the archers of Monmouth, played in the battle 600 years ago.

The Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group are grateful to The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) for their involvement in providing an interpretation panel located next to the two Oak Trees which originated in Azincourt and for being part of the Agincourt Wales Trail.

 Background – Great Castle House, Monmouth

Great Castle House stands on the site of the Round Tower demolished during the Civil War and was built from “the great square stoners of the gatehouse”. The Earl of Worcester bought the lordship of Monmouth for £400 in 1651, which included the Castle with the exception of the Great Hall which was reserved for the Assizes. He commissioned the building of Great Castle House which was completed in 1673 however it was abandoned as a residence and refashioned and re-panelled to provide a more comfortable Assize Court than the damp and draughty Great Hall in the Castle

In c1760 it became a high class girls’ boarding school, but in 1853 the contents of the school were sold, and Quarter Sessions rented it for £25 a year, spent £2000 on reconnecting new wings for a Militia store and residences for the Sergeant Major and Quarter Master. In 1877 Colonel Payne obtained authority for the house to be used as an Officers’ Mess. In the same year, the Regiment converted from Light Infantry to Royal Engineers. In 1906 the house was acquired by the War Office and Great Castle House continues to be the headquarters of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)

Royal Mint coin marks ‘the day the sky grew dark with arrows’

Royal Mint coinRoyal Mint coin marks ‘the day the sky grew dark with arrows’ –

600 years after the Battle of Agincourt

Under a sky that was said to have grown ‘dark with arrows’, the Battle of Agincourt took place on 25 October 1415 . It is still regarded as one of history’s greatest military victories for England’s King Henry V, and a pivotal moment in the Hundred Years’ War between the Kingdoms of France and England.

Now The Royal Mint, one time maker of coins for King Henry V himself, has struck limited edition ‘Alderney’ £5 coins in gold and silver marking the 600th anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt, available at   www.royalmint.com/agincourt.

Characterised by the muddy terrain, the deadly longbows used by the English and Welsh archers, and the strategic tactics employed by King Henry V, the Battle of Agincourt story may date back six centuries, but it is still documented to this day in literature and on stage in William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

The coin has been designed by Royal Mint Engraver, Glyn Davies, whose design for the Battle of Agincourt coin places the audience right at the heart of the scene:

“The idea behind my approach to the design was to show the overwhelming odds against the diseased and weakened English army that defeated that of the French. Although the battle is famed for the use of the Longbow, much of the disaster that befell the French army was, however, due to their belief in a chivalrous code of conduct.

I tried to get a sense of the mayhem and confusion that the French forces fell into and the significant role the archers performed in the battle. The design shows a lightly armoured archer in the foreground with a hatchet or hammer, weapons thought to have caused damage and deaths to the French knights as did suffocation in the mud. The French are depicted in heavy armour and on horseback. Trees surround the field as they also played a significant role in the French defeat.”

The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin, Anne Jessopp, said, “The Royal Mint has been producing coinage for the kings and queens of Britain for over 1,000 years, including coins from the reign of King Henry V, so it is apt that in 2015 we should mark this important anniversary in celebration of the peace and reconciliation that has come to pass in the 600 years since it took place.”

The design and its designer – Glyn Davies

An engraver at The Royal Mint since 2012, Glyn Davies already has a medal for the Zoological Society and the ‘Portrait of Britain’ Collection to his name. Another of Glyn’s recent coin designs is a poignant image for the Remembrance Day £5 coin. Glyn worked as an animator before gaining a Master’s Degree in Post Production at Bournemouth University. He subsequently worked as a set designer, video editor and motion graphic designer before joining The Royal Mint.

For further information please visit www.royalmint.com

www.facebook.com/theroyalmint

www.twitter.com/royalmintuk

About the Battle of Agincourt

Historians estimate that the French army had 12-15,000 soldiers gathered at Agincourt, mainly men at arms. By contrast, Henry V’s English army had only 8-8,500, the majority being archers.

Considering the victory to be theirs, the French celebrated the night before the battle, their frivolity heard by Henry’s men who, under their king’s orders, waited for the sunrise in silence. On the day of the battle the French were unprepared, and quickly fell into disarray when they faced the arrow storm of Henry’s archers – the longbow was a formidable long-range weapon.

The French had planned to knock the English archers out of the fight with a cavalry charge but they could not find enough men to join the attack on horseback, fearing that arrows would harm their horses. King Henry, meanwhile, had ensured his archers were protected by a wall of stakes, and by flanking woodland. The French charge failed, but the retreating cavalry clashed into the French men-at-arms advancing on foot. The arrow storm slowed down their advance, causing the men to crowd in on each other. They were so tightly packed they could not raise their weapon arms. Some fell, others piled on top of them and in the mud some suffocated, and some fell at the mercy of Henry’s archers.

After the victory, Henry V made for Calais and then returned to England, greeted by fanfare at his entry to London on 23 November.

Specification

The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt 2015 Alderney £5
Product Title The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt 2015 Alderney £5 Silver Proof Coin The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt 2015 Alderney £5 Gold Proof Coin
PSC BA15SP BA15GP
Denomination £5 £5
Issuing Authority Alderney Alderney
LEP 1,500 75
MCM 1,500 75
Alloy 925 Ag 916.7 Au
Weight 28.28g 39.94g
Diameter 38.61mm 38.61mm
Reverse Designer Glyn Davies Glyn Davies
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Quality Proof Proof
RRP £80.00 £1,650.00

Media enquiries – The Royal Mint Press Office 0845 600 5018 or email press.office@royalmint.com

The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK.

While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, The Royal Mint produces coins that remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.

There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2014 ,with a total face value of over £4 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, nearly 2 billion UK coins were issued during 2013-14.

As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It has served more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and currently meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.

 

The Royal Mint has been making official military campaign medals since it was commissioned to make awards for soldiers who fought in the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The year 2012 was of particular significance for The Royal Mint’s medal-making team, with the manufacture of all 4,700 Victory Medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Royal Mint has recently introduced a new fineness of Britannia bullion coins and a highly-secure on-site bullion vault storage facility, building on the gold Sovereign’s long-standing reputation for integrity, accuracy. This positions The Royal Mint and its bullion products as a premium proposition in this marketplace.

In September 2014, The Royal Mint launched a new bullion trading website, www.royalmintbullion.com, enabling customers to buy, store and sell bullion coins at constantly updated prices directly from The Royal Mint quickly, effortlessly and securely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In January 2015, The Royal Mint announced the revival of The Royal Mint Refinery bullion brand. Gold and silver minted bars bearing the historic marque became available for the first time since 1968, available direct to the public at www.royalmintbullion.com.

In June 2015, The Royal Mint launched Signature Gold, a new addition to its bullion trading service, allowing customers to purchase and own a fractional amount of a 400 oz gold bar from www.royalmintbullion.com.

In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Construction is expected to be completed during 2016.

 

 

 

 

Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group announces new projects for 2016

Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group receives funding to support projects developing the story of the Welsh archers and the battle of Agincourt 1415

The Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group has been successful in obtaining funding of £50,000 from the Agincourt 600 Commemorative Fund to carry out eight small projects in Breconshire, Monmouthshire and Forest of Dean to expand knowledge of the Welsh archers who fought at the famous battle and to better communicate the story to residents, schoolchildren and visitors to the region. The Agincourt story adds a new dimension to the rich heritage and cultural aspects of the region and illustrates how Henry V, born in Monmouth Castle, became a great leader. The story also helps to put into context the links between key figures including Henry V, Owain Glyndŵr, Dafydd Gam and William ap Thomas.

The funding will be spent on the following projects and will be delivered by 31 March 2016;

  • A historical research study in the community identifying relevant evidence, historical and anecdotal.
  • An education project led by Monmouthshire Museums, who will be working with a small number of schools to animate the Agincourt story.
  • An education project led by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority to develop a learning session on the Agincourt story for pupils at a number of schools in the authority’s area.
  • An education project based at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny , to start to develop a learning programme on the Agincourt story and to identify where it relates to the Curriculum Cymreig.
  • The development of the interpretation of the Agincourt story at Brecon Cathedral.
  • The touring Agincourt Wales exhibition is being converted into a digital format.
  • The development of an Agincourt Trail linking places of interest across Breconshire, Monmouthshire and Forest of Dean.
  • The extension of the publicity campaign and the Agincourt 600 Wales website www.agincourt600wales.com .

The Legacy Group was successful in meeting strict criteria and its high quality application demonstrated that  the battle and its significance is being brought  to the attention of people and communities who would not otherwise encounter it and importantly it provides extensive educational content.  The Agincourt 600 national committee recognised the work of community groups leading up to and during this anniversary year piecing together the story, the places and people associated with the battle of Agincourt. A series of 45 events were organised by community groups and organisations in 2015 commemorating the battle.

Project Manager for the Agincourt 600 Commemorative Fund, Paula Kitching explained “The work of Agincourt 600 Wales has helped us to raise the profile of the battle of Agincourt in its 600th anniversary year and to demonstrate the significant role Henry V’s famous battle has played in British history. The Agincourt 600 Commemorative Fund is extremely pleased to support the Legacy Group in its aims to develop further the interpretation of the local story and to reach more people of all ages.”

Sir Trefor Morris, Chair, Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group responded  “The funding enables us to gather local community stories with links to significant people and places associated with the Agincourt story but also to put this in context with this period in Welsh history in the first half of the 15th century and the lead up to the War of the Roses.

We are particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to help local schoolchildren to learn more about their Welsh heritage. The activities and events programme put together by community groups during 2015 has created interest not just in Wales but worldwide. We hope to develop this interest further as a substantial legacy.”

ENDS

For more information on the Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Project contact Gaynor Thomas Project Manager info@agincourt600wales.com 07885 369054

For more information on The Agincourt Commemorative Fund please contact Paula Kitching paula@agincourt600.com  www.agincourt600.com

The Agincourt 600 Wales Legacy Group comprises of the following organisations: St Mary’s Priory Development Trust, Abergavenny (lead partner), Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Brecon Cathedral, Caldicot Castle, Monmouthshire County Council, Monmouthshire Museums, St Mary’s Priory Church Abergavenny Wye Dean Tourism and Cadw.

The Legacy Group were successful in meeting the criteria set by the Agincourt 600 Commemorative Fund. The key criteria for the application were as follows;

  1. Is of a quality and dignity befitting the commemoration of a battle and major historical event;
  2. Will bring the battle and its significance to the attention of people and communities who would not otherwise encounter it;
  3. Is sufficiently well thought through, planned and supported by infrastructure or an organisation that will ensure that the aims of the project are achieved;

 Is clearly focused on one or several of the following: the battle of Agincourt, people, processes or events leading to or associated with it, its consequences, its literary and artistic reception, its weaponry and their social and sporting legacy, and the meaning of the battle in today’s world;

  1. Has an educational intent, content or by-product;
  2. Increases scholarly understanding of the battle etc. which can be used to inform, engage and educate the general public in the future;
  3. Demonstrates imagination and creativity in its conception and realism in its plans for execution.

 Date: 17 November 2015

St. Crispin’s Day By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Pride in past valour may be best expressed in the St. Crispin’s Day speech from “Henry V” (Act IV, Scene iii), delivered by the young king on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt.

St. Crispin’s Day  By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

 

“If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then he will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names
Familiar in his mouth as household words:
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d,
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

 

 

The Victory of the Welsh Warbow: Jeremy Spencer

Agincourt 25 October 1415 -The Victory of the Welsh Warbow The Legend

On 25 October 1415, St. Crispin’s Day (according to the Gregorian calendar), a battle of semi-mythical status took place that has resonated down the centuries. The appeal of the plucky underdog has always been irresistible to the British. Gutsy archers from Wales and England laid the haughty flower of French chivalry low with nothing more than a bent stick, steeled arrow shafts and even steelier nerves (with a little help from the dismounted men-at-arms!).  The Victorians seized the battle as a metaphor for British superiority.  Their public school songs extolled the stoic virtues of the stout yeomen archers whose martial prowess and stiff-upper lip were an exemplar lesson to its pupils.  Later on, Shakespeare’s masterpiece, ‘Henry the V’ was given added relevance in Olivier’s film that was shot during the dark days of the 40’s in WWII. That ancient victory, against all the odds, against a seemingly invincible menace, offered a glimmer of hope to a land facing a similar threat.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition

This epitomised the glorified version of the day but what of the real battle?

The Battle

With the battle it is very difficult to obtain a definitive answer to the sizes of the Armies.  Reader would gain a lot by reading Anne Curry’s book on the battle as well as the excellent work by Juliette Barker.  What is clear is that a sick and tired army defeated a well armed and freshone at least 5 times its size.

After the privations of the prolonged Harfleur siege and march through Northern France, the pursing French army (at least 30,000 and perhaps as high as 100,000) finally managed to force Henry V to battle near the hamlets of Agincourt and Tramecourt. From the beginning of the 100 Years war, Anglo-Welsh armies usually sort to fight a defensive battle from a strong position. The Battle of Agincourt was no different and Henry had chosen his position well.  A position the minimised the effect of a larger foe whilst maximising the qualities of his own.   Waiting for the French to attack, Henry arrayed his army.  The French, however, were content to exercise their horses and gamble for the rich pickings on ransoms of the Anglo-Welsh nobles.  Time was on their side as they had a supply line of provisions. The French were in an ebullient mood and did not even continence defeat.  They flew the blood red Oriflamme banner.  The name comes from the Latin aurea flamma, meaning golden flame. It was the battle standard of the King of France and at Agincourt signified that no quarter was to be given to Henry’s army.  Henry knew he could not stay where he was indefinitely and was forced to move his battle line to within extreme arrow range, some 300 yards, in order to goad the French into attack.  His archers lifted the defensive stakes they had been ordered to cut and marched forward with the men-at arms.  No sooner had they redeployed the stakes when the French charged.   The on-coming French cavalry had to mount a frontal assault upon a static army with the archers on the wings behind the defensive anti-cavalry sharpened stakes.  All the time the French Knights charged, the archers would rain a deadly arrow storm down upon them.  As the plate armour clad men and lesser armoured horses got within 50 yards of the Anglo-Welsh front line the archers would shoot a last volley from point-blank range.  Because of the archers position on the wings of Henry’s army they would shoot in a lethal ‘V’ shape cross-fire.  This would naturally have the effect of making the enemy bunch up into their centre as the horses shied away from the arrows that ripped into their flanks.  Typically, armour was thinner on the sides and thus the arrows more effective. Despite the French having a plan to attach the archers from the sides, which they summarily ignored, they attacked the centre in a bid to kill or capture Henry.  This congestion was further exacerbated because the battle field was funnel shaped due to the woods on either side.  As a horse in front would topple it would disrupt an ordered charge. Whilst the woods were impenetrable to French cavalry, the thick woodland was ideal cover for archers. Some accounts mention that Henry had cunningly positioned archers in the woods to ambush the unsuspecting French from the side of the rear.  The wooded ambush was a Welsh area of expertise and, although it is impossible to know for sure, it would be of no surprise if the Welsh archers were handpicked for this job.  The disruption to the waves of cavalry attack, by the archers, was so successful Henry had managed to take numerous high status French prisoners that had yielded to the King mercy. Controversially, these men were later executed during the battle apart from a handful of the very richest that would yield the highest ransoms. An assault on Henry’s baggage train, probably by a local knight, placed to the rear took occurred and he feared encirclement.  The number of French prisoners, perhaps outnumbering their captors, could potentially re-arm and re-join the fight became a risk that Henry could not take.  But who would do the dirty work of killing the unarmed men who had surrendered?  Obviously, it was the archer’s.  Not bound by chivalric rules, these pragmatic men did what was necessary to secure the day.  The Anglo-Welsh archers were also an elite fighting unit when their arrows were spent.  They formed effective light infantry, unencumbered by heavy armour as they could fight hand-to-hand with buckler, sword, axe and the lead mauls they had driven their stakes in.  In the sodden and heavy soil, made further slick with the blood of French men and horse, they were far more mobile than a plate-laden knight.  Ultimately the French suffered the ignominy of the English capturing their belligerent Oraflame banner as had previously happened at Poitiers in 1356.  The destruction of the huge French force by the greatly outnumbered Anglo-Welsh army, whose suffered very little loss of their own, was complete.

Revisionist theories

During the 1990’s a different reinterpretation of the battle had come into vogue, not least of all by Channel Four’s ‘Battlefield Detectives’. It attributed the famous victory to little more than the ‘perfect storm’ of a huge crowd control disaster, exacerbated by a ploughed field of very sticky mud.  With underpowered bows and inappropriate arrows they ‘proved’ that the archers were incidental as their arrows failed to penetrate the French plate armour.   This interpretation was far more prosaic than Jean Froissart’s (1337– 1405) near contemporary accounts of the French dead piling up in mounds ‘a man high’ after being mown down by oft used cliché, ‘the machine gun of the Middle ages’.

Recent research has relealed the ‘real’ truth of Agincourt lays somewhere between these extremes. Certainly, Henry V achieved a remarkable victory.  With his dwindling army that was largely archer based (5:1 archer to man-at-arms) of around 6,000 tired and dysentery stricken men was able to overcome a greatly larger force of (according to some chroniclers) 30,000 fresh and expensively armed men.

The Gwent Connection

A long tradition of military archery existed in Gwent that preceded anything in England from Saxon times onwards.  Gerald Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales), writing in 1188 about his journey through Wales, recounted feats of archery prowess from Gwent Welsh archers.

“The people of Gwent in particular, are more skilled with the bow and arrow than those who come from other parts of Wales.”

Monmouth will always be associated with Henry V, born in its Castle in 1387.  Less well known is that it is likely he spent his formative years at the Courtfield Estate in Welsh Bicknor.  The estate is reputed to have originally been called Greenfield and later swapped the ‘Green’ with ‘Court’ prefix in his honour. Henry cut his military teeth fighting the rebel Owain Glyndwr with his father.  During the battle of Shrewsbury, between the two claimants to the title ‘Prince of Wales’, he was badly injured by a Welsh arrow strike below his eye. However, he refused to leave the field until the day was won. A slightly stunted statue of Henry V was placed below the clock face of the Shire Hall in 1792.  The figure seems to resemble Shakespeare’s villain Richard III more than Henry himself.  It is very likely that the recent Welsh rebellion reduced the number of Welsh archers present, especially from the north, as an air of suspicion was inevitable.  Indeed, at the similarly famous battle of Crecy there had been a disproportionate amount of Welsh bowmen.  Nevertheless, John Merbury, chamberlain of South Wales, raised 500 bowmen for the Agincourt campaign from the shires of Brecknock, Carmarthen and Cardigan. Former Welsh revolutionaries who had opposed the then Prince Henry were recruited because such a valuable resource that just could not be eschewed by the now King.  Henry was not a man who took opposition to his ‘divine right’ to be King lightly.  However, he was pragmatic enough to offer pardons to the former freedom fighters or rebels, depending upon your view point.

The Welsh archers mustered at the 15th century fortified manor house, Tretower Court, near Brecon. Sir Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine, who fought and died at the battle in 1415, also raised a retinue of archers.  Sir Roger is a direct ancestor to the Courtfield Estate’s current custodian, Mr. Jerome Vaughan. Not surprisingly, he is a keen longbowman himself and a very generous benefactor to Warbow Wales.  Every year he offers the childhood home of King Hal to shoot on and organises the Courtfield Cup, an event exclusively for longbows with a very handsome purse to the winning archers.  There can be few better feelings for a Welsh archer than to shoot a warbow on the very meadows that Prince Hal once exercised his horse.

Shakespeare’s Dafydd Gam, a real character who saved the king’s life also raised a retinue but lost his life during the battle.  Unlike the French, only a relative few Anglo-Welsh knights and men-at-arms perished on the field.

Another inseparable link between archery and Monmouth is the eponymous cap.  Monmouth became a centre for woollen goods production during the 15th and 16 century. The Monmouth cap is mentioned in Shakespeare’s stirring Henry V.

Fluellen says to the King…

“Your majesty says very true: if your majesties is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty know, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Davy’s day.”
The King replies…
“I wear it for a memorable honour; For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.”

Monmouth has the good fortune of having the Wye, which made exporting goods much easier.  It is also a short distance away from Archenfield in Herefordshire, which was noted for producing outstanding felting wool from Ryeland Sheep.
On the Agincourt Role, is man called Thomas Capper. The surname is derived from the makers of the knitted caps who enjoyed membership of its craft guild.  An original 16th century Monmouth cap can be seen in the town’s museum.  The leading expert on the cap is Kirstie Buckland, a Monmouth resident.  She still knits the caps of which the author is a proud owner.

No country can really lay an exclusive claim to the longbow or archery but certainly Monmouth has an indisputable place in archery history.

Some Welsh men also hold the distinction of being on the losing side at Agincourt!  Henry’s brother, the Duke of Gloucester obtained a grant of the manor Llanstephen which belonged to Henry Gwyn of Wales who was killed serving amongst the French at Agincourt.  Clearly Henry Gwyn was a man who could not forgive his erstwhile foe as easy as other men.

Plate armour penetration, Fact or Fiction?

So was the yew warbow of Agincourt an effective weapon when wielded by powerful and skilful archers from Wales and England?  Could if pierce the metal-clad knights mounted on their warhorses?
An ongoing and often acrimonious debate usually ensues within military archery circles when the ability of arrows to penetrate plate armour arises.
Many scholars even question whether arrow penetration through plate armour is a relevant question anyway.  The case is made that the hydrostatic shock resulting from an arrow strike can traumatize soft tissue even if penetration does not occur, thus disabling an opponent.  It is also rightly argued that the percentage of a medieval army actually protected by plate amour (including horse) also makes it a moot point.
Nevertheless, the answer as to whether Welsh medieval archers could shoot an arrow through plate is not simple to answer.  Certainly the thicknesses of plate varies in different places.  Armour, of all types, must always be a balance between protection with encumbrance.  For instance, greaves (lower leg armour) usually are less than 1/16” in thickness but helms often well over double that thickness in places.  Typically, the sides and back of a man-at-arms’ armour was thinner and, therefore, weaker.  Jean Froissart wrote, during the Hundred Years War, that Anglo-Welsh archers were arrayed on the wings of an army.
Another huge variable was the quality of the design and manufacture of the plate armour.  The finest Milanese and gothic armour offered unparalleled protection but only at a very handsome price, something akin to a buying a Ferrari nowadays.  Also like Ferrari sport cars, a finest bespoke white harness was not a common sight and out of reach to the vast majority of soldiery.  The polished, curved and hardened surfaces were not necessarily seen on munitions grade armour and, in all likelihood, could be defeated by a powerful shot.  Steel also was not the homogenous product we know today and could have both soft and hard patches just inches apart.  It should be noted that wearing fine armour usually gave protection from death in another form as it was clear that the wearer be well worth keeping alive and ransoming, a sum that would set an archer up for life.  Modern test have shown that with the correct arrowhead and shot from a powerful bow, and arrow can indeed penetrate plate armour.  In military archery, the real ‘killing zone’ happens at point blank range when the arrow is at high velocity and shot in a flat trajectory.  As the old archery saying goes, “I may have missed that one but I certainly got the man behind!”.  With a man-stopping war arrow this is also true for a French destrier, or warhorse, which was far more lightly armed than the rider.  The historian, Sir John Keegan, in ‘The Face of Battle’ has researcher the devastating ripple effect caused by a falling horse in a tight formation and its ability to disrupt an ordered charge.

The yew warbow of Agincourt

We know a lot about yew warbows from the 137 longbows found in the Tudor wreck The Mary Rose and there is no reason to suggest they had changed particularly from Agincourt that was little more than a 100 years before.  The yew for Henry V’s bow was likely to have been sourced from abroad as well as at home.  Nicolas Frost, his masterbowyer, was sent to collect what he could for the Agincourt campaign from around Britain. Interestingly he was forbidden to take yew from ecclesiastical land by the ever pious Henry.  It is improbable that Welsh yew bows were not represented at Agincourt.  What was the yew warbows of Agincourt like?  First a bowyer needs a suitable log of around 7’ and it important to split it rather than saw it so as to follow the natural rhythm of the grain in the wood.  The bow stave will then be carefully tapered until the drawn shape comes ‘full compass’ or describes the shape of an arc.  The tips of the bow are then horned to protect the wood from abrasion from the hempen string. For the finished bow you are looking something which is around 6ft 6” long, nock to nock, with a draw-weight between 130 to 150 lbs with some possibly heavier.  A bow like this, in the right hands, has a potential range with a military arrow (weighing as much as a ¼ lb) up to 260 yards.

Warbow Wales holds regular shoots using bows made of European and British yew stung with natural strings to gain a deep understanding of the weapon.

An arrow from Agincourt?

An arrow that was discovered in the roof of Westminster Abbey during maintenance over a century ago was likely to have been of type used at Agincourt.  It precise date is unknown but it cannot be later than 1437 as that was the completion date of its location.  The nock was once reinforced with a delicate sliver of horn and a preservative compound had been applied over the feather bindings like so many of the Mary Rose arrows.  The 29” (approx) draw-length shaft has been tapered to a slim nock and is perhaps made of aspen or birch although Dr. Hardy and Dr. Pratt were unable to definitively identify the wood when they carried out the most in-depth investigation of the arrow to date.  Warbow Wales’ first-hand observation of the arrow showed that no discernable annual growth rings are apparent, as with ash.  The widest part of the shaft, 11.2mm starts 1/3rd of the way back from the base of the arrowhead.  The arrowhead is a Type 16, which is an armour piecing barbed head with the barbs swept closely to the socket.  The shaft tapers to a little over 7.5 mm at the base of the nock. The arrow head socket is 11 mm in diameter.  The witness marks on the binding compound shows the feathers were a little over 7″ and bound on by fine tread, likely to have been silk, at around a 1/4″ a turn.  The overall weight is a tad over 43g but an amount must be added for the feathers, damaged arrowhead and possible desiccation over time.

Why was the arrow there? Was being used to throw at errant pigeons trying to roost?  Did it fall through the ceiling above?  Or, was it placed there as a symbolic an act of remembrance and respect by Henry’s Chantry Chapel?  However it got there, Warbow Wales shoots accurate approximations of the arrow with yew warbows.  The table below shows some striking results and the draw weights of the bows used to achieve them.  They give a representative indication of what bows of Agincourt could achieve.

Mary Rose/Agincourt design yew warbow

(shot with a natural string)

Westminster Abbey arrow

Distance achieved (yards)

Italian yew 118 lbs @ 32” 183 yards
Welsh yew 129 lbs @ 32” 224 yards
Italian yew 150lb @ 32″ 234 yards
English yew  170 lbs @ 32″ 255 yards

Legacy

The fact that Agincourt still resonates with us after 600 years proves that every generation finds something newto take from the battle.  Some 200 years prior to the most famous battle of the ‘Hundred Years War’ a seminal charter was signed that changed everything in Wales and England, The Magna Charta.  For the first time, a person had to actually be found guilty to be punished.  This first bill of human rights has had far more of a profound effect upon the West than Agincourt ever could.  In reality, the battle was but a high watermark in an ultimately doom campaign.

And yet, in a year of historic anniversaries, Agincourt is not over shadowed by its far more worthy sibling.  Olivier knew that nothing could stir the blood of a nation like Wales and fill it with a sense of pride than The Battle of Agincourt!

Jeremy Spencer www.warbowwales.com

 

Stay at an impressive historic idyll and explore the Agincourt story

Stay at a castellated Elizabethan Tower, set in mature walled gardens, close to places associated with the Agincourt story in Wales.

This year 2015 commemorates the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt and a stay at The Tower/Tŵr Mihangel on the edge of the village of Llanfihangel Crucorney in the Brecon Beacons National Park,  allows visitors the chance to explore the fascinating heritage associated with the famous battle.

A fun way to enjoy ‘An Agincourt Adventure’ is by bike. Visitors can hire a bike and take a self-guided cycle tour through the pretty countryside visiting  Abergavenny, just 5 miles away, where they can learn about William ap Thomas who fought at Agincourt and his wife Gwladys, the daughter of a well known Agincourt hero Dafydd (Davy) Gam.  A ride to Tretower Court and Castle introduces the visitor to the place where the troops gathered for ‘the muster’ in June 1415,  before their trip to France. Inside Tretower Court there a large tapestry depicting the battle. In the Cathedral, in the market town of Brecon, visitors will see  the indenture listing some of the Welsh archers who made a significant contribution to the battle’s success and the family tomb of the Gam family.

During the year there are a number of events for all ages, telling the story of the Welsh archers and how Henry V won the battle in music, poetry, film, re-enactments, archery competitions and medieval games. A full list of events can be found here http://www.agincourt600wales.com/events/

Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages offers The Tower/ Tŵr Mihangel, a historic property, well equipped and furnished. Located just 5 miles from Abergavenny and 25 miles from Brecon To book https://www.breconcottages.com/

Drovers Holidays offers bike hire £35 per bike per day, £50 per bike for 2 days, £15 per additional day. The Tower is within 20 miles of Hay on Wye and therefore eligible for free delivery. http://www.droverholidays.co.uk/bike-hire.php

More information about the people and places associated with the Battle of Agincourt can be found http://www.agincourt600wales.com/

The Tower - Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages
The Tower – Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages

Arhoswch mewn Tŵr Elisabethaidd castellaidd, ynghanol gerddi caerog, yn agos at leoliadau sy’n gysylltiedig â stori Agincourt yng Nghymru.

Mae 2015 yn nodi 600 mlwyddiant Brwydr Agincourt a gall ymwelwyr archwilio’r dreftadaeth ryfeddol sy’n gysylltiedig â’r Frwydr enwog drwy aros yn Nhŵr Mihangel ar gyrion pentref Llanfihangel Crucornau ym Mharc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog.

Gallwch fwynhau ‘Antur Agincourt’ ar gefn beic. Gall ymwelwyr logi beic a mynd ar daith ar eu liwt eu hunain drwy gefn gwlad prydferth i ymweld â’r Fenni, gwta 5 milltir i ffwrdd, lle gallant ddysgu am William ap Thomas, a ymladdodd yn Agincourt, a’i wraig Gwladys, merch un o arwyr Agincourt, Dafydd (Davy) Gam.  Ymlaen i Lys a Chastell Tre-tŵr lle gall ymwelwyr weld y fan lle ymfyddinodd a mwstrodd y milwyr ym mis Mehefin 1415 cyn eu taith i Ffrainc. Y tu mewn i Gastell Tre-tŵr ceir tapestri mawr yn darlunio’r frwydr. Yn y Gadeirlen yn nhref farchnad Aberhonddu, gall ymwelwyr weld yr indentur yn rhestru rhai o saethyddion Cymru a gyfrannodd mor sylweddol at lwyddiant y Frwydr, a beddrod y teulu Gam.

Yn ystod y flwyddyn bydd nifer o ddigwyddiadau’n cael eu cynnal i bawb o bob oed, yn adrodd stori saethyddion Cymru a buddugoliaeth Harri V drwy gerddoriaeth, barddoniaeth, ffilm, ail-greadau, cystadlaethau saethyddiaeth a gemau canoloesol. Gallwch weld rhestr lawn o’r digwyddiadau yn http://www.agincourt600wales.com/events/

Dewch i aros yn Nhŵr Mihangel, eiddo hanesyddol sydd wedi’i ddodrefnu’n llawn, gyda Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages. Dim ond 5 milltir o’r Fenni a 25 milltir o Aberhonddu. I archebu ewch i https://www.breconcottages.com/

Gallwch logi beic gan Drovers Holidays am £35 y dydd, £50 y beic am ddeuddydd, a £15 am bob diwrnod ychwanegol. Mae’r Tŵr o fewn 20 milltir i’r Gelli Gandryll felly gall y beiciau gael eu hanfon atoch chi am ddim.  http://www.droverholidays.co.uk/bike-hire.php

Ceir rhagor o wybodaeth am y bobl a’r lleoliadau sy’n gysylltiedig â Brwydr Agincourt yn http://www.agincourt600wales.com/

 

 

Original photographs taken during the filming of ‘Henry V’ in 1944 found!

Phil Cox, Chair of the Friends of Newport Ship tells us that a patron of his organisation and personal friend, Cllr Charles Ferris of Newport City Council, is fascinated by all things historical.

Some years ago he was helping an old friend clear out the possessions of another friend following his death and some unique photo albums were discovered.  The albums were filled with black and white photographs of the 1944 film featuring Sir Laurence Olivier playing the lead role of Henry V, and include small versions of the original publicity posters!

When it was confirmed that the 1944 version of ‘Henry V’ with Sir Laurence Olivier was going to be shown at the Riverfront Theatre, Newport, Phil asked Charles if he had anything related to the film in his possession.  He proceeded to produce the albums and posters! The 1944 version will be shown at The Studio, Riverfront Theatre Newport on 11 June starting at 7.45pm. The film is being shown to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and the part Welsh troops played in the famous battle. The event is also a fundraiser for The Friends of Newport Ship. To book call Riverfront Theatre (01633) 656757 or visit http://tickets.newportlive.co.uk/en-GB/categories/cinema The later 1989 version directed by, and starring Kenneth Branagh will be shown on 17 July, at 7.45pm also at Riverfront Theatre, Newport.

 

Henry V - Sir Laurence Olivier (1944 film, thanks to Charles Ferris)
Henry V – Sir Laurence Olivier (1944 film, thanks to Charles Ferris)

 

Taken from 1944 film Henry, thanks to Charles Ferris
Taken from 1944 film Henry, thanks to Charles Ferris

Stori ddiddorol iawn am sut y daeth Cyfeillion Llong Casnewydd o hyd i luniau gwreiddiol a dynnwyd yn ystod y ffilmio ar gyfer ‘Henry V’ yn 1944!

 Dywedodd Phil Cox, Cadeirydd Cyfeillion Llong Casnewydd wrthym fod noddwyr ei fudiad a ffrind personol iddo, y Cynghorydd Charles Ferris o Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd, yn ymddiddori mewn pob peth hanesyddol.

Ychydig flynyddoedd yn ôl roedd yn helpu hen ffrind glirio eiddo ffrind arall yn dilyn ei farwolaeth a daethant o hyd i albymau lluniau unigryw. Roedd yr albymau yn llawn lluniau du a gwyn o’r ffilm o 1944 sy’n cynnwys Syr Laurence Olivier yn y brif rôl sef Harri’r V, ac maent yn cynnwys fersiynau bychain o’r posteri cyhoeddusrwydd gwreiddiol!

Pan gafodd ei gadarnhau fod fersiwn 1944 o’r ffilm ‘Henry V’ yn cynnwys Syr Laurence Olivier yn mynd i gael ei harddangos yn Theatr Glan-yr-afon, Casnewydd gofynnodd Phil i Charles a oedd yn berchen ar unrhyw beth a oedd yn ymwneud â’r ffilm. Aeth ati i ddangos yr albymau a’r posteri!

 

Caiff fersiwn 1944 o’r ffilm ei harddangos yn y Stiwdio, Theatr Glan-yr-afon, Casnewydd ar 11eg Mehefin am 7.45pm. Caiff y ffilm ei harddangos i goffau 600 mlynedd ers Brwydr Agincourt yn 1415 a rhan milwyr Cymru yn y frwydr enwog. Bydd y digwyddiad hefyd yn codi arian at Gyfeillion Llong Casnewydd. I archebu tocynnau ffoniwch Theatr Glan-yr-afon (01633) 656757 neu ewch i http://tickets.newportlive.co.uk/en-GB/categories/cinema Caiff y fersiwn hwyrach o 1989 a gyfarwyddwyd gan Kenneth Branagh a oedd hefyd yn actio yn y ffilm ei harddangos ar 17eg Gorffennaf am 7.45pm hefyd yn Theatr Glan-yr-afon, Casnewydd.

 

 

The Brecon Archers

The Brecon Archers

The Welsh archers at Agincourt have become the stuff of legend, but what do we really know about those who came from the lordship of Brecon and the contribution they made to the battle of Agincourt?

We know from the muster rolls for June 26th 1415 that 14 mounted archers and 146 foot archers came from Brecon and other Lancaster lordships. The muster rolls list names, many of which record nicknames such as “ Ddu” for black hair , “Tew” for stout or “Sais” for someone who spoke English well.

Some of the archers have English sounding names. Examples include:

  • John Pyper
  • Dafydd Coke
  • John Wynter
  • David Tournor
  • Geoffrey Baret

Others record their ancestry back through four generations. One example is Ieuan ap Morgan ap Dafydd ap Meuric. Why there should be a need to expand the family history to this degree is not clear. Perhaps his great grandfather was still alive.

An archer was paid 6d a day whether mounted or not.

We know little about the archers of Brecon. We can guess about personal characteristics from their names, as has been said above.

How many of these archers reached France is unknown. Some may have stayed to form part of the garrison to guard against a resurgence of rebellion in the King’s absence. Many may well have fallen ill at Harfleur and been sent home before the march which led to Agincourt. We know that Ieuan ap Morgan ap Dafydd ap Meuric were on the sick lists and so was Ieuan ap Llywelyn ab Ieuan.

Only Dafydd ap Llewelyn, (known as Dafydd Gam) can we say with some certainty was at Agincourt. His is the only Welsh name recorded by contemporary chroniclers.

The story of the others remains to be uncovered.

References:

http://www.medievalsoldier.org

Chapman, A (2011). “The King’s Welshmen: Welsh Involvement in the Expeditionary Army of 1415’ in Journal of Medieval Military History IX, ed. Anne Curry and Adrian Bell.

Assorted arrows Visit Britain
Assorted arrows Visit Britain