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Searching for families whose ancestors were in the Welsh contingent

Agincourt 600 Wales, the community group which is pulling together the local associations with the Battle of Agincourt in Brecknock and Monmouthshire, is searching for descendants of the brave men who fought in the battle.

The contingent of 156 archers and 12 men at arms came from the locality, some of their names can be seen today in the indenture at Brecon Cathedral but the search is on to identify their descendants and learn more about the brave men and their stories.

Agincourt 600 Wales welcomes those, who believe that they have family connections to the Welsh contingent, they should register on its website

For further information please contact 07951268310

A oedd eich cyndadau chi’n rhan o filwyr arfog a saethyddion mintai Cymru?

Grŵp cymunedol yw Agincourt 600 Cymru, sy’n tynnu cymdeithasau lleol â Brwydr Agincourt ym Mrycheiniog a Sir Fynwy at ei gilydd, ac mae’n chwilio am deuluoedd y dynion dewr a fu’n ymladd yn y frwydr.

Daeth y fintai o 156 o saethyddion a 12 o filwyr arfog o’r ardal leol a gallwch weld rhai o’u henwau heddiw yn yr indentur yn Eglwys Gadeiriol Aberhonddu, ond rydym yn chwilio am eu disgynyddion i ddysgu mwy am y dynion dewr a’u hanesion.

Mae Agincourt 600 Cymru am wahodd y rhai hynny sy’n credu bod ganddynt gysylltiadau teuluol â mintai Cymru i gofrestru ar y wefan sef

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth cysylltwch â Gaynor yn neu drwy ffonio 07951268310

Battle Scene edited by Simon Leach
Battle Scene edited by Simon Leach




Schools workshops on theme of Agincourt 600

In the week preceding the Great Brecknock Pageant on 20 June local schools in Brecon were offered a ‘Battle of Agincourt workshops’ on the Agincourt theme for Year 6 pupils. Sessions last 2 hours and include a ‘Horrible Histories’ style talk about the archers and the Battle. Also include is a tour of Brecon Cathedral looking at the Agincourt and medieval period artefacts and activities. Cost £1 per child.

Schools participating include:

Mon 15 June am Sennybridge    pm Priory School Brecon

Tues 16 June am Talgarth             pm Cradoc School

Wed 17 June am  Irfon Valley CP School

Thur 18 June am Llanfaes              pm Priory School Brecon

Fri 19 June am Llangattock

If schools are interested in workshop sessions contact Martine Woodcock Brecknock Museum

Children’s workshops and medieval games, Brecon Cathedral

20 June 2015   10am-1pm

During the ‘Great Brecknock Pageant’ in Brecon there will be “drop-in” morning workshops held for children at the Heritage Centre, Brecon Cathedral and medieval games in the Cathedral Close.  For more details, including opening times or contact 01874 623857.

The Agincourt Exhibition Wall Hanging

The Agincourt 600 Wall Hanging

Created by the Brecon U3A Contemporary Craft Group

 Multimedia – fabric collage, embroidery, painting and print.

An original design incorporating heraldry, scenes and personalities that feature in the story of Henry V’s expedition to France and the battle of Agincourt in 1415

The U3A Brecon Wall hanging in the Agincourt exhibition
The U3A Brecon Wall hanging in the Agincourt exhibition

Pictured left to right: Corinne & Hugh Thomas, Pat Woolford (Designer & Coordinator) Sheila Williams and Joy Hudson

Croglen Agincourt 600

Cafodd ei chreu gan Grŵp Crefft Cyfoesol U3A Aberhonddu

Amlgyfrwng – collage defnydd, brodwaith, paent, print.

Dyluniad gwreiddiol sy’n ymgorffori herodraeth, golygfeydd a phersonoliaethau sy’n amlwg yn hanes rhyfelgyrch Harri V i Ffrainc, a brwydr Agincourt yn 1415.


‘Breconshire Men’ a poem by Mary Bailey

In 1914, Mary Bailey wrote this evocative and poignant poem.


Harry of Monmouth at Agincourt fought,

His was the life that the enemy sought;

But, in the thick of the fighting, a ring

Of Breconshire soldiers defending the King.

“Over our bodies your way lies” they said

“You cannot touch him until we are dead”

David Gam, Roger Vaughan, Watkin Lloyd

These were then The Breconshire Men.


Now once again, does our army advance

The flower of our manhood is fighting in France:

Again, in the midst of the battle’s fierce din,

Breconshire soldiers have died for their King.

More men are wanted – our work is not done,

From Brecon, Crickhowell and Cefn they come;

From Talgarth, Tretower, Ystradgynlais, Brynmawr,

Breconshire men are all ready for war.


Gladly they do it – to answer the call

Of their King and their Fatherland – Patriots all.

King George shall find now as Harry did then,

No soldiers more willing than Breconshire men.

Not for one moment in valour they yield,

To those who fell fighting on Agincourt’s field.

Loyal and gallant, and faithful as then are Breconshire men

GWLADYS MARY BAILEY, author of ‘Breconshire Men’

Some background details

Gwladys Mary also known as Mary was the tenth (and fifth surviving) daughter of Sir Joseph Bailey and Mary (Lord & Lady Glanusk).

1875 – Born 29th March 1875 at Glanusk Park, Crickhowell.

1897-99 – Studied at the Westminster School of Art, as it was said that she was fond of Brush and Pencil.

1903 – Studied in Paris at the studio of Mons de L’Ecluse.

1906 – She left her home at Glanusk on her father’s death and lived with her mother and elder sister Mabel at Hay Castle, where she devoted herself to charitable organisations and in particular, during WWI, when she wrote the poem ‘Breconshire Men’ as many of her close relatives served and some killed.  Her youngest nephew being just sixteen years old.

1935 – After the death of her mother, she returned to the much loved area of her old home and settled at Tretower House with her brother, William Bailey, (d.1942).  After he died she remained at Tretower House, looked after by her devoted housekeeper, Muriel Compton.

She was the beloved friend and confidant of all her nephews and nieces, who turned to her for comfort and advice, in their joys and sorrows. Likewise she was a constant visitor of every cottage and farm on the Estate, no help was ever refused.

Gwladys Mary Bailey died at Tretower House in 1960 and is buried at Penmyarth Church, Glanusk Park.

The information was provided by The Hon. Dame Shân Legge-Bourke DCVO (nee Bailey)



40 facts about Wales’s involvement in the Battle

  1. Most indentures were sealed on 29 April 1415 but the ones for the Welsh contingents were not sealed until 26 June.
  2. The Brecknock contingent comprised 10 men-at-arms, 13 mounted archers and 146 foot archers. The smallest group came from Glyn Tawe. The largest group were from the office of the Bailiff Itinerant (the collector of fines and taxes), possibly some of them were in debt to the lordship.
  3. The Captain of the contingent was Watkyn Lloyt.
  4. The contingent had a Chaplin in their ranks called William Walderbess. Usually ordained priests were not allowed to fight with edged weapons, they used a mace, club or hammer instead.
  5. Some of the archers were identified by their nickname e.g. Llywelyn Coch (Llywelyn the Red) who probably had red hair.
  6. Most of the contingent had Welsh names but some had names of Anglo- Norman, Anglo- Saxon, French or Flemish origin.
  7. Their paid service started on 6 July 1415, men-at-arms were paid 12 pence per day, archers 6 pence.
  8. When passing through Warminster en-route to the Solent some Welsh soldiers were alleged to have taken goods without paying.
  9.  John Merbury who was Chamberlin of South Wales, Steward of the Lordship of Brecknock and the official who made the indenture, started his career as an archer.
  10. Merbury was offered a knighthood but declined the honour.
  11. Merbury and his wife are buried in the parish church at Weobly in Herefordshire.
  12. The Lordship of Brecknock was one of the richest of the Marcher lordships in Wales and Brecon was one of the four most important towns.
  13. The Lordship was part of the Duchy of Lancaster, as Henry V was also Duke of Lancaster it meant that the Brecknock contingent were the King’s own men.
  14. Dafydd ap Llywelyn, also known by his nickname Gam was a long time servant of Henry IV and Henry V. He may, at times, have been employed as a ‘secret agent’.
  15. Gam was a descendant of Bleddyn ap Maenrych, the last native ruler of Brycheiniog.
  16. Gam attempted to assassinate Owain Glyndwr.
  17. Gam may have commanded part of the Royal force that defeated Owain Glyndwr’s army at the battle of Pwll Melyn, near Usk. In the battle Glyndwr’s son was captured.
  18. Gam indentured separately with three archers.
  19. Gam was possibly the inspiration for Shakespere’s Captain Fluellen.
  20. Dafydd ap Llywelyn’s descendants took the nickname Gam as their surname, this subsequently became
  21. Games a prominent Breconshire family.
  22. Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine may have been one of Gam’s archers, he was his son-in-law.
  23. Roger Vaughan’s youngest son, also named Roger, probably served as a page. He would have been only 12 or 13 years old. He survived the campaign and eventually became Sir Roger Vaughan of Tretower.
  24. A stained glass window in Brecon Cathedral commemorates Roger Vaughan.
  25. A tomb effigy in Bredwardine church is said to be that of Roger Vaughan.
  26.  Watkyn Lloyt was Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine’s son-in-law.
  27.  Watkyn Lloyt is recorded as being invalided home from Harfleur.
  28. Watkyn Lloyt had a property called Tir Marchog near Trecastle, it’s now called Ynys Marchog (Water-meadow of the Knight).
  29. Most of the Brecknock contingent would never have seen the sea before sailing for France.
  30. The contingents from Carmarthen and Cardigan had in their ranks, men who had fought for Owain Glyndwr. By joining the King’s army they avoided having to pay a fine or face imprisonment.
  31. Welsh archers often fought barefoot.
  32. Putting a blob of beeswax on the tip of arrowheads improved their armour piercing capabilities.
  33. Henry V was born in a room in the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle.
  34. Gwladus was Dafydd Gam’s daughter and widow of Sir Roger Vaughan of Bredwardine. She then married William ap Thomas of Raglan and together they found the Herbert dynasty, Earls of Pembroke.
  35.  The tomb of William and Gwladus is in St. Mary’s Church, Abergavenny.
  36. Henry ap William Gwyn of Carmarthen, one of Glyndwr’s veterans, was killed at Agincourt, fighting for the French.
  37. David Gam was probably born at Castell Eynion Sais near Pen Pont, Brecon.
  38. Gam’s property at Pytin Ddu near Brecon was burned to the ground by Owain Glyndwr.
  39.  Gam’s original Arms were,  Argent a lion rampant Sable, armed and langued Gules. Later the descendants of his son Morgan adopted the family name to Games and used the heraldry of Bleddyn ap Maenrych, Quartered with that of Einion Sais, Quarterly, 1 and 4, Sable, a chevron between three spear heads Argent embruled Gules: 2 and 3 Agent a chevron Gules between 3 cocks Gules.
  40. In Brecon Cathedral there is a stone reputed to have been used to sharpen arrow heads.

Source: Bryan Davies