Africa 2050: trends, hopes and fears for the future

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Event at the Temple of Peace, organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs

Roundtable discussion with:
Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB
Ambreena Manji, Professor of Land Law and Development at Cardiff University
Martha Musonza Holman, Founder of Love Zimbabwe
Chaired by: Fadhili Maghiya, Diaspora & Inclusion Officer, Sub-Saharan Advisory Panel
Report by: Lara Hirschhausen

Will Oxfam still be working in Africa in 2050?

This was the opening question to Oxfam’s Chief Executive Mark Goldring at a roundtable discussion organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs on the 24th of February.

Mark Goldring, the current CEO of Oxfam GB, had just returned from a visit to Ethiopia and offered an informative insight into the organisation’s current work on the continent. Referring to the devastating impacts of the current draught in Ethiopia, Mr. Goldring highlighted the necessity to recognise climate change as a major challenge faced by the developing world. He further spoke about conflict, unequal distribution of economic growth, and illicit money as major opponents to just development on the African continent. However, the Oxfam Chief Executive also emphasised that credit needs to be given to the advancements of African leaders. Positive examples of the improved conditions in many African nations do exist, such as the increase of democratically elected governments or the 2005 plea for the abolition of African debt and the increase in school enrolment thereafter.

Ambreena Manji, a lecturer at the Law Department of Cardiff University, commented on her research area of land tenure as a core issue that is holding back a more equitable development agenda in many African states. She elaborated further on the disputes that arise from land allocation being dominated by commercial interested rather than public interest, and how the promotion of a legal framework was at the core of just economic development.

Martha Musonza Holman, founder of the NGO Love Zimbabwe, spoke about current issues in her home country Zimbabwe, from which she had also just returned. She particularly emphasised the need to mobilise civil society both within the states, but also through the diaspora, to tackle corruption in the political leadership. As Zimbabwe is also currently suffering a draught, Martha pointed out the consequences of environmental change on the industrialised world that relies on food imports from African countries. As a teacher by training, she further endorsed the benefit and need for exchange programmes that allow African students to visit the United Kingdom.

The initial roundtable was followed by a lively QA session. The audience, which seemingly was made up of people involved with human rights or development organisations in Africa, raised a number of relevant questions. The event captured well the various issues and diverging opinions how to solve them. What role does China have to play in African development? And what are the risks, what the opportunities of Chinese investment in the continent? How is Climate Change hindering development? How can we ensure adequate mitigation as well as adaption strategies? Is there hope that these strategies can be used to lead to not only more environmentally, but also sociably, sustainable economic growth? Arguably, these are some of the big questions that our world has to address, and for Africa these challenges will be of crucial importance in order to determine its way over the next 50 years. While there is undoubtedly a lot of work left to be done, allowing for a dialogue that focuses on the needs of the citizens will hopefully form the core of it. You can see a detailed transcript of the event here.

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Where do you draw line between terrorists and dictators?

by Wario Denebo

Saturday the 12th of March 2016 was a bright day with relatively mild temperatures inEhtiopia blog South Wales. In the evening, it looked as though many people were upset while others (probably few) were overjoyed following the Six Nations Match- particularly England Versus Wales. For those at the Oromo community meeting in Cardiff, however, the mood was entirely different. Every one of us was hit hard in the stomach with the brutality of the Ethiopian regime back home. Every one of us was mourning deaths of close friends or family members killed by the Ethiopian soldiers at peaceful demonstrations in Oromia. Unfortunately, the atrocities have continued and the regime has continued to enjoy the supports from the West including the UK and the USA.

Almost all of us have only been in Wales for less than three years and ever since leaving home we have received regular accounts of killings, arbitrary arrests, deliberate starvation and inhumane or degrading treatments of innocent people at the hands of the Ethiopian government authorities in Oromia, as reported by Human Rights Organisations such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

The situation has gotten worse recently as government soldiers have been firing live ammunitions at peaceful demonstrators demanding respect for basic human rights. Despite this, Ethiopia has remained one of arguably the largest aid recipients from the UK. It was against this background that members of the Oromo community in Wales held a meeting in Cardiff on 12/03/2016 to reaffirm our commitments to continue to stand against genocide and all other forms of human rights violations that the terrorist Ethiopian regime has perpetrated against the Oromo people. While we are grateful to the British and all other nations in Europe that have given sanctuary to thousands of Oromo people who have fled from persecution in Oromia, we are dejected by the continued atrocities committed against our people. We all feel deeply affected by the violation of basic human rights taking place in Oromia, our country, and would like to appeal to the British government and its EU counterparts to stop giving technical and financial supports to the Ethiopian terrorist regime that has murdered several thousand of Oromo children, youth, parents and grandparents in attempt to silence public demands for fundamental right, freedom and justice since 1991.

Thomas Evan Nicholas (Niclas y Glais)

Cymraeg

Nioclas GlasThomas Evan Nicholas – otherwise known as “Niclas y Glais” – was born in rural West Wales in 1879. Niclas was a passionate believer in peace. He preached against war every Sunday during WWI and was eventually imprisoned for his pacifist stance during WWII. As a member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) he stood up for the rights of the poor. He was also a prolific poet. During his time in prison he wrote 150 sonnets on pieces of toilet paper, which were later published in the volume ‘Canu’r Carchar’ (‘Prison Sonnets’). He died in 1971.

Thomas Evan Nicholas was the son of Dafydd and Bet, of Y Llety, Pentregalar. He was born on October 8th. 1879 on the slopes of Foel Dyrch in the Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire. Times were hard. There were 6 children in the family, and Y Llety was a rented smallholding. The landlords called from time to time to ensure the money was paid.

He later became known as Niclas y Glais – y Glais being the name of the Chapel where he was minister for a period.

It is often argued that the community of the Preseli Hills represented the socialist ideal for Niclas – a community where people cooperated for each other’s good. It was a civilized society where ideas, stories, debates, sermons and politics were shared. There was a great deal of sharing of books and journals, too. Niclas was introduced to what was happening in Parliament by the newspaper ‘Baner ac Amserau Cymru’ published by Thomas Gee.

His first job was as a messenger to The Swan public house. The journey by horse and cart from the Swan to Crymych gave him the chance to learn chunks of poetry by heart. He was often told off by his boss for taking too long over the trip, which tended to happen if he had a lengthy piece to learn!

Early in his life he became aware that the ‘system’ was unfair – ‘the system’ being the way society was ordered. Niclas believed that the traditional ‘fairness’ of Welsh people – their system built on a sense of ‘fair play’ – was their contribution to the world.

When the First World War broke out, Niclas was a minister in Llangybi, Cardiganshire. He could not see war as part of Christ’s teaching, and preached against it every Sunday. Policemen were sent to listen to his sermons. Because of his anti-war stance, he had a tough time, but surprisingly – given the anti-German fever which was sweeping Britain at the time – he wasn’t arrested.

In 1918, he was selected as the Independent Labour Party (I.L.P.) candidate for the seat of Aberdare. He is said to have lost the election when he was asked, ‘Would you shake hands with a German?’ and he replied, ‘Of course. Why ever not?’.

By the time the second World War came the authorities seized the opportunity to take Niclas to court in 1939 when the ‘Emergency Powers (Defence) Act’ became law. This law allowed the authorities to imprison anyone who ‘impaired the war effort’. Niclas and his son, Islwyn, were accused of being Fascists, although both were staunch Socialists!

When Niclas and Islwyn were in Brixton jail, the surrounding area was regularly bombed. They were locked in their cells without any light while the German planes circled overhead. They were imprisoned in the area kept for ‘Aliens’ (i.e. foreigners) and were not allowed to go to the shelters like the other prisoners, but had to stay put as the prison shook.

While in prison, Niclas perfected the craft of the sonnet. The 14 lines of a sonnet fitted perfectly on a piece of toilet paper – thus it was the ideal form for a prisoner-poet! These were later published as ‘Canu’r Carchar’ (and translated into English as ‘Prison Sonnets’).

Niclas didn’t live to see the egalitarian society he dreamed of, but his vision remains.


Thomas Evan Nicholas (Niclas y Glais)

Nioclas Glas Ganed Thomas Evan Nicholas – neu fel roedd yn cael ei adnabod “Niclas y Glais” – yng nghefn gwlad gorllewin Cymru yn 1879. Roedd Niclas yn credu’n gryf mewn heddwch. Roedd yn pregethu yn erbyn y rhyfel bob dydd Sul yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf ac yn y pen draw, cafodd ei garcharu am ei safiad fel heddychwr yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd. Fel aelod o’r Blaid Lafur Annibynnol (ILP), roedd yn sefyll dros hawliau pobl dlawd. Roedd hefyd yn fardd prysur iawn. Yn ystod ei gyfnod yn y carchar, ysgrifennodd 150 o sonedau ar ddarnau o bapur tŷ bach a gyhoeddwyd yn ddiweddarach mewn cyfrol o’r enw ‘Canu’r Carchar’. Bu farw yn 1971.

Roedd Thomas Evan Nicholas yn fab i Dafydd a Bet, o’r Llety, Pentregalar. Cafodd ei eni ar 8 Hydref 1879, ar lethrau Foel Dyrch yn y Preselau, Sir Benfro. Roedd hi’n gyfnod anodd. Roedd 6 phlentyn yn y teulu ac roedd y Llety yn dyddyn wedi’i rentu. Byddai’r landlordiaid yn galw o bryd i’w gilydd i sicrhau bod y rhent yn cael ei dalu.

Yn ddiweddarach, roedd yn cael ei adnabod fel Niclas y Glais – y Glais oedd y Capel lle roedd yn weinidog am gyfnod.

Mae pobl yn dweud yn aml mai’r gymuned yn ardal y Preselau oedd yn cynrychioli’r ddelfryd sosialaidd i Niclas – cymuned lle roedd pawb yn cydweithredu er budd ei gilydd. Roedd yn gymdeithas waraidd lle roedd pobl yn rhannu syniadau, straeon, trafodaethau, pregethau a gwleidyddiaeth. Roedd llawer hefyd yn rhannu llyfrau a chyfnodolion. Daeth Niclas i ddarllen am yr hyn oedd yn digwydd yn y Senedd drwy ‘Faner ac Amserau Cymru’, papur newydd a oedd yn cael ei gyhoeddi gan Thomas Gee.

Ei swydd gyntaf oedd negesydd i dafarn The Swan. Roedd y siwrne gyda chert a cheffyl o’r Swan i Grymych yn gyfle iddo ddysgu darnau o farddoniaeth ar ei gof. Byddai ei reolwr yn ei ddwrdio yn aml am gymryd gormod o amser i deithio, rhywbeth oedd yn tueddu i ddigwydd os oes ganddo fe ddarn hir i’w ddysgu!

Yn gynnar yn ystod ei fywyd, daeth yn ymwybodol bod y ‘drefn’ yn annheg – ‘y drefn’ oedd sut roedd cymdeithas wedi’i strwythuro. Roedd Niclas yn credu mai ‘tegwch’ traddodiadol y Cymry – eu trefn nhw oedd wedi’i chreu yn ôl eu synnwyr o ‘chwarae teg’ – oedd eu cyfraniad i’r byd.

Pan ddechreuodd y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, roedd Niclas yn weinidog yn Llangybi, Ceredigion. I Niclas, nid oedd rhyfel yn rhan o ddysgeidiaeth Iesu Grist, ac roedd yn pregethu yn ei erbyn bob dydd Sul. Anfonwyd heddlu i wrando ar ei bregethau. Oherwydd ei safbwynt heddychlon, cafodd amser anodd, ond yn rhyfeddol, o gofio’r ysbryd gwrth-Almeinig chwyrn oedd ym mhob man ar y pryd ym Mhrydain, ni chafodd ei arestio.

Yn 1918, cafodd ei ddewis fel ymgeisydd y Blaid Lafur Annibynnol ar gyfer sedd Aberdâr. Mae’n debyg iddo golli’r etholiad pan ofynnwyd iddo, ‘A fuasech chi’n ysgwyd dwylo gydag Almaenwr?’ a’i ateb oedd, ‘Wrth gwrs. Pam na fuaswn i?’.

Erbyn yr Ail Ryfel Byd, manteisiodd yr awdurdodau ar eu cyfle i fynd â Niclas i’r llys yn 1939, pan basiwyd ‘Deddf Pwerau Argyfwng (Amddiffyn)’. Roedd y gyfraith yma yn caniatáu i’r awdurdodau garcharu unrhyw un a oedd yn ‘ymyrryd ag ymdrech y rhyfel’. Cyhuddwyd Niclas a’i fab Islwyn o fod yn Ffasgwyr, er bod y ddau yn Sosialwyr i’r carn!

Pan oedd Niclas ac Islwyn yng ngharchar Brixton, roedd yr ardal o’i amgylch yn cael ei bomio’n rheolaidd. Cawsant eu cloi yn eu celloedd heb olau wrth i awyrennau’r Almaenwyr hedfan uwchben. Yn y carchar roedden nhw’n cael eu cadw yn yr ardal ar gyfer ‘Dieithriaid’ (sef tramorwyr) a doedden nhw ddim yn cael mynd i’r llochesi fel y carcharorion eraill. Roedd rhaid iddyn nhw aros yn eu celloedd wrth i’r carchar grynu.

Yn ystod ei gyfnod yn y carchar, perffeithiodd Niclas grefft y soned. Roedd 14 llinell y soned yn ffitio’n berffaith ar ddarn o bapur tŷ bach – ac felly roedd yn gerdd berffaith ar gyfer bardd yn y carchar! Cyhoeddwyd y sonedau hyn yn ddiweddarach fel ‘Canu’r Carchar’ (a’u cyfieithu i’r Saesneg fel ‘Prison Sonnets’).

Ni fu Niclas fyw i weld y gymdeithas egalitariadd roedd yn breuddwydio amdani, ond mae ei weledigaeth yn parhau.

George M. Ll. Davies (1880–1949)

Cymraeg

George M. Ll. Davies is remembered with great reverence and respect by peace-makers in Wales, but is little known outside that small circle. And yet he had considerable influence on those around him – as a conscientious objector, social reformer, Member of Parliament, Methodist minister and conciliator. He lived in turbulent times – through two World Wars and a Depression – and struggled with how to live a life based on a belief in peace and equality.

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Origins:

       George M. Ll. Davies (1880–1949)George M. Ll. Davies was born into an affluent Liverpool Welsh family in 1880. In 1891, when George was eleven, his father went bankrupt, and he remembered all his life the judgemental attitudes of people who had formerly been friends of the family.

       Because of his father’s financial situation George could not go to university, so he got a job in a bank. At the age of twenty-six he was made manager of Martin’s Bank in Wrexham. In 1909 he joined the new Territorial Army, and enjoyed weekends training his men, preparing for the defence of Britain. One day, however, the realisation came to him that he could never kill anyone, and that indeed this was against Christ’s teachings. He resigned from his officer position, although still, officially, a private in the TA. He also left the bank, and started working for David Davies Llandinam in various social enterprises: for example, one aimed at preventing tuberculosis, and another providing planned social housing for working people.

World War I:

       When war broke out in August 1914, a new organisation was formed – the Fellowship of Reconciliation. George left Wales and went to London as Secretary to the FoR. When conscription came in in March 1916 George stood before a Tribunal and applied to be a Conscientious Objector. As an ‘absolutist’ he refused to do any work at all that would help the war effort. He was therefore required to undertake ‘alternative service’.

       As part of this service, George went to a new home in Leicestershire run by the FoR for young people who had been in trouble with the law. It was run on experimental lines: for example, when the kids broke the house rules, they were asked to make new rules – which they kept! This reflected George’s ideas of how a peaceful community could be run.

       After working there, George went to find work in the Llŷn peninsula, but a lot of people didn’t want a ‘Conshi’ working for them. Early in 1917 he found a job as a farm labourer at Uwchlawffynnon, then worked as a shepherd at Llanaelhaearn. He loved this work and was very happy. George, his wife Leslie, and their baby, Jane, lived together on the farm. George was not content to lead a ‘quiet life’, however. He believed he should tell people that peace was a better way of living than war, and took every opportunity to do so. This very public stance was bound to get him in trouble with the authorities. Eventually, George was arrested, and imprisoned as were 1,600 other ‘Conshis’.

       The prison system was cruel and inhumane. Men were kept in cells on their own. They were not allowed to speak to anyone – warder or prisoner – or even smile at them. The food – what little there was – was terrible. The same rules applied to ‘Conshis’ as to violent criminals. Some men lost their minds, and many were damaged physically or mentally for the rest of their lives. George, even though he suffered from depression all his life, seems to have survived relatively well, but there were scars.

After prison: 1920s – 1940s:

       George’s nineteen months in prison had changed him. He started travelling around Wales, addressing meetings about peace, and prison reform. He also became involved in a number of social projects, including building an outdoor swimming pool with international volunteers in Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, and constructing a public park in Rhosllannerchrugog near Wrexham. From 1932 until 1947, he worked with Quakers in Maes-yr-haf in the Rhondda valley, helping unemployed miners and their families.

       George was asked to become a parliamentary election candidate for the Welsh University, and in October 1923 he won the seat, standing as a Christian Pacifist. It was also in the 1920’s that he undertook some of his most high-level and risky conciliation work.   He was asked to go to Ireland and try to encourage Éamon de Valera, a militant republican leader to talk to David Lloyd George. He risked his life to do this, as the situation in Ireland at the time was volatile and violent.

George suffered from bouts of depression throughout his life, and it was in Denbigh Hospital that he died in December 1949, where he was found hanged. The impression we have is of a man who genuinely aimed to live out his values and ideals in a very imperfect world, who was distressed by his own personal shortcomings and those of society – and the consequences of these shortcomings which he witnessed all around him.

       To George, then, peace-making was all about living out our values in the world: ‘There can be no real pacifism’, he said ‘unless we have the courage and the conduct of real peace-makers.’ Whilst we may feel this stance is foolhardy, we can’t help but admire it. It places George alongside figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, who paid the price for choosing non-violence.


George M. Ll. Davies (1880–1949)

Caiff George M. Ll. Davies ei gofio gyda pharchedigaeth a pharch mawr gan heddychwyr yng Nghymru, ond ychydig a wyddys amdano y tu allan i’r cylch bach hwnnw. Ac eto, roedd ganddo ddylanwad sylweddol ar y rhai hynny o’i gwmpas – fel gwrthwynebwr cydwybodol, diwygiwr cymdeithasol, Aelod Seneddol, gweinidog gyda’r Methodistiaid a chymodwr. Roedd yn byw mewn amseroedd cythryblus – trwy ddau Ryfel Byd a Dirwasgiad – ac roedd yn cael trafferth gyda sut i fyw bywyd ar sail credu mewn heddwch a chydraddoldeb.

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Gwreiddiau:

       Ganwyd George M. Ll. Davies i deulu Cymreig cefnog yn Lerpwl ym 1880. Ym 1891, pan oedd George yn un ar ddeg, aeth ei dad yn fethdalwr, a chofiodd agweddau beirniadol pobl a oedd wedi bod yn ffrindiau i’r teulu cyn hynny drwy gydol ei fywyd.

       George M. Ll. Davies (1880–1949)Oherwydd sefyllfa ariannol ei dad, ni allai George fynd i’r brifysgol, felly cafodd swydd mewn banc. Cafodd ei wneud yn rheolwr Martin’s Bank yn Wrecsam yn chwe blwydd ar hugain oed. Ym 1909, ymunodd â’r Fyddin Diriogaethol newydd, a mwynhaodd benwythnosau yn hyfforddi ei ddynion, ac yn paratoi ar gyfer amddiffyn Prydain. Un diwrnod fodd bynnag, sylweddolodd na allai fyth ladd unrhyw un ac, yn wir, bod hyn yn erbyn dysgeidiaeth Crist. Ymddiswyddodd o’i swydd fel swyddog, er yn swyddogol, roedd yn dal yn breifat yn y Fyddin Diriogaethol. Gadawodd y banc hefyd, a dechreuodd weithio i David Davies Llandinam mewn mentrau cymdeithasol amrywiol: er enghraifft, un gyda’r nod o atal twbercwlosis, ac un arall oedd yn darparu tai cymdeithasol cynlluniedig i weithwyr

Y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf:

       Pan ddechreuodd y rhyfel ym mis Awst 1914, ffurfiwyd sefydliad newydd – Cymdeithas y Cymod. Gadawodd George Gymru ac aeth i Lundain i weithio fel Ysgrifennydd i Gymdeithas y Cymod. Pan ddaeth gorfodaeth consgripsiwn i rym ym mis Mawrth 1916, safodd George cyn Tribiwnlys a gwneud cais i fod yn Wrthwynebwr Cydwybodol. Fel ‘diamodwr’, gwrthododd wneud unrhyw waith o gwbl a fyddai’n helpu ymdrech y rhyfel. Felly, roedd yn ofynnol iddo ymgymryd â ‘gwasanaeth amgen’.

       Fel rhan o’r gwasanaeth hwn, aeth George i gartref newydd yn Swydd Gaerlŷr oedd yn cael ei redeg gan Gymdeithas y Cymod ar gyfer pobl ifanc a oedd wedi bod mewn trafferth gyda’r gyfraith. Roedd yn cael ei redeg ar linellau arbrofol: er enghraifft, pan fyddai’r plant yn torri rheolau’r tŷ, gofynnwyd iddynt wneud rheolau newydd – y cadwont atynt! Roedd hyn yn adlewyrchu syniadau George o sut y gallai cymuned heddychlon gael ei rhedeg.

       Ar ôl gweithio yno, aeth George i chwilio am waith ym Mhenrhyn Llŷn, ond nid oedd llawer o bobl eisiau ‘Conshi’ yn gweithio iddynt. Yn gynnar ym 1917, daeth o hyd i swydd fel gwas fferm yn Uwchlawffynnon, yna, bu’n gweithio fel bugail yn Llanaelhaearn. Roedd wrth ei fodd gyda’r gwaith hwn ac yn hapus iawn. Roedd George, ei wraig Leslie, a’u baban, Jane, yn byw gyda’i gilydd ar y fferm. Nid oedd George yn fodlon byw ‘bywyd tawel’, fodd bynnag. Roedd yn credu y dylai ddweud wrth bobl fod heddwch yn ffordd well o fyw na rhyfel, a manteisiodd ar bob cyfle i wneud hynny. Roedd y safiad tra chyhoeddus hwn yn sicr o beri iddo fynd i helynt gyda’r awdurdodau. Yn y pen draw, cafodd George ei arestio a’i garcharu, gyda’r 1,600 o ‘Gonshis’ eraill

       Roedd y system garchar yn greulon ac yn annynol. Cedwid dynion yn eu celloedd ar eu pen eu hunain. Doedden nhw ddim yn cael siarad gyda neb – boed gwarchodwr neu garcharor – neu hyd yn oed wenu arnynt. Roedd y bwyd – hynny oedd ohono – yn ofnadwy. Roedd yr un rheolau yn berthnasol i ‘Gonshis’ fel i droseddwyr treisgar. Collodd rhai dynion eu meddyliau, a chafodd llawer eu niweidio’n gorfforol neu’n feddyliol am weddill eu bywydau. Er y bu George yn dioddef o iselder ar hyd ei oes, mae’n ymddangos ei fod wedi goroesi yn gymharol dda, ond roedd creithiau.

Ar ôl gadael y carchar: 1920au – 1940au:

       Roedd y pedwar mis ar bymtheg a dreuliodd George yn y carchar wedi ei newid. Dechreuodd deithio o gwmpas Cymru, yn annerch cyfarfodydd am heddwch ac am ddiwygio carchardai. Dechreuodd gymryd rhan hefyd mewn nifer o brosiectau cymdeithasol, gan gynnwys adeiladu pwll nofio awyr agored gyda gwirfoddolwyr rhyngwladol ym Mrynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, ac adeiladu parc cyhoeddus yn Rhosllannerchrugog ger Wrecsam. O 1932 tan 1947, bu’n gweithio gyda Chrynwyr ym Maes-yr-haf yng Nghwm Rhondda, yn helpu glowyr di-waith a’u teuluoedd.

       Gofynnwyd i George fod yn ymgeisydd etholiadol seneddol ar gyfer Prifysgol Cymru, ac ym mis Hydref 1923, enillodd y sedd, yn sefyll fel Heddychwr Cristnogol. Hefyd, yn y 1920au, ymgymerodd â pheth o’i waith cymodi mwyaf peryglus a lefel uchel. Gofynnwyd iddo fynd i Iwerddon a cheisio annog Éamon de Valera, arweinydd gweriniaethol milwriaethus i siarad â David Lloyd George. Mentrodd ei fywyd i wneud hyn, gan fod y sefyllfa yn Iwerddon ar y pryd yn ansefydlog a threisgar.

Bu George yn dioddef o gyfnodau o iselder ar hyd ei oes, a bu farw yn Ysbyty Dinbych ym mis Rhagfyr 1949, lle daethpwyd o hyd iddo wedi’i grogi. Yr argraff sydd gennym yw o ddyn a oedd yn ddiffuant yn ceisio byw yn unol â’i werthoedd a’i ddelfrydau mewn byd amherffaith iawn, ac a oedd yn gofidio am ei ddiffygion personol ei hun a rhai cymdeithas – ac am ganlyniadau’r diffygion hyn yr oedd yn eu gweld ym mhobman o’i amgylch .

       Felly i George, pwrpas cymodi ydy byw yn unol â’n gwerthoedd yn y byd: Ni ellir cael heddychiaeth go iawn’, meddai oni bai bod gennym ddewrder ac ymddygiad gwir heddychwyr.’ Safiad byrbwyll, efallai, ond ni allwn lai na’i edmygu. Mae’n rhoi George yn yr un categori â heddywchwyr megis Gandhi a Martin Luther King, a dalodd yn ddrud am ddewis di-dreisedd.

Thomas Rees and ‘y Deyrnas’ / Thomas Rees a’r Deyrnas

Cymraeg
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Thomas Rees (1869-1926) was truly influential during World War I as a pacifist in the city of Bangor and as the Editor of y Deyrnas’, a Welsh language magazine that came into existence through the Conference that was held by the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Neuadd yr Hendre, Bermo at the end of March 1916. The magazine was published monthly between October 1916 and November 1919 for the price of two pennies per copy at the outset. The Editor put his own stamp on ‘Y Deyrnas’, and reading his articles and his editorial column always makes the reader feel uncomfortable that we continue to wage wars.

The Life and Work of Thomas Rees

Thomas Rees was born on May 30, 1869 in a homestead in the parish of Llanfyrnach near Crymych in North Pembrokeshire to Martha Rees and James Thomas. As they were not married, the baby was sent to live with Benni and Mati Davies, Waunfelen on the foothills of Frenni Fawr, where he grew up in a loving family. Two other children were born In the same area and during the same period who became pacifists, namely T. E.Nicholas (Niclas y Glais) and D.J.Davies. The three of them eventually became Ministers with the Welsh Congregationalists, a denomination that nurtured a host of pacifists.

Education:
Thomas Rees left school at the age of thirteen and went to work in the farming industry. He stayed in this job for five years, then went to work as a miner in the Aberdare area. There he came under the influence of the Rev. J.Grawys Jones, who was a minister in Trecynon, and a native of Llanfyrnach. The Minister saw that the young man was intelligent, and advised him to start preaching the Gospel in 1880 and to go for training in Carmarthenshire where he did well academically. He moved to study at the University of Wales Cardiff and Mansfield College, Oxford, and was appointed to Brecon Memorial College in 1899. From there he was called in 1907 to become the Head of Bala College – Bangor, another College for students of the Congregational Denomination.

The Great War and Pacifism:

He achieved his greatest works in Bangor during the Great War. He stood his ground firmly as a pacifist in the constituency of David Lloyd George who was promoting the War as Minister of the Crown and from 1916 as the British Prime Minister. Thomas Rees angered people who supported the war, which were the majority. He lost most of his students, someone spat in his face in the town, and he was thrown out of Bangor Golf Club. There were articles in the press every week asking people to consider the facts and to condemn war and the attitudes of any of his fellow Christians. He believed sincerely that the Christian churches and denominations across Wales had betrayed the evidence of pacifism and the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. He became the leader of the Bangor and Bethesda Branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and travelled across Wales to address meetings against the war.

Y Deyrnas’:

These days, we associate the name Thomas Rees primarily with the magazine Y Deyrnas’. The first edition arrived from the printers in Bangor in Oct. 1916. Thomas Rees continued to be responsible for the magazine until the last edition in November 1919, and he was not only the editor, but he wrote also – consistent and detailed work.

By catching a glimpse of the contributors to the magazine and seeing the nature of the contributions, one can understand why it would be a thorn in the side of the authorities. Amongst the contributors were prominent pacifists such as George M. Ll. Davies, a conscientious objector and T.E. Niclas, a pacifist, poet and a radical minister. The blind preacher from Pwllheli, J.Puleston Jones, sent occasional essays describing many residents of that town as people who were drunk on warfare. The Professor of Welsh at Aberystwyth University, T Gwynn Jones, contributed one or two poems on the futility of warfare. Thomas Rees condemned the National Eisteddfod for being in favor of the war. At the National Eisteddfod in Aberystwyth in 1916 he said:
Molwch yr Arglwydd a lladdwch y Germans yw arwyddair newydd yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Gwnaed elw o £430 o’r Gymanfa Ganu yn Aberystwyth a rhennir yr arian rhwng gwahanol gronfeydd rhyfel’’. [‘Praise the Lord and kill the Germans is the new motto of the National Eisteddfod. A Cymanfa Ganu in Aberystwyth made £430, a sum that was shared beween different war funds.’]

In the National Eisteddfod the following year in Birkenhead, the Chair was won by Ellis Evans (Hedd Wyn), a poet from Trawsfynydd, who was killed in the battle of Paschendaele on 31 July 1917. In response the editor of ‘Y Deyrnas’ expressed huge disappointment:

‘’Drych o dristwch oedd Cadair Ddu Eisteddfod Birkenhead. Gwag oedd y gadair am fod Ellis Evans a’i henillasai yn gorwedd yn fud mewn estron dir ‘’.

[‘The Black Chair of Birkenhead Eisteddfod radiated sadness. The chair was empty because the winner, Ellis Evans, lay silently in foreign fields.’]

Perhaps the greatest tribute paid to Thomas Rees for his supervision of ‘Y Deyrnas’ was from the poet and scholar W.J. Griffith who was a member of the British Navy during the war. He said:

‘Mi ddysgais ei garu cyn imi erioed ei weled, oherwydd derbyn Y Deyrnas pan oeddwn mewn gwlad bell amser rhyfel; ac yr wyf yn credu hyd heddiw mai’r deyrnas honno fu un o’r achosion cryfaf na chollodd Cymru ei henaid yn hollol yn nydd y gwallgofrwydd mawr’.

[‘I learnt to love him before I ever met him, because I received Y Deyrnas when I was abroad during the war; and until this day I believe that that paper was one of the main reasons why Wales didn’t completely lose her soul during a time of huge madness.’]

Professor Dr D.Ben Rees

Thomas Rees a’r Deyrnas

1Bu Thomas Rees (1869-1926) yn ddylanwadol go iawn yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf fel Heddychwr cadarn yn ninas Bangor ac fel Golygydd ‘y Deyrnas’, cylchgrawn Cymraeg a ddaeth i fodolaeth trwy ‘r Gynhadledd a gynhaliwyd gan Gymdeithas y Cymod yn Neuadd yr Hendre, Bermo ar ddiwedd mis Mawrth 1916. Ymddangosodd y cylchgrawn yn fisol rhwng Hydref 1916 a Thachwedd 1919 am y gost o ddwy geiniog y copi ar y cychwyn. Gosododd y Golygydd ei stamp ei hun ar ‘Y Deyrnas’ ac mae darllen ei erthyglau a’i golofn olygyddol yn peri o hyd i’r darllenydd deimlo yn anghysurus ein bod yn dal i ryfela.

Bywyd a Gwaith Thomas Rees
Ganwyd Thomas Rees ar 30 Mai, 1869 mewn tyddyn ym mhlwyf Llanfyrnach ger Crymych yng Ngogledd Sir Benfro i Martha Rees a James Thomas. Gan nad oedd y ddau yn briod trosglwyddwyd y baban i Benni a Mati Davies, Waunfelen ar odre’r Frenni Fawr, ac yno y’i magwyd yn annwyl. Yn yr un cylch a’r un cyfnod y ganwyd dau blentyn arall a ddaeth yn heddychwyr, sef T,E.Nicholas (Niclas y Glais’) a D.J.Davies. Aeth y tri ohonynt yn y diwedd yn Weinidogion gyda’r Annibynwyr Cymraeg , enwad a fagodd lu o heddychwyr.
Addysg:
Gadawodd Thomas Rees yr ysgol yn dair ar ddeg oed a mynd i weithio ym myd ffermio. Arhosodd yn y gwaith hwn am bum mlynedd, wedyn aeth i gylch Aberdâr i weithio fel glöwr. Yno daeth o dan ddylanwad y Parchedig J.Grawys Jones, gweinidog yn Nhrecynon ac yn enedigol fel Rees o Lanfyrnach. Gwelodd y Gweinidog fod y gŵr ifanc yn alluog, a chynghorodd ef i ddechrau pregethu’r Efengyl ym 1880 a mynd am hyfforddiant i Sir Gaerfyrddin lle y gwnaeth yn dda yn academaidd. Symudodd i astudio i Brifysgol Cymru Caerdydd, Coleg Mansfield, Rhydychen a’i benodi i Goleg Coffa yn Aberhonddu ym 1899. Oddi yno, galwyd ef ym 1907 i fod yn Brifathro Coleg Bala – Bangor, Coleg arall ar gyfer myfyrwyr enwad yr Annibynwyr .

Y Rhyfel Mawr a Heddychiaeth:
Gwnaeth ei waith mawr ym Mangor yn y Rhyfel Mawr. Safodd yn gadarn fel Heddychwr yn etholaeth David Lloyd George a oedd yn hyrwyddo y Rhyfel fel Gweinidog y Goron ac o 1916 fel Prif Weinidog Prydain. Cythruddodd Thomas Rees bobl oedd o blaid y Rhyfel, sef y mwyafrif llethol. Collodd rhan helaeth o’i fyfyrwyr, poerid yn ei wyneb gan rai yn y dref, a thaflwyd ef allan o Glwb Golff Bangor. Ysgrifennodd i’r Wasg o wythnos i wythnos yn galw pobl i ystyried y ffeithiau ac i gondemnio Rhyfel ag agweddau nifer fawr o’i gyd Gristnogion. Credai yn ddidwyll fod yr eglwysi a’r enwadau Cristnogol ledled Cymru wedi bradychu’r dystiolaeth heddychol a Thywysog Tangnefedd, sef Iesu Grist. Daeth yn arweinydd Cangen Bangor a Bethesda o Gymdeithas y Cymod (FOR) ac fe deithiodd ledled Cymru i annerch cyfarfodydd yn erbyn y Rhyfel.

‘Y Deyrnas’:
Erbyn hyn cysylltwn enw Thomas Rees yn bennaf gyda’r cylchgrawn ‘Y Deyrnas’. Daeth y rhifyn cyntaf o’r argraffwyr ym Mangor ym mis Hydref 1916. Daliodd Thomas Rees i ofalu amdano hyd y rhifyn olaf yn Nhachwedd 1919, ac nid golygu yn unig a wnaeth ond ysgrifennu ei hun – gwaith cyson a manwl.

Wrth gael cipolwg ar y rhai a gyfrannodd i’r cylchgrawn a gweld natur y cyfraniadau, gellir deall pam y byddai’n ddraenen yn ystlys yr awdurdodau. Ymhlith y cyfranwyr yr oedd heddychwyr amlwg megis George M. Ll. Davies, gwrthwynebydd cydwybodol a T.E. Niclas, heddychwr, bardd a gweinidog radical. Anfonodd y pregethwr dall o Bwllheli J.Puleston Jones ambell i ysgrif gan ddisgrifio llawer o drigolion y dref honno fel pobl wedi meddwi ar Ryfela. Cyfrannodd Athro Cymraeg Coleg y Brifysgol Aberystwyth T,Gwynn Jones ambell i gerdd ar ffolineb rhyfela. Condemniodd Thomas Rees yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol am fod o blaid y rhyfel. Am Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Aberystwyth a gynhaliwyd ym 1916 meddai:
‘Molwch yr Arglwydd a lladdwch y Germans yw arwyddair newydd yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Gwnaed elw o £430 o’r Gymanfa Ganu yn Aberystwyth a rhennir yr arian rhwng gwahanol gronfeydd rhyfel’’.
Yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol y flwyddyn ganlynol ym Mhenbedw, enillwyd y Gadair gan Ellis Evans (Hedd Wyn), bardd o Drawsfynydd a laddwyd ym mrwydr Paschendaele ar 31 Gorffennaf 1917. Siom aruthrol oedd ymateb Golygydd ‘Y Deyrnas’:
‘’Drych o dristwch oedd Cadair Ddu Eisteddfod Birkenhead. Gwag oedd y gadair am fod Ellis Evans a’i henillasai yn gorwedd yn fud mewn estron dir ‘’.
Efallai mae’r deyrnged orau a gafodd Thomas Rees am ei oruchwyliaeth dros ‘Y Deyrnas’ oedd gan y bardd a’r ysgolhaig W.J. Gruffydd a oedd yn aelod o’r Llynges Brydeinig adeg y rhyfel. Dywedodd ef:
‘Mi ddysgais ei garu cyn imi erioed ei weled, oherwydd derbyn Y Deyrnas pan oeddwn mewn gwlad bell amser rhyfel; ac yr wyf yn credu hyd heddiw mai’r deyrnas honno fu un o’r achosion cryfaf na chollodd Cymru ei henaid yn hollol yn nydd y gwallgofrwydd mawr’.

Yr Athro Dr D.Ben Rees

The experiences of two Welsh conscientious objectors in WWII / Profiadau Dau Wrthwynebwr Cydwybodol Cymreig yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd

Cymraeg

In 1940, a twenty-five year old Welshman was imprisoned at a tribunal in Aberystwyth to three months of hard labor for his stance as a conscientious objector. His name was Merfyn Turner. Although the majority of conscientious objectors in World War II agreed to do any non-combatant work, Merfyn Turner ‘refused to accept any orders from the court, on grounds of conscience.’ According to his friend Tilsli, he argued his own case in a ‘determined and intransigent’ manner, quoting the words of Luther “Here I stand: I can do no other.” His close friend, Dyfnallt Morgan, also appeared before a tribunal in Aberystwyth in 1940, and decided to join one of the Peace Pledge Union Service Units in Wales. In this article, I will be mentioning the contrasting experiences of two friends as conscientious objectors, one in Swansea prison and the other as far overseas as rural China

Merfyn Turner: In his book A Pretty Sort of Prision, Merfyn Turner describes seeing a Merfyn Turnerprisoner for the first time on the way to school when he was ten years old. Unfortunately, this man had been marched in handcuffs through the main street of the town to the magistrates’ court. Turner went through the same degrading experience in Aberystwyth: ‘That my offence was only a matter of refusing to join the Forces…did nothing to lessen the pain of public parade.’ After arriving at the prison on a cold, wintry night, he was further degraded by being ordered to undress, stand naked on the slate floor and wash himself. After wearing his prison uniform, he was marched to stand with other new inmates and to await an examination from the doctor. He was in a state of deep emotional shock for the first two weeks. He was smoking heavily before arriving, but lost his bad taste for tobacco completely. The bad taste returned as he became accustomed to the prison rules and conditions; some harsh ones, which he often broke by smoking more than the ration permitted by the prison authorities. He learned quickly that breaking such red tape was the only way to get his fellow inmates to accept him anyway

Prison experiences: T

Turner listed the harmful and destructive effects of prison in light of his personal experience; physical discomfort by having to sleep in a cold cell, with hardly anything to cover him in bed; constant cravings for food; above all, psychological damage not only by mrefyn turner & morgan pic 2subjugating the prisoner but also by controlling his external life So he was forced to rely entirely on the authorities to supply his needs. Such conditions and the strict control forced prisoners to revert to their childhood, in his opinion. Officially, the prisoners were not allowed to even talk to each other or to seek help from officials. He had to learn all of the daily routines of prison by watching his fellow inmates and following their example. He gives a powerful description of the thoroughly cold and comfortless environment of the prison: “There is something fiendish and sadistic about its internal design, with its contradictory sensations of impenetrability and constant exposure. Everything is strong, yet affords no cover….”

Why was he a pacifist:

merfy pic 3

“This book was born in prison. It deals with men in prison but its concern is what happens to them when they come out”

His background as the son of a Wesleyan minister was largely responsible for Merfyn Turner’s pacifism, and his faith in the capacity of humans for good if the right social conditions are created for them to blossom. Not a naive or dreamy faith in ‘human nature’, but a practical, humane faith that there is possibly an alternative way of organising society, that was not dependent on militarisation and imprisonment. He saw that prison is part of the same authoritarian social mechanism as the army and public schools, and that it is impossible to build a more peaceful and civilised society while such Victorian institutions still stand.

He was a man of empathy and unusual compassion, who learned through his own personal experience that poverty and social inequality were largely responsible for the crimes of most prisoners. He spent the rest of his life from 1940 until his death in 1991 undertaking innovative and experimental social work, mainly with former prisoners. Unconditional love was the basis of his work, as was his pacifism, which embraced each individual as part of the same creation and the same life whatever their failings or wrongdoing. In 1955, he founded the first refuge in Britain for men who had recently left prison. The pioneering example of Norman House was followed in tens of similar houses across Britain.

Dyfnallt Morgan

Turner and Dyfnallt Morgan came to know each other as students in Aberystwyth in 1935. In his memoirs of the period, Dyfnallt emphasises that it was not an easy decision for young men to refuse the call to war when it came in 1939. He describes the heated atmosphere in Aberystwyth the following summer and the opposition that young pacifists pic4faced from College staff and townspeople ‘I saw a middle-aged respectable member of the College Staff (who by the way was also an assistant preacher)’ he said, ‘hitting a pacifist student across the face outside the college for trying to sell copies of Peace News’. His heroes – like many other young Welshmen of this period – were ‘people like Gandhi and Schweitzer’ (Schweitzer gave a lecture at Aberystwyth in 1935), and he became aware of the tenets of George M. Ll. Davies through the work of the great pacifists with the Quakers in the area where he was brought up in Dowlais. Another major influence on young Welsh pacifists of this period was T. E. Nicholas, who was wrongfully imprisoned, along with his son Islwyn, in 1940 due to a dislike of the Chief Constable in Aberystwyth towards him and his revolutionary beliefs. Two members of the town’s police came all the way to the reforestation camp near the village of Halfway in Carmarthenshire – where Dyfnallt started working on the orders of the tribunal that summer – to try to get information from him about Niclas y Glais, but the constables returned to the station empty handed

Hard Labour:

Gwynfor Evans organised branches of the Christian Pacifist Forestry and Land Units in Wales, and young conscientious objectors like Dyfnallt became accustomed to hard, exhausting physical work whilst labouring in them. He used to get up at 5.30am in order to arrive at Crychan forest by 7:00am in the summer (8:15am) in the winter, and he would work unitl 5.30pm with a break of only 45 minutes: ‘I soon threw myself eagerly into all aspects of the work’ said Dyfnallt, ‘planting trees, weeding, digging ditches, clearing glades, and making bonfires of large piles of twigs.’ After working for more than a year in the forest, he moved to work with other conscientious volunteers as an orderly in a surgical ward in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU):

pic 5In 1944, he decided to join the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), as one of its training camps was nearby. The history of the Unit was chronicled by another member who was a Welsh speaker, Arfor Tegla Davies (the son of E. Tegla Davies). In his interesting book, he notes that over a thousand pacifists worked for the Unit during the Second World War on three continents. Dyfnallt started on his work for the unit in a refugee camp in the south of Italy and later in Austria. The war in Europe had just finished and the camp was full to the brim with refugees from many nations. Dyfnallt’s role in the camp in Klagenfurt was receiving and distributing goods of all kinds. With his special talent as a linguist and his natural charm, he developed a good relationship with the Russians who were responsible for transporting goods across the border from Hungary. Another sign of his noble and kind character was his decision not to return to Wales at the end of the war, because he didn’t’ want to compete for jobs with veterans.

He travelled to China with the Ambulance Unit in 1946, where the civil war between the Communist forces of Mao Tse Tung and the Chiang Kai-shek nationalists had recently began. He worked in the province of Honan, near the Yellow River – the border between the two enemies – as around five million people had returned t

here after fleeing from the Japanese forces. Most of his work involved helping to transport goods and equipment along the railways and assist returnees to re-settle in Honan. In the pic 6summer of 1946, he had direct experience of the guerrilla war in China when a train to Honan on which he was carrying goods, was forced to end its journey after a group of Communists destroyed sections of the railway. He was confronted by the dire poverty in China during this time as cholera and other infections swept through the rural areas. But he experienced the kindness and generosity of the common people there also, before having to return to Britain in 1948 after having malaria and tuberculosis itself.

So this is the end of the story of two young Welshmen in the Second World War who made the difficult and courageous decision to refuse to join the fighting. Their contrasting stories demonstrate the diversity and rich experiences of conscientious objectors during the conflict, and the lasting impact that those experiences had on their lives. Merfyn Turner pledged to work with prisoners and former prisoners of war from the end of the war onwards, and Dyfnallt Morgan made various and important contributions to the Welsh culture as a poet, literary critic and a pacifist of conviction until the end of his life. It is appropriate to conclude with the powerful closing lines of his poem ‘Y Milwr Gwyn’ about a memorial to the Great War in Llanddewi Brefi – a village very close to his heart – that he wrote in 1939 on the eve of another horrific war:

   A mynnaf gredu y daw oes

O ffeinach greddf, tynerach hin,

caiff plant y ddaear hedd Y Groes

tu yma i’r ffin.

Ceir gweled heddwch dros y byd,

y barrau heyrn i lawr,

y milwr gwyn yn llon ei bryd –

ei wyneb tua’r wawr.

(‘And I believe an age will come

Of a kinder disposition and gentler temperament,

The children of this Earth will experience the peace of the Cross

This side of the grave.

We will see peace rule over the world

The iron bars torn down

Happy the blessed soldiers then

Turned to face the dawn.’)

Llion Wigley


Profiadau Dau Wrthwynebwr Cydwybodol Cymreig yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd

Ym 1940 carcharwyd Cymro pump ar hugain oed mewn tribiwnlys yn Aberystwyth i dri mis o lafur caled am ei safiad fel gwrthwynebwr cydwybodol. Ei enw oedd Merfyn Turner. Er i fwyafrif o wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd gytuno i wneud rhyw waith anymladdol, ‘gwrthododd Merfyn Turner, ar dir cydwybod, dderbyn unrhyw orchymyn o du’r llysoedd’. Yn ôl ei gyfaill Tilsli, dadleuodd ei achos ei hun yn ‘benderfynol a di-droi’n ôl’, gan ddyfynnu geiriau Luther “Yma y safaf: ni allaf wneud yn amgen”. Aeth ei gyfaill mynwesol, Dyfnallt Morgan, o flaen tribiwnlys yn Aberystwyth yn ystod 1940 hefyd, a phenderfynodd ymuno ag un o Unedau Gwasanaeth y Peace Pledge Union yng Nghymru. Byddaf yn sôn am brofiadau cyferbyniol y ddau ffrind fel gwrthwynebwyr cydwybodol yn yr erthygl hon, un yng ngharchar Abertawe a’r llall mor bell dros y moroedd â Tsieina wledig.

Merfyn Turner:

Merfyn TurnerDisgrifia Merfyn Turner, yn ei gyfrol A Pretty Sort of Prision, weld carcharor am y tro cyntaf ar y ffordd i’r ysgol pan oedd yn ddeg mlwydd oed. Roedd y gŵr anffodus hwn wedi cael ei orymdeithio mewn gefynnau trwy stryd fawr y dref i lys yr ynadon. Aeth Turner trwy’r un profiad diraddiol yn Aberystwyth: ‘That my offence was only a matter of refusing to join the Forces…did nothing to lessen the pain of public parade.’ Wedi iddo gyrraedd y carchar ar noson aeafol, oer, fe’i diraddiwyd ymhellach trwy ei orchymyn i ddadwisgo, sefyll yn noeth ar y llawr llechen ac ymolchi. Ar ôl gwisgo’i iwnifform carchar fe’i gorymdeithiwyd i sefyll gyda’r carcharorion newydd eraill ac i ddisgwyl arolygiad y meddyg. Bu mewn cyflwr o sioc emosiynol ddwfn am y pythefnos cyntaf. Roedd yn smygu’n drwm cyn cyrraedd, ond collodd ei flas am dybaco yn llwyr. Daeth y blas yn ôl wrth iddo gyfarwyddo â rheolau ag amodau’r carchar; rhai llym a dorrodd yn aml trwy ysmygu mwy na’r dogn a bennwyd gan awdurdodau’r carchar. Dysgodd yn gyflym mai torri’r fath fân reolau oedd yr unig ffordd i gael ei gyd-garcharorion i’w dderbyn beth bynnag.

Pam yr oedd yn heddychwr:

Rhestrodd Turner effeithiau niweidiol a dinistriol y carchar yn sgîl ei brofiad personol: anesmwythder corfforol trwy orfod cysgu mewn cell oer, heb fawr i’w orchuddio yn y gwely caled; awch cyson am fwyd; yn bennaf oll, difrod seicolegol trwy nid yn unig ddarostwng y mrefyn turner & morgan pic 2carcharor ond hefyd rheoli ei fywyd allanol. Fe’i gorfodwyd felly i ddibynnu’n gyfan gwbl ar yr awdurdodau i gyflenwi ei anghenion. Roedd y fath amodau a rheolaeth lem yn gorfodi carcharorion i ddychwelyd i’w plentyndod, yn ei dyb ef. Yn swyddogol, nid oedd hawl gyda’r carcharorion i hyd yn oed siarad â’i gilydd nac i ofyn am gymorth o’r swyddogion. Bu’n rhaid iddo ddysgu pob un o arferion dyddiol y carchar trwy wylio ei gyd-garcharorion a dilyn eu hesiampl. Rhydd ddisgrifiad grymus o amgylchfyd hollol ddigysur ac oeraidd y carchar: “There is something fiendish and sadistic about its internal design, with its contradictory sensations of impenetrability and constant exposure. Everything is strong, yet affords no cover….”

Profiadau carchar:

Ei gefndir fel mab i weinidog Wesle oedd yn gyfrifol am heddychiaeth Merfyn Turner i raddau helaeth, a’i ffydd ym mhosibiliadau dynoliaeth am ddaioni os yw’r amodau cymdeithasol iawn yn cael eu creu er mwyn iddynt flodeuo. Nid ffydd naïf neu freuddwydiol mewn ‘natur ddynol’, ond ffydd ymarferol, ddyngarol bod ffordd amgen o drefnu cymdeithas yn bosib, nad oedd yn ddibynnol ar filitareiddio a charcharu. Gwelodd bod y carchar yn rhan o’r un peirianwaith cymdeithasol awdurdodaidd â’r fyddin ac ysgolion bonedd, a’i fod yn amhosib adeiladu cymdeithas fwy heddychlon a gwâr tra bod y fath sefydliadau Fictorianaidd yn dal i sefyll.

Gŵr o empathi a thrugaredd anarferol ydoedd a ddysgodd trwy ei brofiad personol mai tlodi ac anghyfartaledd cymdeithasol oedd yn fwyaf cyfrifol am droseddau’r mwyafrif o garcharorion. Treuliodd gweddill ei fywyd o 1940 hyd ei farwolaeth ym 1991 yn gwneud gwaith cymdeithasol blaengar ac arbrofol, yn bennaf gyda chyn-garcharorion. Cariad diamod oedd sail ei waith, fel ei heddychiaeth, a dderbyniai pob unigolyn fel rhan o’r un greadigaeth a’r un bywyd beth bynnag fo’i ffaeleddau neu droseddau. Sefydlodd y lloches gyntaf ym Mhrydain ar gyfer dynion oedd newydd adael y carchar ym 1955. Dilynwyd esiampl arloesol Norman House mewn degau o dai tebyg ar draws Prydain.

Dyfnallt Morgan

Daeth Turner a Dyfnallt Morgan i adnabod ei gilydd fel myfyrwyr yn Aberystwyth ym 1935. Yn ei atgofion o’r cyfnod, tanlinella Dyfnallt nad oedd yn benderfyniad hawdd i ddynion ifanc wrthod yr alwad i ryfel pan ddaeth ym 1939. Disgrifia’r awyrgylch tanbaid yn Aberystwyth yr haf canlynol a’r gwrthwynebiad a brofodd heddychwyr ifanc o du staff y pic4Coleg a phobl y dref. ‘Gwelais aelod parchus canol oed o Staff y Coleg (pregethwr cynorthwyol, gyda llaw)’ meddai, ‘yn taro stiwdent o heddychwr yn ei wyneb y tu allan i’r coleg am ei fod yn ceisio gwerthu copïau o Peace News’. Ei arwyr – fel llawer o Gymry ifanc eraill y cyfnod hwn – oedd ‘pobl fel Gandhi a Schweitzer’ (bu Schweitzer yn Aberystwyth i roi darlith ym 1935), a daeth i wybod am ddaliadau George M. Ll. Davies trwy waith yr heddychwr mawr gyda’r Crynwyr yn ardal ei fagwraeth yn Nowlais. Dylanwad mawr arall ar heddychwyr ifanc Cymraeg y cyfnod oedd T. E. Nicholas, a garcharwyd ar gam, ynghyd â’i fab Islwyn, ym 1940 o ganlyniad i atgasedd y Prif Gwnstabl yn Aberystwyth tuag ato a’i gredoau chwyldroadol. Daeth dau aelod o heddlu’r dref yr holl ffordd i’r gwersyll coedwigo ger pentref yr Halfway yn Sir Gaerfyrddin – lle dechreuodd Dyfnallt weithio ar orchymyn y tribiwnlys yr haf hwnnw – i geisio cael gwybodaeth ganddo am Niclas y Glais, ond dychwelodd y cwnstabliaid i’r orsaf yn waglaw.

Llafur Caled:

Trefnodd Gwynfor Evans ganghennau o’r Christian Pacifist Forestry and Land Units yng Nghymru, a daeth gwrthwynebwyr cydwybodol ifanc fel Dyfnallt yn gyfarwydd â gwaith corfforol caled a blinedig trwy lafurio ynddynt. Arferai godi am 5.30 y bore er mwyn cyrraedd coedwig Crychan erbyn 7.00 yn yr haf (8.15 yn y gaeaf) a gweithio tan 5.30 y prynhawn, gyda seibiant o 45 munud yn unig. ‘Buan yr ymdaflais gydag awch i bob agwedd ar y gwaith’ meddai, ‘plannu coed, chwynnu, cloddio ffosydd, clirio llennyrch a llosgi coelcerthi mawr o frigau’. Ar ôl dros flwyddyn yn y goedwig, symudodd i weithio gyda gwirfoddolwyr cydwybodol eraill fel orderly mewn ward lawfeddygol yn Ysbyty Queen Elizabeth, Birmingham.

Uned Ambiwlans y Crynwyr (FAU):

Ym 1944 penderfynodd ymuno ag Uned Ambiwlans y Crynwyr (FAU), yr oedd un o’i pic 5gwersylloedd hyfforddi gerllaw. Croniclwyd hanes yr Uned gan Gymro Cymraeg arall a fu’n aelod, sef Arfor Tegla Davies (mab E. Tegla Davies). Yn ei gyfrol ddifyr noda i dros fil o heddychwyr weithio i’r Uned yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd mewn tri chyfandir. Cychwynnodd Dyfnallt ei waith dros yr Uned mewn gwersyll i ffoaduriaid yn ne’r Eidal ac wedi hynny yn Awstria. Roedd y rhyfel yn Ewrop newydd orffen ac roedd y gwersyll yn llawn i’w ymylon o ffoaduriaid o sawl cenedl. Derbyn a dosbarthu nwyddau angenrheidiol o bob math oedd rôl Dyfnallt yn y gwersyll yn Klagenfurt. Gyda’i ddawn arbennig fel ieithydd a’i hawddgarwch naturiol, datblygodd berthynas dda gyda’r Rwsiaid a oedd yn gyfrifol am gludo nwyddau o Hwngari ar draws y ffin. Arwydd arall o’i gymeriad urddasol a charedig oedd ei benderfyniad i beidio dychwelyd i Gymru ar ddiwedd y rhyfel oherwydd nad oedd yn dymuno cystadlu am swyddi gyda chyn-filwyr.

Aeth ymlaen i Tsieina gyda’r Uned Amsbiwlans ym 1946, lle’r oedd y rhyfel cartref rhwng lluoedd Comiwnyddol Mao Tse Tung a chenedlaetholwyr Chiang Kai-shek wedi ffrwydro’n ddiweddar. Gweithiodd yn nhalaith Honan, yn agos i’r Afon Felen – sef y ffin rhwng y ddau pic 6elyn – gan fod o gwmpas pum miliwn o bobl wedi dychwelyd yno ar ôl dianc rhag lluoedd Japan. Helpu i gludo nwyddau ac offer ar hyd y rheilffyrdd a chynorthwyo’r dychweledigion i ail-ymgartrefu yn Honan oedd ei brif waith. Yn haf 1946 cafodd brofiad uniongyrchol o’r rhyfel guerilla yn Tsieina pan orfodwyd i drên roedd yn cludo nwyddau i Honan arno orffen ei siwrne wedi i boced o Gomiwnyddion ddifetha rhannau o’r rheilffordd. Daeth wyneb yn wyneb â thlodi enbyd Tseina yn y cyfnod hwn wrth i golera a heintiau eraill ysgubo drwy’r ardaloedd gwledig. Ond profodd garedigrwydd a haelioni’r werin yno hefyd, cyn gorfod dychwelyd i Brydain yn 1948 wedi iddo gael malaria a’r diciâus ei hun.

Dyma ddiwedd felly hanes dau Gymro ifanc yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd a wnaeth y penderfyniad anodd a dewr i wrthod ymuno â’r ymladd. Dengys eu straeon cyferbyniol amrywiaeth a chyfoeth profiadau gwrthwynebwyr cydwybodol yn ystod y gwrthdaro a’r effaith barhaol ar eu bywydau a gafodd y profiadau hynny. Ymrwymodd Merfyn Turner i weithio gyda charcharorion a chyn-garcharorion o ddiwedd y rhyfel ymlaen, a gwnaeth Dyfnallt Morgan gyfraniadau amrywiol a phwysig i’r diwylliant Cymraeg fel bardd, beirniad llenyddol a heddychwr o argyhoeddiad tan ddiwedd ei oes. Mae’n briodol cloi gyda diweddglo ei gerdd rymus ‘Y Milwr Gwyn’ am gofeb y Rhyfel Mawr yn Llanddewi Brefi – pentref oedd yn agos iawn i’w galon – a ysgrifennodd ym 1939 ar drothwy rhyfel erchyll arall:

A mynnaf gredu y daw oes

O ffeinach greddf, tynerach hin,

caiff plant y ddaear hedd Y Groes

tu yma i’r ffin.

Ceir gweled heddwch dros y byd,

y barrau heyrn i lawr,

y milwr gwyn yn llon ei bryd –

ei wyneb tua’r wawr.

Llion Wigley

Friends Ambulance Unit / Uned Ambiwlans y Crynwyr

Cymraeg

FAU1

The FAU badge

The Friends Ambulance Unit (hereafter the FAU) was a civilian ambulance service set up by a group of Quakers, immediately after war was declared in August 1914.

In a letter that month one of the Quaker founders explained that, having been in touch with others of like mind, he had found “that in this crisis … they want to render some service more commensurate with their powers … than is involved in the administration of war relief at home.” They were prompted by a desire to demonstrate their practical loyalty to their country, at a time when thousands of young men were volunteering for military service, whilst remaining true to their Quaker peace testimony. They were not prepared to bear arms. The risk involved in working at the front was recognised from the start.

The first appeal for volunteers was made in August 1914, and by September the first group was being trained and prepared for service. From then until 1919, when the unit was disbanded, Quakers and non-Quakers, some 1,800 in all, served in the FAU. To speed up service the FAU sought and were allied to the work of the British Red Cross and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The first Anglo-Belgian Ambulance Unit, as it was then known, was sent to Dunkirk on 31 October 1914.

Fau2

FAU Ambulance train and its staff

The FAU was an independent organisation and had no official connection to the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, although its management and much of its funding came from members of the Society. Whereas those in the military were paid, those who joined the FAU were reliant on the funds raised by the organisation. Serving members of the Unit remained civilians and were not subject to military discipline, although they did wear khaki uniforms and their own insignia. They also used military titles, and close discipline was maintained, essential given the dangerous circumstances under which they worked. One member of the FAU commented that it was in fact “a strange hybrid of pacifism and militarism.”

The FAU was organised into two sections, one for foreign service the other for home service. The foreign section carried out civilian relief work in those areas of Belgium which the allies occupied, whilst the ambulance units, motor and train provided service behind the allied front lines. FAU workers also staffed many hospitals in both France and Belgium, and worked on two hospital ships. Work with civilians, for example, saw the FAU establish two orphanages. In Ypres between December 1914 and May 1915 they worked with those affected by a typhoid epidemic.

The foreign section saw seven of their members killed by military action. The first of these was Frederick Garratt, aged 22, killed by shell fire evacuating the wounded in September 1915. Then in November Walter Messer, aged 20, was killed by a bomb dropped by an aeroplane undertaking the same service as his friend Frederick. Both were buried in the same military cemetery, as are all the FAU men “killed in action.”

All the FAU men who served in the foreign section were to be awarded the medals given to all military personnel at war’s end.

Apart from administering and managing the whole of the organisation, the home service section, based in London, dispatched FAU volunteers to hospitals across Britain. When in January 1916 conscription was introduced the home section established the General Service Section to organise work for conscientious objectors, who had been given exemption by local military tribunals, conditional on them being attached to the FAU. Many of these men undertook agricultural work, some worked in education, welfare work or undertook work with the Friends War Victims Relief Committee (FWVRC) which had been set up officially by the Quakers to help and assist civilians affected by the war. A notable Welsh worker with the FWVRC was T. Alwyn Lloyd, who became a prominent Cardiff- based architect and was one of the founders of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales and of the Town Planning Institute.

Those FAU men who had joined and were serving in the FAU before 1916 were given absolute exemption by their local military tribunals, and were excused attendance at the tribunal to explain why they were not taking up arms – a sign that their sacrifice and bravery was recognised.

The FAU in Wales:

According to the FAU records 29 people from Wales served in the FAU, or at least had addresses in Wales when they volunteered. Thus the name of that prominent Welsh pacifist, George M Ll Davies, does not appear in the Welsh list because, when he volunteered, he lived in London. OF these 29 two were women; Dorothy Finnermore, from Brecon, gave service at Uffculme Hospital, Birmingham from September 1917 and Edith Francis, from Caersws, served as a nurse in Dunkirk, France for most of 1918.

There were to be no volunteers for the FAU from Anglesey, Meirionydd or Pembrokeshire and of the 27 Welshmen, eight were given absolute exemption. Of the other 19 conditional exemptions, and who joined after January 1916, 6 served in the foreign section, the other 13 saw service at home.

FAU 3This is Robert William Williams from Penygroes Caernarfonshire who, given conditional exemption, joined the FAU in 1916 and served in Dunkirk from June 1916 to February 1919. Robert was a slate quarryman who in 1915 won a scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford and on his return was appointed assistant secretary of the North Wales Quarrymen’s Union. His conscientious objection to military action clearly did not affect his progress or his standing in his community after the war when he returned to Penygroes. In 1933 he was made secretary of the quarrymen’s union, was elected as a member of Caernarfonshire County Council which he served for 40 years, becoming chairman of the Council as well as Chairman of the Education Committee for 30 years, a position which was then held in high esteem. His older brother was also a conscientious objector, but did farm work in North Wales but not under the FAU. Another brother, Maurice, enlisted in 1915 spending most of his service in the Balkans and Middle East. This division of action in the same family is a notable feature of many who joined the FAU.

A notable example is the Dodd family of four brothers from Wrexham. Each of the brothers followed different routes in relation to the war.

FAU3When war broke out Ernest Edward Dodd, [born 1887] (top left – picture courtesy of the late Mrs A. H. Dodd via W. Alister Williams) was teaching in Beaumaris County School. Following his appearance before the military tribunal in 1916, he joined the FAU, and initially saw service at home before going out to Dunkirk in August 1917. He was demobilised in March 1919.

Charles, born 1884, (centre left) was a Congregational minister who was therefore excused military service. He became one of the most prominent theologians of his day, becoming Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and General Director of the New English Bible project. In 1961 he was made Companion of Honour.

Arthur Herbert Dodd, born 1891,(front) became Professor of History at the University College of North Wales in 1930, a noted Welsh historian. He joined the Royal Army Service serving with the West Lancashire Field Ambulance Unit, but unlike those joining the FAU, Arthur would have been subject to military discipline and would be expected to take up arms if called upon. Finally Percy, born 1889 (centre) was a lecturer in Philosophy at Jesus College, Oxford and took commission as a captain with the West Yorkshire Regiment, his health was affected by his war service and he die.


 

FAU1

FAU badge

Gwasanaeth ambiwlans sifil oedd Uned Ambiwlans y Crynwyr (FAU o hyn allan), a sefydlwyd gan grŵp o Grynwyr, yn syth ar ôl cyhoeddi rhyfel ym mis Awst 1914.

Mewn llythyr y mis hwnnw, esboniodd un o sylfaenwyr y Crynwyr, ar ôl bod mewn cysylltiad ag eraill o’r un meddylfryd, ei fod wedi darganfod “that in this crisis … they want to render some service more commensurate with their powers … than is involved in the administration of war relief at home.” Roeddent yn cael eu hysgogi gan yr awydd i ddangos eu teyrngarwch ymarferol i’w gwlad, ar adeg pan roedd miloedd o ddynion ifanc yn gwirfoddoli ar gyfer gwasanaeth milwrol, tra’n aros yn driw i dystiolaeth heddwch y Crynwyr. Nid oeddent yn barod i fynd i ryfel. Deallwyd y risg oedd yn gysylltiedig â gweithio ar y ffrynt o’r cychwyn cyntaf.

Gwnaethpwyd yr apêl gyntaf am wirfoddolwyr ym mis Awst 1914 ac erbyn mis Medi, roedd y grŵp cyntaf yn cael ei hyfforddi a’i baratoi i fynd i ryfel. O hynny ymlaen tan 1919, pan chwalwyd yr uned, gwasanaethodd Crynwyr ac unigolion nad oeddent yn Grynwyr, rhyw 1,800 i gyd, yn yr FAU. Er mwyn cyflymu’r gwasanaeth, chwiliodd yr FAU am waith Croes Goch Prydain ac Urdd Sant Ioan o Jerwsalem ac ymunodd â nhw. Anfonwyd yr Uned Ambiwlans Eingl-Felgaidd gyntaf, fel yr oedd yn cael ei hadnabod bryd hynny, i Dunkirk ar 31 Hydref, 1914.

Sefydliad annibynnol oedd yr FAU, heb unrhyw gysylltiad swyddogol â Chymdeithas y Cyfeillion (Crynwyr) ym Mhrydain, er mai aelodau o’r Gymdeithas oedd yn gyfrifol am ei rheolaeth a llawer o’i chyllid. Roedd y rhai hynny a oedd yn y lluoedd arfog yn cael eu talu, ond roedd y rhai hynny a ymunodd â’r FAU yn dibynnu ar yr arian a godwyd gan y sefydliad. Parhaodd aelodau oedd yn gwasanaethu yn yr Uned i fod yn sifiliaid, ac nid oeddent yn destun disgyblaeth filwrol, er eu bod yn gwisgo eu hiwnifformau caci a’u harwyddluniau eu hunain. Roeddent hefyd yn defnyddio teitlau milwrol, ac yn cadw at ddisgyblaeth lem, oedd yn hanfodol o ystyried yr amgylchiadau peryglus yr oeddent yn gweithio ynddynt. Dywedodd un aelod o’r FAU ei fod yn wir “a strange hybrid of pacifism and militarism.”

Roedd yr FAU wedi’i threfnu’n ddwy adran, un ar gyfer gwasanaethu tramor a’r llall ar gyfer gwasanaethu adref. Roedd yr adran dramor yn gwneud gwaith cymorth sifil yn yr ardaloedd hynny o Wlad Belg oedd dan oresgyniad y cynghreiriaid, tra bod yr unedau ambiwlans, moduron a threnau yn darparu gwasanaeth tu ôl i rengoedd blaen y cynghreiriau. Roedd cyflogeion yr FAU hefyd yn staffio llawer o ysbytai yn Ffrainc a Gwlad Belg, ac yn gweithio ar ddwy long ysbyty. Drwy weithio gyda sifiliad, er enghraifft, adeiladodd yr FAU ddau gartref i blant amddifaid. Buont yn gweithio yn Ypres rhwng mis Rhagfyr 1914 a mis Mai 1915, gyda phobl yr effeithiwyd arnynt gan epidemig teiffoid.

Gwelodd yr adran dramor saith o’i haelodau’n cael eu lladd drwy weithredu milwrol. Y cyntaf o’r rhain oedd Frederick Garrett, 22 oed, a gafodd ei ladd gan dân gragen yn gwagio’r anafwyd ym mis Medi 1915. Yna ym mis Tachwedd, lladdwyd Walter Messer, oedd yn 20 oed, gan fom a ollyngwyd gan awyren, wrth iddo gyflawni’r un gwasanaeth â’i gyfaill Frederick. Claddwyd y ddau yn yr un fynwent filwrol, fel holl ddynion yr FAU a ‘laddwyd mewn brwydr’Fau2

Byddai holl bersonél milwrol yr FAU a wasanaethodd yn yr uned dramor yn derbyn y medalau ar ddiwedd y rhyfel.

Ar wahân i weinyddu a rheoli’r sefydliad cyfan, roedd yr adran gwasanaethu adref, yn Llundain, yn anfon gwirfoddolwyr yr FAU i ysbytai ar draws Prydain. Pan gyflwynwyd consgripsiwn ym mis Ionawr 2016, sefydlodd yr adran gartref yr Adran Gwasanaethau Cyffredinol i drefnu gwaith i wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol, a oedd wedi cael eu heithrio gan dribiwnlysoedd milwrol lleol, cyhyd â’u bod yn gysylltiedig â’r FAU. Bu llawer o’r dynion hyn yn gwneud gwaith amaethyddol, bu rhai yn gweithio ym myd addysg, gwaith lles neu yn gwneud gwaith gyda Phwyllgor Rhyddhad Ffrindiau Dioddefwyr y Rhyfel a oedd wedi cael ei sefydlu’n swyddogol gan y Crynwyr i helpu a chynorthwyo sifiliaid yr effeithiwyd arnynt gan y rhyfel. Roedd T. Alwyn Lloyd yn weithiwr Cymreig nodedig gyda’r pwyllgor, a daeth yn bensaer enwog yng Nghaerdydd ac yn un o sylfaenwyr Cyngor Diogelu Cymru Wledig a’r Sefydliad Cynllunio Trefol.

Rhoddwyd eithriad diamod i’r dynion FAU hynny oedd wedi ymuno ac a oedd yn gwasanaethu yn yr FAU cyn 1916 gan eu tribiwnlysoedd milwrol lleol, a chawsant eu hesgusodi rhag bod yn bresennol yn y tribiwnlys i egluro pam nad oeddent yn mynd i ryfel – arwydd bod eu haberth a’u dewrder yn cael eu cydnabod.

FAU yng Nghymru:

Yn ôl cofnodion yr FAU, bu 29 o bobl o Gymru yn gwasanaethu yn yr FAU, neu oedd, o leiaf, â chyfeiriadau yng Nghymru pan wirfoddolont, Felly, nid yw enw’r heddychwr Cymreig enwog, George M Ll Davies, yn ymddangos yn y rhestr Gymreig oherwydd pan wirfoddolodd, roedd yn byw yn Llundain. O’r 29 hyn, roedd dwy yn fenywod; Dorothy Finnemore, o Aberhonddu, a wasanaethodd yn Ysbyty Uffculme, Birmingham o fis Medi 1917, ac Edith Francis, o Gaersws, a wasanaethodd fel nyrs yn Dunkirk, Ffrainc am y rhan fwyaf o 1918.

Nid oedd unrhyw wirfoddolwyr ar gyfer yr FAU yn dod o Ynys Môn, Meirionnydd neu Sir Benfro ac o’r 27 o Gymry, rhoddwyd eithriad diamod i wyth ohonynt. O’r 19 o eithriadau amodol eraill, ac a ymunodd ar ôl Ionawr 1916, gwasanaethodd 6 yn yr adran dramor, a’r 13 arall gartref.

FAU 3Dyma Robert William Williams o Benygroes Sir Gaernarfon a phan roddwyd eithriad amodol iddo, ymunodd â’r FAU ym 1916 a gwasanaethodd yn Dunkirk o fis Mehefin 1916 tan fis Chwefror 1919. Roedd Robert yn chwarelwr llechi, a enillodd ysgoloriaeth i Goleg Ruskin, Rhydychen ym 1915 ac ar ôl iddo ddychwelyd, penodwyd ef yn ysgrifennydd cynorthwyol Undeb Chwarelwyr Gogledd Cymru. Yn amlwg, ni effeithiodd ei wrthwynebiad cydwybodol i weithredu milwrol ar ei gynnydd nac ar ei statws yn ei gymuned ar ôl y rhyfel, pan ddychwelodd i Benygroes. Ym 1933, cafodd ei wneud yn ysgrifennydd undeb y chwarelwyr, cafodd ei ethol fel aelod o Gyngor Sir Caernarfon, lle gwasanaethodd am 40 mlynedd, a daeth yn gadeirydd y Cyngor yn ogystal â Chadeirydd y Pwyllgor Addysg am 30 mlynedd, swydd a ystyriwyd bryd hynny yn uchel ei pharch. Roedd ei frawd hŷn hefyd yn wrthwynebydd cydwybodol, ac yn gweithio ar fferm yng Ngogledd Cymru, ond nid o dan yr FAU. Ymrestrodd brawd arall, Maurice, ym 1915, a threuliodd hwn y rhan fwyaf o’i wasanaeth yn y Balcanau a’r Dwyrain Canol. Mae’r rhaniad hwn o ran gweithredu yn yr un teulu yn nodwedd nodedig o lawer a ymunodd â’r FAU.

Enghraifft nodedig yw’r teulu Dodd, sef pedwar brawd o Wrecsam. Dilynodd pob un o’r brodyr wahanol lwybrau mewn perthynas â’r rhyfel.

Pan ddechreuodd y rhyfel, roedd Ernest Edward Dodd, [ganwyd 1887] (chwith uchaf – llun drwy garedigrwydd y diweddar Mrs A. H. Dodd drwy W.Alister Williams.) yn dysgu yn Ysgol Gynradd Biwmares. Ar ôl iddo ymddangos gerbron y tribiwnlys milwrol ym 1916, ymunodd â’r FAU, a gwasanaethodd gartref i ddechrau, cyn mynd allan i Dunkirk ym mis Awst 1917. Cafodd ei ryddhau o’r fyddin ym mis Mawrth 1919.

FAU3Roedd Charles, a aned ym 1884 (yn y canol ar y chwith) yn weinidog gyda’r Annibynwyr, felly, cafodd ei esgusodi rhag gwneud gwasanaeth milwrol. Daeth yn un o ddiwinyddion mwyaf blaenllaw ei ddydd, gan ddod yn Athro Brenhinol mewn Diwinyddiaeth ym Mhrifysgol Caergrawnt a Chyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol y prosiect New English Bible. Ym 1961, cafodd ei wneud yn Gydymaith Anrhydedd.

Roedd Arthur Herbert Dodd, a anwyd ym 1891, (ffrynt) yn Athro Hanes yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Gogledd Cymru ym 1930, ac yn hanesydd Cymreig nodedig. Ymunodd â Gwasanaeth Brenhinol y Fyddin yn gwasanaethu gydag Uned Ambiwlans Cae Gorllewin Swydd Gaerhirfryn, ond yn wahanol i’r rhai hynny oedd yn ymuno â’r FAU, byddai Arthur wedi bod yn destun disgyblaeth filwrol a byddai disgwyl iddo ddwyn arfau pe gelwid arno Yn olaf, roedd Percy, a anwyd ym 1889 (canol) yn ddarlithydd mewn athroniaeth yng Ngholeg yr Iesu, Rhydychen a chymerodd gomisiwn fel capten gyda Chatrawd Gorllewin Swydd Efrog, effeithiwyd ar ei iechyd gan ei wasanaeth yn y rhyfel, a bu farw ym 1931.