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Wales and militancy, 1952-1970

This thesis addresses the campaign of militant activism which Wales witnessed between 1963 and 1969. It demonstrates that the unprecedented period of violence was fuelled by both the contentious flooding of Cwm Tryweryn and crucially, the failure of Plaid Cymru to prevent the valley's drowning through constitutional means. By not taking passive and timely protest action, Plaid Cymru ensured that militancy, as predominately undertaken by Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru, became a feature of the Welsh geo-political landscape. Moreover, had the party taken a more sharpened approach during the earlier stages of the proposal, it is likely that the emergence of the so-called Free Wales Army, which campaigned along the lines of using 'propaganda against the Establishment', may well have been avoided. However, this is a view which is challenged by, among others, former members of the displaced community, who maintain that Plaid Cymru - and most notably its president - did all they could to prevent the Tryweryn Reservoir Bill becoming law. Nonetheless, the escalation in militant strategy came in response to the impending Royal Investiture of Charles Windsor as Prince of Wales. In retaliation, the authorities established the so-called Shrewsbury Unit. This was borne of an increasingly desperate attempt to apprehend those responsible, in order to ensure the safety of the Royal Party and the success of the ceremony. By considering the publicity conscious Free Wales Army, the thesis demonstrates that the group undertook one failed militant strike. It also establishes that the militant offensive undertaken by MAC comprised two distinct phases. The first in 1963 was predominately marshalled by Emyr Llywelyn Jones. The second period of hostilities, between 1966 and 1969, was orchestrated by John Jenkins; who critically, was a Sergeant in the British Army Dental Corps. This thesis seeks to reinstate the importance of the militant campaign in Welsh history, neither by judging it nor dismissing it, but by establishing the importance of these protests to both the nation's history and its cultural and political advance. It also establishes the detail of what happened, while seeking to tell the story in a balanced way, paying full attention to the perspective of the perpetrators and those actively engaged in their detection.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:bl.uk/oai:ethos.bl.uk:678533
Date January 2010
CreatorsThomas, Alun Wyn
PublisherSwansea University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Sourcehttps://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42580

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