GULF COAST WELSH SOCIETY
NEWSLETTER
SCROLL DOWN FOR WELSH AND ENGLISH LYRICS TO LLWYN ONN (THE ASH GROVE)
Performed by Thomas L. Thomas
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Ym Mhalas Llwyn Onn gynt, fe drigai pendefig,
Efe oedd ysgweiar ac arglwydd y wlad;
Ac iddo un eneth a anwyd yn unig,
A hi nôl yr hanes oedd aeres ei thad.
Aeth cariad i'w gweled yn lân a phur lencyn,
Ond codai'r ysgweiar yn araf ac erch,
I aethu'r bachgennyn, ond gwyrodd ei linyn,
A'i ergyd yn wyrgam i fynwes ei ferch.

Rhy hwyr ydoedd galw y saeth at y llinyn
 'r llances yn marw yn welw a gwan;
Bygythiodd ei gleddyf trwy galon y llencyn,
Ond ni redai cariad un fodfedd o'r fan.
Roedd golud, ei "darpar", yn hen ac anynad,
A geiriau diweddaf yr aeres hardd hon,
Oedd, 'Gwell gennyf farw trwy ergyd fy Nghariad
Na byw gyda golud ym mhalas Llwyn Onn.'
The Ashgrove

The ash grove, how graceful, how plainly 'tis speaking,
The wind through it playing has language for me.
When over its branches the sunlight is breaking,
A host of kind faces is gazing on me.
The friends of my childhood again are before me,
Each step wakes a memory as freely I roam.
With soft whispers laden its leaves rustle o'er me,
The ash grove, the ash grove again alone is my home.

My lips smile no more, my heart loses its lightness,
No dream of the future my spirit can cheer,
I only would brood on the past and its brightness,
The dead I have mourn'd are again living here.
From every dark nook, they press forward to meet me.
I lift up my eyes to the board leafy dome,
And others are there looking downwards to greet me,
The ash grove, the ash grove alone is my home.
On May 30th, Memorial Day, there is a Service of Remembrance at the Oak Ridge
Cemetery, Arcadia.  This service honours the 23 RAF cadets (some of whom were of
Welsh heritage) who died while in the United States for training.  These young men
died, sadly, too young and even before they had a chance to serve their country in
combat.  

The people of Arcadia had welcomed these young men to their small inland village
which lies approximately 50 miles from Sarasota.  The men integrated well into the
community taking part in the various activities of village life.

After their deaths the British families of the fallen men were contacted to find out if
they wanted the remains returned to the United Kingdom.  All families agreed they
wanted the graves left undisturbed and that 'they be left to rest with their comrades'.  
This follows the British tradition of 'they were buried where they fell'.

It is said that in 1944 various ladies in Arcadia tended the graves with flowers not
only out of respect but as one mother looking after another mother's son, even in
death.

The Rotary Club of Arcadia and the DeSoto community have maintained their annual
Memorial Day service, reading each cadet's name aloud, flying the Union Jack and
placing a cross with poppy flowers.  The Scottish bagpipes are played and the British
National Anthem, God Save the Queen, is sung.

Our Welsh Society, along with the British Society of Sarasota, have attended this
ceremony for many years, laying a wreath for these brave young men.  This event also
shows many old British cars and is an attraction to any vintage car lover.

If you wish to join us this Memorial Day in honouring these men, please contact Muriel
on 941-925-8481, Amy on 941-349-6069 or Don on 941-374-1941 and arrangements can
be made to share cars if needed.

After the hour long service is over, we plan to gather at a local restaurant for lunch so
please let us know if you wish to attend for plans to be made for a light lunch.

Seating is limited, so please bring along a lawn/beach chair.
MEMORIAL DAY
SERVICE,
ARCADIA 2011
This was the best British Memorial Service ever.  They had three
canopies instead of just the one and supplied lots more chairs.  The
program was beautiful and well run.  

In the middle of the Service there was a fly-over with vintage planes
and a retired Priest read out the names of the cadets who were
killed whilst in training.  On this occasion, the program had living
relatives and addresses for each Airman.  

Muriel, our corresponding  secretary, will send Thank You notes to
the Arcadia Rotary  for their tasteful and beautiful Memorial Service.

(Submitted by Murial Patram)
Brief History