World War 2 Research by Peter Kelsall

Can anyone help Peter with his research, he wrote:

“I am researching soldiers from Buckley or with a connection to Buckley who died in WW2, and came across David Henry Bray Jones. According to a newspaper obit he was the son of Mr & Mrs Jones of 1, North Green. I believe his wife was Esther Garner and she lived in Belmont Crescent Buckley. I think he was born in Llandilofawr. I see from the 1939 Register and your records that the Bray family was at 1, North Green in 1939. Does anyone have anything to add to this story?”

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Sealand Ladies Trip?

I found this old photo that some of you may be able to identify some of the ladies in the group. Of those standing 6th from the left in her scarf is my Nan, Kitty Jones, and 7th from left is Auntie Elfie Jones (nee Kennedy). Is that Louisa Jacobs 8th from left standing and Cassie Lewis 10th left standing? Are they the Tiller Girls (London Palladium) seated?

Come on, let’s identify all 18 of them. Where and when was is taken?

St David’s Day 2018

Best wishes to everyone in Wales and those further afield with Wales in their hearts, have a lovely snowy St David’s Day. Our concert at Abergavenny Borough Theatre with Blaenafon MV Choir has been postponed until 5th April – somehow that won’t feel quite the same.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus

Stuart Hignell

It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of our friend from his niece. His funeral was held last Monday, 5th February. He was diagnosed some years ago with motor neurone disease and he decided to write his life story for his family. Stuart’s contribution to this blog and the book were so well received and working with him to include his extracts from his life on the WLS at Boverton was a real privilege. Please take the time to read his story whilst visiting this site in memory of Stuart. Here is a poem he wrote that recounts his early days on the settlement, just two verses but very poignant.

When I was young
and very small
when blades of grass seemed very tall

A time of learning
and of bliss
when hurts were cured by mother’s kiss

Stuart’s story begins on page 63 of the book.

Original Settlers – East and West Greens

Some time ago, when I published the list of original settlers at Sealand I only did North and South Greens. With apologies to those who have family interest in the other Greens I am now setting out the list of those who came and lived in East and West. Apologies if it’s not quite correct, for example my Auntie Elfie moved to Sealand from Aberdare and lived with her parents in North Green but she is shown here a little later on living in East Green with her husband my uncle Jack. REMEMBER DOUBLE CLICK ON THE FILE AND YOU WILL GET THE FULL SIZE ON SCREEN.

We’ll keep a welcome……..

It was my pleasure recently to meet up with Keith Rees and his wife Vivienne, who were both great company during the time we spent together. They were over from their home in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia where Keith’s dad Burt settled with the family when they emigrated from Leechpool in 1966. Keith has been back a few times since. Incidentally, Vivienne is from Manchester where she left at the age of 3.

Keith was a major contributor to this blog and the story was one of the highlights of my book. He was keen to visit his old haunts and I had arranged for him to go and visit No. 2 where his grandparents first settled in the 1930’s. It was very kind of Sara and Kavon, who bought the property in the last year or so, to give us such a warm welcome and a tour of the home and property. Understandably, it was a very emotional time for Keith as he paused at each place in the garden or each room in the house to recall his early childhood memories. The house has been extended at sometime in the past and a few queries were answered for Kavon and Sara as Keith told them about how it all looked originally. He had many a tale to tell about hiding places and tree climbing etc. Thanks to the owners for making it all possible.

With one last glance back and a look over at No.3 where he lived with his parents we were off down the Middle Road to visit Dot Shaw (Smallcombe). Dot, also a contributor to this blog, was keen to see Keith after all these years and made us all very welcome. It was clear that Dot knew all the members of Keith’s family and had many questions for him. For me this demonstrated the spirit of community that existed in the Welsh Land Settlement where everyone looked out for each other, which I have experienced first hand myself at Sealand and at the other settlements I have visited.

Time to go and an emotional goodbye. Farewell and bon voyage friends and neighbours’ from overseas.

Keith and Vivienne with Sara and Kavon inside No.2


All outside No.2 (the front door on the right of picture was originally on the other side of the house)


Keith and Vivienne with Dot Shaw