Cymdeithas Treftadaeth Eglwyswrw a'r Fro

Eglwyswrw and District Heritage Society

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TRAGEDY ON THE PRESELI  HILLS -
Two members of Seion Sunday school died on Sunday July 30.1944.


The story as reported in subsequent years.
On the Sunday of the tragedy, 16-year-old Milton Jones and 14 years old Donald Pritchard were meant to go to Sunday school at Seion chapel Crymych.
The register of the Sunday school was in the care of Milton, but he had asked another Sunday school pupil, Vince Davies, to take care of the register, so he could go with Donald to walk on the hills.
Apparently his brother Roy would have gone with them, but he had arranged to go somewhere else later in the day.
Milton was interested in all things mechanical. They must have handled or moved military ordnance, it exploded and they were both killed.
This was a short time after the troops who had been training on the Preseli hills had left to fight in Europe.
Milton was the son Oliver James Jones and Margaret Ann Jones, Cefn Mawr, Crymych.
He was a pupil at Cardigan Grammar school and had done well in the exams, the family received the results in August. 1944, a short time after the accident.
Donald and his brother and sisters with their mother had come to the area from Swansea as evacuees some three years previously, to get away from the danger caused by the German bombers. The children attended Cardigan Grammar school. Their father on account of his work had stayed with family members near Llanelli.
Donald had recently left the Cardigan County School to take up employment with W.H.James, Ironmonger in Crymych.

July 30th was also the birthday of Donald’s mother they were preparing a special tea to celebrate when they heard news of the accident.
Funeral Service of the two boys was held at Seion, Crymych on Thursday, August 3rd and they were laid to rest in Seion Cemetery.

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Around the same time as the Heritage Society started on the War Memorial project we started another project to remember the two boys killed in an accident on the Preseli hills.
We researched the history of the accident and found members of Seion to be very supportive and helpful. Rheinallt negotiated with Seion Sunday school teachers to see how best involve the young people of the area in the project and hopefully get them interested in local history. A trip was organized to take the Sunday school children and young people to visit the ‘Tin Shed’ museum in Laugharne, a museum specializing in WW2 period, and then to fill in the day at another local attraction.
We approached members of Seion Chapel with the idea of having a Memorial plaque installed on the chapel’s interior wall, again they were helpful and supportive.
As we had been very pleased with Malcolm Gray’s work on the War Memorial, we asked him to produce the plaque, similar to a plaque already mounted on one side of the pulpit at Seion.
On June 20th 2014 Malcolm installed the plaque.
The unveiling service was arranged for August 31st, with the Sunday school children taking a prominent part.
Many relations of the boys attended the service; some had travelled a long distance to be there. There was tea in the vestry after, where people could chat and exchange what they were able to recall of the tragic event of seventy years ago.

The plaque of remembrance to
John Lloyd Milton Rhys Jones, aged 16.
Donald Pritchard, aged 14.

 
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