Conwy's Military Heritage (Paperback)
Conwy has been involved in military conflict for over two thousand years.
The Iron Age hillfort of Caer Seion defended the area from the sixth century BC. Many slingshot stones have been discovered here, attesting to troubled times. In 881 the Welsh defeated an Anglo-Saxon army led by Aethelred of Mercia. The most spectacular outcome of Conwy’s strategic military significance at the mouth of the River Conwy was Edward I’s mighty castle, creating a walled town. In 1399 Richard II sought refuge in Conwy Castle against the future Henry IV’s forces and the castle was besieged again during the English Civil War by Parliamentary forces.
An army camp was established at Morfa in the nineteenth century, becoming home to the Salford Pals and the Royal Engineers in World War 1, and a Polish resettlement camp after the First World War. During the First World War, the sulfur mine at Caer Coch was the country’s largest producer of sulfur, vital for munitions.
Conwy also played a vital role in World War 2 as Mulberry Harbors, crucial for the Normandy landings were initially designed and then assembled here, and Ratcliffe Engineering built parts for Beaufighter and Halifax aircraft. The town was also a center of prisoner of war camps in the area and despite some accounts of conflict between townsfolk and prisoners, relations were generally harmonious and some ex-prisoners married and settled in the area after the war. This book will be of interest to all those who would like to know more about Conwy’s remarkable military history.
About the Author
Peter Johnson has a background in academic research and was a part-time university lecturer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society and has recently gained the Advanced Diploma in Local History at the University of Oxford. In addition, he has been a keen writer of fiction for many years, winning a number of competitions. He has also written a number of local history books for Amberley on North Wales.
Adrian Hughes is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen. He is founder and owner of the Home Front Museum in Llandudno which opened in 2000 and is also vice-chair of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Historical Society. He has written a number of publications on the military history of Llandudno and north Wales and is a well-respected guest speaker.