Tag Archives: World War 2

Traces of war in the Ogwen Valley

3 Feb

Yesterday’s snow in Snowdonia meant that the already beautiful Ogwen Valley was even more stunning (if a little cold!).

In the spring and summer of 1940, ‘stop lines’ were built all over the United Kingdom to repel, or at least slow down, a German invasion. The North Wales defences were especially important as the British were worried that the German invasion force would use ‘neutral’ Southern Ireland as a ‘stepping stone’ when trying to invade.

In the Nant Ffrancon and Ogwen Valley areas of North Wales evidence of anti-tank fortifications are still visible today. The ‘dragon’s teeth’ were built of local stone at the head of the Nant Ffrancon while various spigot mortar emplacements can be found around Ogwen Cottage. A number of pill-boxes are also evident in the Ogwen Valley and also around Capel Curig. The weather today was a reminder how cold it would have been to man these defences 75 years ago.


Letter to Sweetheart

21 Dec

I recently came across some letters sent from Battalion Quarter Master Sergeant Jim Flanagan to his wife Cissy of 20 Phoebe Anne Street in Liverpool.  I have started to transcribe them and will put them on the blog over the next couple of months.  They offer a fascinating insight into wartime social history.



Letter from BQMS Flanagan to his wife Cissy


1570641 BQMS Flanagan

171 A.A. ‘Z’ Bty R.A.

Chattenden Barracks





My Dearest Sweetheart

I received your letter today of 3/8.  Post seems to travel more slowly from your end.  If this letter seems hurried and scrawled you must forgive me, but I have just come in and am trying to rush one off to you by the afternoon post.  It is just possible that if I can catch it you will have this letter for tomorrow, Saturday.  But even if not, and you have to wait till Monday I should not be very many hours behind the letter.

I am pleased to hear that baby is so industrious even if her industry includes egg breaking, and I am very much looking forward to seeing her in this much improved new role of hers.

I am afraid that I spoke too soon, your next letter has also arrived and I have just been reading it as I commenced this page.  (I had to put this in because I guessed that you would be puzzled stiff with my reference to a letter which I had not apparently received).

I do want to say though that you must forgive this very short note, but when I get home I will be able to put into words and actions the things which have been locked inside my heart for the past ¼ of a year.

I can say that my love for you is really and truly deep and lasting and only in your arms only will I find my true and comfortable happiness.

I want you only my darling to remain faithful and true to me under these circumstances and I know that our future life can be nothing but pleasant and happy.

Think of me, and wait patiently for me, who will be seeing you very, very soon.

I always am your loving and faithful husband.