This section deals with military related events, as they effected the village, prior to, and during, the First and Second World Wars. Military installations at Fochriw, Penybanc, Cwm Bargoed and Bedlinog are touched upon, especially the Fuel Depot No219, Infantry Training Camp and Bridging Camp that were located on the site of Fochriw Colliery during and after WWII.
Military Presence during the Coal strike of 1893
The first newspaper account concerning the military at Fochriw was in the 2 September 1893 issue of the Merthyr Express when it was reported that a Captain G Hamilton of the 14th Hussars and Mr E P Martin Dowlais had applied to Gelligaer School Board for permission to station a detachment of troops in the school at Fochriw during the strike crisis. The chairman was not at home and Vice Chairman Rev J P Williams granted permission.
The Clerk of the Gelligaer Board School reported that Mr. E. P. Martin, Dowlais, had applied to him to obtain permission and that Capt. G. Hamilton, 14th Hussars, had also written to the chairman or vice-chairman asking to use the school for a short time. The Clerk had written to the Education Department, who stated that as this was an exceptional case, it would be taken into account at the examination. They also required to know of the Captain the exact amount of time the school would be wanted. At the next meeting, Rev. J. P. Williams was to be asked to explain why he had given permission.
The photograph opposite is reputed to be of ther scene at Fochriw Railway Station prior to the arrival of tewo locasl soldiers who were returning from the Boer War
First World War Recruitment
The following Merthyr Express newspaper reports advise details of two recruitment meetings at Fochriw
21 November 1914
Recruiting Meeting A public meeting took place at St. Mary’s Institute on Monday last, under the auspices of the East Glamorgan Recruiting Committee. The speaker was Alderman Morgan Thomas, J.P., Cardiff, ex-Lord Mayor. He fully explained the causes of the war, and stated that every able-bodied, healthy young man, about the age of nineteen, should feel it his bounden duty to join the forces of his country, and should be ashamed to be seen idling about the streets and attending football matches. He also said