On Wednesday, the children were entertained to dinner and tea. After dinner, the children formed up, and headed by the Silver Band, paraded the village. They were joined by adults, and in the parade were the standards of the British Legion men’s and women’s sections. The children returned to the New Hall for tea, and later, sports were held until dark, when they returned to the Square for dancing and community singing until midnight. Great praise is due to all who helped, to the band for their services, and to those who donated food etc. The officers were: chairman, Mrs. M. Jenkins; vice chairman, Coun. W.J. Payne; treasurer, Mrs. A. Ballard; secretary, Mr. Bryn Davies.
This bonfire was special and was actually built not thrown together. The framework was of pitprops. If you imagine a small corral, like in the Westerns, but with the bars very close together and built as a square, then you have it. The usual bonfire material was stacked inside this and it burned for a very long time. On top was an effigy of Hitler - made as a guy would be made with a very obvious black moustache on his white flourbag face. He didn't last five minutes, obviously.
There were echoes of this bonfire burning into the distance and you could see that there were fires on the Beacons as well. I've wondered since if all these had been set up for VE day or if some had been built as Beacon Fires in the event of invasion.
In June 1945, on a Monday, a large number of evacuees returned to London (Hackney and Sheerness)after being at Fochriw for some years. They had become very much attached to the village and people.
During and after WWII, large convoys of trains loaded with soldiers and military equipment such as tanks and guns, made their way through Fochriw from and to the army training ranges in mid Wales and the barracks at Brecon. Substantially smaller convoys returned which contained wounded soldiers, always in blue suits, on their way back home.
Edward Chapman, V.C., B.E.M. It was with great joy that Fochriw people heard, in July 1945, of the award of the V.C. to Cpl. Edward Chapman of Pontlottyn. The greater part of his schooling was received at Fochriw School. Hundreds from the village joined in his welcome home at Pontlottyn on Sunday. The procession was headed by the Fochriw Silver Band, conducted by Mr. A. Mantle, assisted by Mr. E. Lewis, deputy bandmaster. Link for poem