The camp was used by the Treharris Home Guard for week-end training and it was reported in the 12 August 1944 issue of the Merthyr Express that members of the Girls Training Corp, who were stationed at Cwm Bargoed, attended a Sunday morning service at St Mary’s Church in Fochriw.
The only local bombing of the war occurred on the night of 30 July 1940 when 13 bombs fell in a straight line from the Mountain Hare pub south east of Dowlais across the mountainside to Incline Top and the last hit the railway line just below Cwm Bargoed. The only casualties were two dead sheep.
Ian Ballard Oliver recalls that some villagers say an open firebox in a loco was the cause of this hit. They are wrong. There were no open fireboxes as there were no trains running that night, of any description, not even a light engine.
His father was porter-signalman at Cwmbargoed. He'd gone off to work that night, and on arrival received a message that there was a problem up the line, so that there would be no munitions trains bound for Newport and Cardiff docks through that night. The signals were set at "danger" and he walked home.
In the early hours of the morning we were awakened by a banging at the door. Cwmbargoed had been hit, the signal box destroyed, and they needed him at the station to help with groundwork. It caused little disruption to the trains going through as in those days a train could be signalled by flags as easily as any other method. The version of events that my father received via the GWR was that some German bombers making an attempt on Newport docks had been chased by British fighters. Consequently they had followed the railway line up towards Dowlais hoping to hit the steelworks. The fighters had been gaining on them, so they had dropped a few bombs in order to gain height and speed.
There was an RAF Observation Post located above the Fox and Hounds pub on the Fochriw road above Bedlinog as the aerial photograph taken by the RAF on 3 August 1945 shows.
During the 1950’s the army set up a bridging camp by the side of the feeder pond (Pond Feeder) and this facility was used to train soldiers in the art of constructing bridges across water with metal pontoons.
The soldiers were billeted under canvas, the only permanent buildings being a mess hall and canteen.
A small army detachment with a searchlight and gun-pit was stationed in the field below Penybanc school.as the photograph opposite shows which was taken by the RAF on 3 August 1945