Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

'Oh, . . . but I see you've got a stripe . . .'

'I'm an acting Lance-Corporal.'

'Certificate A, parts one and four?'

'Part one.'

'Have you tried part two yet?'

'I failed it.'

'Going to try again?'

'No.'

'Any shooting badges?'

'No.'

'Been to Corps Camp?'

'No.'

'Ah well, do try your Certificate A, part two. You'll find it most useful when you come to do your National Service.'

I wasn't enough of an anti-hero to say, 'I won't be doing that either, if I can help it.'

Since military conscription had come to an end by the time I left University, I didn't have to choose between the English Army and clink.

I shall end this memoir by expressing my admiration for the handful of Nationalists 1, among them Hywel ap Dafydd, Chris Rees, and Emrys Roberts, who went to prison rather than wear the uniform of the English Army, and by paying tribute, too, to every worker and patriot who challenged that army in places a good deal more dangerous than the playing-field of a public school one morning in May.

BBC Cymru (23 Gorffennaf, 1982)


An Exile

R. S. Thomas

Whenever I hear the word ' Anglesey,' or 'the Isle of Anglesey,' the first name that comes to mind is Goronwy Owen 1, because for me he is the prime example of what it means to be an exile:

-180-

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Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • The Village School 1
  • Fear of the Sea 7
  • A Windy Night 9
  • The Late Lemuel Parry, Esq., J.P., O.B.E. 12
  • On Drowning a Cat 18
  • The House Across the Way 21
  • Weobley and St. Emilion 25
  • The Man in the Street 28
  • Old Dent 31
  • On Collecting Roads 34
  • 'their Land They Shall Lose' 42
  • The Red Flag 46
  • Strolling Players 50
  • One Sunday Afternoon 57
  • Salem 61
  • A Trip to the Circus 63
  • Thoughts on Coronation Day, 1953 68
  • From the Pulpit 72
  • How to Choose and Treat a Wife 77
  • To the Mountain 83
  • The Imperative Upon Me 88
  • Disenchantment 92
  • The Hiring Fair 94
  • The Man at Chapel House 97
  • Question and Answer 102
  • The Little Llandeilo Boots 105
  • My Last Day in Prison 108
  • A Discovery 118
  • A Land of Romance 121
  • Hi-Ho! 129
  • Ancestors 133
  • While Shaving 138
  • Of Time and Distance 141
  • A Methodist Deacon's Advice 146
  • Of Violets and Bells 148
  • Remembering Mrs Newbould 151
  • Good Morning, Lloyd 156
  • In Modesty and Trembling 162
  • Christmasn in the Valley 166
  • On Stammering 169
  • Butlins 172
  • A Millionaire 176
  • A Scene from Military Life 178
  • An Exile 180
  • The Fox Under Glass 183
  • A Doctor's Medicine 186
  • The Little Huts 189
  • Three Heads 191
  • On Memory 198
  • Uncle John's Boots 202
  • The Fur Coat 207
  • An Holy Kiss 214
  • Notes on Authors and Texts 217
  • Acknowledgements 238
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