Ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg ym Morgannwg

Pan ddechreuodd y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf ym mis Awst 1914, un o’r grwpiau o bobl cyntaf yr effeithiwyd arnynt oedd trigolion Gwlad Belg. Gan ofni erledigaeth gan fyddin yr Almaen a oedd yn llifo i mewn i’r wlad, penderfynodd tua 250,000 ohonynt adael Gwlad Belg a symud i’r Deyrnas Unedig, sef y mewnlifiad mwyaf o ffoaduriaid yn hanes Prydain. Daeth rhai o’r rheiny i fyw yng Nghymoedd De Cymru.

Roedd gan y plwyfi a chapeli lleol eu rhan i’w chwarae o ran helpu’r ffoaduriaid:

Proposed by Councillor D. Bayliss that the council should recommend to the Public Meeting that as many persons as possible in the Parish should subscribe a certain sum weekly, to maintain a family of Refugees during the period of War. Carried. Cyngor Plwyf Sant Ffraid (P78)

It was proposed by Councillor D Lewis that they allow rates to be free on the Belgian Refugee House. Carried. Cyngor Plwyf Sant Ffraid (P78)

Mr Brown gave particulars of the offered apartments in Albany Road & after consideration Mr Roberts proposed and Mrs Farrar seconded that the house in Albany Road be taken subject to the Belgian Relief Committee agreeing to furnish same. Carried. Eglwys Ddiwygiedig Unedig Parc y Rhath (D601/7)

Yr awdurdodau lleol gymerodd y cyfrifoldeb am les y ffoaduriaid yn y pen draw. Byddai’n rhaid iddynt fod wedi delio ag amrywiaeth o faterion. Un o’r meysydd yr oedd rhaid iddynt delio ag o oedd iechyd y ffoaduriaid:

He reported that he had received a warning from the Authorities that a case of small pox had occurred at the Earls Court Refugee Camp for Belgians and he had therefore visited the refugees from that camp who were at Angelton Cottage and found a child there with suspicious symptoms. He had called on the Medical Officer who had instructed him to report on the case on Monday next. It was moved by Mr R. John seconded by Mr W.A. Howell and Resolved that, if the case proves to be small pox, the Clerk be instructed to give twenty four hours notice to the Hospital Committee to clear the Small Pox Hospital ready for its reception. Cyngor Dosbarth Gwledig Penybont (RDPB/C/14)

Hospitals

Letter from the War Refugees Committee asking that the recent Belgian refugees be treated locally and free of charge, as many were sick, convalescent and suffering from nervous shock, infectious disease etc. and were, in the most, entirely without means. Resolved that the council are prepared to deal with local cases in their Accident and Surgical Hospital and Infectious Diseases Hospital. Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol Y Barri (BB/C/1/20)

Roedd y rhan fwyaf o awdurdodau lleol yn ceisio helpu’r ffoaduriaid drwy ostwng neu gael gwared yn gyfan gwbl ar gostau eu llety a threuliau eraill:

…that the Collectors be instructed not to collect rates from premises occupied by Belgian Refugees… Cyngor Dosbarth Gwledig Llantrisant a Llanilltud Faerdref (RDLL/C/13)

Resolved that the Belgian Refugees in Penarth be allowed to use the Baths free of charge. Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol Penarth (UDPE/C/1/4)

Roedd yr awdurdodau yn ceisio helpu’r ffoaduriaid mewn ffyrdd eraill yn ogystal, un ai eu hunain neu drwy grwpiau gwirfoddol:

The Chairman submitted a letter he had received from the Central Committee asking the Council to organize another Christmas Day collection for the relief of the Belgian Children. Resolved that the Council support the movement and that the following members be requested to make the necessary arrangements for their respective wards… Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol Ogwr a Garw (UDOG/C/1/11)

The Deputy Clerk reported that arrangements had been made for a visit of the Belgian Artistes to Porthcawl on Friday next and that the use of the Pavilion had been granted free of charge by Mr Conrad. Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol Porthcawl (UDPC/C/1/10)

That public meetings be held in the various parts of the District with a view to making arrangements for housing and for providing for the comfort and maintenance of the Belgian Refugees. Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol Aberpennar (UDMA/C/4/12)

Library

The Librarian stated that Mr H Stanley Jevons had sent a number of French books on loan for the use of the Belgian Refugees. Cyngor Bwrdeistref Caerdydd (BC/C/6/50)

A letter was read from Mrs Marychurch, applying for work for a Belgian Refugee as Book Repairer or Binder. Cyngor Bwrdeistref Caerdydd (BC/C/6/50)

Un o dasgau’r awdurdodau lleol oedd helpu swyddfa’r Cofrestrydd i ddogfennu pobl gwlad Belg a ffoaduriaid eraill. Erbyn dechrau 1915 roedd yr awdurdodau lleol wedi canfod bod nifer y ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg ledled Morgannwg fel a ganlyn:

Dynion dros 16 oed – 408; Merched dros 16 oed – 505; Bechgyn – 212; Genethod – 202; Cyfanswm – 1327.  Pwyllgor Cymorth Gofid Rhyfel Cyngor Sir Morgannwg (GC/WD/1)

Mae’n werth nodi na adawodd pob Belgiad ei wlad a dod i’r DU; arhosodd llawer, ac roedd rhywfaint o’r gwaith elusennol a wnaed yn y DU er budd y rheiny oedd dal yng Ngwlad Belg:

The National Committee…have for some time been £30,000 short each week of the amount necessary to provide the irreducible minimum of one meal per day…may I beg that you will give this appeal your most sympathetic consideration. Siambr Fasnach Corfforedig Caerdydd (DCOMC/1/8/18)

Cyn pen blwyddyn ar ôl diwedd y rhyfel ym mis Tachwedd 1918, roedd 90% o’r ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg ym Mhrydain wedi dychwelyd adref. Daeth y rheiny a arhosodd yn aelodau o gymdeithas Prydain, gan ddiflannu o olwg y genedl, ac felly daeth stori’r ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg yn angof ymhen fawr o dro.

Andrew Booth, Cynorthwy-ydd Cofnodion Dros Dro

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