Mwg Coffa’r Rhyfel Mawr

Ar 18 Gorffennaf 1919, cyflwynwyd mygiau coffaol i 455 o ddisgyblion yn Ysgol Ferched Caerffili i nodi diwedd y Rhyfel Mawr pan lofnodwyd y Cytundeb Heddwch yn Versailles.  Roedd y mygiau hefyd yn ddiolch am y gwaith rhagorol a wnaeth y staff a’r disgyblion yn yr ysgol dros y 5 mlynedd flaenorol i gefnogi’r ymdrech ryfel.

Yn ystod wythnosau cyntaf y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf edrychai ysgolion ledled Cymru am ffyrdd o gefnogi’r ymdrech ryfel. Yn aml, ysgolion merched ymatebodd yn gyntaf, gyda chynigion ymarferol iawn i ddarparu dillad ychwanegol i’r milwyr yn Ffrainc. Roedd Ysgol Ferched Caerffili yn un o’r rhai cyntaf i ddeall sut y gallai helpu. Bedair wythnos ar ôl dechrau’r rhyfel nododd y Brifathrawes, Miss Morgan, y canlynol yng nghofnodlyfr yr ysgol:

ECG13_3 p35

ECG13_3 p35 part 2

In consequence of a great European War in which our country is engaged as Protector of Belgium, a Neutral State, & eventually to carry out her obligations to France, as per agreement against Prussian Militarism, the girls in the three upper classes have been anxious to do something for our gallant soldiers. In order to minister somewhat to their comfort, they have decided each, to knit a pair of socks or comforter. They have therefore undertaken to collect the money to pay for the wool, and as a result of their efforts, the sum realised is £7-14-0 [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 4 Medi 1914, ECG13/3 t.35]

Ym mis Hydref roedd y swmp cyntaf o hosanau a myfflers gwlân yn barod ac ar ei ffordd i Lundain:

ECG13_3 p38

The first parcel of socks and mufflers knitted by the girls, viz:- 32 pairs of socks and 23 mufflers were sent to-day to the Lady-in- Waiting to the Queen, Devonshire House. They had been washed and pressed, gratis, at the local laundries [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 29 Hyd 1914, ECG13/3 t.38]

Cyfraniad bach, ond cyfraniad pwysig, i les y milwyr. Dair blynedd yn ddiweddarach, gyda’r rhyfel bellach yn ei bedwaredd flwyddyn, roedd merched Caerffili yn dal i gael ac ymateb i geisiadau am fwy o ddillad gan filwyr a morwyr:

ECG13_3 p106

We have been asked to begin work afresh for the soldiers & sailors again. The Hon. Sec. of the Cardiff Branch, Women’s Advisory Com. War Work Mrs J. Price Williams has sent on 24lbs of wool to make up, & the senior class has commenced in earnest this afternoon [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 21 Medi 1917, ECG13/3 t.106]

Mae’n bosibl, drwy ofyn am wlân ym 1917, y cydnabuwyd wrth i’r rhyfel barhau ei bod yn anos i deuluoedd lleol gyfrannu arian at yr amryw apeliadau a wnaed ar ran y milwyr, y morwyr a’u dibynyddion. Amlygodd cofnodlyfr Miss Morgan yr anawsterau a wynebai pobl leol yng Nghaerffili wrth i’r rhyfel arwain at brinder bwyd a thanwydd, a gwneud i bris nifer o nwyddau sylfaenol godi. Dywedodd y Brifathrawes ym mis Rhagfyr 1916:

ECG13_3 p89_90

The weather is still very miserable and there is much sickness, many girls being very badly shod owing to the great increase in the price of boots, and other commodities which are the dire results of disastrous war which has raged during the past twenty –nine months [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 tt.89-90]

Ddeuddeg mis yn ddiweddarach, ni newidiodd fawr ddim:

ECG13_3 p108

The attendance is still going down, sickness the chief reason. Owing to the strenuous circumstances arising out of the war, many are unable to attend owing to bad boots etc. [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 16 Tach 1917, ECG13/3 t.108]

ECG13_3 p109

Owing to the shortage of butter etc. a large number of girls are kept at home for the purpose of taking their turns at the local grocers [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 13 Rhag 1917, ECG13/3 t.109]

ECG13_3 p110

The attendance for the week is exceptionally poor, bad weather, sickness, together with the difficulty to procure the bare necessaries; consequence on the war conditions is responsible for this…. [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 21 Rhag 1917, ECG13/3 t.110]

Ond er gwaetha’r anawsterau ni fethodd yr ysgol fyth ag achub ar y cyfle i helpu’r ymdrech ryfel. Er enghraifft, bob Dydd Gŵyl Dewi, cyflwynodd y staff a’r disgyblion ‘adloniant’ yn y Castle Cinema, gyda’r perchennog, Mr Gibbon, yn cynnig iddynt ddefnyddio’r lle am ddim. Gwahoddwyd rhieni a theuluoedd i fynychu, a chafwyd casgliad. Ym 1916, ysgrifennodd Miss Morgan:

In addition to a short address on the Patron Saint, Welsh Airs and Recitations, short playlets illustrative of early periods in the history of our people have been got up in character by the various standards a) A Pageant of Welsh heroes, 2) A Legend of the Leek, 3) A Scene from Henry V after the Battle of Agincourt, 4) The opening Episode of the Welsh National Pageant.

The school will line up at 9.30 and they will march in procession to the above named hall. Mr Barker ex schoolmaster and famous harpist has promised to be present to give some selections on the harp and the members of the 2nd and 3rd Std on their own request are presenting him with a bouquet of spring flowers this being his birthday [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 1 Maw 1916, ECG13/3 tt.71-72]

ECG13_3 p72

A silver collection was taken from the balcony which amounted to 26s which is to be sent on to Brigadier General Owen Thomas in aid of the Welsh Fund for Disabled Soldiers after the War [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 2 Maw 1916, ECG13/3 t.72]

Y flwyddyn ganlynol, nododd:

ECG13_3 p93

St. David’s Day celebration at Castle Cinema. A collection, which amounted to 13/2d was made in the audience, and this will be duly handed over to Hon. Mrs Lloyd George, wife of the Prime Minister, towards the National Fund for Welsh Troops [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 1 Maw 1917, ECG13/3 t.93]

Ymddengys iddynt fanteisio ar bob cyfle i godi arian. Wythnos cyn gwyliau’r haf, ysgrifennodd Miss Morgan eto yn ei chofnodlyfr:

An entertainment has been arranged….Each class contributes one or more items for the programme and the senior girls are ready with a small play -The Sleeping Beauty. It has been suggested that where possible the scholars will bring a copper, and the full amount expended on wool, that the senior girls can be set on comforts for our brave soldiers and sailors, upon the opening of school after the recess [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 tt.89-90]

ECG13_3 p90

The entertainment mentioned above was carried out and was heartily enjoyed by the scholars and staff. Sum Collected £3-2-7.The wool will be purchased and the record of work handed in to the Education Committee [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 22 Rhag 1916, ECG13/3 t.90]

Mae’n bosibl y cafodd y merched eu hysbrydoli gan un o’u hathrawesau eu hunain, Miss Hughes, a wnaeth ym 1915 hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli i wasanaethu dramor fel nyrs:

Miss Hughes has taken the St. John’s Nursing course as a preparation for hospital work, and has got her certificate. The Education Committee has sanctioned her application, that of allowing her to take the month’s probation course on the understanding that the War Office appoint her afterwards for the duration of the “War” or at least for 12 months [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 2 Meh 1915, ECG13/3 t.53]

Noda cofnodlyfr yr ysgol iddi adael porthladd Gravesend ym mis Medi 1915 am yr Aifft. Nid oes cofnod bod Miss Hughes wedi dychwelyd i ymweld ag Ysgol Ferched Caerffili ond mae’n rhaid ei bod wedi achosi cryn gynnwrf wrth iddi adael i wasanaethu dramor. Hefyd, gyda’r penderfyniad i ganiatáu athrawesau priod i gadw eu swyddi tan ddiwedd y rhyfel, roedd gan nifer ohonynt ŵyr yn gwasanaethu ar y ffrynt. Cafodd o leiaf un o athrawesau Caerffili, Mrs Foxall, y newyddion trist bod ei gŵr wedi marw ar faes y gad yn Ffrainc.

Erbyn 1917, cydnabu’r Llywodraeth y potensial i godi arian i’r rhyfel drwy fanteisio ar frwdfrydedd ac adnoddau ysgolion. Gofynnwyd i’r holl ysgolion sefydlu systemau i werthu Bondiau Rhyfel:

ECG13_3 p97_98

Received notification from the Chief Education Official that the Caerphilly Group of schools will be closed on Tuesday 22nd inst, in order that head teachers and their staff may attend a meeting, convened by the Secretary of the National War Savings Committee, Salisbury Square EC4…

The dire need of enlisting the full sympathy of the parents through the scholars in straining to the uttermost, the means of saving methodically & taking the advantage of the facilities now offered by the Government for small investors, & thereby helping to bring this gruesome war to an honourable end, is the object of calling the teachers together [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 15 Mai 1917, ECG13/3 tt.97-98]

Pan ymwelodd y tanciau â Chaerffili a threfi eraill De Cymru ym Mehefin 1918, fel rhan o ymgyrch genedlaethol i annog pobl i brynu Tystysgrifau Cynilion Rhyfel, atebodd yr ysgol yr her drachefn:

ECG13_3 p117

Visit of the tank Egbert to Caerphilly with the object of raising £100,000 for the purposes of the Great World War. The schools of the town were closed yesterday afternoon to celebrate the event [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 22 Meh 1918, ECG13/3 t.117]

ECG13_3 p117 part 2

…As a result of special effort mentioned above 104 War Savings Certificates 15/6 each were purchased at the Tank on Saturday 22nd in connection with this department [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 26 Meh 1918, ECG13/3 t.117]

Ni ddaeth gwaith yr ysgol i ben ar ôl llofnodi’r Cadoediad ym mis Tachwedd 1918. Mae’r cofnodlyfr yn nodi bod plant wedi dal i werthu Bondiau Rhyfel a chynnal perfformiadau i godi arian i elusennau rhyfel ymhell i’r flwyddyn ganlynol. Roedd y mygiau a gyflwynwyd i’r holl ddisgyblion ar 18 Gorffennaf 1919 felly’n rhai haeddiannol. O gofnodion y Brifathrawes nid oes amheuaeth bod disgyblion Ysgol Ferched Caerffili – y 455 ohonynt – yn benderfynol o ddathlu diwedd swyddogol y rhyfel a’u cyfraniad ato:

ECG13_3 p141 cropped

Children of school age are entertained today to tea at their respective school and when this is over the three departments of the school will march in procession through the town to the several fields kindly lent for their occasion where an interesting programme of events – sportive, will take place. The school that is, the class rooms are very tastefully decorated and all is now ready to make the happy event, forever remembered by the scholars. Number catered for 455 [Ysgol Ferched Caerffili, 18 Gorff 1919, ECG13/3 t.141]

Tony Peters, Gwirfoddolydd Archifau Morgannwg

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