Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top Ten Welsh Things

   A little late, but in honor of St. David's feast day (Patron saint of Wales), I present to you my top ten favorite Welsh things. As befits a wargamer, many of these are military related.

10. Doctor Who

   It is shot in Wales, mostly in Cardiff. Probably my favorite television program ever. Probably.

9. Cymru
   Pronounced Coom-ree (sort of). The fact that many of the people of Wales still speak Welsh, some as their primary language, rather than English, after all this time under the English crown... it's cool.

8. 24th Regiment of Foot, the South Wales Borderers

   One of the most famous of the British infantry regiments, thanks in no small part to the films Zulu and Zulu Dawn, which showcase two of the battles of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, the Defense of Rorke's Drift and the Battle of Isandhlwana, respectively.

7. Doctor Who Experience

   We went on this tour while in Cardiff in December 2012. It is a total blast.

6. William Windsor II (Billy), of the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers

   A member of the Royal Welch Fusiliers (NOT a mascot) since at least 1775, Billy has the honours of a lance corporal, and is apparently the only member of the British armed forces that still receives a cigarette ration, as it is good for his digestion.

5. The Goat Major Pub's Wye Valley Pie

This photo of The Goat Major is courtesy of TripAdvisor

   Speaking of goats... if you are ever in Cardiff, go to the Goat Major pub, just across from the Castle. Have the Wye Valley Pie and some chips. The other pies are quite good as well. But the Wye Valley is something very special.

4. Men of Harlech

   One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Zulu.

3. 'Welsh' Longbows

   Archaeological evidence in Britain can trace the use of the longbow as far back as 3000 BC and its use as widespread throughout Europe. In the year 633, Offrid, the son of Edwin, King of Northumbria, was killed by an arrow in battle with the Welsh and the Mercians. It's not certain the arrow was from a Welsh longbow but this is an early account of the use of the longbow by the Welsh archers in military action. The story promotes the belief which credits the Welsh with inventing and introducing the longbow into the British Isles. The acknowledged expert on the longbow, Robert Hardy, has written:"If the Welsh did not have bows yet, it cannot have been long before they adopted the weapon from the raiding Danes, but it is more than likely that, however they first came by it, the Welsh, among all the tribes in the British Isles, either retained the use of the bow from much earlier times, or invented it for themselves long before there could have been any chance for them to have learned of its use from the Scandinavians."

2. The Welsh Red Dragon

1. Welsh Rugby

   As if rugby wasn't going to make an appearance here. I just watched (last weekend) the Welsh team trounce Les Bleus in the Six Nations. Well done!


Edwin King said...

Diwrnod yn hapus Dewi Sant!

J Womack, Esq. said...

Yeah, what he said!

Chuckaroobob said...

Wales is cool. They also have a tiny village famous for having 30 used bookstores.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Looks like I shall be returning to Wales this summer. Cardiff and Caernarfon, lightning rounds.