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Introduction ~ Aberffraw ~ Brecon ~ Fishguard
Brecon: A Border Town - page two
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It was Richard, Lord Grey of Codnor who was entrusted with the defence of Brecon at the time of Owain's rebellion. He quickly strengthened the castle with a further two hundred archers and forty men - at - arms. Cannons, gunpowder, saltpetre an sulphur, were also shipped to the castle and put in place, while the walls, gates and ditches of the town were repaired and strengthened.

Owain as expected did indeed test the defences of the town on more than one occasion, his best chance of victory was at the end of June 1403. However his efforts were thwarted on July 1st that year when a relief force headed by John Bodenham the Sheriff of Hereford, duly arrived on the eastern outskirts of the town. When Owain engaged his foe, the armoured clad Sheriff's men certainly had the upper hand, within a relatively short period of time they had quickly scattered Owain's forces, killing over 250 of his men while doing so.

When again in the Autumn of the year of 1403 Owain's forces once again attempted to gain entry to the town, news of a royal expedition moving up the Usk valley was enough to scatter them and the kings force moved on up the Usk valley to Sennybridge.

At an encampment on fields at Defynnog, to the south of the Black castle at Sennybridge, the king empowered a one Sir John Oldcastle to grant pardons to all the rebels in the surrounding lordships from Builth to Brecon
. Yes, Brecon truly was a one time border town .


Although the once mighty castle may have virtually gone, the town of Brecon retains its links with the military. It houses the Infantry Training Centre for Wales and the Old Barracks is home to both 160 Wales Brigade and the South Wales Borderers Military Museum. The Museum contains the 7 Victoria Crosses ( The UK's highest Military Honour ) won by members of the 24th Regiment of Foot, during the battle for Rorkes Drift against the army of the Zulu nation.

But as with so many other things through time, things change, so too do Regiments change, amalgamate and become one. Today the name South Wales Borderers/The 24th of Foot is no more, its proud history is now part of The Royal Welsh Regiment.

Among the many battle Honours of the 24th of Foot was Ypres in Belgium, that god forsaken place of the first world war; where dead men were more common than flies. The Belgium people however, do not forget the ultimate sacrifice made by the men from the Uk and the Commonwealth. At the Menin Gate in Ypres at precisely eight o'clock every evening since 1928, the playing of the Last Post, the traditional salute to the fallen warrior, has taken place.

On the 31st of October 2001 the 25,000th playing of the traditional salute was heard.

24th of Foot  & Chief Cetshwayo

Do please click the insignia to the left to get to the South Wales Borderers museum at Brecon, so that you may 'feel' the affinity that the people of Wales have with the South Wales Borderers, the 24th of foot.

Zuku War Flags
Zulu War Flags
in Brecon Cathedral

Perhaps you would like to visit the superb website by Author Alan Critchley. Webmaster Peter Critchley dedicated to those valiant men of the 24th of Foot. If you do please click HERE for the site is truly a superb one which contains links to other sites also dedicated to the historical happenings at Rorkes Drift.

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