Women's Peace March 1926 Remembered at Penygroes

Women's Peace March of 1926 Remembered at Penygroes

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Peace was the theme at Penygroes as the community and supporters from further afield assembled to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the women’s peace march, which departed from the town on the 27th of May 1926. Records show that around 2,000 women gathered, at the site of the present-day Memorial Hall, to support the women’s ‘Peace Pilgrimage’. These were respectable women in their hats and heels, as you can see from the marching women who arrived at Caernarfon, at the end of this Pathe news clip.

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As the author Angharad Tomos welcomed over 100 attendees to remember the event, school pupils from Ysgol Bro Lleu appeared carrying the traditional banners, but bearing new interpretations of the call for peace. When Annie Williams shared her research into the history of the march, the audience could but marvel at the determination of the women, some of whom walked as far as London. We hope to share more of Annie’s research here soon. The historical presentation was followed by a moving poem composed to commemorate the event by poet Karen Owen, read out by her to the urgent rhythm of the pupils’ marching feet.

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In the crowd were committed pacifists in their 80s and 90s and one even over a 100! Indeed it was Dilys O’Brien Owen, who did the honour of unveiling the commemoration plaque placed on the Memorial Hall wall. Anna Jane Evans reminded listeners that this was no time to rest on laurels in the search for peace, as she presented the facts behind drone warfare. The crowning inspiration for all was the pride and ability of the school pupils to discuss their heritage, after a study session with John Dilwyn Williams from Gwynedd Archives, and their passion in singing about reaching out globally to secure peace.

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The Penygroes community event launched a year of research into, and commemoration of, the women’s peace march, since women from across Wales marched, supported by local communities as they passed by.

One of the next events to commemorate the women’s ‘Peace Pilgrimage’ of 1926 will be a march at Caernarfon on Peace Day, namely the 21st of September 2016. More information will follow. In the meanwhile, are there any plans to uncover the women’s peace heritage in your area? If you have a hidden history from your region, please let us know to enable us to share the story with a wider audience on our Wales for Peace website.

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