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Back in February, I blogged about Brinley Rhys Edmunds – a teenager from Barry who was killed in action during the First World War. If you recall, he signed-up when he was under the legal recruitment age, re-enlisted soon after his 18th birthday, but lost his life in battle on 5 September 1918.

In recent weeks – thanks to a well-known genealogy website – I have been corresponding with two of Brinley’s descendants in the United States – one in Seattle, the other in Pennsylvania. As a curator, it’s always a thrill to reunite families with objects once owned by their ancestors. Better still if they in turn provide additional information for our records.

I was so pleased to receive from Brinley’s American relatives a scanned copy of this beautiful image of the Edmunds family in about 1905. The photograph shows six year old Brinley (seated) with his elder brother, William, in matching sailor suits, together with their parents, Evan and Christine. I’ve been researching Brinley and his family on-and-off for a number of years. It’s amazing to finally put faces to their names.

Here at St Fagans, we have several objects in the collection associated with Brinley’s wartime experiences, some of which will be on display in our redeveloped galleries in 2017. In addition to the pincushionnext of kin plaque and postcard I mentioned last time, we also have his  in the collection. The British War Medal and Victory Medal were awarded to him posthumously and sent in an envelope marked ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ to his father in about 1919-20.

He is wearing the medals in the portrait shown here which is currently being prepared for photography by Ruth James, Social History Conservator. The portrait was commissioned by Brinley’s parents after his death and was bequeathed to the Museum in 1989 by Eunice Edmunds, his younger sister. We will be using this image, along with the newly-discovered family photograph in America, in the new displays. Contemporary military voices and experiences will also be included in the gallery interpretation. I’ll be focussing on our exciting co-curation programme with the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme in the next instalment of this blog.

 

 

 

 

Elen Phillips

Principal Curator Contemporary & Community History
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Comments(2)

Amgueddfa Cymru
20 April 2015, 09:58

Hi Kawai Man
Thank you for your comment, please visit the following page on our website where you will find links to websites and resources for researching the welsh coalfields

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/2326/

Diolch / thank you,
Graham Davies
Digital Team, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Kawai Man
16 April 2015, 13:49
Hi,

I'm a student journalist at Cardiff University.

I'm doing a research about coal mining in Wales. I have been trying to reach out some former coal miner but unfortunately haven't been successful. I wonder if you could help me with getting some contacts of them. It's would really appreciated if you could give me some assistance or advice.

Thank you very much!
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,
Kawai Man

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