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I found the following story while searching the internet for stories on the railway, it is from a series of stories of stories collected by a South Gloucester History project team. As it involved a Royden Williams who lived in the village for a period of time during World War 2 and he recollects his memories of a nightshift working at Glynneath railway station during the war, when a host of Bombers flew overhead. I extracted the part of the story relevant to the village and if you would like to read the full story see the link below.
Contributed by: brssouthglosproject
People in story: Royden Williams
Location of story: Cwmgwrach, Vale of Neath Up To London
Background to story: Civilian
Article ID: A4570887
Contributed on: 27 July 2005
My wartime memories started when the sirens went off, and an air raid could be seen over the town of Swansea 18 miles away. At the same time we could hear gunfire overhead. Mother had cleared out the pantry under the stairs and that was turned into a place where sister and I, along with mother could rest and sleep throughout the period. I used to detect sounds of the German plans that flew overhead on their way to dropping bombs, out in the distance. Mother at the time kept us awake with all this noise going on so waited for all clear to sound, we could then nip back up stairs to go back to bed and sleep.
I joined the Great Western Railway at Glynneath Locomotive Shed at 15 years of age in 1943, the shed was at Cwmgwrach in the Vale of Neath. I was an engine cleaner. While working a night shift in the early morning of the 12th February 1945, I was standing close to the side of a locomotive. I heard numerous planes way up in the clear sky.
I was amazed when I looked up they all had lights on them, this was very unusual so they could not have been German aircraft. By this time I was approaching 17 years old and thinking what a sight to see. So I started to count them as they flew over the valley mounting from Saren Helen over to Graig-Y-Llyn. I counted, 250 bomber plans flying overhead in formation. Low and behold over came another group, yes, followed by another making a total of 750 all with their lights on. This was extremely unusual. Must be heading for Germany I thought, and wondered as to what type of bomber operation this was to be. Later in life I learned that the squadron came from Lincolnshire on a 12 hour shift heading for Dresden.
Follow up stories
Following up on the story above I have found two more references to this event.
The first is by Henry Caswell who remembers as a child being woken by his father to come and see the planes going over the valley. "My last major memory of the war came, when my father woke me up out of my sleep in the early hours of the morning and said to me. “ Son, you have to see this, because you’ll never see it again.”. We went out to our backyard and was met by the constant drone of hundred’s , if not thousands of planes, crossing the valley in total darkness. My father explaining, that the planes where heading towards Germany and possibly Berlin to drop their bombs".
The second account can be found in the book Miners Day written by the famous author B. L. Coombes, who lived for a short time in the village at Ynsygron farm and worked in many of the local collieries. He recollected in the book that his son, Peter, drew his attention to the planes coming over the valley. He goes on to explain that the planes seemed to be coming straight at him, as Ynysgron lies a little way above the valley floor, and the "unceasing flying roar" of the engines along with the sky full of flying planes was a sight which checked their breathing. He mentions that the half darkened sky was starred by red, blue and yellow lights and it took him a few minutes to realises he was watching waves of planes with their lights on flying above them. A great description of the event. (Miners Day by B. L. Coombes chapter eight.)
Link to full story:
Miners day by B. L. Coombes, the start of chapter eight.

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