‘Dear Mother, I am very sorry I cannot write to you in Welsh …’

Censorship and the Welsh Language in the First World War
  • Ifor ap Glyn
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)


‘Dear Mother, I am very sorry I cannot write to you in Welsh …’.1 This excerpt from a letter sent by Captain Dafydd Jones to his mother in Llanddewi Brefi, Ceredigion, in December 1915, is an example of how Welsh-speaking soldiers were often forbidden to write home in their mother tongue during the First World War. However, there was no wholesale ban on the use of the language in correspondence, and this paper will examine Welsh-speaking soldiers’ relationship with censorship and how they sometimes chafed against it — and sometimes subverted it.


Letter Writer Welsh Language Army Medical Corps Letter Home Potato Haulm 
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  1. Burgoyne, Gerald Achilles (1985) The Burgoyne Diaries, London: Thomas Harmsworth.Google Scholar
  2. Censorship Orders and Regulations for Troops in the Field (1916) n.p.: Army Printing and Stationery Service.Google Scholar
  3. Gruffydd, Ifan (1963) Y Gŵr o Baradwys, Dinbych: Gwasg Gee.Google Scholar
  4. Reith, John Charles Walsham (1966) Wearing Spurs, London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  5. Roberts, E. (1965) Ar Lwybrau’r Gwynt, Caernarfon: Llyfrfa’r Methodistiaid Calfinaidd.Google Scholar
  6. Roberts, Kate (1936) Traed mewn Cyffion, Dinbych: Gwasg Aberystwyth.Google Scholar

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  • Ifor ap Glyn

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