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A Welsh Uncle

By John Dann


A Welsh Uncle Cover Image

 Thomas Henry Morgan was born into a musical mining family at end of the nineteenth century. At twelve he followed his father down the pit, and at sixteen fought as a boy soldier in the First World War. Adding to the astonishing fact that more boys under eighteen (like Tom) were serving at the end of 1915, than in the entire force Wellington took to Waterloo!

 

Serving as a Colour Sergeant in the Second, he was captured in North Africa at the fall of Tobruk imprisoned with some top ranking generals in Castello di Vincigliata near Florence. He escaped but later captured and transported to Stalag VIIA in Bavaria where he met the actor Derek Bond.

 

Pre-war he wrote the music to the Welsh standard ‘We’ll keep a Welcome’ and post–war sang in the chorus of Idloes Owen’s fledgling Welsh National Opera Company. Another WNO artist Mollie Hair Russell, one-time principal dancer and soprano, recalled Tom fifty years later as “a big, rugged, handsome man…great fun to work with”.

 

He summed up his own philosophy as: “Life ain’t all yer wants but, it’s all yer ‘aves, Stick a geranium in yer ‘at and be ‘appy”

Paperback ISBN: 9781784565978


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