This poem was written by Ioan Richard after a visit he made with his friend Alun to the military training area on Epynt.
Retaking the Line
The news came via a Hillman
driven by an army woman
not one of our hillmen shepherds.
A Minx car brought the sad forebodes.
An officer strutted the ground
giving notice to all around
to quit the Epynt within weeks,
all to go, chapel, school, and roots.
The war of all wars could start soon,
it was September thirty nine,
the Hitler antics and mad rants
would empty our homes at Epynt.
Thirty seven thousand acres
to evict, empty, and vacate,
two hundred and nineteen warm hearts,
fifty four homes become cold hearths.
Ysgol Gynradd Cwmcileini,
Capel Babell a’r hen Blygain,
ancient Llangamarch Horse Fair,
all gone to create the SENTA.
Sennybridge Training Area
with a ghost village FIBUA
- Fighting in Built Up Area -
any stray horse or cow shot square.
Chamberlain’s curt clearance paper
as if it was Hitler’s sabre
“No war in our time”, but Epynt
conceding to the tyrant rant.
The old Welsh tongue pushed west ten miles,
Epynt now has no home roof tiles.
Where young children once laughed and played
that Hillman car meant no one stayed.
It’s not just our soldiers train there.
Other nations use our range to dare
and say “Who goes there?”. To stray sheep
these Troops could be any Bo Peep.
Shell shocked skylarks soar the warm air,
the silver Usk trout spawn the river,
curlews and snipe dare the rifles
below abandoned hedged ruffles.
We lost the line in thirty nine,
the language retreat marked time,
“Fe godwn ni eto” the call
for the new Patriot’s recall.