Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Tân yn Llŷn Brigade

My latest unit, the Welsh nationalist Tân yn Llŷn brigade.

Tân yn Llŷn infantry
Command team
Figures are mainly Brigade games Russian Civil War shock troopers, with the occasional head or weapon swap. The tricolour flag is based on the colours of the Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Welsh League of Hope/Youth), a Welsh youth movement founded in 1922.

Welsh Nationalists in Herefordshire
Considering Herefordshire’s long border with Wales, it is not surprising that there has been a Welsh nationalist presence in the county since the civil war erupted.

Welsh fighters fought for the Anglican League during the first clashes with the Royalists and in return the Bishop of Hereford did nothing to interfere with the spread of Welsh nationalism from North Wales down into the border counties of Radnorshire, Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire – not necessarily fertile ground for the nationalists, but nonetheless capable of sustaining a presence.

This salient into south Wales was able to survive not least in part by having a friendly Herefordshire to the east and only a semi-effective Royalist presence to the West – a presence largely offset by the Socialist ‘Little Moscows’ of the mining 'distressed areas' who were sympathetic towards the more left-leaning elements of Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru.

With the defeat of the Herefordian Anglican League and their retreat to Ross, this salient changed from a useful buffer zone to a vital supply line from the main nationalist areas of North Wales. The formation of the nationalist ‘Mountain Goats’ illustrates how both the Welsh were prepared to safeguard this mountainous route and thus keep the Royalists occupied with the Anglicans on the south Wales border.

The Welsh further assisted their allies with the formation of the Tân yn Llŷn brigade, named after the famous incident that was partly responsible for the explosion of nationalism in Wales. The Tân yn Llŷn brigade consisted of volunteers from throughout the Celtic fringe, including Cornishmen, Breton nationalists, Basque refugees and even second/third generation Welsh and Scottish from the Americas.

Armed and equipped from allies in Europe via cover organisations such as Yr Undeb Pan-Geltaidd (the Pan-Celtic League) and clad in locally made uniforms, this ‘brigade’ is intended to act as a core of ‘regulars’ around which local militias can be rallied when the time comes for the Welsh to once again march to the aid of the Anglican League or defend the precious salient.

Welsh nationalist officer
Welsh HMG team


  1. Nice job and like the background.

  2. Splendid Welsh figures and background .
    My Welsh are commanded by a French officer (bilingual) who has a Welsh mother and French Father.I have him in 1930s dress uniform.

  3. It's good to see the boyos playing their part; great job Sir.

  4. Really interesting background. I grew up in Wales and hadn't heard of the Tan Yn Llyn movement, so I 've been to Wikipedia and learnt something. Cheers.

    1. Neither had I until quite recently. Glad to be of service!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.