Burning learning

IssueOctober 2008
Feature by Kelvin Mason

On 8 September, the Fellowship of Reconciliation commemorated “the burning of the bombing school” with a protest against the proposed St Athan military training academy.

The burning of the bombing school took place at Penyberth near Pwllheli in 1936. Ignoring the objections of the people of Wales, the British government developed an RAF bombing school on a site of particular importance in Welsh literary culture.

When the bombing school was set on fire, Plaid Cymru members Saunders Lewis, D J Williams and the Reverend Lewis Valentine claimed responsibility and were imprisoned.

Speaking at the commemoration, Plaid Cymru’s President Dafydd Iwan and MEP Jill Evans strongly opposed current government plans for a privatised military academy at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Dafydd Iwan said: “The future we want for Wales is as a nation of peace, not of war, of international understanding, not of military confrontation.”

Jill Evans noted that St Athan would put military “training in the hands of multinational companies, and at the same time, some politicians continue to make vastly exaggerated claims about the number of jobs”.

The commemoration concluded with a prayer for peace by the Reverend Guto Prys ap Gwynfor, President of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

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