Brynrefail War Memorial Poem

by Alix Warren
(Bull Bay, Amlwch)

Driving eastwards from Amlwch on Anglesey along the A5025 you could completely miss this little memorial in Brynrefail (or City Dulas). The plain concrete cross hides behind a high hedge on the roadside and a chapel on the other.

It is almost ashamed of its plainness. The cross typifies the chapel-goers dislike of over-fancy religious icons. It does demonstrate, however, the Welsh love of poetry in the verse engraved above the four men remembered here.

Signed Tom Parry, he writes in Welsh, that the stone offers sanctuary, respect and remembrance for his fellowmen, the silent brave men now crowned after their difficult journey across the waves.


The lane stops abruptly
at right angles to the main road.
A dead-end, it has run out of space.
It has had its length cut short.
Here a chapel and a shop are ending their days.
They stand facing each other.
The chapel, grey,
in a forlorn empty hope,
praying that someone might step in,
for a quiet moment or two.
The shop bravely fluttering coloured flags
attracts attention,
and offers card making classes.
Beside the chapel wall,
half hidden behind a hedge
stands a cross.
Only a quartet of names decorate
this plain stone cross.
No Catholic flouncing flowers
or intersecting curls
to lighten the mood.
A sombre hymn sung at twilight.
After all death is a serious business.
Lives cut short by a stray bullet
Must be mourned for with due respect.

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