The Llandow Disaster of 1950.

Now, you Rugby fans, just listen,
To the story that I’ m going to tell,
It’s a thing that should ne’er be forgotten,
We should all remember it well.
It’s about a big air disaster,
After your colleagues had left Dublin town,
With pride in their hearts and their players
For winning that great Triple Crown.
It was March the 12th, 1950,
If your turn back your pages you’ll see
It was the day of the Llandow disaster,
Of the crash of the great Tudor V.

Now ’twas gaily she left Llandow Airport,
Conveying a bright happy band,
Across the sea to old Ireland
In support of their own native land.
Ireland been waiting for the contest,
How long they’d saved up for the spree,
And, making more sure of the journey,
They boarded the great Tudor V.

Now their journey to old Ireland was happy,
They laughed and they chatted with glee,
And they talked of the wonders of Rugby
And the sights they were all going to see.
Their loved ones had bid them a farewell
Not thinking the last it would be,
As they sailed through the air of the ocean
On that air ship, the great Tudor V.

Now they landed in Ireland quite safely,
Their hopes was high set for the game,
They longed for the best from their players
That their Cymru, their Wales, should have fame.
The match was all that they asked for,
They cheered with their rattles and yells,
And a verse from The Land of my Fathers
Was as sweet as Heaven-sent bells.

Once more they boarded that air ship,
Their spirits still void of all care,
Not thinking that all would be silent
In a flash to the earth from the air.
No words can express the emotion
Of the loved ones that waited to see –
But alas the crash of that air ship
With their loved ones aboard Tudor V.

Now they’ve flown to the end of their journey,
From sadness and sorrow they’re free,
No more on this earth will we see them,
But we know they’re safe, Lord, with Thee.
So now in Thy tenderest mercy,
As Pilot of land, air and sea,
Look down on them that mourn them,
The souls of the wrecked Tudor V.

This recitation recalls the crash of an aircraft carrying Welsh Rugby fans back from Dublin to Llandow near Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan. The match had been played in Belfast.

: Recorded in 1976 from Ben ‘Blow’ Whelan, Bargoed, by a member of staff of the then Mid Glamorgan County Library.
Ben, born in Waterford in 1893, was brought to Wales by his parents when he was about 8 years old. He spent his working life as a miner. He died about 6 months after the interview.

Published in The Green Dragon No 3, June 1997

We are grateful to the Bridgend Library and Information Service for giving us permission.

Another poem by this author.