Parch. W.J.Owen(Afallon) Bangor
Casglydd Cofeb y Dewrion
Compiler of Heroes' Memorial
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The Reverend William J. Owen was born in Llanrug in 1865, and after a few years working at the Dinorwic Quarry he emigrated to Queensland, Australia. He then moved to the U.S.A., where he started his preaching ministry to Welsh communities in Philadelphia and in New Haven. He returned to Wales, and after some theological training at Bangor was formally ordained into the ministry of the Calvinistic Methodist Church in 1918. At first he ministered at Benllech, and then he settled in Bangor, where he was responsible for the Bethel Place mission chapel in Hirael. He was much in demand as a preacher, and was a prolific writer of Welsh verse and prose, including Cofainty Parchedig John Phillips, (Caernarfon, 1912), a biography of the founder of the Normal College. W. J. Owen was a member of Bangor City Council from 1933 until his death in 1941. He is buried at Glanadda Cemetery. He wrote poetry under his bardic name, 'Afallon'. His son Eirwyn was educated at Hirael and Garth schools, and at Beaumaris Grammar School, becoming a pharmacist in Bangor. He served on the Council from 1945, being Mayor from 1956 until 1958.
Rhagair y Casglydd
Nid oes angen ond ychydig iawn o eiriau oddi wrthyf ft yn y fan hon. Dodaf yn ddau reswm yn unig dros ddwyn allan y Gofeb fechan hon:
1. Cododd oddiar y cydymdeimlad puraf a llu mawr o deuluoedd profedigaethl a galarus yn y ddinas hon a'r cylch, a hyderaf y profa o dan fendith yr Arglwydd ~ ychydig o falm iddynt yn eu galar a'u hiraeth.
2. Cododd o awydd gonest am gadw coffadwriaeth y dewrion a syrthiasant yn Rhyfel Mawr yn fyw, ystyriaf fod yr aberth yn rhy werthfawr i fyned yn angc gennym yn fuan.
Gwnaeth Cymru, hen ac ieuanc, o bob dosbarth mewn cymdeithas, o bo galwedigaeth, pob enwad, a phob plaid, eu than yn odidog yn yr Armageddoi ofnadwy.
Gadawsant bob peth oedd yn annwyl, ac yn werthfawr yn eu golwg, a rhoddasan eu hunain yn aberth dros eu gwlad, a'r pethau gwerthfawrocaf a berthynai iddi Gorwedd rhai ohonynt yn nyfroedd mor y Gogledd, eraill yn Ffrainc, Belgium Canaan, Gallipoli a lleoedd eraill.
Gadewch i ni dalu gwrogaeth iddynt oll gan weddio am gyflawniad o'i broffwydoliaeth honno, pryd na "chyfyd cenedl gleddyf yn erbyn cenedl, ac ni ddysgant ryfel mwyach."
Very few words are necessary from me in introducing this booklet, but appended are my reasons for publishing it.
1. My sincerest sympathy with the large number in the city and district who have lost their dear ones, hoping that, under God's blessing, it will be a source of some comfort to them in their great sorrow.
2. My desire to do something in memory of the gallant heroes who fell in the Great War.
Their sacrifice is too great to be quickly forgotten. All Wales, young and old, all classes, every occupation, every religious sect, all political parties did their share magnificently in the terrible Armageddon. They turned their backs on all that was dear and precious to them and went forth and laid down their lives for their country and for all that is best therein. Some of them lie in the deep waters of the North Sea, others have their graves in France, Belgium, in Canaan and elsewhere.
Let us pay our meed of respect to them all and pray for the fulfilment of the prophecy, when "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."