The Night the Luftwaffe Scored a Bull’s Eye at Llanelli
The Rev. Milton G Jenkins was born in 1932 the son of John “Johnny” Jenkins and Martha Jenkins. Johnny was a miner, whilst Martha worked the family farm at Ty’r Mynydd on Mynydd Sylen, Llanelli. The following is his account of an unwelcome visit from the Luftwaffe:Click images to enlarge
“I was brought up on Mynydd Sylen in Llanelli on Ty’r Mynydd farm. My family farmed approximately 70 acres in all. Tyr Mynydd was about 30 acres and Gosrtoncyn (a neighbouring vacant farmhouse) was about 40 acres. My father was a miner working at collieries in Pontyberem and Tumble, so the majority of the farming was done by my mother - growing vegetables, keeping cattle and chickens.
My mother would always go to Llanelli market every Thursday to sell her produce from the farm to her regular customers.
During the war, my parents allowed the farmhouse at Gorstoncyn to be used by evacuees from England. I can recall two families, one from London and the other from Hertfordshire.
The family from London were the Spencers. One of the family members was a girl called Eunice who was a year or two older than me. She used to call at our farm on Fridays when my mother baked bread and buns. My mother would give her buns to take home and I remember how she would always go to the haystack first and pull some hay out, then put the buns on the hay and cover them with hay. When I asked her why she did this she said it kept them warm!
The Home Guard manned a large searchlight that had been put on the top of Mynydd Sylen. Sometimes, they would call in the farm in the morning and my mother would give them milk and bread that she had made. There were normally about six of them operating the search light.
I can still clearly recall one night going to the road at the top of the mountain with my mother and seeing Swansea glowing red, ablaze following a bombing raid. Looking back, because of my age, I just didn’t realise how really dangerous the situation was.
We lived in a small farmhouse with two bedrooms upstairs. I shared a bedroom with my elder brother and we both slept in the same bed. Downstairs, we had a Morrison shelter which was a steel table under which we would sleep during raids. However, one night we all went upstairs to bed in the usual way.
The next thing I can remember is my mother shouting loudly, “Cwata dan y dyllad!” (hide under the bedclothes!). I put my head under the sheets and when I came out from under them all I could see was the night sky. The top of the roof had been blown off.
Although 3 bomb craters had been made on the farm fortunately, no one was injured in any way. The roof was fixed with the help of neighbours as we were a close farming community, always helping each other out. The only lasting damage was to one of the cattle in the field which had an injured eye.
People came the next day to look at the bomb craters and we were told that the plane was being chased so they dropped the bombs, trying to make haste away from their attackers.
Although the bombing would have taken place about 70 years ago I remember it as if it happened yesterday.”
- Image of the farmhouse at Gorstoncyn, reproduced by kind permission of Alan Richards http://www.geograph.org.uk/