Sue Essex, Christopher Price White, and Jane Hutt attend the plaque unveiling

CHARLOTTE PRICE WHITE (1873 – 1932)

The plaque which celebrates Charlotte Price White’s life and work is the seventh in Wales and the second in north Wales.  Made by Chepstow-based ceramicist Julia Land, it was unveiled by Charlotte’s grandson, Christopher Price White, at her former home, 50 Upper Garth Road, Bangor, on July 16, 2021.

A follow-up event organised by Archif Menywod Cymru / Women’s Archive Wales took place at Bangor University where Charlotte had studied.

Charlotte was an energetic leader and efficient organiser. She united the women of north Wales in their campaigns for women’s suffrage and world peace.

She was the driving force of the Bangor branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage and was one of only two women from the area who completed the whole journey to London on the Suffrage Pilgrimage of 1913.

During the First World War, she raised funds to finance the Scottish Women’s Hospital in Serbia and assisted a young Serbian refugee placed in the care of the university. She was also one of the founder members of the first branch of the Women’s Institute in Britain, established in Anglesey in 1915.

After the war, she became a central figure in the north Wales branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a county organiser for the Welsh League of Nations Union’s Women’s Peace Petition to America in 1923-4 and one of the leaders of the Women’s Peace Pilgrimage of 1926.

As one of the first elected members of Caernarfonshire County Council, Charlotte’s work focused on improving education and health. She sat on several boards and governing bodies and was a role model for women in local politics.

When she died unexpectedly in 1932 her family’s wish for a private funeral was over-ridden. Flags flew at half mast as the community mourned their loss.

Y plac sy’n dathlu bywyd a gwaith Charlotte Price White yw’r seithfed yng Nghymru a’r ail yng ngogledd Cymru. Gwnaed y plac gan Julia Land, y crochenydd o Gas-gwent, ac fe’i ddadorchuddiwyd gan Christopher Price White, ŵyr Charlotte ar ei chyn-gartref, 50, Ffordd Garth Uchaf, Bangor ar 16 Gorffennaf, 2021.

Trefnwyd digwyddiad i ddilyn y dadorchuddio ym Mhrifysgol Bangor lle bu Charlotte yn astudio gan Archif Menywod Cymru.

Roedd Charlotte yn arweinydd egnïol ac yn drefnydd effeithiol a lwyddodd i uno menywod gogledd Cymru yn eu hymgyrchoedd dros y bleidlais i ferched a thros heddwch byd.

Hi oedd prif ysgogydd cangen Bangor o Undeb Cenedlaethol Cymdeithasau’r Etholfraint i Fenywod (NUWSS), ac yn un o ddwy yn unig a gerddodd yr holl ffordd o ogledd Cymru i Lundain, ar Bererindod y Bleidlais i Ferched ym 19113.

Yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, cododd arian i ariannu Ysbyty Menywod yr Alban yn Serbia, a chynhaliodd ffoadur ifanc o Serbia oedd o dan ofal y brifysgol. Roedd hi hefyd yn un o sylfaenwyr cangen gyntaf Sefydliad y Merched ym Mhrydain yn Sir Fôn ym 1915.

Ar ôl y rhyfel, daeth yn ffigwr amlwg yng nghangen gogledd Cymru o Urdd Heddwch a Rhyddid Rhyngwladol y Menywod (WILPF), yn drefnydd sirol Deiseb Heddwch Menywod Cymru i fenywod America ym 1923-4 ac yn un o arweinwyr Pererindod Heddwch 1926.

Fel un o’r menywod cyntaf i’w hethol ar Gyngor Sir Gaernarfon, canolbwyntiodd ar wella addysg a iechyd. Bu’n aelod o sawl bwrdd a chorff llywodraethol ac roedd yn esiampl i fenywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth leol.

Pan fu farw’n ddisymwth ym 1932, bu’n rhaid i’r teulu ildio i ddymuniad y gymuned a chynnal angladd gyhoeddus. Hedfanai’r baneri ar hanner mast y diwrnod hwnnw wrth i’r ardal gyfan alaru’r fath golled.

Plaque unveiling ceremony (pictured left to right: Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt, Ivor Cavill, chair of Shirenewton Local History Society, Sandy Matthews, Martha Gellhorn’s stepson, and Sue Essex, chair of the Purple Plaques campaign).

MARTHA GELLHORN (1908 – 1998)

Martha Gellhorn’s plaque, the sixth Purple Plaque in Wales, is located on her former home of 14 years, Yew Tree House, in Kilgwrrwg, Monmouthshire, and was unveiled by her stepson Alexander Matthews on July 2, 2021.

The plaque on the home she called ‘Catscradle’ was erected thanks to Shirenewton Local History Society which funded it through local donations. It was made by Chepstow-based potter Julia Land.

Martha was born in St Louis, Missouri, in the United States on November 8 1908 and died in London on February 15, 1998.

She was one of the 20th century’s foremost war reporters and has been described by BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson, a friend of Martha’s in her later years, as simply ‘the best’. He said: “I can’t think of anyone who had a better writing style and I can’t think of anybody who sympathised more with the people she reported on. I think she was the best.”

As a reporter Martha was a “trailblazer” for women journalists – according to Welsh Government Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt – and showed her fearlessness in reporting from the frontline in many conflicts. She also concentrated on the impact of war on ordinary people – particularly women and children.

She covered the Spanish Civil War, the D-Day landings (she stowed away on a hospital ship to become the first woman reporter there) and conflicts in Vietnam and the Middle East.

While living in Wales she covered the Miners’ Strike in 1984. In 1997, aged 88, she was invited by the BBC to report on any subject for a series of foreign writers’ views of Britain. Aged 88, she chose to revisit Newbridge in the South Wales Valleys as the focal point of her last major piece of front-line reporting.

Though best known for her groundbreaking journalism, Martha was also an accomplished fiction writer, author of 5 novels, 14 novellas and 2 collections of short stories.

Mae plac Martha Gellhorn, y chweched Plac Porffor yng Nghymru, i’w weld ar ei hen gartref lle bu’n byw am bedair blynedd ar ddeg, sef Yew Tree House, yng Nghilgwrrwg, Sir Fynwy, ac fe’i dadorchuddiwyd gan ei llysfab Alexander Matthews ar 2 Gorffennaf 2021.

Cafodd y plac, ar y cartref y rhoddodd hi’r enw ‘Catscradle’ iddo, ei roi yno diolch i Gymdeithas Hanes Lleol Drenewydd Gelli-farch a’i hariannodd drwy roddion lleol. Fe’i gwnaed gan y crochenydd Julia Land o Gas-gwent.

Ganed Martha yn St Louis, Missouri, yn yr Unol Daleithiau ar 8 Tachwedd 1908 a bu farw yn Llundain ar 15 Chwefror 1998.

Roedd hi’n un o ohebwyr rhyfel mwyaf blaenllaw’r ugeinfed ganrif ac fe’i disgrifiwyd gan olygydd BBC World Affairs, John Simpson, cyfaill i Martha yn ei blynyddoedd diwethaf, fel dim llai na’r ‘gorau’. Dywedodd: “Alla i ddim meddwl am unrhyw un a oedd ag arddull ysgrifennu well ac alla i ddim meddwl am unrhyw un a oedd yn cydymdeimlo mwy â’r bobl yr adroddodd amdanyn nhw. Hi oedd y gorau yn fy marn i.”

Fel gohebydd roedd Martha’n “arloeswraig” i newyddiadurwyr benywaidd – yn ôl Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol Llywodraeth Cymru Jane Hutt – a dangosodd nad oedd arni ofn anfon adroddiadau o’r rheng flaen mewn aml i wrthdaro. Canolbwyntiodd ar effaith rhyfel ar bobl gyffredin hefyd – yn enwedig menywod a phlant.

Cyflwynodd adroddiadau ar Ryfel Cartref Sbaen, ar laniadau D-Day (cuddiodd ar long ysbyty a hi oedd y gohebydd benywaidd cyntaf yno) ac ar y gwrthdaro yn Fiet-nam a’r Dwyrain Canol.

Tra’n byw yng Nghymru bu’n cyflwyno adroddiadau ar Streic y Glowyr ym 1984. Ym 1997, a hithau’n 88 oed, fe’i gwahoddwyd gan y BBC i greu adroddiad ar unrhyw bwnc ar gyfer cyfres am safbwyntiau awduron tramor am Brydain. Pan oedd yn 88 oed, dewisodd ailymweld â Threcelyn yng nghymoedd y De fel canolbwynt ei hadroddiad rheng flaen mawr olaf.

Er ei bod fwyaf adnabyddus am ei newyddiaduraeth arloesol, roedd Martha’n awdur ffuglen medrus, ac ysgrifennodd 5 nofel, 14 nofel fer a 2 gasgliad o straeon byrion.

EUNICE STALLARD (1917 – 2011)

Wales’ fifth Purple Plaque to Eunice Stallard, veteran Peace Campaigner, was unveiled by family members at The Welfare Hall, Ystradgynlais as part of International Women’s Day celebrations on 6 March 2020.

A fiercely political and passionate figure in the community, Eunice was one of the founders of Greenham Common’s women’s peace camp in 1981, fighting for the disarmament of nuclear weapons. With a group of women, she marched 100 miles from Cardiff to Newbury where they chained themselves to the fences of RAF Greenham. The women created a worldwide impact and the camp remained active for 19 years.

The part Eunice played in the Women for Life on Earth group inspired many others to get involved in the fight against nuclear bombing. She was also part of the ‘Grannies for Peace’ group later in her life, who gathered at RAF Fairford in 2003 to protest against the Iraq War. A firm believer that more women in politics would lead to greater peace, at the time she said: “It’s heart-breaking what they’re doing. What we need is more women in government, women wouldn’t send their children to war.”

Eunice passed away in 2011 at 93 having lived around the Ystradgynlais area her whole life and owning a shop in the community. She was also involved in many Labour party activities which took place at the Miners Welfare Hall.

Dadorchuddiwyd pumed Plac Porffor Cymru i gofio’r ymgyrchydd heddwch brofiadol Eunice Stallard yn Neuadd Lês y Glöwyr, Ystradgynlais gan aelodau ei theulu fel rhan o ddathliadau Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod, 6 Mawrth, 2020. 

Cymeriad gwleidyddol angerddol a thanllyd yn ei chymuned, roedd Eunice yn un o sefydlwyr gwersyll heddwch menywod Comin Greenham yn 1981 yn brwydro dros ddiarfogi arfau niwclear. Gyda grŵp o fenywod eraill, ymdeithiodd dros gan milltir o Gaerdydd i Newbury a chlymu ei hunan i ffens canolfan yr RAF yno. Crëwyd effaith fyd-eang gan weithred y menywod a bu’r gwersyll yno am 19 o flynyddoedd.

Ysbrydolwyd eraill i ymuno â’r frwydr yn erbyn bomio niwclear gan y rhan a chwaraeodd Eunice yn y grŵp Menywod Dros Fywyd ar y Ddaear. Yn ddiweddarach daeth yn rhan o’r grŵp ‘Grannies for Peace’, a bu yn RAF Fairford yn 2003 i brotestio yn erbyn Rhyfel Irac. Roedd hi’n grediniol y byddai cael mwy o fenywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth yn arwain at fyd mwy heddychlon, ac ar y pryd dywedodd, ‘Mae’n dorcalonnus beth ma’ nhw’n ei wneud. Yr hyn sydd angen arnon ni yw rhagor o fenywod yn y llywodraeth; byddai menywod ddim yn anfon eu plant i ryfel’.

Bu farw Eunice yn 2011 yn 93 mlwydd oed. Roedd wedi byw yn ardal Ystradgynlais drwy gydol ei bywyd ac yn berchen ar siop yn y gymuned. Roedd hi hefyd yn ymwneud â llawer o weithgareddau gyda’r Blaid Lafur a fyddai’n digwydd yn Neuadd Lês y Glöwyr.

ANGELA KWOK (1955 – 2016)

Wales’ fourth Purple Plaque honours Angela Kwok, a champion of the Chinese Community in Cardiff and was unveiled at the Bamboo Garden,  Cathedral Road by her daughter Temmy Woolston and other family members on the eve of the Chinese New Year, 24th January 2020.

Angela arrived in the UK aged 16 from Hong Kong, speaking limited English and facing vast cultural differences. However, her positive attitude and tireless work made an immeasurable difference to the lives of many Chinese women living in Wales.

She began accompanying the women to GP appointments and supporting with translation, eventually setting up the South Wales Chinese Women’s Association in the mid-1980s at Riverside Community Centre, where soon more than 50 women were meeting weekly. It was a chance for them to talk and take part in activities such as cooking, sewing, English lessons, computer classes, family social events and day trips. She went on to form Cardiff Chinese Community Service Association, and to provide support to South Wales police with translation, become a member of the Race Equality Council, and instigate the establishment of the Chinese Cemetery in Pantmawr, Cardiff. She acted as a “surrogate” mother to at least 15 overseas female Chinese students during their University holidays.

Angela’s legacy is a cohesive and well known Chinese community in the diversity of multicultural Cardiff.

Dadorchuddiwyd y pedwerydd Plac Porffor i Angela Kwok, eiriolydd dros y gymuned Tsieineaidd yng Nghaerdydd, yn Bamboo Garden, Heol y Gadeirlan gan ei merch, Temmy Woolston ac aelodau eraill o’i theulu ar 24ain Ionawr, 2020, sef noswyl y Flwyddyn Newydd Tseineaidd.

Cyrhaeddodd Angela i’r DU o Hong Kong yn 16 oed â’i Saesneg yn brin ac yn wynebu gwahaniaethau diwylliannol enfawr. Fodd bynnag, gwnaeth ei hagwedd gadarnhaol a’i gwaith diflino wahaniaeth anfesuradwy i fywydau llawer o fenywod Tsieineaidd yng Nghymru.

Dechreuodd fynd gyda’r menywod i apwyntiadau meddygon teulu a’u cefnogi drwy gyfieithu, a hynny’n arwain at sefydlu, ynghanol y 1980au, Cymdeithas Menywod Tsieineaidd De Cymru yng Nghanolfan Gymunedol Glanyrafon, lle deuai dros 50 o fenywod i gyfarfod yn wythnosol. Roedd yn gyfle iddynt siarad a chymryd rhan mewn gweithgareddau fel coginio, gwnïo, gwersi Saesneg, dosbarthiadau cyfrifiadur, digwyddiadau cymdeithasol teuluol a gwibdeithiau. Yn ddiweddarach, sefydlodd Angela Cymdeithas Gwasanaeth Cymunedol Tsieineaidd Caerdydd, rhoddodd gefnogaeth i Heddlu De Cymru gyda chyfieithu, daeth yn aelod o’r Cyngor Cydraddoldeb Hiliol, a symbylodd sefydlu’r Fynwent Tsieineaidd ym Mhantmawr, Caerdydd. Hefyd, gweithredodd yn gyson fel mam “ddirprwyol” i o leiaf 15 myfyriwr Tsieineaidd benywaidd o dramor yn ystod eu gwyliau Prifysgol.

Mae’r gymuned Tseineaidd gydlynol ac adnabyddus sy’n rhan o gymdeithas amlddiwylliannol ac amrywiol Caerdydd yn dyst i’r hyn a gyflawnodd Angela yn ystod ei hoes.

MEGAN LLOYD GEORGE (1902 – 1966)

Wales’ third Purple Plaque honours Megan Lloyd George, the first female MP for a Welsh constituency, with a plaque at her family’s one-time home in Cricieth, now Bryn Awelon Nursing Home.  It was unveiled by members of her family on 11, October 2019, International Day of the Girl.

Megan Lloyd George became the first female MP for a Welsh constituency, Anglesey, from 1929-1951 and later Carmarthen from 1957-1966. Throughout this time she championed women in significant ways.

During her maiden speech she spoke about rural housing and the impact that poor housing was having on women on Anglesey, such as the higher death rate from TB among women compared with men.

She campaigned for equal pay and demanded that the Government did more to give women a responsible role in the war effort.

She was also a member of the National Eisteddfod’s Gorsedd of Bards (1935) and the President of the Parliament for Wales campaign of the early 1950s.

Mae trydydd Plac Porffor Cymru yn anrhydeddu Megan Lloyd George yr AS benywaidd cyntaf i gynrychioli sedd yng Nghymru. Dadorchuddiwyd y plac gan aelodau o’i theulu yng nghyn-gartref y teulu yng Nghricieth, Cartref Nyrsio Bryn Awelon erbyn hyn, ar Ddiwrnod Rhyngwladol y Ferch, 11, Hydref 2019.

Megan Lloyd George oedd yr AS benywaidd cyntaf i gynrychioli etholaeth Gymreig, sef Ynys Môn, o 1929-1951 ac yn ddiweddarach, Caerfyrddin, o 1957-1966. Drwy gydol y cyfnod hwn, bu’n hyrwyddo menywod mewn ffyrdd arwyddocaol.

Yn ystod ei haraith gyntaf yn y Senedd, soniodd am dai gwledig a’r effaith yr oedd tai gwael yn ei gael ar fenywod ar Ynys Môn, megis y gyfradd uwch o farwolaethau o ganlyniad i’r Diciàu ymhlith menywod o’u cymharu â dynion.

Ymgyrchodd dros gyflog cyfartal a mynnodd fod y Llywodraeth yn gwneud mwy i roi rôl gyfrifol i fenywod yn ystod ymdrech y rhyfel.

Roedd hefyd yn aelod o Orsedd y Beirdd yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (1935) ac yn Llywydd ar ymgyrch Senedd i Gymru ar ddechrau’r 1950au.

URSULA MASSON (1945-2008)

Ursula Masson received Wales’ second purple plaque which was unveiled at Merthyr Tydfil Central Library on Friday 8th March, International Women’s Day 2019,  by her niece, Helen Molyneux.

Born into Merthyr Tydfil’s Irish community, Ursula O’Connor attended Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School and Cardiff University. She worked as a journalist on the Sydney Morning Herald from 1969 to 1972, and did her MA at the University of Keele, funded by a bursary from Margaret Stewart Taylor, Merthyr’s first female chief librarian. Her dissertation was on Irish immigration to Merthyr. After working in adult education in Swansea she moved to Glamorgan Polytechnic, now the University of South Wales.

Here she had particular interest in women’s history and feminism and was instrumental in founding the Department of Gender Studies. She was the founding member of the Swansea Women’s History group, which later became the Women’s Archive of Wales, and of Jazz Heritage Wales.

All these organisations actively promote the recognition of women in Welsh history and the preservation of sources of women’s history in Wales.

https://www.womensarchivewales.org/en/

http://www.jazzheritage.wales

Derbyniodd Ursula Masson ail blac porffor Cymru ar ddydd Rhynglwladol y Menywod, 8fed Mawrth 2019 a ddadorchuddiwyd yn Llyfrgell Ganolog Merthyr Tudful gan ei nith, Helen Molyneux.

Yn un o ferched cymuned Wyddelig Merthyr Tudful, mynychodd Ursula O’Connor Ysgol Ramadeg Castell Cyfarthfa a Phrifysgol Caerdydd. Gweithiodd fel newyddiadurwraig ar y Sydney Morning Herald rhwng 1969 a 1972 a chwblhaodd ei MA ym Mhrifysgol Keele a ariannwyd drwy fwrsari gan Margaret Stewart Taylor, prif lyfrgellwraig gyntaf Merthyr. Roedd ei thraethawd hir ar fewnfudo Gwyddelig i Ferthyr. Ar ôl gweithio ym maes addysg oedolion yn Abertawe, symudodd i Bolitechnig Trefforest, sef Prifysgol De Cymru heddiw. Roedd ganddi ddiddordeb arbennig mewn hanes menywod a ffeministiaeth ac roedd hi’n un o sylfaenwyr yr Adran Astudiaethau Rhywedd yno.

Ursula oedd prif sefydlydd Grŵp Hanes Menwyod Abertawe a ddaeth wedyn yn Archif Menywod Cymru, ynghyd ag Etifeddiaeth Jazz Cymru.  Mae’r sefydliadau hyn yn weithgar yn hybu cydnabyddiaeth menywod yn hanes Cymru ac yn diogelu ffynonellau hanes menywod yng Nghymru.

https://www.womensarchivewales.org/cy/

http://www.jazzheritage.wales

VAL FELD (1947 – 2001)

Val Feld’s plaque, the first Purple Plaque in Wales, is located on the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay, and was unveiled by her daughters and granddaughters on 6th March 2018.

Val was born Valerie Breen Turner in Bangor on 29 October 1947 and died in Swansea on 17 July 2001.

She was one of the most highly regarded members of the National Assembly for Wales across the political spectrum, as one of the leading architects of devolution, achieved in 1997. She promoted women’s participation in Welsh politics. At the time the Welsh Cabinet was the first in the world to have a majority of women members, which was remarkable in a very traditional, macho political culture.

Val became the first Director of Shelter Cymru in 1981, independent from the English organisation for the first time. After completing a Women’s Studies course in Cardiff, she was appointed Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales. Val was instrumental in ensuring that the Government of Wales Act 1998 included clauses requiring due regard to equal opportunities.

All Val’s work was underpinned by her commitment to equality and social justice, and she was a powerful force for women and minority groups, including Swansea Women’s Centre, Jazz Heritage Wales, Women’s Archive of Wales, Multi Ethnic Women’s Network (MEWN Swansea) and Chwarae Teg.

Mae plac Val Feld, Plac Porffor cyntaf Cymru, a ddadorchuddiwyd ar 6ed Mawrth, 2018 gan ei merched a’i hwyresau, ar adeilad y Senedd ym Mae Caerdydd.

Ganed Valerie Breen Turner ym Mangor ar 29ain Hydref 1947, a bu farw yn Abertawe 17eg Gorffennaf 2001.

Val oedd un o’r aelodau uchaf ei pharch yng Nghynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru, a hynny ar draws yr holl sbectrwm gwleidyddol, ac roedd yn un o brif benseiri datganoli a gyflawnwyd ym 1997. Hyrwyddodd gyfranogiad menywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru. Ar y pryd, Cabinet Cymru oedd y cyntaf yn y byd lle’r roedd y mwyafrif o’r aelodau yn fenywod, peth nodedig iawn o ystyried diwylliant gwleidyddol traddodiadol a gwrywaidd iawn Cymru.

Ym 1981 daeth Val yn Gyfarwyddydd cyntaf Shelter Cymru fel sefydliad Cymreig, yn annibynnol ar y sefydliad yn Lloegr. Ar ôl cwblhau cwrs mewn Astudiaethau Menywod yng Nghaerdydd, penodwyd Val yn Gyfarwyddwr y Comisiwn Cyfle Cyfartal yng Nghymru. Bu’n allweddol yn y gwaith o sicrhau bod Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 1998 yn cynnwys cymalau yn rhoi sylw dyledus i faterion cyfleoedd cyfartal.

Roedd ei hymrwymiad i gydraddoldeb a chyfiawnder cymdeithasol wrth wraidd holl waith Val, ac roedd yn rym nerthol i fenywod a grwpiau lleiafrifol, gan gynnwys Canolfan Menywod Abertawe, Treftadaeth Jazz Cymru, Archif Menywod Cymru, Rhwydwaith Menywod o Leiafrifoedd Ethnig (MEWN Abertawe) a Chwarae Teg.