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DateOriginal Topic
21st March 2002Monmouthshre
By Alan Critchley
I have had correspondence regarding the country which Monmouthshire belonged to.
I was led to believe that Monmouthshre was an English county until the boundary rearrangements in the 1960's. Therefore those who came from Monmouthshire would would have been English at the time of Rorke's Drft.
We on this site have certain sections which quote defenders by nationality and Monmouthshire is clasified as English.
If anyone can clarify this I would be grateful.

21st March 2002John Young

I can confirm that Monmouthshire was an 'English' county until the reforms that absorbed it into Gwent. Although many Welsh people argue that point.

19th Century maps refer to Wales & Monmouthshire.

When my father transferred from the Royal Artillery in 1939, he joined the 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment, he was quite insistant he had joined an "English Regiment" which was a T.A. part of the South Wales Borderers. His stance did lead to some problems though, suchas not stand to attention for 'Land of my Fathers', which he insisted was a Welsh national song, and not a National Anthem that he recognised.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.
22nd March 2002Mike Jones

Offa was king of England from 757 BC to 796 BC, his most memorable achievement was to commission a claer demarcation between England and Wales, hence, "Offa's Dyke".

The entire border from Preystatyn to Chepstow extends for 240 Km, within that bolundary was the town of Monmouth, clearly recognised as Welsh territory.

The Title Monmouthshire did not come into being until Henry The 8ths "Act of Union". Prior to the "Act of Union" the area was known as Gwent, by the way one of the earliest Celtic settlements.

I argue that "Monmouthshire" only existed for some 400 years, although, ruled by English lords the area was and still is Wales. as you rightly say Monmouthshire lost it's title and reverted to Gwent.

Monmouthshire as returned to Wales yet again as a "County Borough" within Wales.

One as only to look at maps to understand that Welsh place names still exist outside the current boundaries of Wales, therefore indicating that Wales extended further than anticipated.

Mike Jones
A man of Gwent

22nd March 2002Mike Jones
I forgot to mention the "Act of Union" was in 1536

25th March 2002Martin Everett
Despite what has been said above for local government purposes Monmouthshire was grouped with the English counties until the Local Government reforms of 1974. So at the time of the Anglo-Zulu in 1879 it was neither English nor Welsh. When I compiled the table at the back of 'The Noble 24th' - Appendix 7, I included Monmouthshire in with Wales to avoid arguments. Thus of the 32 men at Rorke's Drift known to have been born in Wales, 18 were born in Monmouthshire, including two VCs - Robert Jones and John Fielding Williams. One of the main things confuses everyone is the movie 'Zulu' which was made by an ardent Welshmen, Stanley Baker - he would have you believe at everyone at Rorke's Dirft was Welsh and they all sang 'Men of Harlech'. Having said that the 24th Regiment have served the Country now for over 300 years continuously and have never been found wanting whatever the odds.