• Facts & Fiction
  • Facts & Fiction

Union Hi-Jack, the curious case of the missing country.

The Union Flag

The Union Flag, the 'Union Jack' is possibly the best known of all the British icons appearing on car roofs, guitars, underpants you name it, its been branded but what does it really mean if it ignores one of the oldest nations in the British Isles?

United Kingdom, Union Flag

For the benefit of those new to this subject lets take a quick look at its background:

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the daffodil, a welsh iconWelsh national icon the daffodil helps Alzheimer sufferers

The old Klondike saying "There's gold in them there hills" could come true in Brecon. It seems a variety of daffodil which is naturally high galanthamine will flourish there.

Daffodil is Alzheimer hero!

Recent medical research and developments have promised some great advances...

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glamour, a Welsh thingGlamour, it's a Welsh thing.

Next time you hear of a super model or film star described as glamorous remember the word 'glamour' originates from the ancient Welsh. Glamour was a paint they applied to their face and body before going to battle! When we say someone has her 'war paint' on, we really mean it!

Yellow Fever

In 1865 fifteen Swansea residents died of Yellow Fever, the only time the disease has occurred in Britain.

Typical symptoms of yellow fever include:

  • headache
  • high temperature
  • nausea and vomiting
  • jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • bleeding

Yellow fever is a virus known as a flavivirus. It is transmitted through mosquito bites. Clearly there are not so many mosquito in Swansea but,  it can be spread from one host to another, usually between monkeys, or from monkeys to humans and of course from person to person.

Mmm. interesting because Yellow fever can't be spread by close contact between two people like a cold. However, there is more than enough contact in ordinary situations to allow it to transfer. Luckily the outbreak was confined to Swansea.

'Welshing' is an English invention!

In the 1800's (and early 1900's too) speaking Welsh in school was not allowed, an English policy. Young school children in Wales were rewarded (with Sweets/Candy) for 'telling' on their fellow class mates if they'd heard them speaking Welsh during school time!

Some say (the editor's grandmother for one) they were punished for speaking Welsh outside of school too. Hence the term 'Welshing' came originally from these children. The meaning has changed over the years and in America it is now used to describe someone who goes back on a promise.

'D Day' advances

At the end of 'D Day', the first day of the allied invasion of Nazi Europe, it was the South Wales Borders (The Royal Regiment of Wales) who'd made the greatest penetration into enemy territory! They'd manage to get as far as the outskirts Bordeaux some eight miles from the beach head!

This regiment has a noble and hard won history. They have taken part in many campaigns over the years  Perhaps best remembered for the defence of Rorke's Drift in South Africa made famous by the movie ZULU. One hundred and thirtynine British troops stood against over four thousand Zulu warriors. It's an inportant fact that although in the movie we see most of the Zulu's with knives and spears they were actually armed with firearms. All the British casualties were wounded or killed by gunfire, not knife wounds.

Spina Bifida Advance

Tenovus, the cancer charity opened the world's first fully equipped Spina Bifida unit in Cardiff.

The official website states:

In 1943, Tenovus was founded by ten businessmen. Initially, the charity funded a wide range of projects in the local area. These ranged from building the Sunshine House for Blind Babies just outside Cardiff, to donating a washing machine to a widow with seven children who had lost an arm. In the 1960s, Tenovus embarked on a project which was to influence our work for the next 40 years. We built the Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research in Cardiff which carried out vital research into the causes of cancer. Since then, we have concentrated our efforts on cancer and are now recognised for our pioneering work.

Helping the charity

This is a well managed and dedicated charity who have help patients and contiinued research sincde they were founded. If you would like to donate to this great cause please visit their website today.

Manhattan connection!

Descendants of the West Wales adventurer Robert Edwards fight it out in court to prove their ownership of Wall Street, the world famous financial centre at the heart of New York.

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Declaration of Independence!

declaration of independenceThe largest ethnic group of signatories (16 in all) on the original draft of the American Declaration of Independence were Welsh! Thomas Jeffersons' family who came from Snowdonia spoke Welsh too!

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