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Louis Millward and Memories from the Toc-H Bookshop

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posted on 2024-06-05, 18:17 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

As a teenager in the 1980s, I used to volunteer at a Toc-H bookshop in Llandrindod Wells. I don't remember ever selling anything, but what would happen was that the members (all former servicemen) would congregate and swap stories, and I would just lap up this atmosphere. These elderly men were especially George Dakin and Lou Millward. Unfortunately, I cannot remember anything of his service in the Second World War, but just that he was the kindest, most smiling, gentle gentleman. We spent hours together, occasionally taking lunch, and regularly watching Welsh rugby on the TV and football matches from his first-floor flat overlooking the Llandrindod FC pitch.

I have only a couple of items which relate to Lou. One is fragments of a journal called "The Roamer," a News Real [sic] printed in Llandrindod (formerly in Radnorshire, Wales) and sent in envelopes to the servicemen and women around the globe wherever they may have ended up. All I have is a bit of the final issue which might be January 1946, which therefore includes messages from around the world dating back as far as VE Day. In the beginning of 1946, the entries include notes about the demobbed men returning home, such as Louis Millward. Also cartoons like "Wot No Houses" and 'celebrations' for the returning Prisoners of War (POWs). It also includes tongue-in-cheek 'boasts' like, "from Cliff Jones (Hillcrest)... he's in Norway, makes claim to be first Llandrindod Airman to land in Norway, May 27th [1945] - anyone beat it? Greetings to his brother in Tripoli and Ken Jones, also Megan Williams. To Megan - Order me a Coffee please! (You've 'ad it)."

The second item is a photo of the Llandrindod Toc-H from 1933, including my grandfather Walter Harold Powell (rear, second from the left) and Louis Millward (rear, second from right), and George Dakin (middle, far left).

History

Item list and details

1. Fragments of "The Roamer" a News Real, January 1946 2. Photo of the Llandrindod Toc-H from 1933

Person the story/items relate to

Louis Millward

Person who shared the story/items

Alun Edwards

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Friend

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID

92784