Sunday, 20 May 2012

Radio Llaregub - The Driver's Story

Presenter: Bore da, ac yn y stwdio heddiw, mae ni'n....ddrwg geni....hello, and now over to Vincent Kane who is interviewing live, LIVE, mark you, a man who played a key part in the defence of Abergavenny.....Vincent over to you.

Vincent: Thank you Max. I am with a hero....a soldier who saw the battle of Abergavenny first hand. Dai Lewis. Dai, please tell me your role in this epic struggle. 

Dai: I was Butch Squire's 'Sparks' err radio man, and driver. Well, we didn't have a radio on this occasion, so I carried his flares and when we did have wheels, well I drove like.

Vincent: All very basic then Dai? No state of the art communications then?

Dai: Well, the phones were still working so, I had a bag of 2ps in case,  you know.

Vincent: I think that says it all really. But, Dai, after what everyone is calling the "Thunder Run" from the English paras, what happened?

Dai: Well, we made it to the Hen & Chickens, and Butch is staring at the Town Hall, muttering about "THEM" and "who dare bloody wins"  - he was in a right strop. Then Phil asks whose got the keys to the landrover. And Butch drops his crisps - roast chicken , his favourite, so I knew it was serious and he says "Stench, JJ, Chris, Steve - grab the gats - sterlings and brens, as many mags as you can - Dai you're driving" and he jogs off to the landrover. He tells me to make for Lion St via St Mary's and we're off, bricking it like cos' we know what a mad bloody idea he has. Back down Castle Lane and across past the burnt out tank some Paras are mucking about but Butch waves at them casual and we're across - he has a quiet word with Steve and then we're approaching the Church, Rangers milling about everywhere - some are getting knife rests out across the road,but nothing you can't drive around and we go right through them, firing like mad. I'm driving with my left and shooting my browning with my right and its a bloody madhouse. Madhouse like!. Bullets and Rangers all over the place and we're through. I put my foot down until we're round the corner and we see more Saes flagging us down.

Steve, he shouts "BRITISH ARMY! FRIENDLIES!" and the Ranger asks who the hell we are and what the efffing hell is going on. Steve, he's from Cardiff and doesnt have a Welsh accent, he says we're SAS and the taffs are attacking the Church - we're going to hit there flank and we're off again

Vincent: So they took you for SAS??

Dai: Long hair, moustaches, camo jackets and woolly hats?

Vincent: I see.

Dai: So we got back into our lines but it wasnt over, oh no. Butch tells Snooze to get his lads back to the upper town while we and one of the platoons attacked the Rangers by the Church. Mainly grenades but they didnt like it, especially when Butch called out "fix bayonets".

Vincent: You launched a bayonet charge against the english?

Dai: What? Are you DULL? We all shouted "CYMRU", lobbed all our grenades and legged it while they THOUGHT we were going to charge. Caused bloody havoc we did, while they were getting over it we were back in our bit of town, with shorter lines and a bit of a breather.

Vincent: And then?

Dai: well, we held on for another day or two but we were too low on ammo, the Saes were getting close to the housing estates and that could have got nasty. My mum lives there in a Council House. Just done up the kitchen. So we waited till dusk, broke off and made for Crickhowell. Blew the bridge - which annoyed some paras hovering in their helicopters who arrived just as we blew it, and that was it. Long bloody week."

Vincent: Thank you Dai. You'll be the toast of the Vallies tonight. Back to the studio.