Following the collapse of central government authority in Pembrokeshire, the county rapidly fragmented and became factionalised. The King’s faction, backed by Mosely’s Fascists and most of the ‘old money’, held on to the central belt and the lucrative anthracite mining industry. The remnants of the deposed democratic government meanwhile withdrew to the south-west and north-west of the county – those in the south-west declared for the ‘Lord Protector’ Prince Albert, while those in the north-west aligned themselves with the Anglican League and the charismatic Bishop of St David’s. Milford Haven and Neyland meanwhile collapsed into an anarchic milieu of socialist, communist and anarchist politics, eventually gelling as the ‘People’s Socialist Soviet Republic of Milford & Neyland’. To the north and east, various Welsh Nationalist factions vied for dominance, while isolated communities formed defence militias and sought alliances to protect themselves from the twin threats of banditry and foraging armies.
Of all the factions in Pembrokeshire, the King’s faction, led by Lord Tenby (son of Lloyd George and MP for Pembrokeshire at the time of the dissolution of government), was undoubtedly the strongest. However, it was surrounded by enemies, held a long and narrow corridor of land and struggled to maintain communications between the garrison towns of Haverfordwest, Clarbeston Road, Whitland, Narberth, Saundersfoot and Tenby. The railway was particularly vulnerable and was constantly patrolled by elements of the ‘Landsker Frontier Force’ Brigade.
However, in the late summer of 1938, a Royalist military supply train carrying weapons, vehicles, ammunition and fuel, broke down near Crundale, in the valley of the Western Cleddau, a few miles north of Haverfordwest. The Bishop of St David’s spies were quick to report this fact and the Roch Castle Fencibles were soon marching from their positions near Camrose, with the intention of capturing the train and recovering this vital military materiel. However, the ‘Sir Thomas Picton’ Independent Cohort of the BUF’s XIII Legion were also racing to the scene…
Arriving simultaneously at both ends of Crundale village, the two sides raced to establish dominating positions. The Anglicans set up a Vickers MG at the northern exit of the village:
The game was played at the Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire, using ‘A World Aflame’ rules (which to be honest, we thought were awful…).
Figures from my own collection, being mostly by Musketeer Miniatures (now Footsore Miniatures), with a few by Muttonchop Miniatures (available from Empress Miniatures).
Model buildings and railway by Mr Small, with other scenery by Skippy Broughton.