SO1310 : Jack the Fifer at Twyn Star, Dukestown, Tredegar

taken 5 years ago, near to Dukestown, Blaenau Gwent, Great Britain

Jack the Fifer at Twyn Star, Dukestown, Tredegar
Jack the Fifer at Twyn Star, Dukestown, Tredegar
John Rees 'Jack the Fifer' (1815-1893).

For more on the life of Jack the Fifer and the Chartist Uprising see "The Man from the Alamo" by John Humphries.

The inscription reads:
John Rees, better known as Jack the fifer (a fife was a small high-pitched flute), was a mason by trade. He was heavily involved in the Chartist Rising of 1839. In 1835 jack fought in the Texan War of independence before returning to Wales.
It was his military experience in having been part of an ill-equipped group of fighters that captured San Antonio from regular Mexican soldiers that led him to be chosen to lead the Chartist attack, on the Westgate Hotel in Newport, at the head of a column of Tredegar pikemen and gunmen. At 7pm on 3rd November 1839 an estimated 5 to 6,000 men had assembled here, at Twyn-y-Star, ready for the march to Newport via Ebbw Vale. The attack on the Westgate ended in failure but Jack evaded capture and escaped to Texas where he re-joined the army before heading west to California to join the gold rush.

The Chartist lodge in Dukestown was the oldest in the Sirhowy Valley; here, Zephaniah Williams lived before moving to Blaina in early 1839. Its headquarters was the Star Inn, (Twyn-y-Star) . Many meetings of the rebel command were held here during 1839 before the rising and the Star field (now built over) was the site of one of the largest public gatherings anywhere in Wales during the 19th century. On 12th August 1839, Chartist speakers called upon Queen Victoria to dissolve Parliament and accept the People's Charter as the basis for electing a new Government for the country.
The Homfray Trail, Tredegar :: SO1408
The Homfray Heritage Trail was established by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council as part of the Green Mines/Atlanterra project. It is named after Samuel Homfrey (1762-1822) who was responsible, with others, for the establishment of the Tredegar Ironworks.
The trail starts at Bedwellty House which was built by his son, Samuel jnr., who was also responsible for many of the features that can be seen today in the surrounding park.
In 2012 some trail markers were commissioned to encourage the community and visitors to Bedwellty Park to use and enjoy the trail, and to give them a better understanding of the cultural and industrial heritage of Tredegar. Statues, created by artist Tim Ward from laser-cut stainless steel, of famous and lesser known people associated with Tredegar were erected around the trail in 2013
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SO1310, 71 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 2 August, 2013   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 21 August, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Suburb, Urban fringe 
Place (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 138 105 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:47.2280N 3:15.0054W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 138 105
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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Other Tags
Heritage Trail  Public Artwork 

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