Meibion Glyndŵr

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Meibion Glyndŵr (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈməibjɔn ɡlɨnˈduːr], Sons of Glyndŵr) was a Welsh nationalist movement violently opposed to the loss of Welsh culture and language. They were formed in response to the housing crisis precipitated by large numbers of houses being bought by wealthy English people for use as holiday homes, pushing up house prices beyond the means of many locals. They were responsible for setting fire to English-owned holiday homes in Wales from 1979 to the mid-1990s.


The group first came to prominence in 1979. In the first wave of attacks, eight English-owned holiday homes were destroyed within the space of a month. In 1980 Welsh Police carried out a series of raids in Operation Tân in an effort to find the culprits. Within the next ten years around 220 properties were damaged by the campaign.[1] It peaked in the late 1980s with the targeting of Conservative MPs' homes and David Hunt, the then Welsh secretary, was a target in 1990.

Responsibility for the bombings had been taken by four separate movements: Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru ("the movement to defend Wales"), Cadwyr Cymru ("the keepers of Wales"), Meibion Glyndŵr, and the Welsh Army for the Workers Republic (WAWR), whose attacks were on political targets in the early 1980s. Meibion Glyndŵr was the only group to have any claim to long-term success, although since the mid-1990s the group has been inactive, and Welsh nationalist violence has ceased, at least on an organisational level. Letters claiming responsibility for attacks were signed "Rhys Gethin", in homage to one of Owain Glyndŵr's most prominent followers.

A reinvestigation into postal bombings led to the conviction of Sion Aubrey Roberts in 1993. A Plaid Cymru member of parliament, Elfyn Llwyd, speculated that the group was an MI5 front.[1]


  • 1979–94: Meibion Glyndŵr fire-bomb around 220 English-owned homes.
  • 1988–89: Meibion Glyndŵr declared that "every white settler is a target". The group also placed incendiary bombs in Conservative party offices in London and estate agents' offices in London, Liverpool, Sutton Coldfield, Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Llandeilo.
  • 1990: Poet and priest R. S. Thomas calls for a campaign to deface English-owned homes.
  • 1993: Sion Aubrey Roberts, a member of Meibion Glyndŵr, was jailed for twelve years for sending letter bombs to Conservative politicians.


  • Mae rhywun yn gwybod (Somebody Knows) by Alwyn Gruffydd (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2004).
  • To Dream of Freedom by Roy Clews, 3rd edition, (Y Lolfa, 2004). Concentrates on MAC and the Free Wales Army in the 1960s. Includes interviews by participants.
  • Freedom Fighters: Wales's Forgotten War 1963–1993, John Humphries (University of Wales Press, 2008). Looks at FWA, MAC and Meibion Glyndwr with many interviews and historical facts.
  • Dr Wyn Thomas (y Lolfa, 2019) John Jenkins: The Reluctant Revolutionary? Hardback: ISBN 978-1-912631-07-0; Paperback: ISBN 978-1-912631-14-8
  • Wyn Thomas (2013) Hands Off Wales ISBN 978-1-84851-669-4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b MP's theory over cottage burnings, BBC News, 10 December 2004. Accessed 9 February 2007.

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