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The Gilbertson Works, Pontardawe

Roll of Honour

The tinplate works that used to dominate the town of Pontardawe belonged to W. Gilbertson and Company. William Gilbertson had purchased the works in 1860 and it had developed into a major undertaking by the time of the First World War which provided employment, either directly or indirectly, to the majority of the population of Pontardawe.

The works closed in 1962 and the site was cleared in several stages over the next four decades. The site is occupied today by a school, leisure centre and retail premises.

The Roll of Honour is one of the records that was saved from the old works. Although it would once have taken pride of place, it has suffered through damp and neglect before finally coming to the Archive Service. It was designed and drawn by the Cardiff-based newspaper company the Western Mail and takes the form of a triptych (ie it is in three parts), each part measuring 37 x 77 cm. It is beautifully drawn, with coloured ink and gold highlights. It contains the names of 319 men who fought in the war, arranged according to the department they worked in. It also includes the names of the 34 men who died, which occupy a special position at the top of the middle section.

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