Llywelyn

Name: Kendall Llywelyn
Theater: The Fall of France
Nationality: Welsh
Position: Combat Engineer, Welsh Guard of the BEF

Background - From Wales to France

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Part 1: Before the War
Kendall Llywelyn was born in the seaside village of Penclawdd in South Wales on July 8, 1920. He was the only child of Madoc Llywelyn, the vicar of the local Church of Wales parish, and his wife Helyn. Kendall’s childhood was a happy one. He was materially comfortable, did decently in school and, though he was shy at heart, he managed to make a few close boyhood friends. The seaside was an ideal place to grow up, providing many opportunities for swimming, climbing and other outdoor mischief.

Madoc was a man of strong ideals and passionate views, and he created a foundation of conscience in his son before the boy could even speak. The vicar was an active member of the National Party of Wales and an advocate for self-governance. Kendall spent the first years of his life speaking only Welsh at home, though his mother made sure he learned at least a little English before he went to school. His father also worked from his pulpit to aid the poor, his views on social justice going as far as Socialism in many cases. Soft-hearted Kendall absorbed all of this like a sponge, growing up with a great admiration for his father, and developing quiet but strong convictions about what the world should be.

He was involved in various causes during his youth, ranging from volunteer work helping the poor in his home parish to occasionally attending Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru meetings with his father. For a time he even considered following his father and entering a career in the church, though his fear of speaking in front of crowds (to give sermons, no less!) eventually dissuaded him. But he soon had things on his mind other than charity work. When he was 16 he took notice of Winifred Bowen, the pretty, sweet-natured daughter of the local innkeeper. The two courted and fell sappily in love, in that way only 16-year-olds can.

Kendall longed to marry her but first he thought he had to prove himself worthy, and come up with a way to provide for her. He was also increasingly troubled by the dark clouds looming over the world: the fleeing of Jews and other men and women from Europe, the tragedy that was Republican Spain and the increasing threat of military Germany. At the age of 18, lured partially by ideals, partially by patriotism and partially by the promise of a respectable pension, Kendall enlisted in the Welsh Guard. He and Winnie married shortly before he left for basic training. He proved to have some knack for combat engineering and was put through sapper training, a task that appealed to him more than just firing his rifle.

Part 2: Retreat and Operation Dynamo
He was on leave after basic training, awaiting his deployment to France, when Winnie learned she was pregnant. And, suddenly, it occurred to Kendall that the army might not have been such a fine idea. Not that he had much say in things at that point. All he could do was kiss his wife good-bye, leave her in the care of his parents and her father, and ship off to join the British Expeditionary Force. He's been on the continent for about a year but he was a relative late arrival in Arras, having been engaged in training with the Royal Engineers.

He didn't cover himself with glory on the battlefield but he managed to survive, and prove himself useful as an engineer. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal during the BEF's retreat across France, due to high attrition and casualties among the NCOs. By some miracle he managed to make it to the beaches of Dunkirk with the rest of the retreating BEF forces. The escape nearly killed him, but he made it onto a lifeboat and was among the lucky troops that returned to English soil.

He remains with the army (they aren't exactly letting people wander off), awaiting his next assignment for king and county. In the meantime, he did manage to obtain some leave to go see his wife after he returned to Britain. He returned home to Wales briefly to find that his wife had given birth to not one, but two, babies. Llywelyn was the father of twins: the firstborn a daughter called Helyn, after his mother, and a son christened Owen.

Description

Lance Corporal Kendall Llywelyn is not the sort who'd stand out in a crowd. He is a quiet and soft-spoken young man, though he's gained a somber tiredness to his manner during his time in France. He's in his early twenties, about average height with an unimposing build. In decent shape but hardly a towering pile of muscle. His hair is dark brown and cropped close to his head and his eyes are a cloudy shade of blue mixed with gray. When he speaks a thick Welsh accent lilts his words, probably making him sound as foreign as a Frenchman to some English ears.

He's dressed in the uniform of a soldier in the British Expeditionary Force: jacket and trousers of thick, reliable brown khaki, with solid British ammunition boots giving his feet some protection. His rank insignia marks him as a lance-corporal, and he's trained enough to be recognized as an assault pioneer, denoting some capability as a combat engineer. He's rarely without his helmet or cap and the golden leek capbadge identifies him as a member of the Welsh Guard. A gold wedding band is worn on his left ring finger.

Letters

To Penclawdd with Love - Llywelyn writes to his wife, Winifred, as the BEF defend Belgium.
To Penclawdd II - Llywelyn writes his wife again during the BEF's retreat across France.

Logs

From Sweden to Pen-Clod - Llywelyn meets Henrik and the two foreigners in France talk of home.
In Which the BEF is Pushed Back - An early upset for the BEF in Belgium, but surely things will pick up!
Goodbye Arras, Hello Vimy - The BEF boys pull out of Arras and head to Vimy, retreating.
New Front, Same Fight - A bloody fight as the BEF continue their retreat.
Dunkerque Beach - Goodbye, France!

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