18 January 2020 / Club News

Llandow Memorial Fixture

A Combined Abercarn, Risca and Llanharan XV will take on Monmouthshire County on Friday 13th March at Abercarn Welfare. Kick off 19.15hrs.

It was on the 12th March 1950 that the hearts of the Llanharan, Abercarn, Risca Rugby Football Clubs (plus others) were ripped out on a bright, sunlit afternoon when an AVRO-TUDOR V plane carrying 78 Welsh rugby fans and five crew crashed into a field near Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan. The plane was packed with supporters fresh from celebrating a 6-3 victory over Ireland in Belfast, which had given Wales their first Triple Crown for 39 years and their eighth in all.

Of the 83 people on board only three survived and numbered among the many dead were five members of the Llanharan rugby team including Henry Pascoe, nephew of former Welsh international forward Dan Pascoe of Bridgend. Seven were women, including the wife of one of the Llanharan players who perished, and the air hostess.

Abercarn RFC were also hard hit when they lost their captain Don Rowlands, coach Ray Box and star centre Doug Burnett who was the brother of Roy the Newport and Wales outside half. Another casualty was the Abercarn kit-man Albert Robbins. Burnett's elder brother, Ivor, was also a member of the Abercarn Rugby Club but he had decided not to go on that fateful trip. Skipper Don Rowlands had been an air gunner during the war and spent four years solid flying. He didn't really want to go but, fatefully, was persuaded to do so.

The Abercarn club badge now has a propeller on it to denote the tragic loss of its captain, baggage man and another player. The propeller is alongside the Prince of Wales feathers, which commemorate the Prince of Wales mining tragedy years before. The Llanharan crest also has a black cross in it to commemorate the six players who lost their lives.

Six persons from Risca RFC were unfortunate to be on the fateful flight from Ireland. Three players – Alan Blizzard, Ivor Guy and Noel Goodwin. Also, three supporters of Risca RFC – Percy Jerman, Dr. Paterson** and Reg Beavis.

At Risca RFC, there is a commemorative plaque in memory of the players of the club who lost their lives.
The crash, which at the time was the worst in the history of civil aviation, happened just 60 yards from the outskirts of the Llandow (Glamorgan) aerodrome which was used for civil flights long before facilities were developed at Rhoose Airport. Nearly half the passengers came from the Western and Eastern Valleys of Monmouthshire.


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