Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - George Wehrley - Photographer . . .


After researching and writing up the Chapter on the history of the Penarth Head Fort and Coastal Battery, I contemplated the likely psychological effects on the good people of Penarth and district particularly when gun-drills were being undertaken. Also, in my mind was the effect upon our local photographer, Mr. George Wehrley of Glebe Street.

A night-time view of a land-based, 6-inch BL Mark VII gun firing ; the same specification as those installed at the Penarth Head Battery. However, this image was taken at the Battle of Vimy Ridge during April 1917. [043]

Whilst George was a native of Penarth, he had German heritage, and in the run up to World War I (1914-18) the sight and sounds of the two 6-inch BL Mark VII guns on Penarth Head, coupled with the batteries at Lavernock, Flat Holm, Steep Holm, as well as those more distant of Nells' Point at Barry, Brean Down and Portishead, would have undoubtedly have had a strong influence upon him. Perhaps it was the combined might of these local defences against German invasion, or perhaps it was their invasion of France that influenced his decision to amend his surname from Wehrley to Wherley and join the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Machine Gun Section).

On the 22nd December 1916, aged 26, George was sadly killed in action. We will never know his reasons for joining up, but as a postscript to this Chapter, I think it fitting to thank George for his contribution to the Penarth Dock story, including this small tribute to his life's work. Rest in peace George.


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