A Swansea GI Bride Barbara Roden née Donne

GI Pedro Rodon and his wife Barbara & baby

Pedro was Based at Clasemont Park, Morri

Barbara Donne lived in Cwmrhydyceirw, near Morriston

2nd November 2012

Swansea GI bride now called Barbara Hathaway, but she was then Mrs RODON and Her maiden name was Donne and she lived in Cwmrhydyceirw when she met Pedro.,

Her husband, Pedro RODON was in a US Port Company stationed at Clacemont Park, Morriston and she last saw him at High Street Station on 1st May 1945.

She lent me two photos (attached), one of her husband Pedro Rodon, in uniform, he was four years older that her and one of herself aged 19 years with her baby boy in her arms. This was a copy of the photo which was found on her husband after he was blown up by a mine at Le Havre, France.

But Barbara was one of those GI Brides who was tragically widowed before she could make the crossing to the States. Pedro was killed at Le Havre on 29 September 1945 when her baby boy was 7 months and she said that she will never forget him.

He was buried at Omaha Cemetery, Normandy

She was pleased that the memorial words now included her husband, within the phrase 'Mumbles, Caswell and surrounding areas' and I am pleased that we laboured so long to get them correct.

Her second husband was very kind as he helped her to visit the grave in Omaha Cemetery, Normandy where the staff there placed sand in the inscription on her husband’s gravestone, so that it would stand out in the photos. She said that it was a long road there, but she was glad that she had made the journey.

Her son married Margaret and they had they three fine boys and they have between them six children

Her second husband and her had one daughter and has given her another great grandchild.

She is the oldest of five children and she remembered another local GI Bride who went back to US and that girl’s three brothers went as well.

She thinks he arrived in Swansea in Aug or Sept 1943.

While on leave her husband told her that he had spent 3 or 4 months living in a foxhole.


Notes from Facebook on 5-March 2017

a coversation with Mags Rodon

My mother-in -law was American GI bride...He was killed in France.I have lots pictures and tales to tell.to much for on here.He was Based on the Bank up from Morriston Park.Clasemont.

There was also a camp on the Racecourse so called in Manselton.my mother and father used to tell me stories.they would go up to chat.They all shipped out one night for D day and no-one heard them leaving overnight.

Dear Mags Rodon, Is your mother-in law Barbara Donne (now Hathaway) who lived in Cwmrhydyceirw when she met GI Pedro Rodon, who was killed at Le Havre on 29 September 194? I met her in 2012 and I would like to meet her or her daughter again.

Normandy US Miliary Cemetery

A Visit to her first husbands grave

Her second husband was very kind as he helped her to visit the grave in Omaha Cemetery, Normandy where the staff there placed sand in the inscription on her husband’s gravestone, so that it would stand out in the photos. She said that it was a long road there, but she was glad that she had made the journey.

Barbara, Pedro’s widow, still living in Swansea, attended the Dedication of the American Forces at Newton Village Hall, in tribute to her first husband, Pedro.

Before redevelopment, the hall on this site was called Saint Peter’s Church Hall and I think it is very appropriate that the American memorial was sited where the GIs entered the old Church Hall.



American Forces Memorial

The memorial at Newton will be a lasting reminder of those young men who made such an impact on the local community