A new book, focusing on life in Ammanford in the Second World War, has been written.

Martin Rhys, who was born and raised in Ammanford, has written Last Match, focusing on the life of Colin Lewis, who in the 1930s looks set to become Wales’ next rugby superstar.

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Martin talks of how the church and rugby were the two lodestars of Welsh cultural life – “one proclaiming peace and love and the promise of everlasting paradise. The other a brutal release of pent-up aggression.”

But when war breaks out, pacifist Colin goes through an extraordinary journey.

The book has been called “an authentic and compelling story,” with Martin, who represented Ammanford at both rugby and cricket, receiving critical praise for his work.

South Wales Guardian: The Last Match by Martin RhysThe Last Match by Martin Rhys

Martin was keen to set his story in Carmarthenshire, and specifically in Ammanford, because of his ties to the area.

He said: “When Colin declares himself a conscientious objector to the Second World War, he plummets from local hero to social pariah. A conchie who needs to be punished for his cowardice.

“His girlfriend, Martha, understands the bravery it takes to stand up against the herd for something you believe in. A warrior to the core, she won’t stand by and watch her man be persecuted by the bullies. Even when the biggest bully is her own father.


“But as the war runs on, and the casualties mount up, can even Martha withstand the pressure?

“When the war ends, Colin yearns to get back to the rugby field, the only place he feels comfortable.

“But although the war has ended, cruelty and persecution have not. How much punishment and humiliation can a proud man take? Because a pacifist cannot fight back. Can he?  

“If you like a good story that makes you think, laugh and maybe even struggle to hold back a few tears, then Last Match might be for you.”