Hugh Percy Wilkins Blue PlaqueHugh Percy Wilkins (1896 – 1960)

Location : 56 James Street.
Sponsor: Roscoe & Winifred Howells

 

Percy Wilkins was an amateur astronomer known worldwide for his work on the Moon. Wilkins was born and educated in Carmarthen. He served for a time in the army during the First World War and subsequently moved to Llanelli where he lived for a period in the 1930s. He was a lodger with a Mr. and Mrs. Philips at 56 James Street, where he assisted Mr. Philips who was a house painter by trade.

Percy Wilkins then moved to live at 22 Bradford Street Llanelli, where he had a private observatory, but he then moved to England (London?) to continue his life's work - lunar astronomy. He was elected a member and then a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and became Director of the Lunar Section of the Society. He was elected Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and was honoured by astronomical bodies in France, the United States, Spain and other countries. He produced detailed maps of the Moon and, in 1951, he completed a 300 inch diameter map that was considered by many astronomers as "the culmination of the art of selenography prior to the space age". (Selenography is the study of the surface and physical features of the Moon).

The Moon maps produced by Wilkins were used by the Americans when they landed men on the Moon at the end of the 1960s. Unfortunately, he did not live to see this, as he died in Bexleyheath in 1960. He also published a number of books about the Moon, including two in collaboration with Sir Patrick Moore. A crater on the Moon is known as the Wilkins Crater. It lies in the Southern Uplands on the near side of the Moon and has a diameter of 57 km.


Hugh Percy Wilkins (1896 – 1960)

Safle: 56 James Street.
Noddwyr: Roscoe & Winifred Howells

Seryddwr amatur oedd Percy Wilkins a adnabuwyd trwy'r byd am ei waith ar y lleuad. Ganwyd ac addysgwyd Wilkins yng Nghaerfyrddin. Gwasanaethodd am ychydig yn y fyddin yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf a symudodd i Lanelli ble bu'n byw am gyfnod yn y 1930au. Lletya a wnaeth gyda Mr a Mrs. Phillips yn 56 Heol James a chynorthwyodd Mr Phillips yn ei waith fel paentiwr tai.

Symudodd Percy Wilkins i fyw yn 22 Bradford Street Llanelli, ble roedd ganddo arsyllfa breifat, ond wedyn, symudodd i Loegr (Llundain?) i barhau gyda'i waith hoes - seryddiaeth y lleuad. Fe'i hetholwyd yn aelod ac yna'n Gymrodor Y Gymdeithas Seryddol Frenhinol a death yn Gyfarwyddwr Cymdeithas Ryng-blanedol Prydain. Fe'i hanrhydeddwyd gan gyrff seryddol yn Ffrainc, Yr Unol Daleithiau, Sbaen a gwledydd eraill. Cynhyrchodd fapiau manwl o'r Lleuad ac. Yn 1951, cwblhaodd fap trawsfesur 300 modfedd o'r lleuad a ystyriwyd gan lawer o seryddwyr fel 'uchafbwynt celfyddyd selenograffi cyn oes y gofod' (Selenograffi yw astudiaeth arwyneb a nodweddion ffisegol y lleuad).

Defnyddiodd yr Americaniaid y mapiau o'r lleuad a gynhyrchwyd gan Wilkins pan lanion nhw ddynion ar y lleuad ar ddiwedd y 1960au.Yn anffodus, oroesodd i weld hyn, gan iddo farw yn Bexleyheath yn 1960. Cyhoeddodd hefyd nifer o lyfrau am y Lleuad gan gynnwys dau ar y cyd gyda Sir Patrick Moore. Adwaenir crater ar y Lleuad fel Crate Wilkins. Mae'n gorwedd yn Ucheldir y De ar ochr agosaf y lleuad ac mae ganddo drawsfesur o 57 km.

Article by / Gan Dr W. Roscoe Howells,

Llanelli Community Heritage Advisory Panel Member
Aelod o Banel Ymgynghorol Treftadaeth Cymuned Llanelli.

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