OVER 1,000 people gathered in Tredegar to mark Armed Forces Day on Sunday.
The event, now in its fifth year, was held at Bedwellty House and Park and attended by veterans, local dignitaries including Tredegar town mayor Ryan Watkins, Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies and MP Nick Smith, and the families of servicemen and women who are on active service.
Throughout the day visitors were entertained by performances from Kidz R Us’s Sophie Wright, Tredegar Orpheus Male Voice Choir and the Royal Regiment of Wales Band.
The 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers Napoleonic War Re-enactment group provided demonstrations, as did the Gwent Archers and Sirhowy Angling Club.
During the afternoon the Tredegar branch of the Scouts and Territorial Army, together with representatives from the fire station, took part in a parade which gathered in Morgan Street and culminated at the bandstand in the park where a service, led by Father John Davies, was held.
There were also stalls from various local organisations and charities, many of whom were raising funds for Help for Heroes.
In Abergavenny, a parade by veterans left the old Drill Hall, Baker Street, passing the Mons War Memorial ahead of a service of commemoration at St Mary’s Priory Church for the start of hostilities a century ago and to mark Armed Forces Day and D-Day.
In his address the vicar, Fr Mark Soady, said: “One hundred years ago most of the men of Abergavenny gathered outside this Priory Church, as we are today, but gathered to march off to war. They were an amazingly patriotic generation, an example to us in their self-sacrifice.”
Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay added: “I was particularly moved by the photograph of the local men gathered outside the church in 1914 as they prepared to leave for war. What a patriotic generation, and what a sacrifice they made for us all.”