Gwent events held to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War

Cwm WW1 Ceremony ON PARADE Walking through the street towards the ceremonial site for the service (8922959)

Cwm WW1 Ceremony GATHERED Ready for memorial service (8923186)

Cwm WW1 Ceremony PERFORMANCE The Patrick Sheen singers (8923340)

Blaenavon Heritage WW1 exhibition. Chris Walters, Bethan Lewis and Kate Strudwick from Head 4 Arts based in Llanhilleth outside their specially camoflagued van. (8920476)

Blaenavon Heritage WW1 exhibition. Sea Cadets Simon Smith and Tom Hamill in their WW1 camoflagued van. (8920493)

Blaenavon Heritage WW1 exhibition. Leanne Beasant reunited with the other side of her grandfather's family, who is featured in the exhibition. Pictured are Mayor of Torfaen Mandy Owen, Gareth Davies, Leanne Beasant, Glyn Davies, Sheila Davies and Lead

WW1 Memorial for the fallen of Monmouthshire's PCs at Police headquarters , Cwmbran HEADS DOWN Attendees in prayer (8914085)

First published in News by

EVENTS took place across Gwent yesterday to mark the centenary of the First World War with all ages taking part in the commemorations. HAYLEY MILLS, FRAN GILLETT and KEILIGH BAKER report

IN Torfaen, children from Cwmbran’s Summer Playschemes formed a guard of honour at a service yesterday at the Holy Trinity Church, Pontnewydd, to commemorate the centenary.

The children also brought along craft items based on the poppy theme to the service.

In Blaenavon an exhibition was launched to commemorate Torfaen’s contribution to the First World War.

The exhibition, 100. The Great War. The Terrible War, will tour the county for the next four years.

It is the result of more than 300 conversations with residents, local history societies and youth and community groups, many of whom donated objects, keepsakes and photographs to the exhibition, and paints a picture about life in Torfaen during the war years.

A film of people’s stories and memories has also been produced as part of the exhibition.

The leader of Torfaen council, Bob Wellington, said: "Torfaen lost many men and women in the First World War. Every village and community in the borough was affected and has its own story to tell.

"As we mark 100 years since the war began, this exhibition aims to tell those stories to the wider community for the first time.”

The exhibition will be based at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre until 31 October 2014 before it begins its tour of the county.

He added: "We hope that over the next four years everyone in Torfaen will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition, and that more people will be inspired to come forward to share their own stories, or objects that may have been hidden away in the attic for years, that can be added to the exhibition."

The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now program, and was a partnership between Torfaen council and Head for Arts.

As part of the project a travelling heritage van, decorated as a First World War dug out, travelled the county to spark conversations about the war and raise awareness of the upcoming centenary.

For more information visit www.torfaen.gov.uk/heritage

RETIRED policemen and young cadets gathered at the Police Headquarters in Cwmbran to commemorate the 14 officers from Monmouthshire and Newport constabularies who died.

Officers, staff and pensioners of Gwent police were invited to yesterday’s service, which welcomed the great-niece of one of the Monmouthshire constables who had made the trip from Spain.

The Police Federation paid for Susan Parfitt, whose great uncle Sidney Pucknell was a Monmouthshire PC and died in the war, to attend the service.

She said: "It was wonderful. We didn't know much about him but we got in touch with Gwent Police and the researcher found out all this information about him."

Two poppy wreaths were laid by the Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, and Shelley Bosson, Chief Executive for Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Staff and officers had been researching their former officers who served in the war, and discovered Newport officer Smart Cullimore was part of the party who captured German ship the Belgia.

Chief Constable Farrar said: “I was fascinated and humbled to read of their stories. These were young men, often single, who volunteered to fight for their country and were slaughtered in the biggest ever loss of British lives.”

Goff Morgan, writer and historian from Newport who spoke at the service, said: “My own grandfather fought in the First World War, but he never spoke about it which was the case with many. They shut it off as it was so traumatic.”

Retired officer Bryan Wilson, 57, from Newport, said: “It’s incredible. I’ve got a real interest in the Great War and it is top class the force are commemorating today.”

16-year-old Gwent Police Cadet Rhys Baldwin said despite having no direct link himself to the First World War, the service was incredibly important for all cadets to remember the history.

IN Newport, the 104 Regiment of the Royal Artillery fired a gun at 11pm last night [Monday, August 4] to mark the centenary.

A small service was held at Raglan Barracks and five men fired the gun in unison with other regiments from barracks across the country.

Earlier in the day, crowds gathered outside the entrance to Newport's civic centre, on Godfrey Road, for a service conducted by the Reverend Canon Ray Hayter.

'Waste', a poem by the Reverend Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, was read out along with prayers and the blessing of the flag.

The Mayor of Newport, Cllr Matthew Evans, Rosemary Butler AM, MP Jessica Morden and MP Paul Flynn all attended the event.

A small exhibition of First World War memorabilia, borrowed from Newport Museum, was also on show for members of the public.

Newport Council also joined in with the national Lights Out event from 10pm to 11pm last night with all council premises' lights turned off.

IN Blaenau Gwent, a service and parade was held in Cwm to mark the cemtenary attended by dignitaries, local people, and with a performance from the Patrick Sheen singers.

A project to help make communities in Blaenau Gwent more aware of the work of the armed forces is culminating in a grand event to mark the centenary of the First World War this month.

Thanks to £7,000 funding from the armed forces community covenant grant scheme, the Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum has been working with local people of all ages to get them involved with heritage activities in order to learn about the War and its impact on the communities of Blaenau Gwent.

The grant scheme was set up by the Ministry of Defence to fund local projects that bring together the civilian and armed forces communities.

Through a series of workshops, people were encouraged to have a greater empathy for the experiences of the armed forces, both in the past and fighting in conflicts today.

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and nations, communities and individuals of all ages came together to mark, commemorate and remember the lives of those who lived, fought and died through a series of events.

All of this will be celebrated with a full programme of free events at Bedwellty House and Park, Tredegar, on Sunday August 17.

Following a 10am Ecumenical service at St. George’s Church, there will be a parade through town, tribute-laying and the ‘Last Post’ at the War Memorial.

The day will feature performances from Tredegar Town Band, Oakdale Silver Band, Tredegar Orpheus Choir, Ebbw Vale Male Voice Choir, Patrick Sheen Singers, together with a variety of displays and exhibitions from a wide area.

Eifion Lloyd Davies, Chairman, Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum, said: “The workshops and the event at Bedwellty is the result of a vision by the Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum to mark the centenary of the First World War with a series of events which can involve the whole community.

“We are delighted that so many organisations, including the Royal British Legion, Bedwellty House and Park and others have joined us to bring such a vibrant event, which will appeal to all ages, to Blaenau Gwent.

"It is our ambition to host the event in Tredegar in 2014 and at other venues in the borough over the next four years so that we can involve the whole of the borough’s community in our commemorations between now and 2018.”

Other community projects can follow on from this success by bidding for up to £250,000 as the Ministry of Defence invites people to apply to the scheme. Blaenau Gwent groups are eligible for the funding because the Council signed up to the Community Covenant.

For more information on the fund and its criteria call 01495 355815 or visit http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/community/21464.asp.

Comments (1)

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8:28pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Milkmanofhumankindness says...

Today pause to remember the brave, those who made the ultimate sacrifice during WW1
Its good to see our cenotaphs up and down the country bringing people close.
Its worth mentioning that these places can have duel purpose, to remember to commemorate and honour, remember also that war is pointless all wars are pointless, no one ever wins.

its a pity local councils often fail to support ex-servicemen and the elderly.
(the living ones anyway):

Local council’s would rather spend on Twinning activities and councillor trips to Germany than on services that help our elderly, many of who are ex servicemen or widows of ex servicemen.
Some local councils will even spend thousands on romanticised bravado of long gone soldiers than on jobs and services that help the living elderly.

Quite recently the Ministry of Defence has said it needs new recruits. "More than meets the eye"
The Zulu War for example was just another colonial war like many in other parts of the worldwideBritish Empire.
I’m not doubting the bravery of British soldiers in the Victorian era just the fact that they were not fighting for the likes of you or I everyday folk. They were fighting to protect colonial wealth.
In 1879 British colonial officials and the commander-in-chief in South Africa, Lord Chelmsford, considered the independent Zulu Kingdom ruled by Cetshwayo a threat tothe British colony.
European colonial expansion is likely to have triggered the whole thing. News at this time was unreliable ( no internet or mobile phones to challenge ). Self-determination was unthinkable under Benjamin Disraeli's conservative Britain.
The Michael Caine film Zulu was a glorification of inaccuracies!

"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte.

and is sketchy at best.
Is this something we should be proud of ? and is this something that should receive funds from the community council (directly or indirectly).?
The John Williams Fielding VC Memorial Trust managed to secure funding for a replacement headstone,The Cwmbran Regeneration Partnership awarded a grant of £3,752 and any additional costs covered by the Trust.
( or donations from other council various grants!)
A annual Parade will honour the Cwmbran hero and a temporary road closure for future events will be in force in the area of the church each year so no doubt police officers will be present at yet more cost.
We already have remembrance Sunday an annual event to honour the bravery of all soldiers at cenotaphs up and down the country.
We don’t need another one just to largely appeal to descendants of the brave soldier and residents in what is becoming the posh place to live in Cwmbran
The Long Depression was a worldwide economic recession, beginning in 1873 and running through the spring of 1879. It was the most severe in Europe and the UnitedStates.
Britain's workers today are suffering the most protracted squeeze on their incomes since the long depression of the 1870s and are now well into their fifth year of falling real wages.
High inflation and stagnant pay for many workers means that real wages have now fallen for well over 40 months, according to calculations by the TUC. It says that is the longest such stretch of financial pain since 1875 to 1878, when the world economy was mired in the so-called long depression.
These figures expose once again the shallowness of our recovery. Without better jobs and decent pay rises we will not get sustainable growth.
Lets live for today and stand up for the low paid, under-graded and the willing unemployed who deserve better from the local Labour led short sighted, out for themselves,talking shop puppet councillors and as for the conservatives lets not even go there.
We know little about John Fielding the man! and Remember It is not known why John Fielding chose to join the army, nor why he enlisted in a name other than his own. John may have joined the glorious force because there was little else for him in the way of work other
than a low paid labour intensive existence in the many British dark industrial satanic mills of the day.
The working class consisted of both the skilled as
well as the unskilled and workers were exploited at the hands of the other two classes.
Fielding later served as a recruiting agent for the The South Wales Borderers so I think that he would have approved of making efforts to the employment prospects of young people and the low paid so that they don’t need to join up and get sent to some far off
land where they may never return from.
Sadly Suicide was an issue for many Victorian soldiers, which has echoes of reality of more modern conflicts. All too often the long term unemployed are portrayed by the media as being lazy work-shy scroungers and more often than not this is far from the truth.
Unemployed young people or those on zero hours contracts (same thing) are twice as likely to be on anti- depressants and many have contemplated suicide, a disturbing report has found.
A study for The Prince's Trust found long-term jobless youngsters aged 16 to 25 are suffering "devastating" symptoms of mental illness and often self-harming. More than 2,000 young people were surveyed, with 40% of those who were out of work
saying they faced symptoms of mental illness. Those unemployed for over a year were more likely to say they had no-one to confide in, many are on zero hours contracts that is no better.
The working poor are the new unemployed.
The Army has launched a £3m recruitment campaign aimed at boosting both the regular and reserve forces, this is the Tory response to unemployment, working poor and zero hours.
A poll commissioned by the Army to mark the campaign's launch suggested that 23% of people were not satisfied with their current career.When asked what was missing 30% said a decent salary; 27% said excellent training and personal development; 25% said a challenging and exciting role; 35% said UK and overseas travel; and 18% said getting
paid while getting qualifications.
The research, carried out by OnePoll, surveyed 2,000 people in December 2013.
Some young lads (and indeed these days girls) clearly want to be soldiers but many
have in the past chosen this path out of sheer lack of decent local job prospects.
Fielding later served as a recruiting agent for the The South Wales Borderers.
Most young people however just want jobs in the communities they grew up in.
No doubt some Labour councillor or another at some point in the future will suggest that we spend thousands more and have a statue built of the soldier who was no doubt very brave.
The memory and history of John Fielding and the Zulu war can be kept alive through history education in our schools.Wouldn’t it be more honourable if funding is used to set up a John Fielding back to
work program helping people find employment in Cwmbran or use the money to fund just one or two modern apprentices.
That would be something we could be proud of.
The coalition government of today are letting our youth fall through the cracks in our
culture.
And our local Labour party are more interested in ceremonies for dead men and spending on
twinning activities including subsidised trips to Germany.
Although the Labour party have promised jobs for young people and a living wage if they get elected - on a local level they could be doing a lot more right now.
Take the The Michael Caine film Zulu with a large pinch of salt.
Anyone who is in any doubt about the facts of the Zulu war or what John Fielding and hundreds of young boys just like like him were up-against in the 1870s before and after signing up to the army should check out the views Bill Cainan, curator of the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh, based at Brecon, Powys.
You may find this BBC link helpful:
http://www.bbc.co.uk

/news/uk-wales-16948

284
Today pause to remember the brave, those who made the ultimate sacrifice during WW1 Its good to see our cenotaphs up and down the country bringing people close. Its worth mentioning that these places can have duel purpose, to remember to commemorate and honour, remember also that war is pointless all wars are pointless, no one ever wins. its a pity local councils often fail to support ex-servicemen and the elderly. (the living ones anyway): Local council’s would rather spend on Twinning activities and councillor trips to Germany than on services that help our elderly, many of who are ex servicemen or widows of ex servicemen. Some local councils will even spend thousands on romanticised bravado of long gone soldiers than on jobs and services that help the living elderly. Quite recently the Ministry of Defence has said it needs new recruits. "More than meets the eye" The Zulu War for example was just another colonial war like many in other parts of the worldwideBritish Empire. I’m not doubting the bravery of British soldiers in the Victorian era just the fact that they were not fighting for the likes of you or I everyday folk. They were fighting to protect colonial wealth. In 1879 British colonial officials and the commander-in-chief in South Africa, Lord Chelmsford, considered the independent Zulu Kingdom ruled by Cetshwayo a threat tothe British colony. European colonial expansion is likely to have triggered the whole thing. News at this time was unreliable ( no internet or mobile phones to challenge ). Self-determination was unthinkable under Benjamin Disraeli's conservative Britain. The Michael Caine film Zulu was a glorification of inaccuracies! "History is a set of lies agreed upon." Napoleon Bonaparte. and is sketchy at best. Is this something we should be proud of ? and is this something that should receive funds from the community council (directly or indirectly).? The John Williams Fielding VC Memorial Trust managed to secure funding for a replacement headstone,The Cwmbran Regeneration Partnership awarded a grant of £3,752 and any additional costs covered by the Trust. ( or donations from other council various grants!) A annual Parade will honour the Cwmbran hero and a temporary road closure for future events will be in force in the area of the church each year so no doubt police officers will be present at yet more cost. We already have remembrance Sunday an annual event to honour the bravery of all soldiers at cenotaphs up and down the country. We don’t need another one just to largely appeal to descendants of the brave soldier and residents in what is becoming the posh place to live in Cwmbran The Long Depression was a worldwide economic recession, beginning in 1873 and running through the spring of 1879. It was the most severe in Europe and the UnitedStates. Britain's workers today are suffering the most protracted squeeze on their incomes since the long depression of the 1870s and are now well into their fifth year of falling real wages. High inflation and stagnant pay for many workers means that real wages have now fallen for well over 40 months, according to calculations by the TUC. It says that is the longest such stretch of financial pain since 1875 to 1878, when the world economy was mired in the so-called long depression. These figures expose once again the shallowness of our recovery. Without better jobs and decent pay rises we will not get sustainable growth. Lets live for today and stand up for the low paid, under-graded and the willing unemployed who deserve better from the local Labour led short sighted, out for themselves,talking shop puppet councillors and as for the conservatives lets not even go there. We know little about John Fielding the man! and Remember It is not known why John Fielding chose to join the army, nor why he enlisted in a name other than his own. John may have joined the glorious force because there was little else for him in the way of work other than a low paid labour intensive existence in the many British dark industrial satanic mills of the day. The working class consisted of both the skilled as well as the unskilled and workers were exploited at the hands of the other two classes. Fielding later served as a recruiting agent for the The South Wales Borderers so I think that he would have approved of making efforts to the employment prospects of young people and the low paid so that they don’t need to join up and get sent to some far off land where they may never return from. Sadly Suicide was an issue for many Victorian soldiers, which has echoes of reality of more modern conflicts. All too often the long term unemployed are portrayed by the media as being lazy work-shy scroungers and more often than not this is far from the truth. Unemployed young people or those on zero hours contracts (same thing) are twice as likely to be on anti- depressants and many have contemplated suicide, a disturbing report has found. A study for The Prince's Trust found long-term jobless youngsters aged 16 to 25 are suffering "devastating" symptoms of mental illness and often self-harming. More than 2,000 young people were surveyed, with 40% of those who were out of work saying they faced symptoms of mental illness. Those unemployed for over a year were more likely to say they had no-one to confide in, many are on zero hours contracts that is no better. The working poor are the new unemployed. The Army has launched a £3m recruitment campaign aimed at boosting both the regular and reserve forces, this is the Tory response to unemployment, working poor and zero hours. A poll commissioned by the Army to mark the campaign's launch suggested that 23% of people were not satisfied with their current career.When asked what was missing 30% said a decent salary; 27% said excellent training and personal development; 25% said a challenging and exciting role; 35% said UK and overseas travel; and 18% said getting paid while getting qualifications. The research, carried out by OnePoll, surveyed 2,000 people in December 2013. Some young lads (and indeed these days girls) clearly want to be soldiers but many have in the past chosen this path out of sheer lack of decent local job prospects. Fielding later served as a recruiting agent for the The South Wales Borderers. Most young people however just want jobs in the communities they grew up in. No doubt some Labour councillor or another at some point in the future will suggest that we spend thousands more and have a statue built of the soldier who was no doubt very brave. The memory and history of John Fielding and the Zulu war can be kept alive through history education in our schools.Wouldn’t it be more honourable if funding is used to set up a John Fielding back to work program helping people find employment in Cwmbran or use the money to fund just one or two modern apprentices. That would be something we could be proud of. The coalition government of today are letting our youth fall through the cracks in our culture. And our local Labour party are more interested in ceremonies for dead men and spending on twinning activities including subsidised trips to Germany. Although the Labour party have promised jobs for young people and a living wage if they get elected - on a local level they could be doing a lot more right now. Take the The Michael Caine film Zulu with a large pinch of salt. Anyone who is in any doubt about the facts of the Zulu war or what John Fielding and hundreds of young boys just like like him were up-against in the 1870s before and after signing up to the army should check out the views Bill Cainan, curator of the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh, based at Brecon, Powys. You may find this BBC link helpful: http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-16948 284 Milkmanofhumankindness
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