This week marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

So many people from Blaenau Gwent paid the ultimate sacrifice for the liberty we enjoy today and I can assure you their memories have not been forgotten.

In the last week alone I have been to a number of First World War commemoration events organised by those who want to pay tribute for those who fought and died for us.

I was honoured to have attended the opening of the Gwent and the Great War exhibition at Gwent Archives last week.

A good selections of stories, news archives and artefacts documenting our involvement in the First World War and testimony to the hard work of Gwent Archives and the Western Front Association.

Well worth popping along to the General Offices in Ebbw Vale and having a look before the exhibition tours the whole of Gwent over the next four years.

On Sunday I attended the very moving service at Christchurch, Ebbw Vale by Rev Geoff Waggett.

Even now, 100 years on, the horrors of what those brave young men must have been through is something fortunately for us we can only imagine.

To see so many people packed in to take part in the service really brought home the strength of gratitude still held for our war heroes.

Last night (MON) I joined with thousands of people throughout the UK in taking part in a Light Out event, held at the cenotaph in Ebbw Vale. Just another small token of this country’s appreciation.

There has always been a proud history in these valleys when it comes to military service, and with a great many more commemoration events planned throughout the borough, I’m glad to see so many people taking time to remember those who fought for our freedom.

It’s been a very busy few weeks for me since my last column. The assembly is now in recess until September, but I can assure you I will be back at the Senedd when the new terms begins, making sure your voices are heard. I have received overwhelming support from my constituents and members of the Blaenau Gwent Constituency Labour Party and wish to thank them for their unwavering loyalty in recent weeks.

Please feel to contact me on 01495 311160 or email My next advice surgery is on Friday, September 12 from 12pm until 1pm at Ebbw Vale Institute, so come along for a chat.

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