NEXT year will mark the centenary of the battle when 86 Newport men lost their lives in one day during the First World War.

In the years following the war, may trees were planted in Belle Vue Park to mark their sacrifice. But over the years the trees disappeared and were not replaced.

Now a group hopes to get funding to install a memorial overlooking the Transporter Bridge, to mark 100 years since the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium when the men, from the Monmouthshire Regiment, were fighting on May 8. It was the heaviest loss the Newport suffered in one day, councillor Charles Ferris, who is driving the proposal, said, with the total higher than the losses of the Chartist Uprising at the Westgate Hotel and the Docks Disaster combined.

He, along with local historian Shaun Maguire and the Civic Society, would like a plaque installed near the Blaina Wharf along with eight may trees. The Second Battle of Ypres lasted from April 22 to May 25 1915, with 526 men from the Monmouthshire Regiment lost in total.

Nick Webb, co-chairman, Newport Civic Society, said: “It is important to remember the sacrifice of these brave men from Newport and Monmouthshire. The previous commemoration of eight may trees was a wonderful idea and it feels like the right thing to do to recreate a memorial including may trees and a new plaque in time for the centenary of the battle.”

Cllr Ferris is coordinating sponsorship for the memorial. Email