Memorial to Ebbw Vale war dead finally unveiled
6:20pm Sunday 10th June 2012 in The archive
THE people of Ebbw Vale turned out in force at the weekend to see the village's memorial to those who died serving their country be unveiled.
Around 30 years after the idea was first discussed, Saturday saw the official opening of the Rassau and Beaufort war memorial.
Prior to this, it is thought the area was one of just a handful in Wales not to have its own war memorial, but thanks to the fundraising efforts of Beaufort tenants and residents association, who worked alongside the Rassau and Beaufort branch of the Royal British Legion, that was put right.
An appeal to raise the money for the memorial was started in late 2010 and raised #56,000 to make it a reality.
A £30k grant came from Silent Valley Environment Trust, #5,000 from the All Wales Lottery fund, #5,00 from Communities First and thousands of pounds from donation and fundraisers.
The memorial, which takes pride of place in Bethesda Church Memorial Garden on Beaufort Rise, reads: "All that we are. All that we have. We owe to them."
It serves to remember those from the area who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
On Saturday, led by led by the Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh, there was a parade through Beaufort before a service at the memorial.
Welsh flags were handed out and bunting surrounded the gardens as Beaufort Male Choir serenade the crowd of around 400 with renditions of I Vow to thee My Country, God Save the Queen and Land of Our Fathers.
The crowd fell silent as the Last Post sounded and as the ceremony reached its climax, the sun made a rare appearance and shone down on the Valleys.
Rex Herbert, 85, president of the Rassau and Beaufort Royal British Legion, said: "It's very good to have the memorial, it's nice to see it in place and it is a fitting tribute."
Chairman of Beaufort tenants and residents association, Godfrey Thomas, added: "Today's been brilliant, it exceeded our expectations and wishes - I feel proud we've achieved it.
"It's fabulous to have the memorial and I'd like to thank everyone for their hard work."