AN ANNUAL memorial service for Cwmbran's John Fielding, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879, took place last Saturday.

It was held at his graveside in St Michael’s & All Angels Church in Llantarnam and led by Reverend Frieda Evans with Reverend Caron Brian Pippen.

Cwmbran and District Ex-Services Association (CADESA) worked with the trustees of the John Fielding Memorial Service to organise the service.

Several relatives of John Fielding attended the service.

Cwmbran Life spoke to Colin Fielding from Buckinghamshire, one of his great-grandsons who was there with two of his children, Alex and Hannah.

South Wales Argus: The memorial to John Fielding. Picture: Ben Black/Cwmbran LifeThe memorial to John Fielding. Picture: Ben Black/Cwmbran Life (Image: Ben Black/Cwmbran Life)

He said: "It's a moment of pride and what people can do under the influence of adrenaline and sheer bravery for the common cause of your comrades at any given spontaneous moment. It's a true example of bravery.

"This is something we mark on the calendar. The first thing that goes on. It's very emotional. You try singing the Welsh national anthem. You get maybe three lines in and just crack up, you just go."

The service included several readings, hymns, a minute’s silence and the Last Post.

The Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh and Piping Hot Cwmbran, both played.

The Battle of Rorke's Drift was depicted in the 1964 film, Zulu, starring Michael Caine, in which Peter Gill played John Fielding.