Remembrance Sunday at Chepstow

IMG_0255 copy.jpgOn Sunday 11 November, the National Service of Remembrance was be held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London. Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as a day “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”. It is held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. It is marked by ceremonies at local war memorials in most cities, towns and villages, attended by civic dignitaries, ex-servicemen and women (many are members of the Royal British Legion and other veterans’ organisations), and members of local armed forces.

In Chepstow members of the local community held their service that commemorated the contribution of British and Commonwealth military involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts. This year, with Remembrance Sunday falling on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, there appeared to be a greater number of people to want to view the ceremony.

IMG_0276 copy.jpgThe Mayor of Chepstow: Cllr Anthony (Tony) Redhead (The Liberal Democrats) photographed with his wife Jean at the rememberance display in Chepstow.  Cllr Anthony Redhead said: ‘It was an honour to represent Chepstow as Mayor at the ceremony/service to commemotate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 the Great War.’

IMG_0263 copy.jpgChepstow Round Table put up a remembrance display in Chepstow. They worked in consultation with the town council for a number of weeks before hand. Creating the display was a very sobering experience for everyone involved. Each poppy in the display was dedicated to a fallen Hero of the Great War who came from Chepstow. There were 83 in total, and so there were 83 hand made poppies. A church service was held at the Prioty Church of St Marys, Chepstow.

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It is believed that 56 of Chepstow fallen have no known grave. The display begins with J HUGHES who died on the 15 Sept 1914, and ends with J HOBBS who died on 14 April 1920. Individuals who gave their lives were remembered within the display. Four people were specifically highlighted. These being: W WILLIAMS, who died age 34 on 25 April 1915 and was awarded the Victoria Cross: W. JONES who died on 3 July 1916 aged just 16.
G YOUNG who died on 30 Nov 1917 age 21.Ll YOUNG, who was G Young’s brother and died on 28 May 1918 and was awarded the Military Medal.

IMG_0270 copy.jpgGifted to the town of Chepstow by King George V to mark the outstanding bravery of a Chepstow man, the Chepstow town gun stands in Chepstow town centre. The large gun was taken from German UB-91, which surrendered to Britain on 21st November 1918 at Harwich. She toured the South Wales ports of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Port Talbot and was towed to Pembroke Dock, eventually being broken up at Briton Ferry in 1921. The gun was removed from the submarine at Newport Docks. It now stands silently at Chepstow in memory of William Charles Williams who was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

IMG_0281 copy.jpgMany members of the local community expressed concerns on the Chepstow Community Facebook page that the gun and sight needed some maintenance work and members of the local community got together and cleaned up the area the day before. Photographed are (L to R): Collette Lewis, Mark Harvey, Judy Cliffe and Nikki Hollings.

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