Hundreds pay respects to war fallen
AN 83-year-old Royal Navy sailor who has lost six comrades in the last year was one of hundreds of veterans paying tribute to the fallen at Wales’ national observance of Remembrance Sunday in Cardiff.
Hosted by Cardiff council, the Welsh Government and the Royal British Legion, the National Service of Remembrance for Wales took place at the Welsh National War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens, Cathays Park yesterday.
Jimmy Whice, from Grangetown, was one veteran who took part in a parade from King Edward VII Avenue to the memorial before the service.
He joined hundreds of members of the Armed Forces and emergency services.
But for Jimmy, who attends every year, this year was more pertinent than ever.
“I’m here because I’ve lost an awful lot of friends. I’ve lost six from my branch in the last 12 months,” he said.
Jimmy, who is now a part of the Cardiff Royal Navy Association, served from 1952 and took part in some crucial battles, including the Suez Campaign in 1956.
Hundreds of other ex-servicemen and women joined Jimmy at the memorial, but it wasn’t just veterans paying tribute to the fallen.
Lillian Pleasance, from Dinas Powys, wanted to attend to represent her father, George William Garner, who served in the Lancashire Fusiliers from 1939 to 1945.
Joseph Smith, 80, from St Mellons, wanted to be a part of the memorial to pay his respects to his father, Sydney George Smith, and his uncle, Cornelius Smith, who was killed aged just 21 at Passchendale. He said: “It was important for me to be here today for respect. I’m here every year.”
They were joined by Richard Courtney, 53, from Nantgarw, representing the Welsh region of The Royal British Legion Riders Branch.
He said: “I’m here for all those who have lost their lives in battles over the many years and to pay my respects. We are the Royal British Legion Riders branch and we have around 6,000 members. In South Wales, we are attending around 14 Remembrance services.”
Shortly before 11am, the service began in Cathays Park with words of scripture from Cardiff council honorary chaplain, the Reverend Canon Stewart Lisk.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Morfudd Meredith, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, followed by representatives from across Wales, including First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones AM and Cardiff council leader Councillor Huw Thomas.
The Band of the Royal Welsh and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh joined The Canton Salvation Army Band and the Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir in playing music during the service.
The Last Post was also played by a bugler from The Royal Welsh Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh followed by a gun of the 104 Regiment Royal Artillery, Newport, who fired to mark the start of the two minutes’ silence observed.
A March Past and Salute was then taken by The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Cardiff Coun Bob Derbyshire at the front of City Hall to the applause of the crowds outside.