Hun­dreds pay re­spects to war fallen

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

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.

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