Monmouth stops to remember 100 years since Armistice

Wednesday 14th November 2018 5:46 pm
@CambrianNews
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AT 11am on 11th November 1918, the guns fell silent on what had been the most devastating and wasteful war the world had ever seen.

Towns and villages across the country paused exactly 100 years to the minute after the fighting stopped, to remember over six million British, Commonwealth and allied military personnel lives lost and the 12 million allied soldiers wounded.

Monmouth held a week long programme of events culminating in a poignant two minute silence to remember those, and others lost in subsequent actions, at the cenotaph in St James’ Square.

A parade from the ancient Monnow Bridge - through whose arches some men marched to war and never returned - was greeted in Agincourt Square by town mayor, Councillor Terry Christopher who addressed the troops and echoed the same words his counterpart 100 years ago, Councillor William Seabrook, said to the assembled men.

After calling for three cheers for the army and the navy, he said: “This is the most important message I shall have to deliver in my whole life. After four years of terrible suffering and after four years of bravery on the part of Britain’s defenders the Germans have surrendered. You have heard the good news. Thank God we have got it.”

The parade was then joined by three association standards, civic leaders, Monmouth’s MP, scouts, guides and brownies, members of the police and fire services, St John’s Ambulance, schools, clubs and societies and others and marched to the war memorial in St James’ Square to hear a reading of lessons and prayers.

The solemn words of the exhortation were read out by Jeff Belcher of the Royal British Legion and then a timely pause until RSM Karl Husband brought the parade to attention and the Last Post, played by Ben Skailes, echoed around the silent crowds who then joined in the country in paying respect with a silence that honoured the loss of the dead of two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

Monmouth Band played the music for the national and the Welsh anthem. Mayor of Monmouth, Cllr Terry Christopher wished to thank everybody that took part “in making the day such a wonderful community event."

Charlie Walker, Head of School at Monmouth School for Boys, and Faisa Yusuf, Head Girl at Monmouth School for Girls, laid a wreath at the town’s war memorial. Seventy-six old boys of Monmouth School for Boys lost their lives in World War One.

Monmouth Comprehensive students who laid a wreath were Emily Shields, Luke Rogers (head boy and girl) and Sam Friend, deputy head boy.

To end the day, a series of beacons were lit at 7pm under the Bruno Peeks Battles Over challenge and in response, the church bells were pealed. The Last Post was played at the Shire Hall by Katie Mapp in a final tribute to all those who never returned from a war or conflict.

For more coverage from Remembrance Sunday, see this week’s Monmouthshire Beacon, in shops now.

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