Wales Remembrance Sunday commemoration led by first minister

  • 12 November 2012
  • From the section Wales

First Minister Carwyn Jones has led Wales in its Remembrance Sunday commemorations in Cardiff.

He said the nation would "reflect on and remember those who served and sacrificed so much to allow us to live our lives in the freedom we enjoy today".

Services have taken place in towns, cities and villages across Wales.

Meanwhile Welsh army cadets took part in a parade at a World War I memorial in Belgium.

In Cardiff, the annual service of commemoration took place at the Welsh National War memorial in Cathays Park.

Detachments from the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force, the Wales University Royal Navy Unit, the Army's University Officer Training Corps and the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets, joined in the commemoration.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, the first minister said: "The National Service of Remembrance is a poignant occasion and one that will be replicated at memorials across Wales, reflecting the scale of the wars that were fought in the 20th Century.

"Whilst we are fortunate to live in more peaceful times, we must also remember the servicemen and women on active service overseas today and the dangers they face.

"The demands placed on those personnel and their families are considerable and we should be mindful of that and offer what support we can as we remember and honour the sacrifices they make."

Image caption A poppy on the Menin Gate at Ypres where Welsh cadets will mark Remembrance Sunday

Heather Joyce, leader of Cardiff council, said: "The annual Welsh National Service of Remembrance provides an important opportunity for Cardiff and Wales to remember all those who fought and died in two world wars and in all conflicts around the world to secure the peace and freedom that we enjoy today."

Afterwards, the march past and salute was taken by Cardiff's Lord Mayor Derrick Morgan at City Hall.

In north Wales, armed forces minister Carl Sargeant attended the remembrance service in Buckley, Flintshire, laying a wreath at the war memorial.

He said: "We owe our armed forces and veterans an immense debt of gratitude. Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for us to remember those who have lost their lives defending our freedom and way of life.

"It allows us to reflect on the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made and continue to make on our behalf.

Media captionHistorian Sir Deian Hopkin says it is important to put past conflicts into context for today

"It is important that as a country we have an opportunity to pay tribute to them and remember them."

Meanwhile 50 cadets and volunteers from Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force laid wreaths at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, on Sunday.

The gate is a memorial to the 54,896 British and Commonwealth troops who died on the Western front in World War I.

Colonel Rob Hughes, the force commandant, said: "To be present at the Menin Gate at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is an enormous privilege for all of us."

At Ferndale, Rhondda, the name of a 19-year-old soldier who died in World War I has finally had his name inscribed on the war memorial 96 years later after a campaign by his nephew.

Private John Murray died in northern France in 1916 but no longer had family living locally by the time the local memorial was erected.

Meanwhile the name of Private Hugh Pritchard, who died in Malaya in 1941, has been added to the Caernarfon cenotaph.

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