Remembrance day: Thousands across Wales join events

Thousands of people joined remembrance events in Wales as a weekend of tributes began to war victims.

The 93rd anniversary of the guns falling silent in World War I began with First Minister Carwyn Jones leading a silence in Colwyn Bay at 11:00 GMT on Friday.

It will end with the Prince of Wales laying a wreath at the Welsh Guards' War Memorial in London on Sunday.

Communities are holding events on land, sea and air.

The great war came to end on 11 November, 1918 after 1,560 days of continuous fighting which claimed over 1m Commonwealth lives, at an average of 400 a day.

Armistice Day activities also aim to focus thoughts on those who have died in five wars and dozens of major conflicts since then.

Among the oldest of those paying their respects was 96-year-old submariner Charles Cook, from Newbridge, Caerphilly, who was decorated 10 times during World War II.

He returned to a Royal Navy vessel for the first time in 66 years.

Image caption A flag is lowered during a service in Queen's Square in the centre of Wrexham

Mr Cook was a guest aboard patrol ship HMS Exploit for a ceremonial trip around Cardiff Bay, before returning to dock to take part in the Navy's official tributes.

At the other end of the age scale, Abigail Fisher, from Crickhowell, Powys, was planning to spend her 11th birthday on the date 11.11.11 raising £1,111 for child victims of war.

She said: "I am going to walk 11 miles, then cycle 11 miles and then do 11 miles horse riding."

Abi, who has just started Year Six, said she was was aware of how war damages children in conflicts around the world.

She said: "It must be so frightening, being scared that bombs are going to drop or maybe even that you have to fight in a war.

Image caption National Assembly Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler and her deputy David Melding at the Senedd

"Children find themselves without much to eat. Their homes get destroyed. They are separated from their mums and dads. The noise of war must be terrible."

The air-based tributes include a flypast by a replica World War I biplane fighter at the the Memorial Centre, Brynteg, near Wrexham, on Saturday.

On Friday, the Last Post at the centre was followed by a poetry reading by World War II RAF Bomber Command sergeant Leslie Faircloth, who was shot down over occupied France in 1944 and spent 44 days on the run, escaping to Spain before returning to Britain.

In Pembrokeshire, villagers in Carew Cheriton paid tribute to the 100 men who died while serving at the Coastal Command air base during the conflict, 15 of whom who buried at the village.

Carew Cheriton Control Tower Group aims to renovate the RAF watch office, or control tower, on the old airfield site.

Its president, John Brock, attended the 1941 funeral of a New Zealand-born airman who was killed in a crash at the air base.

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