The tribute on Remembrance Sunday at Montgomery’s Garden of Remembrance and War Memorial was smaller than in previous years but no less respectful and moving, and was streamed onto the Montgomery Wales Facebook page to enable people to join from a distance. In line with current restrictions, there was no parade or Church service this year.
Those gathered at the Memorial and those at home remembered the men and women of Montgomery who served in the two World Wars and the sacrifice of those whose lives were lost and damaged in these and later conflicts.
Nikki Pugh, the parade bugler, played Calon Lân in the lead up to the service, which was introduced by Cllr Stephen Hayes, who led the opening prayer on behalf of St Nicholas’ Church. The two national flags were placed either side of the Memorial by Mayor Haydn Andrew and veteran Paul Hodgson, before eleven wreaths were laid on behalf of the town’s organisations and in memory of those who suffered.
Nikki Pugh sounded The Last Post and the flags lowered for two minutes’ silence, during which the Exhortation to Remember and the Kohima Epitaph were read by Paul Hodgson and Chris Boundy, whose father Terry served in the Far East in the second world war. As the bugler sounded Reveille, the flags were raised and the names of the fallen from Montgomery were read out. The Act of Remembrance concluded with prayers from Rev Mary Turnock, the National Anthems sung solo by Town Crier Sue Blower, and a blessing.
Paul Hodgson said, "It is humbling that so many people have given their support and time to make this event happen in what are trying circumstances this year. We are grateful to each of those who contributed. And not forgotten are absent friends this year, including Trefor Pugh who would have otherwise been with us today. Being off sick and 'excused boots', he is gallantly raising funds for the British Legion at St Nicholas' House, Churchstoke."
The names of the town’s 34 fallen servicemen were written on individual remembrance crosses and placed in the Memorial Garden, where children from Montgomery School plan to visit for the Armistice Day two minutes’ silence on 11th November. Additional crosses have been placed by families remembering fallen relatives.
In the evening, as the sun set, a number of people from Montgomery made their way for a short service of remembrance held at the Montgomeryshire County War Memorial on Town Hill. Two wreaths were laid - one for the County and a second for the Town. Cllr Stephen Hayes led the prayers, and the Exhortation from Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem “For the Fallen” was read by Paul Hodgson, with the Kohima Epitaph spoken by Chris Boundy, and Nikki Pugh again sounding the Last Post and Reveille.
And so ended a day of remembrance when, against difficult odds, people from Montgomery came to pay their respects to those of Town and County, and those individually known to some personally, who had died in wars and conflicts for their country.
Click on the images below to start a slideshow and use the arrows to navigate your way through each image