PENARTHIANS paid tribute to those that fought and died in World War One during a special rededication service of the Roll of Honour at St Augustine’s Church last weekend.
In a deeply moving service on the eve of the centenary of the outbreak of WWI on Sunday, August 3, more than 300 people gathered in St Augustine’s Church Penarth to pay tribute to those from the town who had died in WW1, to those who were injured and to the many families affected. In his address, the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan spoke of the complexity of war when both sides invoked God’s help.
The Christian Church, he said, had always believed that Services of Remembrance were never intended to be a celebration of victory for one side or another. He went on to say that war may sometimes be necessary, when every other avenue had been explored, but the Christian Church never claimed war and violence are good acts in themselves.
Dr Morgan referred to the remarkable Roll of Honour recently restored with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the War Memorial Trust, and with the generosity of local people.
He also paid tribute to the Friends of St Augustine’s who had taken on the restoration as their first major project.
The Service which was led by the Rector, Canon Roger Williams, was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Dr Peter Beck and Mrs Beck, and by Lady Clarissa Eggleston, a direct descendant of the Earl of Plymouth who commissioned the Roll of Honour and of Lady Windsor through whose generosity St Augustine’s was built.
Also present were Cllr Martin Turner (Mayor of Penarth) and Mrs Turner, Cllr Howard Hamilton (Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan) and Mrs Hamilton, Duncan Cantlay, (Deputy Lord Lieutenant), Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards (former Lord Lieutenant), Richard James, (Chairman of the Royal British Legion, Penarth) and Mrs James, Alun Michael (South Wales Crime Commissioner), Supt. Paul Jones, Nigel Clubb (Heritage Lottery Fund) and Tony Hazell (Penarth Pier Pavilion).
From the armed forces were Squadron Leader Balls, Major Beaumont and Commander Neil Pugh and several serving soldiers.Twenty relatives of those named on the Roll of Honour were also present, and representatives from the RNLI, Cytun, Albert Primary School, the Coastguards, Probus, the Rotary Club of Penarth, the Inner Wheel, the WRVS, the Penarth Society, and many other local organisations and parishioners from the parish.
Penarth Town Council was well represented by current and past councillors and by the Town Clerk, Shan Bowden.
The rededication was conducted by the Archbishop and wreaths were laid by the Royal British Legion, the parish of Penarth and Llandough, and on behalf of the children of Penarth.
The Last Post and Reveille were played by trumpeter Phil Morris and Jessica Haig sang Pie Jesu.
The British Legion Standard was carried by Ken Howell.
The lesson from St Matthew (the Beatitudes) was read by Commander Neil Pugh, RD, RNR.
The immortal words ‘They shall not grow old’ were read by naval veteran Gerald Purnell and a pupil from Albert Primary School.
During the service the poem ‘Aftermath’ by Siegfried Sassoon was read by the Revd Professor Richard Griffiths, and St Augustine’s choir, led by Robert Court, sang an anthem by Hubert Parry.
After the service, Canon Williams said: “This has been a very special occasion for the whole of Penarth and for St Augustine’s. I know it has touched the hearts and minds of many people and will help us all never to forget the enormous sacrifices made for us by so many. It was a privilege to have such a service in St Augustine’s.”