People gathered across Powys last weekend to remember those who have fought and fallen in battle.

Despite the cold weather, Remembrance Sunday saw small military parades and remembrance services throughout Brecon and Radnorshire.

Crowds gathered in Brecon town centre at the cenotaph outside St Mary’s Church, on the Bulwark, to see wreaths being laid.

The Gwent and Powys army cadets marched with their band as part of the parade - which also featured members of the Infantry Battle School - through the streets up to the Cathedral.

It was a special moment for the band as its the first time the group has marched in a parade since before the Covid-19 pandemic started almost two years ago - and it was the first time for many of the younger members of the group.

A spokesperson from the Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force said: “On Remembrance Sunday, The Band and Drums of Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force were proud to be on parade in the military city of Brecon. Marching with contingents including the Infantry Battle School and Brecon Detachment, they led the way through the winding streets to the cathedral.

“This was the first time that the group had marched in a parade since before Covid, and for many of the youngsters it was their first time. Six of the Band and Drums have joined in the last few months as complete beginner musicians, whilst others have been parading for several years.”

The Last Post was played by Staff Cadet Sergeant Jake Thomas and the parade was led by Drum Major Sergeant Chloe Meredith - her first parade in the role after passing her Drum Major Assessment at camp in October.

The spokesperson said: “The Last Post was played by Staff Cadet Sergeant Jake Thomas with a perfect rendition - he was even complimented with a message from WO2 Bandmaster David Hatton from The Prince of Wales Band, who was also in attendance.

“The parade was led by the Drum Major, Cadet Sergeant Chloe Meredith - her first parade in this role after passing her Drum Major assessment at camp in October.

“Many of the cadets attend both green and music detachments, following both syllabi and achieving double star awards. They are eligible to attend both green and music camps, and this opens up more opportunities to represent the county, Wales and the UK. Some join just as musicians. Next year, cadets from the Band and Drums will be travelling to Belgium to take part in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, along with other high profile events.”

The spokesperson added that they welcome complete beginners to join the cadet band as well as those who already play an instrument.

They said: “The Band and Drums is open to complete beginners and those who already play an instrument - whatever it may be! Instruments and lessons are provided at all levels. If you would like to find out more about what we do, why not get in touch?

“You never know, we might be just what you’re looking for! Maybe next year you could be playing Last Post on Remembrance Sunday.”

The poppy cascade in the Peace Garden, which unfortunately went missing earlier this year, was also restored by the Brecon Hive in time for Sunday.

MP Fay Jones and MS James Evans both attended wreath-laying ceremonies in both Brecon and Hay-on-Wye to commemorate fallen soldiers.

Remembrance Sunday was also commemorated in Hay-on-Wye, Talgarth and Llandrindod Wells as well as Gladestry and Newbridge-on-Wye - just to name a few.

In Gladestry, Rev Rachael Storer led the service and Norman Evans read aloud the names of the Fallen on the War Memorial from the two World Wars.

Wreaths were laid by Ros Tarrant on behalf of St David’s Church, Colva; Susan Mullin, Chair of Gadestry WI laid a tray of crosses with poppies, one for each life lost from the villages of Colva and Gladestry. Jess Squire laid a wreath on behalf of St Mary’s, Gladestry and Robert McGough and grandson Ethan, aged 6, laid poppies in remembrance of a relative Private Arthur Hewitt (Huey) Turner of Gladestry.

At the onset of the Second World War, Huey enlisted with the 5th Battalion the Gloucester Regiment.

He served as a dispatch rider, carrying messages between units and officers when radio communication was poor. Sadly, on the 10th May 1940, Huey took a direct hit whilst riding his motorcycle and is buried in Belgium. He was 22.

At the end of the service, Rev Rachael read - From the Kohima Epitaph: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today”.

Clive Barrett reported on the events to mark Remembrance Sunday in Newbridge-on-Wye.

As usual the annual Newbridge Remembrance Service was held jointly between All Saints Church and Pentref Baptist Chapel. However there was a significant difference this year because due to the social distancing regulations rather than being held in one of the two churches, it took place mainly on the village green.

There was a good attendance for the service led by the Rev. Peter Letson of All Saints, assisted by Pentref’s Rev. Steve Wallis. The service included the normal remembrance hymns, prayers, confessions and the Act of Remembrance with the Rev. Letson giving a reflection address about remembering those who had given their lives for “all of us”, especially family and friends.

“During the service a bible reading was given by Mrs. Clare Letson. Whilst for the act of remembrance it was very encouraging for the future to see the names on the roll of honour read out by two youngsters namely Jacob Hobbs and Caitlin Wallace. They shall grow not old….. was said by Mr. John Rees, a former soldier with the Warwickshire Fusiliers.

Following The Last Post and The Reveille, towards the end of the service the congregation moved to the front of nearby All Saints Church.

Here representatives of organisations in the village were able one at a time to lay wreaths of tribute at the war memorial inside All Saints.

Wreaths were laid by Mrs. Sylvia Stirland, on behalf of the local W.I, Councillor Mark Davies representing Llanyre Community Council, which covers Newbridge, and Mr. John Rees for Pentref Baptist Chapel.

The service ended with the singing of the two national anthems, and the blessing by Rev. Letson in Welsh and in English by Rev. Wallis.

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