As I wrote a fortnight ago, the Remembrance Day commemorations this year, the centenary of the end of the First World War, will be more poignant than ever. I make no apology for returning to the subject, since it is clear that a large number of local people are keen to mark the occasion.
There was almost no community in the country that was not touched by the Great War. The sacrifice that even the smallest villages made are attested to by the presence of the war memorials bearing the names of all the young people of the locality who gave their lives in that awful conflict.
Yet perhaps not all. Last Sunday, I attended a service at the church of St Catherine and St John, Old Colwyn, for the dedication of a plaque to be added to the village’s war memorial, bearing the names of 23 local men who died in the war, but who were previously unrecorded. The occasion was exceptionally moving. The names and ages of the fallen were read out by members of the local cadet forces; it was noteworthy how very young most of them were when they died.
There will now be more than 80 war dead recorded on the Old Colwyn memorial, marking an enormous, tragic loss for the families of a small seaside community. Congratulations to Major Merfyn Thomas and his colleagues for their work in organising the service of dedication.
Remembrance Day itself will see another remarkable commemoration. Colwyn Bay beach has been selected as the site of one of Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea installations. A 30 metre square etching of a World War I serviceman will be created on the sands during the day, to be erased by the incoming tide. Work on the figure will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Further details are available at www.pagesofthesea.org.uk .
However you plan to mark Remembrance Day, please be sure to buy your poppy and wear it with pride. In doing so, you support the magnificent work done by the Royal British Legion for our ex- servicemen and women and their families.