HUNDREDS of people attended the Commemorative Service at Dafen Church today, Sunday, (Nov 4) to remember the men from Dafen who fell in The Great War.
It was a very emotional tribute with members of the armed forces and emergency services joining the congregation of local people and visiting dignitaries including the Vice Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council Kevin Madge and Executive Board Member David Jenkins.
Almost a year in the making and preparations for a garden containing two memorial benches, a large rock with a dedication to those who fought and died for their country and an interpretive board containing details of the Dafen men who served and died in the Great War from 1914 to 1918 were all officially opened.
There was also an accompanying book, which contained detailed information and photographs of the men, which had been made by staff at Parker Plant Hire.
The service began with a lone piper playing as the standard bearers entered the church, which was packed to capacity.
Following prayers and hymns the Prince Phillip ‘Hospital Notes’ Choir gave a very emotional rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and ‘The Rose’ made famous by Bette Midler. The readings were given by Sam Smith of Parker Plant Hire and Adam Lloyd a young man chosen from the church.
Two buglers sounded the last post and the congregation joined in singing the Welsh National Anthem and the British National Anthem.
The standard bearers gathered again to lead the parade to the Memorial garden where a crowd of people had gathered to pay their respects.
As the Royal British Legion Band Llanelli played, George Parker read out the names of all of the men, their regiments and where they were killed. Readings and prayers were given by the Reverend Eldon Phillips and the Vicar of Dafen Church Rev Sulin Milne.
The band played once more a members of the armed forces, the emergency services and civic dignitaries placed wreaths at the large stone containing a dedication. Cllr Rob Evans then proceeded to read out the poem ‘In Flanders Field’.
Following the opening of the garden an open invitation was offered to all present to attend Dafen Hall for refreshments.
Speaking about the success of the event Cllr Rob Evans said: “It has been hard work but nothing compared to what those men had to endure during the war. I would like to thank so many people who made this event possible. I think that we will see more gardens like this springing up across Wales. We owe it to those who fought for us to remember them and this garden will certainly do that. It is a place for people to come and sit and reflect on not just the Great War, but all of the wars where our young men and women have fought and died.”
George Parker said that it had been a wonderful event and he praised the work of the organisers and the church in enabling the service to take place.
Llanelli Online were invited as the official photographers and film makers for the event We will be producing a film documenting the day, which will be available to view on our website soon.
Photos Courtesy of Byron Williams and Iwan Lewis