MONMOUTH MP David Davies has marked the centenary of the First World War by visiting local Commonwealth war graves.
Mr Davies visited plots in Monmouth cemetery and Penallt churchyard as part of a national initiative aiming to give people a greater understanding of the scale and magnitude of the Great War and its impact on today’s society.
The initiative has been launched by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), the All-Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group and the “In From the Cold Project”, which maps over 300,000 Commonwealth war dead across the country.
The CWGC maintains 51 sites throughout Monmouthshire in memory of servicemen and women who lost their lives in the two world wars.
Mr Davies, who was joined on his visit by regional CWHC supervisor Andy Knowlson, said:
“The first grave we saw was of a 19 year-old who had served in the Royal Artillery.
“I also served in the Royal Artillery (TA) as a 19 year-old and it was a graphic reminder of how lucky my generation was to have avoided the horrors of war.
“Mr Knowlson told me the widows of those who died were able to have their ashes scattered on the graves of their fallen husbands.
“To my surprise, I heard this still happens. Many women married and were widowed at a young age in World War Two and even now some want to be reunited in death with the person who may have been their first love.”
Mr Davies has urged Monmouthshire schools and residents to visit local Commonwealth war graves to learn more about this period in history.
“The centenary of the outbreak of the Great War is not just about commemorating those people who lost their lives fighting for their country but also to educate a new generation about the events that happened 100 years ago,” he said.
“It is important we continue to remember the sacrifice of those who died, and in the wars since then.
“I am glad that, on our behalf, the CWGC honours that sacrifice through the maintenance of cemeteries, burial plots and memorials in some 153 countries around the world.”