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Memorial Service, St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

"I have recently attended a Church Service to commemorate the Battle of the Somme and Jutland at St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye. 

The Lord Lieutenant of Powys, Lady Legge-Bourke, was unable to attend and therefore permission was given for me as a Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire to represent her at the Memorial Service. 

It is particularly special to me because it related to my Uncle, Henry Norman Grant, who died at the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel. Within a few weeks of his leaving Sandhurst and coming out as a Second Lieutenant he joined the First Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. He died a few weeks later. 

The Service was carried out by Fr Richard Williams with Lt Col Gareth Pugh giving a talk on the Battle of the Somme about the 60 odd thousand people who died on that day. Mr James Gibson-Watt read out the names of the fallen at the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916. 

The arrangements were made by the Royal British Legion of Hay-on-Wye by Kelvyn Jenkins and his Partner. There was a representative from a serving Naval Officer who retired as Admiral for the Navy namely Chris Parry to commemorate the fallen at the Battle of Jutland. Also in attendance was The Rt Hon Chris Davies on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, Kirsty Williams AM on behalf of the Welsh Assembly, The Mayor of Hay-on-Wye Mrs Fiona Howard, The President of Hay and District Royal British Legion Mr Mervyn Bufton who also represented the Royal British Legion nationally and Chairman of the Royal British Legion in the Hay and District Branch Mr John Gwilliam. 

The hymns included the Supreme Sacrifice and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. The bugler sounded the last post with the Royal British Legion dipping Standards followed by a one minute silence and then the piper playing the lament. Wreaths were then laid starting with myself as Deputy Lieutenant. The Service concluded with the Kohima epitaph which is

When you go home, 
Tell them of us
And say
For your tomorrow, we gave our today."

Andrew Grant FRICS DL


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