A COMMEMORATIVE STONE was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards in Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, to mark the 100 year anniversary of the action which resulted in Brigadier General Lewis Pugh Evans receiving the Victoria Cross, the only Ceredigion-born soldier to be awarded this prestigious medal to date.
The service began with a parade led by pipers, both members of the Black Watch Association, and standard bearers led by a standard bearer from the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment. The procession, which began at the Church Hall in Llanbadarn Fawr finished at the commemoration stone, situated next to the War Memorial at Llanbadarn Fawr.
A welcome to the ceremony was given by Armed Forces Champion for Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Paul Hinge followed by a speech on the history of the Brigadier’s life given by Christopher Evans, Brigadier Evans’ grandson, who attended with Brigadier Evans’ family.
In his speech, Christopher Evans said: “I am delighted that Ceredigion is honouring my grandfather with this commemorative stone. This will be a reminder that we and future generations will not forget the First World War, or the courage of all those who took part. My grandfather said he was a lucky man, lucky to have survived the war and lucky to be selected and recognised by the award of a Victoria Cross. However, I believe he felt there were others who went beyond the call of duty in actions that may have not been recognised. It is a pleasure to meet some of you here today who remember him.”
Brigadier Evans was born in 1881 in Abermad, educated at Eton and entered the army after training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst followed by a long and distinguished army career, spanning 40 years.
The official citation for the award of the Victoria Cross was read out by Geoffrey Newmarch, County Colonel for Lincolnshire, The Royal Anglian Regiment. The citation detailed that the Victoria Cross was awarded to Brigadier Evans for ‘most conspicuous bravery and leadership’ and that ‘his examples of cool bravery stimulated in all ranks the highest valour’. This happened on 4 October, 1917 near Zonnebeke, Belgium when he captured an enemy machine gun position single-handedly with only a revolver and despite being wounded, led his troops to a second objective, which was also taken.
A service of dedication was provided by Rev. Canon Andrew Loat and Rev. Mones Farah and an exhortation was read by Gwyn Evans, Former President of the Aberystwyth Royal British Legion and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Patrick Norrington-Davies, Chairman and President of the Aberystwyth Royal British Legion. Wreaths were laid around the commemorative stone by local dignitaries.
Pupils from Ysgol Penglais’ band provided the music before and during the ceremony, pieces played by musician Katy John and also Chic Mackie, pipe major of the Black Watch Association.
Councillor Paul Hinge, Armed Forces Champion for Ceredigion County Council said, “Brigadier Lewis Pugh Evans not only won a Victoria Cross but also was awarded 17 other medals, 2 Distinguished Service Orders and got Mentioned in Dispatches seven times, which is absolutely extraordinary and he survived to tell the tale. Brigadier Evans was a remarkable man and his history will live on in people’s memories through this wonderful commemorative stone. It’s been such a privilege to be part of this special ceremony of dedication.”
The ceremony came to a close with the congregation observing a minute’s silence followed by singing both the British and Welsh National Anthems. The congregation were invited to refreshments at the Church Hall, Llanbadarn Fawr, where they could view a display, organised by Ceredigion Museum, containing photographs and extracts illustrating Brigadier Evans’ history.
Man accused of sexually assaulting six-year-old girls
A FORMER Penparcau man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting two six year old girls.
Raymond Albert Wardall, 55, now of Blaenllynant Lodge, Queens Road, Aberystwyth, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.
Wardall denied a total of eight charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.
He will stand trial on November 27 and was granted bail until then.
Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian
NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.
The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.
High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).
NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.
24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.
NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.
Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.
“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.
“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”
Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.
Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.
Major bequests for Aber research
TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.
The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.
Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.
The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.
The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.
“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”
Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.
The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”
In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.
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