THE CITIZENS of Pembrokeshire pride themselves on the bravery of the soldiers from this county, and emotionally honour these fallen war heroes every year.
However, this year the remembrance services in Pembrokeshire will be unlike any other, because this year marks one hundred years since World War One began. From the brave gunners to the chivalrous fighter pilots, Pembrokeshire will remember them all. This year marks 100 years since The Great War began, a war that claimed 1,300 Pembrokeshire lives. But World War One didn’t only take the lives of many Pembrokeshire citizens – it also affected the political, technological, and cultural aspects of life in the county. All across the county, citizens and organisations are hosting events to commemorate those taken from us in World War One. In St Davids, there was a production called ‘Oh What A Lovely War’. This unique play was performed in the open air in the ruins of St David Bishop’s Place. Told by a lively Pierrot group with their theatre band, the play presented the story of the First World War in all its heartbreak and bravery, through drama, dance, comedy and music. Ceredigion hosted an exhibition, commemorating those from Aberaeron and the surrounding area who served in World War One. This exhibition also looked at life in Aberaeron during the war. On August 4, citizens of Pembrokeshire participated in a UK-wide initiative, named ‘Lights Out’, in which participants turned off all of their lights and left a single candle aflame in a symbolic act of reflection. Welsh Government buildings, the Senedd and Cadw sites at Caernarfon Castle and Castell Coch also participated. The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has spoken of the importance in pausing to remember a defining moment in history, as Wales prepares to mark the centenary of the First World War. The First Minister said: “The events that took place following August 4, 1914 had monumental consequences that rippled throughout our history.” “Commemorative events are happening across Wales this week, and they serve to ensure we never forget a moment that would have affected the lives of every person living in Wales.” “These events are about taking a moment to remember the sacrifices of ordinary men and women from communities across Wales and to remember the cost of a terrible war and the impact that has reverberated through our nation and shaped the Wales we know today.” Throughout 2014, we will commemorate the centenary of World War One, which claimed many lives, but also brought change and improvement to Pembrokeshire life. One hundred years on, Pembrokeshire will honour and remember them.