Hundreds of people lined the streets of Mountain Ash this weekend to mark the re-dedication of the town’s war memorial.
Residents of all ages stood shoulder-to-shoulder with dignitaries from across the region to enjoy a parade and service that culminated with the unveiling of the restored war memorial.
Significant work has gone into restoring the war memorial to its former glory after it was cruelly vandalised two years ago.
As well as working to restore the memorial itself, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has also invested to improve the area surrounding the important area, including the footways and street lighting around it.
The sun shone down on Mountain Ash on Sunday as residents with flags lined the street for a parade from the memorial gardens in the town to the war memorial.
It was led by the Regimental Band of the Royal Band of the Royal Welsh and also included dignitaries from neighbouring authorities, standard-bearers from the Royal British Legion and members of local cadet corps.
As the crowds cheered the parade past, it went on to Cynon Valley Bowls Club to collect more members, before moving on to the war memorial itself.
Here, a re-dedication ceremony was led by the Reverend Michael Jones, vicar of Mountain Ash and Miskin, with prayers and hymns.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Queen, the Mayor and the Royal British Legion before the memorial was unveiled.
The Mayor, Cllr Simon Lloyd, who is also Ward Member for Mountain Ash West, said: “This was such a proud, moving day for me, and one of my first official engagements as new Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“The town of Mountain Ash was devastated when vandals destroyed the war memorial and the Council has worked to restore it to its former glory.
“Today’s event is about the future of the town and ensuring we have an appropriate, fitting memorial to the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in conflict across the world.
“It was also a day for us to remember those who continue to serve on our behalf and for us to show our support of them and pride in them.”
Fellow Member for Mountain Ash West and Cabinet Member for Transport, Customer Care and Emergency Planning, Cllr Andrew Morgan, said:
“Like residents of Mountain Ash, I was disgusted with the vandalism of the war memorial and theft of the Bronze plaques.
“I am very pleased with all the work the Council’s Streetcare Team have carried out, including new footways, lighting and the actual cleaning of the memorial.
“We have worked closely with the Armistice Committee and the Royal British Legion to achieve this and make the appropriate improvements and I would like to thank them for what has been a team effort.