The Armed Forces Day event in Rhondda Cynon Taf was a great success, with hundreds of people joining in the commemorations and celebrations.
Held on Saturday (July 7) at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, the day began at noon with a Military Parade around the Park, led by Parade Marshal Kelvin Mulligan.
Armed Forces Day: Image Gallery
Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “Our Armed Forces Day event, which we hold at various locations across our County Borough every year, gives the Council and its communities the opportunity to unite to commemorate and celebrate our Armed Forces and the wider Armed Forces community, and the huge sacrifices they make to keep us safe every day.
“It was only a matter of weeks ago that we gathered at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park to grant the Freedom of our County Borough to MOD St Athan, and all Local Service Personnel of the Royal Air Force, Past and Present.
“The Council also placed on record its ‘Respect and Admiration’ of the courage, devotion to duty and achievements of the Royal Air Force, during its centenary year.
“It truly was a wonderful occasion, and one which will be remembered for a very long time.
“This Local Authority has a long association with the Armed Forces and is proud to have been one of the first Local Authorities in Wales to establish an Armed Forces Covenant back in 2012.
“This was also re-affirmed by the Council on June 2, when we cemented our objectives to continue to support our Armed Forces Community, in the presence of Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Dai Williams.
“Our Armed Forces Day event this year is even more poignant as we commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War as well as giving thanks to those, Past and Present, at home and overseas, who continue to keep us safe on a daily basis.”
Readings were carried out by Royal British Legion Wales area manager, Antony Metcalfe, and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Morgan.
The public joined the distinguished guests in the singing of the hymns O Valiant Hearts, Cwm Rhondda and Our God, Our Help In Ages Past. This was followed by The Last Post, Two Minutes Silence and The Ode, presented by Ken Terry, of the Royal British Legion.
Following a Reading by Pontypridd Air Cadets, the Armed Forces Day address was given by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Gareth Pennell.
The Kohima Epitaph was given by Ken Terry before the singing of the National Anthem and the Welsh National Anthem.
The Armed Forces Day Service and Raising of the Flag was followed by the Armed Forces Family Fun Day event. Attractions included fun inflatables, achildren’s’ funfair, an authentic Tank, Segways, Total Wipeout, Rodeo Sheep, and a live music stage which featured The Big Band.
Refreshments were also on sale and there was also a range of stalls at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park providing advice and guidance on the support available for current and former Armed Forces personnel.
Armed Forces Day, supported by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, is marked every year in order to raise awareness of, and to celebrate the contribution, made by those who serve and have served in the Armed Forces.
In recent years, as part of the Council’s First World War Centenary commemorations, the Armed Forces Day event has been taken around the County Borough in recognition of the links different communities had with the First World War.
Previously, events have been held in Tonyrefail, Ferndale, Aberdare, and this year at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd.
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Posted on Tuesday 10th July 2018