|Royal Commission’s staff wish everyone taking part a safe journey.|
It all began with a conversation about a year ago about the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1. The conversation was between Medwyn Parry from Reader Services and myself, Deanna Groom, Maritime Officer.
‘Now Medwyn, what are the really iconic World War I sites in Wales that we should start thinking about doing more survey work on or researching?’, I said.
‘Well, there are sites such as the practice trenches at Bodelwyddan and Penally. Toby Driver has taken some wonderful aerial photographs of those recently’, Medwyn replied.
‘We should do something about the shipping losses around the coast from submarine attacks… but are there any other really great stories yet to be told?’, I said
‘Well, there are the Thankful Villages…’, Medwyn said.
And so Medwyn told me the story of the 51 villages where every soldier who went to war, fought through the real horrors of trench warfare, actually came home safely.
Now Medwyn Parry with fellow motorbike enthusiast, Dougie Bancroft, are about to set off on a 9 day, 2500 miles journey, to visit to each of those villages and deliver a special commemorative plaque. Many of the villages have parties planned to welcome them to celebrate their village’s unique status and the reasons they have to be thankful within their communities today.
The charities benefiting from the fundraising include The Royal British Legion, who support former and serving military personnel, their families and dependants.
The Royal Commission’s staff would like to wish everyone taking part a safe journey and every success.
The event begins on Saturday 27 July at Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Ceredigion, at 8am, and passes through Herbranston, Pembrokeshire, and Colwinston, Glamorgan, on the same day. The ride is due to finish back at Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn, Ceredigion, at around 19.30pm on Sunday 4 August.
Search online for Thankful Villages 2013 news feeds and for more information on the schedule.
To learn more about these practice trench complexes and to see some of Toby’s images, follow these Coflein links:
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