The Norman church of St Marys in Kidwelly was beautifully decorated with red poppies and a tableau of a cross of poppies ahead of the Remembrance Service on Sunday (Nov 12).
Amongst the items on display was an original helmet, and a flask that had belonged to the officiating Rev’d Fr. James Flanagan’s paternal grandfather. The flask showed signs of battle with a big hole ripped in it from an explosion he was caught up in. Fr. Flanagan said that his grandfather survived, but was left with life-changing injuries.
Despite the heavy rain there was a full congregation for the service, the first Remembrance Service in Kidwelly for the new vicar. It was wonderful to see such a diverse age range of people from babes in arms to the elderly.
The mood was sombre and the church was bathed in gold light. The vicar’s sermon was compassionate and wise. He considered the many wars since the First World War right up to the current conflicts, and their differing yet equally terrible impacts on ordinary families.
The Last Post was expertly and movingly played with the acoustics of the church enhancing the skills of the lovely young trumpeter. It was a moment, which brought lumps to the throats and tears to the eyes of the congregation.
The processions were precise, dignified and impressive, and included the Royal British Legion, and members of Kidwelly Town Council, as well as Scouts and Guides.
The Mayor of Kidwelly, Cllr Carl-Peters Bond said: “Remembrance is an important opportunity for the community to come together to remember the sacrifices of those who fought for the freedoms we hold so dear. It is an honour to play a small part in Kidwelly’s remembrance services today.”
The rain had been light until reaching the memorial. That it became heavier for the vicar’s final prayers and the laying of the wreaths made it somehow more poignant and strangely once done, the rain again eased off again.
Kidwelly joined parishes around the UK in remembering the fallen. For a small town it was well represented and can justifiably be proud of the way in which they honoured past and present members of the armed forces.
Fr. Flanagan said: “I would like to thank the Mayor, councillor Carl Peters-Bond; representatives of the town council; members of local organisations and services; the Royal British Legion and of course the wonderful community of Kidwelly for supporting this important event. It is good that we can gather to remember those from our community who have served in HM armed forces and in some cases gone off to war and not returned. To stand as a town and give thanks for those who fought for our benefit and the benefit of others is an important thing to do and the efforts of past and present service personal needs to be recognised and remembered”