VILLAGERS in north Pembrokeshire have paid a unique tribute to 91 local men who lost their lives in the First World War.
To mark 100 years since the start of the war, 91 apple trees were planted on land at Clynfyw Care Farm in Boncath – each one representing a serviceman listed on the parish role of honour memorial plaque.
More than 100 people attended the event on Friday, March 14, including local schoolchildren and the surviving relatives of some of the soldiers.
Dorothy Reeves, 85, from Cardigan, and her husband Donald helped plant a tree in memory of Mrs Reeves’ uncle, Vincent Edwards.
“I didn’t know much about my uncle but his name appears on the role of honour in the parish and I wanted to come along today to pay my respects to him,” said Mrs Reeves.
“I think planting apple trees is a marvellous idea. The trees will grow stronger year on year and the memory of those men who lost their lives will live on.”
Jim Bowen, manager of Clynfyw Farm, came up with the idea of planting the trees after visiting the local village hall and seeing the names of local men who had died.
“These people were not just names, they were real people who probably either worked at Clynfyw Farm or lived in the village,” he said.
“We had some space in our orchard and so we thought we would use that to build a natural memorial.”
The event was also raising money for the British Red Cross. In total, £320 was raised from the sale of raffle tickets, cake and coffee, along with generous donations to the charity.
The money will be used to host an interactive exhibition of the charity’s work in Wales since the outbreak of the war to present day, which will be on show at Pembrokeshire County Show in August.
Denise John, regional manager at the Red Cross, said: “We are very grateful to Jim and the team at Clynfyw Care Farm for supporting us and for marking the centenary of World War One in this unique and special way.
“Red Cross volunteers in Pembrokeshire and across Wales played an integral role in supporting people at home during the First World War by working in auxiliary hospitals, driving ambulances and raising funds to care for the sick and wounded. Our exhibition is a way to pay homage to those volunteers and the thousands that have followed in their footsteps over the decades.”