AN EXHIBITION showing the devastating effects the First World War had on Fishguard and its surrounding areas has opened in the Town Hall.

The collection has been brought together by the Fishguard and District History Group along with members of the history section of Preseli U3A, with contributions from year 12 students of Ysgol Bro Gwaun.

It includes a roll of honour, showing the pictures and names of all the men of north Pembrokeshire who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918. Remarkably the picture was fished out from a skip and restored by the town council.

Another item of interest is an artillery shell which was manufactured by a local woman who worked at a tinworks in Llanelli.

Her husband was fighting on the frontline in France when a shell landed in his position. After he defused it, he undid the cap to find it was made in his wife’s factory. This led to a long-running joke between couple.

The collection also includes researched storyboards and photographs of local servicemen, copies of recruitment posters, artefacts, a range of service medals, plus the chance to listen to oral histories of former soldiers recalling their experiences of war.

On Thursday, August 14 at 7pm, Martin Roberts of Croesgoch will be giving a free talk on the seafaring life of local man, Captain Stephen Gronow. It will cover the captain’s early days at sea and his experiences of the First World War.

County Councillor Gwilym Price, chairman of the local branch of the British Legion, said: “Young boys went off to war because there was no work. It was either go into the army or starve. They got 12 and six for being in the army and three meals a day. It was also a great adventure.

“They left to waving banners, but when they came home they were forgotten. This is why the British Legion came about. Pals started giving pennies to their mates and their widows because they became very close during the war.”

The Mayor of Fishguard and Goodwick, Councillor Mike Lloyd said: “I think it’s a fantastic exhibition and people in the background have worked very hard to make sure it is well presented.”

The exhibition runs until August 30.