A CEREMONY has been held to commemorate the centenary of Aberystwyth’s war memorial at Castle Point.

The Royal British Legion held a service to commemorate the centenary on Thursday evening, with cadets, councillors and members of the public gather at the memorial to listen to a variety of speeches about its history and importance.

The evening ended with the unveiling of a plaque marking the centenary, and documenting the amount raised by the townspeople to commission the memorial.

Poppy wreathes were laid by the Royal British Legion and Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, with Aberystwyth Town Council laying a wreath of predominantly white flowers, to represent civilians who died in conflict, mixed in with red flowers to represent soldiers and purple to remember animals who died in conflict.

War memorial centenary
A new plaque has been revealed next to Castle Point (Cambrian News)

Aberystwyth British Legion President, Patrick Norrington-Davies, said: “In November 1918, the people of Aberystwyth were calling for a war memorial. A committee was formed, and commission was given to Mario Rutelli of Italy, who created this beautiful memorial.

“The metal work was shipped by boat from Italy. Whilst the stone came from a local quarry in Ystrad Meurig.

“The call went out for funds and the majority came from the local people of Aberystwyth, who were in a cost of living crisis that could not be imagined today. Be it a farthing, a penny, or a shilling, the money was raised - a total of around £7,000, equivalent to £330,000 in today’s money.

Wreaths laid at the war memorial, including one from the town council which is predominantly white, with a smattering of red and purple flowers to remember fallen civilians, soldiers and animals (Cambrian News)

“The monument records the names of 111 men who died as a result of action in World War , together with the names of 78 names of men and women who died in the second world war. On every Sunday nearest to 11 November, people have gathered here in their hundreds to pay their respects to service personnel, emergency service personnel, as well as civilians and animals who sacrificed their life for our freedom.”

Armed Forces champion for Ceredigion County Council, Paul Hinge, added: “Today’s been a good day, it was great to see so many people gathering around the memorial and listening to the service we wanted to conduct to make this special occasion today.

“100 years ago, the people of Aberystwyth were traumatised, they lost a lot of young men, and many came back injured - they wanted to mark the end of the war, the supposed war to end all wars by raising a war memorial to the people who had laid their lives down.

“It’s more than a fitting memorial, it’s stood here erect and proud for the last 100 years, and it’s important that we marked that occasion the way we did, through the service.”

Town Council holds its own Civic Ceremony

Aberystwyth Town Council held its own civic ceremony earlier in the day, to remember the fallen soldiers, civilians and animals, laying a wreath of predominantly white flowers, interspersed with red and purple flowers

Earlier on Thursday, members of Aberystwyth Town Council held their own civic memorial, laying a wreath of predominantly white flowers.

Aberystwyth Mayor Kerry Ferguson gave a speech at the service, she said: “The memorial is a reminder of the cost of freedom, the sea before it witnessed generations come and go but the memorial stands unwavering, a testament to the endurance of memory and the resilience of the human spirit.

“Our memorial stands for sacrifice, of the men and women, civilians and animals - many of whom hailed from Aberystwyth and left the comfort of their homes to fight for something greater.

“This memorial is a tribute to their valor and dedication.”

Aberystwyth’s Town Bard Eurig Salisbury delivered a poem in Welsh, and choirs from Aberystwyth sung a variety of songs focused on the theme of peace, as well as Welsh hymns such as Calon Lan.