Following a parade by Veterans from the old Drill Hall in Baker Street passed the Mons War Memorial a service of Commemoration for the start of hostilities 100 years ago was held in St Mary’s Priory Church.
To signify the words of the then Foreign Secretary that the ‘lights were gong out all over Europe’ candles were blown out after the reading of portions of scripture.
In his address the Vicar Fr Mark Soady said : “One Hundred years ago most of the men of Abergavenny gathered outside this Priory Church, as we are today, but gathered to march off to war – the war that was to end all wars. They were an amazingly patriotic generation an example to us in their self-sacrifice.
One often hears of the Generals described as ‘Lions led by donkeys’ yet 78 British and Dominion Generals died, including Brigadier-General Baker from our Community. A further1 46 were wounded and two got the VC, so I think history may have done them a disservice – and what better a time to review the history than NOW.
Yes it was not to be the war to end all wars, but still their sacrifice would have been in vain unless we are prepared to offer our lives in the service of our fellow human beings. We need to bring those virtues in to our daily lives. For it is undoubtedly true that for to many people in our day ‘the lights have gone out’. There are in our country today people being held as slaves. There are young people being forced in to arranged marriages. There are too many people feeling trapped. So as we remember those who fought to give us the freedoms we enjoy let us commit ourselves anew to fight for that freedom for all.