The weekend of May 9 -11th is a weekend of Remembrance for us.
At 3pm on Friday we will gather at the War Memorial as we remember the First World War Battle of Mons a century ago when many men from Abergavenny fighting with the 3rd Monmouthshire regiment died.
VE Day will b remembered on Saturday with a peal of Bells at 11am and a Concert by Abergavenny Borough Band and Pupils of Our Lady & St Michael RC School in the Priory Church at 7pm.
There will also be opportunities to remember in the services on Sunday at 8am, 9.30am, 11am & 6pm.
The Weekend of Remembrance started on Thursday with the Funeral of 101 year old Albert Davies a sailor who fought in the Second World War.
Speaking at his Funeral, the Vicar, Canon Mark Soady said:
” On Sunday as we mark the 70 Anniversary of VE Day and remember the contribution of all who fought, the appointed Gospel for Sunday reminds us that ‘ Greater love hath no man than this than to lay down his life for his friend’. ‘Lay down his life’ not ‘give it’, not ‘loose it’, but ‘ lay it down’; ‘offer it’. Albert and all who fought in World War II did just that. They went to war not knowing if they would come back alive, that was the sacrifice they made for us to have peace.While not being called to ‘give up their life’ they did ‘lay it down (for us) their friend’.
Albert often asked me, as have others in his situation, why was I saved. Why though ” I layed down my life’ was it not taken. That questioning was with them from 1945 to the day they die… that guilt in some cases that they survived while their comrades died. That was the price they paid, that was the sacrifice they made. So it is right that we honour Albert and the others who went to War and survived”.
Fr Mark served in the Royal Army Chaplains Department from 1998- 2013