Pte. Penry Morgan
In November 2003, I
had a letter published in the South Wales Argus that was entitled 'Forgotten
soldier never had a poppy'
This letter described
how civic dignitaries, military ex-servicemen's association's paraded each year
to St. Michael's church at Llantarnam, Gwent to honour John William's VC who is
also buried in the graveyard on the anniversary of the battle at Rorkes
Drift, to hold a service and lay wreaths and also on Armistice Day to lay
But, just a few
yards away lie's Pte. Penry Morgan, the first soldier from Cwmbran to give his life in
World War one. During the years that visitors have been attending John
William's grave, not one of them has bothered to to go to Penry's grave and
place a poppy. Penry lies in the only Commonwealth War Grave in this cemetery
just a few yards from John Williams.
of this letter I then received a letter from Cpt. Freeman (retd) of the John
Williams (Fielding) Memorial Trust who told me that he had visited Penry's grave
occasionally, but had never left a poppy but in the future would do so.
On Tuesday January
20, 2004, Doreen, daughter of Penry was contacted by a cousin to say that on the
following Saturday, the 125th anniversary of the battle at Rorkes Drift. CADESA (Cwmbran and
District Ex-servicemen's Association) would be attending Penry's grave. After
making some enquires, I was contacted by the chairman of CADESA who told me that
after the main ceremony at John Williams grave they would parade to Penry's
grave and hold a short service there, lay a wreath and lower their Standard in
honour of Penry.
On Saturday, January
24, 2004, Doreen, wearing proudly her father's medal's and accompanied by many
relative's (Morgan descendant's) stood at her father's graveside. On completion
of the main ceremony at John William's grave, the ex-servicemen of CADESA and
other ex-servicemen association's along with the Reverend Gareth Evans, paraded
to Penry's grave. There was a short ceremony performed by both the Rev.
Gareth Evans and Ray Wakeham chairman of CADESA, followed by the laying of a wreath by
CADESA, family flowers and the lowering of the Standard.
with the tribute that was now being paid to her father after so many years of
him being forgotten.
On behalf of Doreen
and all member's of the Morgan family I sincerely thank the Cwmbran and District
Ex-servicemen's Association for the tribute they bestowed on Penry. Doreen's
grand-daughter has told me that Doreen said 'it was better than winning the
lottery' The morning, certainly far exceeded what I ever expected
when I first penned the letter.