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Tribute to 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 poppies.

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.

Following publication 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.

Doreen was overwhelmed 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.


Click HERE to read the Letter's

Click HERE to view the photo's

Click HERE to view more photo's by Bryan McDowell and Mrs Teri Lewis