- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson AM was in Flanders on Monday (20 October) to commemorate Welsh sacrifices in World War I.
The Mid and West Wales AM was part of a delegation from the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which organised a series of visits to mark the First World War Centenary.
Mrs Watson laid a wreath at the newly unveiled Welsh memorial, designed by Tenby artist Lee Odishow. The 8ft dragon statue in the town of Langemark, Belgium, is the first Welsh First World War memorial in the country.
She paid her respects at the grave of Welsh poet Hedd Wyn. Born Ellis Humphrey Evans in Trawsfynydd, Hedd Wyn was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele. He was posthumously awarded the bard’s chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod, known as “Eisteddfod y Gadair Dd” (“the Eisteddfod of the Black Chair”).
Joyce Watson AM said:
“It was a very moving occasion. It is a hundred years since British and Irish people stood together to fight against threatening forces on the continent of Europe. A generation of sons never came home.
“The new memorial, the imposing standing stones capped by the magnificent Draig Goch or Red Dragon, is emblematic of Wales. It is a fitting tribute to the very many Welsh soldiers who lost their lives here – I was moved to tell people from other countries that the sculptor was from my home county of Pembrokeshire.”
The British-Irish Parliamentary mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.
For more information about Joyce Watson’s work, contact her office on 02920 898972 / www.joycewatson.co.uk