As it does every year, the Armed Forces community came together last weekend to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
There was a particular poignancy to 2018 as it marked the centenary of the end of the First World War – a conflict that impacted several aspects of our daily lives.
Reserves and cadets from across the country took part in hundreds of parades, services and ceremonies at local, regional and national levels in the build up to and on Armistice Day 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Manny Manfred, a member of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales, compered an event at Cardigan Castle on 3 November. It was attended by more than 200 people, including senior civic dignitaries and members of the general public.
The event was organised by Lieutenant Alun Richards from Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force (ACF). Teenage members of the ACF gave presentations alongside Mid & West Wales Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) and No 3 Welsh Wing Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC).
They read letters to and from the Western Front, Rudyard Kipling and Hedd Wyn’s poems and told the stories of local war heroes. Like all cadet units in Wales, the event supported the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and focused on an education theme.
Activities like this are typical of the cadet community in Wales. Many other cadet units assisted the Royal British Legion in the weeks leading up to Armistice Day by volunteering with veterans to sell poppies at local supermarkets and shopping centres. Members of Barry Detachment ACF [pictured right] helped at their local Tesco store on 31 October.
Throughout October, Welsh ACF and Combined Cadet Force (CCF) cadets were amongst 4,000 others from across the United Kingdom who travelled to France to visit the sites where the Battle of the Somme took place.
They were accompanied by Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and given the opportunity to grow through an important, life changing experience. Army Cadet Armistice visits helped young people learn about the conditions of the conflict and impact it had on local communities at home and abroad.
The Wales Festival of Remembrance, run by the RBL, was supported by reserve and cadet units, including the Universities of Wales Air Squadron, on 4 November. For the first time, members of the 68-strong squadron, which teaches skills to students to enhance their future employability, carried standards at the event alongside veterans from all three services.
On Armistice Day itself, reserves and cadets were also involved in hundreds of remembrance services held across the length and breadth of the country. They play an important part in the community and often provide the only uniformed presence at local events.
RFCA for Wales attended the National Service in Cardiff. Click on the video below and share it using the #RFCARemembers hashtag.