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Welsh Guards celebrate centenary

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TO COMMEMORATE the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Welsh Guards, VIPs, veterans and serving soldiers gathered last week at the Royal Hospital Chelsea for a very special book launch.

‘Bearskins, Bayonets and Bodyarmour’ by Trevor Royle, which charts the history and achievements of the Regiment, had its official launch in the 17th Century state apartments of the Royal Hospital, 100 years to the day that the final and fifth Regiment of Foot Guards was founded.

Welsh Guards Regimental Lieutenant Colonel Major General Robert Talbot Rice said: “This is a very special day for us. On this day 100 years ago King George V signed the Royal Warrant to form the Welsh Guards. When tested the Welsh Guards from their first battle at Loos to their last tour in Helmand. The Regiment has excelled. It is of enormous pride to be following in their footsteps, although with that comes huge responsibility. We that serve now are standing on the shoulders of giants. In this special year we will be celebrating and remembering and on St David’’s Day we will look forward to more than 2,000 members of the Welsh guards, serving and retired, taking part, in this our centenary year. Trevor’s book is a cracking good read and captures perfectly the essence of our regiment – the reality, the humour, the bravery of those who have gone before us.”

Joining the Welsh Guards at the event was World War 2 Veteran and Chelsea Pensioner Cpl Cass Butler from the 2nd Battalion Welsh Guards.

Lance Sergeant Garry Clowes, 37, from Ryll, North Wales, works in the archives at the Regimental Head Quarters of the Welsh Guards. He said: “It is a great honour to be a part of this regiment. Working in the archives I am more aware than most of the rich history of the Welsh Guards and what we have achieved. We have always mafde a difference wherever we have served. We brought democracy to Afghanistan; we’ve done so much to improve the lives of others, that’s something to be really proud of.”

Lance Corporal James Pickersgill- Jones, 24, from Swansea said: “I feel so privileged to be serving in the Welsh Guards while the centenary is happening.”

As British Forces faced ever mounting pressures on the Western Front in the First World War, on the advice of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Welshman, David Lloyd George, The Welsh Guards were brought into existence on February 26 1915, in order to include Wales in the national component of the Foot Guards, which already included England, Scotland and Ireland.

Many of those first Welsh Guardsman who formed the Regiment were Welshmen who had transferred from The Grenadier Guards, and were eager to represent their nation at home and abroad. The Welsh Guards of the 21st century is still a Regiment with proud national links and 90% of its personnel are Welsh.

Since their founding the Welsh Guards have fought in some of the most challenging conflicts of the modern age. From the First and Second World Wars to Egypt, Palestine, Aden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan they have served with distinction, their guardsmen awarded numerous honours including 2 VCs.

As part of the celebrations for the Welsh Guards Centenary, Wellington Barracks in London, the home of the Foot Guards, was flood lit in Welsh Guards Colours every night until March 2. The Welsh Guards celebrated their annual St David’s Day Parade in Cardiff this year. Every officer and soldier was presented with a leek. The unit formed the Guard of Honour for the Mexican State Visit on March 3, and will receive new Colours from Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle in April, which they will troop at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards in June.

One way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards is the spacing of buttons on the tunic. The Welsh Guards have buttons arranged in groups of five, wear the symbol of the Welsh leek on their buttons and capbadge, and their bearskin has a plume coloured to resemble the sulphurous vegetable.

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Laugharne Luxury Lodge plan hits pothole

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THE OWNERS of a luxury lodge development in Laugharne face potential enforcement action from Carmarthenshire County Council. The company is alleged to have built a substantial roadway across fields near the development without planning permission.
Milkwood Spa, due to launch this autumn, is located on a site with a chequered planning history. It is located in a prominent position overlooking Carmarthen Bay and the village of Laugharne.
The current developers, UK Luxury Lodges, acquired the site from its previous owners after their attempts to get development going on the site stalled.
UK Luxury Lodges says the development will be the first resort of its kind in the region; welcoming guests after an investment upwards of £30 million.
Laugharne and nearby Pendine are popular tourist destinations, but with a track record of insecure, poorly paid employment. Speaking to us earlier this year Sharon Hurley, a director of the company behind the project, told us that she hoped the lodge and spa development would help create up to 110 new jobs in the area.
Past developments and proposals for developments have run into problems concerning their environmental impact and their effect on the local landscape.
A previous owner obstructed and extinguished a public footpath. The footpath was not relocated. No enforcement action took place over its loss.
Concerns also exist about the disturbance to a nearby scheduled monument and the area around the lodges and spa. Ironically for a project using the ‘Milkwood’ brand, developers have received local criticism for removing a significant number of mature trees to facilitate the development and damaging the landscape which is one of the locality’s chief selling points.
Issues of traffic, local parking solutions, heavy plant using residential roads, and blocked footpaths also exercise some residents.
Before we published our original article in August, we carried out an extensive search of the site’s planning history.
The County Council’s planning portal recorded no objections to the location’s development either when initial outline planning was granted for developing the location by its previous owner, or when it was acquired by the current owners in 2013 when reserved matters were dealt with under application number W/30157.
Concerning the wider conservation questions, one letter, about the linked application number W/33378, is blank on the Planning Portal.
We are assured, however, objections were raised.
A conservation area application had been submitted and approved and that the statutory consultees Cadw, Dyfed Archaeological Trust raised no objections to the development in so far as it affected the scheduled monument on the site.
When we questioned Ms Hurley about those prior concerns about development, she told us: “Creating a property that honours and celebrates the existing natural environment is so important to me and the team is working closely with local planning authorities to ensure the conservation of the surrounding historic environment.”
However, earlier this week, The Herald received a series of photos which show a permanent roadway being dug out across green fields. Machinery still being used on the works is plainly visible in some of the photos, as is the extent of the hardcore base and gravel laid over the top in some sections.
No planning permission exists for such development. Whether Carmarthenshire County Council, Cadw or the Dyfed Archaeological Trust would have been quite so supportive had they been aware of plans to dig a roadway across a green-field site in a prominent and sensitive landscape is open to question.
We asked Carmarthenshire County Council to comment on the roadway’s construction.
Head of Planning Llinos Quelch said: “We have been alerted to potentially unauthorised works on this site and we are dealing with it as an enforcement matter. Investigations will continue and appropriate action taken.”

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Zoe Evans, Llanelli painter and decorator, is British Apprentice of the Year

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Zoe Evans, a 21 year old painter and decorator from Llanelli, has been named the GB Apprentice of the Year and Welsh Apprentice of the Year at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
Apprenticeship Awards.


The CITB Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of apprentices and employers across the UK for their commitment and dedication to construction.


The winners were presented with their awards at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster and property entrepreneur, Sarah Beeny. The ceremony took place at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London (7 November).


Zoe completed a level 2 apprenticeship in painting and decorating, to go onto achieve her Advanced level 3. With her artistic flair, Zoe enjoys the creative aspects of her trade and plans to take a career route in interior design. Zoe’s amazing commitment to being the best she can, has attributed to her becoming an ambassador for women in construction and being the face of the posters across her college, Coleg Sir Gar.


Zoe said: “I’ve loved every single part of my apprentice journey, from the classroom learning to the practical application and the more creative aspects of the job. I want to thank my mentor, Ken MacKay and my employer Ian Williams Ltd. It’s a really good feeling to know that I’ve been
recognised in this way. I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone willing to work hard, have goals and go full out to achieve them.”

Jon Davies, CITB Apprenticeship Officer, said: “When Zoe started her apprenticeship we saw her potential so we fast tracked her from level 1 to level 2. It was important for me to make sure she had the right support to reach the heights she is capable of, and she is doing just that. Zoe makes work a brighter place for everyone around her. Her positive attitude and ability makes her a perfect ambassador for women in construction, and I am really pleased this has been recognised with her award.”

Kevin Mcloughlin, CITB board member and founder and Managing Director of Mcloughlin Decorating, said: “Congratulations to Zoe, a clearly dedicated apprentice – it’s great to recognise her hard work. Apprenticeships provide a fast track route into the construction industry. With so many rewarding careers opportunities in construction there is something out there for everyone. I wish Zoe all the best in her career in construction.”

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Police difuse hostage situation in Cae Glas

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AT APPROXIMATELY 10.10pm on Wednesday (Nov 6) police were requested to attend at a property in Cae Glas, Felinfoel, in respect of threats being made by a man within the property to harm himself and a woman inside with a knife.

Officers were deployed immediately, and to ensure the safety of everyone at the scene firearms officers were also deployed.

Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said: “A specialist negotiator worked with the man for a number of hours, bringing the incident to a close at about 1.45am this morning, when the man surrendered himself and was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

“A woman at the scene was also arrested for obstructing police officers. No injuries have been reported.

“There is no threat or danger to anyone outside of the property in the area, and we can reassure residents that there is no need to be concerned as this was an isolated incident.”

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