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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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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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