Lafarge Aberthaw rededicates war memorials, UK

Lafarge Aberthaw rededicates war memorials, UK
Published: 23 November 2009

Lafarge Cement is to rededicate war memorial plaques discovered on the site almost two years ago.

The company will stage the event on Wednesday (November 25), when the pair of plaques will be rededicated in a service attended by relatives of the former cement workers named on the roll of honour.

Staff member Rolly Hughes discovered the memorials in an old disused building in 2007, and persuaded plant bosses to restore the plaques to their former glory and piece together the history of the six men named on them.

Rolly and HR officer Ruth Tofton successfully uncovered the stories behind the names.

"It’s been a long but fascinating journey," said Ruth.

"We gleaned information from lots of sources, including museum archives and the Records Office - but the personal details came from the accounts of friends and relatives who came forward after we appealed for help through the local media."

She added: "One of the lovely things about this service is that we will be bringing together people who were closely linked, some even living next door to each other, but who have lost contact over the years and haven’t seen each other for over half a century."

Barry war historian Dr Jonathan Hicks helped trace the relatives of all but one of the men – and families will travel from all over the UK to attend the service.

An information board will stand beside the refurbished memorials in the company’s meeting rooms at the Aberthaw plant.

Photographs, details of the men’s services roles and accounts of their war exploits are provided, along with details of the roles in which they were employed in the cement making industry.

Works manager James Kirkpatrick added: "This is a real piece of local history and has inspired everyone at the plant.

"It seems the memorials were simply forgotten about over the years, so it’s been our chance to ensure we pay a fitting tribute to these young cement workers.

Representatives from the Royal Welsh Regiment will attend the service at which members of the RAF St Athan Voluntary Band will perform The Last Post.

James added: "We’re expecting this to be a very memorable event."