Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, pupils at Montgomery Primary School gathered at the town’s war memorial for their own act of Remembrance.
Each year since the construction of the memorial in 2014, the Year Six class at the school has honoured the memory of the men from the town who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
It begins when Paul Hodgson, Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Montgomery, delivers to the school a box of 34 wooden crosses and the names of the 34 servicemen named on the memorial.
The children are then tasked with undertaking research about each of the servicemen, some of whom still have relatives living in Montgomery.
Their research may involve finding out where the serviceman had lived, what he had done before enlisting, which regiment or service arm he had joined and where he had served and died.
The children then add a small message or detail to the reverse of each cross.
On Wednesday, November 8, the children met with Paul at the Garden of Remembrance to put down the crosses near the memorial.
Paul said: “I believe their small yet poignant contribution may be unique in Wales, if not the UK.
“Montgomery School has confirmed the children have really taken to the project.
“As I called out the name of each serviceman, one by one in ‘date of death order’, each child solemnly came forward with the cross they’d prepared in class, to push it into the raised bed dedicated for this purpose.
“This is as we have now done since the garden with the War Memorial was dedicated by the Bishop of St Asaph in 2014.
“Afterwards I thanked them for their participation and told them about the story of the frieze at the base of the Memorial.
“And then after they had departed, my wife and I needed to straighten some of the 34 crosses to ensure they were all firmly in place and would not be blown over, when we noticed the small messages inscribed on the backs of the crosses. There are too many to relate, but typical of the messages are the phrases, ‘Thank you for dying to give us a better life’ and ‘I will always remember you’.
“I think that if those servicemen had known that in 100 years’ time primary school children from their home town would be remembering them this way, they’d have had to swallow hard to fight back a tear or two.”
See full story in the County Times