The War Memorial

The War Memorial

Talgarth’s Original War Memorial, commemorating men who died in the First World War, was a brass plaque placed on panelling above the fireplace inside the Town Hall.

On the 15 April 1919 at a meeting of Talgarth Parish Council it was agreed  ‘That the council at its next meeting consider the question of a permanent memorial to the noble men from the Parish who made the supreme sacrifice and those who have answered the country’s call in the great war just ended.’

Immediately after the First World War there was much discussion in Talgarth about the Memorial and at a meeting in June 1919 the Chairman invited suggestions and none forthcoming made known the opinion of the Parish Council.  Before the War an extension of the Town Hall had been planned but owing to the War this had been held up.  The cost in 1919 would be at least double the estimated cost at beginning of 1914 and a supplementary loan in addition to the original £800 would be necessary to enable them to proceed with the work.  Money was short and it was suggested that this building be called a Memorial Hall and that inside a tablet be fixed with all names inscribed of those who had made the supreme sacrifice and further that a Roll of Honour containing all the names of those from the parish who had enlisted and taken part in the Great War.  The meeting generally agreed and directed the Parish Council to proceed with the necessary preliminaries so that this proposed Memorial Hall may become an accomplished fact.

Unfortunately this proved to be impossible because of the cost and in September 1923 a Parish Meeting was held to consider the question of the provision of a War Memorial for the parish of Talgarth.  There is no report of this meeting but on the 18th  August 1924 renovation of the Town Hall was discussed at the Parish Council meeting and  a sub-committee was appointed to view and draw up specifications of work required to be done, invite tenders and submit at next meeting.  At that meeting on the 19th September 1924 the Renovation of Town Hall Sub-committee, Messrs W.T. Davies, W.J. Ricketts, Thos Davies and Clerk decided to view and draw up specifications of work to be done and to invite tenders for same which should be submitted to the next meeting.  This was done and Mr Havard’s tender for £53. 17s. 6d accepted.  There is no description of the work.  On 31 January 1925 the Sub-committee gave a satisfactory report on work done by Mr Havard.  The placing of the brass plaque recording the names of the fallen on the panelling above the fireplace was probably part of this.

In 1957 when a new Memorial was constructed on the bank of the River Ennig, to include names of men who gave their lives in the Second World War, the plaque was buried in the new structure.  This was eroded by the river and when the existing Memorial was constructed by voluntary effort in 1989 the plaque was disinterred and placed in Mr John Gwynne’s store.  It was later moved to his son’s garage and more recently to Mr Gwynne’s garage.  It is thanks to the Gwynne family that it survives.

Talgarth Walkers are Welcome group decided to have a walk at the 2014 Talgarth Walking Festival to commemorate the men named on the War Memorial who died in the First World War.  During research for this walk the brass plaque was discovered and inevitably after being buried and enduring the passage of time it was in need of restoration.  Talgarth Historical Society made a successful application to the  Heritage Lottery Fund to reunite the plaque with the panelling and to restore it to the Town Hall.  The panelling was miraculously still in existence having been made redundant when the fireplace was removed.