Wales' only Military Cemetery re-opens

1:28pm Monday 24th February 2014

WALES’ only Military Cemetery in Pembroke Dock has re-opened – a year after it was closed.

The Llanion cemetery contains the war graves of 40 Commonwealth service personnel of the First World War and 33 of the Second World War.

It was closed to the public at the beginning of last year after a 1915 war grave belonging to a Private Ryan completely caved in, leaving a hole of around six foot in diameter and 20 foot deep.

A Ministry of Defence (MOD) spokesman confirmed the cemetery reopened at the end of January. “Remedial work to fill in the sink hole” was due to begin this week and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

In January, the Western Telegraph, reported a “notice of intention” to exhume six graves - those of J O’Brien, Private J McGuiness, Gunner William Henry Hurley, Private F Ryan, Private Charles Joseph Duffy and Private E Sullivan - was hanging on the cemetery gates.

The MOD spokesman said no plans were currently in place to exhume any graves. She said: “The chosen remedial option does not involve any exhumation and the MOD is confident that work will be effective.

“However in the extremely unlikely event that the option chosen is not effective the MOD will have to consider other options some of which may involve exhumation.”

Welcoming the re-opening Pembroke and Pembroke Dock district parade marshal David Boswell said: “It’s great news. This is the only real Military Cemetery in Wales, so it’s nice to have it re-opened ready for the big parades of 2014 – both Pembroke Dock’s bicentenary celebrations and the centenary of the First World War.”

Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust project manager John Evans said: “All interested in the fascinating story of this military town will be so pleased the Cemetery is open again, particularly important in this, the 100th Anniversary year of the start of World War I and the bicentennial year of a community which for more than 150 years was a garrison town, home to famous units in the British Army.

“This is Wales’ only military cemetery – a proud claim for this town.”

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