THE HEART-BREAKING story of a Pembrokeshire ‘Tommy,’ who was saved the firing squad, only to be killed on the last day of the First World War, is being broadcast on Remembrance Day.

The story of Thomas Evan Roach, of Llangwm, who served in the South Wales Borderers, will be performed as a play on Pure West Radio at 4pm, 100 years to the day of his death.

The play has been written by former Hook school teacher John Roach, charting the life, and death, of his grandmother’s cousin.

John said: “I remember my grandmother relating a story when I was a boy, about her cousin who was killed on the last morning of the First World War.

“Much later, when emptying my late mother's house, I came across a photograph of the soldier Thomas Evan Roach 1898-1918.

“Having researched the internet, and the 1901 and 1911 censuses, I discovered details regarding his family members. I originally wrote the play as a short story, but decided it could be performed as a radio play. I placed a request on Facebook for friends to help with this and was overwhelmed with the response.

“I approached Stephanie-Jayne Hills, who presents a programme on Pure West Radio and she was keen to broadcast it in November.

“We set about preparing for the recording, and, after two rehearsals, we were ready to begin recording on the computer in one of the rooms of our house. To set the scene I've used some of the historical facts leading up to the beginning of the war.

“Thomas, or Tommy Evans as I've called him in the play, was called up just after his 18th birthday in 1916, but by the summer of 1918, he decided to desert. Upon his capture, he was court marshalled, but was not 'shot at dawn'.

“I discovered on the ‘web three officers had to be in attendance at a court-marshal, and a unanimous decision had to be reached before an execution could be carried out.”

Tommy was spared being ‘shot at dawn,’ and was sent back to fight, only to die while crossing a clearing on the last morning of the long bitter war.

John added: “On the last morning he was ordered to lead a group of men across a clearing and he was shot; I’ve left that a bit open-ended.

“Although I have used artistic licence in writing the play, it is based upon fact, as I wanted to commemorate the lives of all servicemen who have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Shell Shock, as it was called.

“It has been a community project and I hope the subject matter will highlight the stresses these servicemen had to suffer.”

Tommy, a WW1 Soldier, by John Roach will be broadcast online on November 11, at