Leanne Visits Mametz on the 100th Anniversary of Bloody Battle

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Rhondda AM Leanne Wood was part of a delegation to northern France to commemorate Welsh soldiers killed during the Battle of the Somme in the first world war.

The Plaid Cymru Leader was in Mametz to pay her respects to the fallen from the 38th (Welsh) Division on the centenary of the bloody battle. By the end of the five-day engagement to take Mametz woods from the heavily dug-in German soldiers, around 4,000 men had been killed or wounded from the 38th (Welsh) Division.

Apart from Leanne, there was another Rhondda connection to the event as Treorci Male Voice Choir were invited to sing hymns during the ceremony.

Welsh sculptor David Petersen who, nearly 30 years ago, created the centrepiece Welsh red dragon statue at the site, also attended.

“It is important to acknowledge and remember the heavy, senseless loss of Welsh life in the battle of Mametz Wood. The striking dragon sculpture there is a fitting monument to those men.” said Ms Wood.

“It is important we remember occasions like this – which only happened a few generations ago – so that we never return to the days where we see such horrific loss of so much young life.

“More than four thousand husbands, fathers, sons, brothers were all killed, fighting for their lives and that of their comrades, alongside each other in this battle.

“Many of them would have been from the Rhondda. You only have to see the list of names on cenotaphs like the one in Porth to see the heavy price our towns and villages paid.”


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