Wales – Cardiff Cathedral

Veteran Stories

>> Hi, everybody, from inside the St. David's Chapel ... >> Correct. >> ... of the Llandaff Cathedral. >> Correct. >> Yes. I am here with Mr. John Kenyon, who is the archivist for the Cathedral, and I'm here to honor the 32 Welshmen who died during the Korean War. Yesterday, I met the veterans of the war and the regiment, and many of them knew a lot of them, and I just ... so again, they're not just names, but they are ... and we're. >> Still remembered. >> Yes, and someone's sons and friends, so I do come here and think of them. When was this built? >> Well, it was dedicated in 1998, and the inscription is engraved by Yein Reece, who is based in West Wales. He's a superb calligrapher, carving lettering on the stone, and this is one of four examples we've got of Yein Reece's work, the most recent work that he's undertaken, so I hear this place, this entire place is dedicated to ... Oh, here it is, the Welsh, the Royal Welsh. >> It was built after the devastation in the second World War when the cathedral was damaged by the war parachute mine. >> Yes. >> This new chapel was built linking the cathedral to the new offices [INAUDIBLE] regiment were inscribed by Mr. Cayon on the east wall there. >> Yes, we'll take you to over there, where it says ... I mean, it lists all the conflicts, but I couldn't help but notice Korea right here. Korea, 1951 to '52, and while the war lasted until '53 and technically still at war, the Royal Welsh was involved in it. >> In those years. >> It was in those years. They suffered heavily, but I just loved how all the pew has the Welsh battalion, different battalions, the first, second, this. >> [INAUDIBLE] Wales [INAUDIBLE] commemorative plaques of the colonels of the regiment, some generals, but known as colonels of the regiment, and that all is going back into the 1700s. >> I do want say because I brought my brother, Jan, on ... Today is Wednesday, so on Monday, during the [INAUDIBLE] cheese and prayer for the Korean War veterans, so I was so happy, so thank you, Chris. You must have shared our feeling with her, so thank you so much, and we're going to show you inside the cathedral, and Mr. Kenyon is going to lead us to another place where it honors Korean War veterans. >> That's right. >> So we'll follow ... >> Which way? >> Either one. >> We'll go this way. >> When was this chapel built? >> It was in the 1950s. >> 1950. >> '50s, yeah, all done by George Pace, who was the architect charged with restoration of the cathedral [INAUDIBLE]. >> It's such a hallowed place, and it couldn't be a better ending to my journey. Oh, wow, are those ... >> Yes, these are all ... >> ... original flags? >> Yes, yep. They're just left there, and they're unconserved, so they'll slowly deteriorate until [INAUDIBLE] church grounds, so they're left unconserved. >> So this church ... >> And hanging here as well. >> This church is how old? >> The church as we see it, the earliest part of it is 1120s. >> Wow. >> But it was a church here long before that going back 1,000 years or so, but the building we got is 1120. The big arch we see ... >> I'm in a place that is 900 years old, and I shared with Reverend Jan, but one of the veterans when we were reciting ... The citations of the Medal of Honor recipients, he said something that I will never forget, so look how beautiful this is, but he said as we were reciting ... Reading their citations, he said sounds travel all throughout the universe eternally, and as I was praying earlier, I felt I wanted to change that a little bit to fit this occasion, and I said also travels, and it remains in eternity as well, so think of all the prayers that were made in this hallowed place for 900 years. >> This is the big arch [INAUDIBLE]. That's the earliest one, and then this piece is postwar [INAUDIBLE] similar one on the church's new [INAUDIBLE] to the 1500s. >> Beautiful, so everyone, if you come to Cardiff, Wales, please, visit this cathedral. It is just absolutely beautiful. >> So we're walking on the south aisle now. >> And I have to say for ... I've never visited a cathedral that honored veterans. Some people think veterans, war, but as the reverend prayed, they defended peace. >> You'll find [INAUDIBLE] earliest thing. This stone is even earlier. This is probably about the year 1,000. It's known as the only the Christian monument. It's part of a cross. >> Year 1,000? >> Yeah, about year 1,000. >> Wow, and [INAUDIBLE] because even one death is precious and far too many. There is ... You can see right here, Mr. Seaton killed in Korea, and you think that he was ... >> He was a member of the Old Llandavian, so the Cathedral School. I don't remember whether a member [INAUDIBLE] but he was an old boy, but he wasn't serving in a Welsh regiment. Otherwise, he would have been commemorated in the David Chapel, so he must have been serving somewhere else in the British Army in a different regiment. >> So again ... >> So those are the two main areas, David Chapel and this memorial here. >> So again, everyone this is the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardaff Wales and the last stop in my 10-day journey across both Ireland and Wales to honor veterans and promote peace. I thank you for joining me on this journey. It has been extremely humbling and gratifying. Like I said, yesterday, one of the veterans told me that it was his first time in almost 70 years somebody in-person thanked him for his service in Korea, and that really devastated. I think we cannot say thank you enough to our veterans, so please, if you see a veteran, go and say thank you. It really does brighten their day and make everything worth it. >> And thank you for your visit as well. >> Oh, thank you. >> It's been a pleasure to welcome you to the cathedral. >> Thank you, so bye-bye, everybody.

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    Memorial Site

    Wales, part of the United Kingdom, participated in the Korean War from September 1951 to November 1952. The Welch Regiment was deployed to Korea, accompanied by a company of The Royal Welch Fusiliers and a platoon from the South Wales Borderers, as part of the 29th British Infantry Brigade in the 1st Commonwealth Division.

    In total, 32 Welsh were killed fighting in Korea.

    There is a plaque on the wall of the St. David’s Chapel inside the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff with the names of the 32 fallen Welsh soldiers. Also known as the Welch Regiment Chapel, it was dedicated in 1956 to commemorate officers of the Welch Regiment and honor the memory of the fallen in all wars since the 18th century.