Owen Smith visits Pontypridd war graves

Local MP Owen Smith recently took the time to visit war graves around the Pontypridd Constituency alongside Andy Knowlson of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The visits marked this year’s WWI centenary commemoration and the 70thanniversary of D-Day.

The visit began in Glyntaff cemetery which has the largest number of war graves in the constituency, with a total of 114 Commonwealth War Graves- 37 from the First World War and 77 from the Second. Many of the graves were recently updated and maintained, with varying styles of headstones for those injured in different countries.

Mr Smith and Mr Knowlson proceeded to St Illtyd’s Church in Church Village to see the three war graves it holds from the First and Second World Wars.

There are over 300,000 war graves in Britain which are commemorated or buried across 13,000 locations – the highest number of commemorations in any country other than France. Many of those buried in the UK are the men and women who died at home in military hospitals. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a responsibility for all the war graves in the UK, and they mark and maintain graves in 150 countries, build memorials for people who have no known grave and keep records of the people who have died.

Pontypridd constituency has a total of 193 war graves across churchyards and cemeteries including those in Llantwit Fardre, Llantrisant and Tonyrefail.

Commenting after the visits, Owen Smith MP said:

“I’m pleased that Andy took the time to come to Pontypridd and speak to me about the war graves we have locally. The experience was incredibly moving and fascinating, I found it really interesting to hear about the individual cases and I was surprised to learn that we have nearly 200 war graves in the constituency.

“I would urge community groups and anyone with an interest to visit the Commonwealth War Graves we have in Pontypridd where they can pay respect to those who have fallen in the World Wars.”


You can find out more about local war graves through the Commonweath War Graves Commission at http://www.cwgc.org/