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Angle: Memorial to Japanese sailors lost at sea 100 years ago

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A MEMORIAL dedicated to the victims of a Japanese merchant ship sunk by the German navy in the final days of World War I was unveiled Thursday in a south Pembrokeshire village.

The churchyard ceremony, which took place exactly 100 years after the sinking, was attended by descendants of the victims and members of the British royal family.

Only 30 of the 240 sailors and passengers on board the Hirano Maru survived when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea on Oct. 4, 1918, just over a month before the peace armistice was declared to end the conflict. As Japan was one of the U.K.’s allies, its merchant vessels were targeted by the German navy.

Residents of Pembrokeshire found at least 20 bodies along the county coastline, 10 of which were buried in the churchyard in the small village of Angle where Thursday’s ceremony took place. The wooden post erected at the time to commemorate the 10 victims rotted away and has now been replaced by a new granite memorial inscribed with a dedication written in English, Japanese and Welsh. Bouquets and wreaths were placed by Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Prince Richard after he unveiled the memorial, followed by representatives from the Japanese Embassy and Nippon Yusen K.K., the company that owned the ship.

Only one victim is named in the church records and on the memorial, as the other nine could not be identified.

Flowers were also left by Yoshiko Nakamura, 72, whose grandfather was among the victims. Shintaro Yamamoto, her grandfather, had been an officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy and was returning to Japan after visiting Britain on business when the boat was sunk, she explained.

After seeing a story about the planned memorial in her local newspaper, she decided to attend the ceremony with her daughter to pay her respects.

“My father, my mother, and all the people who remember the war have gradually disappeared,” she said. “I want to pass on this history to my daughter.”

Funds were raised for the memorial by David James, secretary of the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction … (to have) brought something to so many people,” he said. “Wars are easy. It’s the peace that’s hard to find and keep.”

He said he was “humbled” to have helped Nakamura connect with her family’s history. “She came as an act of remembrance, which I find quite touching,” he said.

The memorial was carved by a local stonemason and cost approximately £3,500 pounds, paid for through contributions from residents and Nippon Yusen.

A spokesman for the shipping company said it was “a great honor and privilege” for representatives of the company to be present at the ceremony.

  • This story contains content adapted from the Japan Times, and the photograph of the ceremony is used by kind permission of the Kyodo news agency, Tokyo. The colourised image of the ship was created by The Herald.

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Climate change protesters pack the streets of Haverfordwest

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Hundreds of protestors flooded the streets of Haverfordwest today to join in one of the biggest global climate strikes to date.

The event took place at County Hall from 11am on Friday, September 20, where hundreds flocked in unison to show their support for the many global activists around the world in protest of the way we live on our planet.

Leading the charge for the world-wide events were multiple organisations including Extinction Rebellion and UK Student Climate Network, as well as 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist for the planet’s well-being. Children all across the globe have been puled out of their schools to join the protests for change on how we consume our planet’s resources and these acts have been met with mixed responses.

Some are happy that others are taking a stand for the greater good of our planet, whilst others seem to be disgruntled by all the commotion the protests have caused in their areas.

At County Hall in Haverfordwest, singing and chanting could be heard as the school children, toddlers, pensioners, families and college students all joined the call for imminent action to tackle the climate emergency.

The climate protest was also attended by Cllr David Simpson and director of development Dr Steven Jones, who assured the public that the authority was working towards its zero carbon goal.

In a statement on Facebook, Extinction Rebellion said: “Hundreds turned out to support today’s Global Climate Strike in Haverfordwest alongside hundreds of thousands around the world! A clear message was delivered and responded to by the leader of Pembrokeshire County Council who has invited you to be represented in their work in months to come to meaningfully address the climate emergency in our beautiful county and beyond. The tide is rising, and so are we!”

The protests ended as the groups made their way to Castle Square, where final chants and songs echoed around Haverfordwest.

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Refinery protest over: Two activists arrested at scene, others reported for summons

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THE PROTEST organised by Extinction Rebellion at Valero Refinery came to an end last night (Sept 19).

Specialist officers were deployed to the scene and as a result of that, two protestors were arrested for unlawful obstruction of the highway and transferred to Haverfordwest custody.

Others who took part, police said, decided to end their protest and have been reported for summons and the items used by them have been seized by the police.

Police said: “All protestors have now left the area and police are maintaining high visibility patrols.”

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “Officers spoke to the protesters and partner agencies throughout the day to ensure a balance was maintained between allowing people the right to peaceful protest and the requirement to ensure the safety of, and minimise the disruption to, business and the community. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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Pembroke Dock: Man hospitalised after ‘jumping through pizza shop window’

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A PEMBROKE DOCK man has been taken to hospital after becoming injured by glass in Pembroke Dock.

According to a passing motorist a male was seen shouting and screaming in the street – he was being restrained by others.

He then jumped into the glass window of the PizzaTime take away in Meyrick Street, cutting his stomach on the glass.

Multiple police vehicles and an ambulance attended the incident which took place at around 15.30 HRS.

The road was temporarily blocked.

Once police car remains on scene (16:49 HRS)

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