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Pembroke: Carols to commemorate Christmas truce of 1914

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Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in the unofficial cessations of hostility along the Western Front

Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in the unofficial cessations of hostility along the Western Front

“Silent Night Carols”, which took place in Pembroke Town Hall last Saturday night (Dec 20), was but one of some three hundred similar events arranged to mark the centenary of the famous Christmas truce of 1914.

The unique service included a specially-commissioned, contemporary version of Silent Night, with a new verse and chorus. This new version of Silent Night (Christ The Saviour Is Born) with additional words by writers Ben Cantelon and Nick Herbert, has been recorded by multi-platinum-selling tenor Paul Potts. Through the “Silent Night Carols” and the release of this single, and the Silent Night Carols albums, HOPE Together has linked with Tearfund and Sports Chaplaincy UK in an attempt to bring a measure of help to those affected by the war in Syria.

The Pembroke event, which attracted the enthusiastic support of the Mayor Councilor Aaron Carey,featured a live nativity made up of members of several local churches and was preceded by the results of the local “Find the missing donkey competition”.

Awarding the prizes Councillor Carey said “It’s been a good night with a really encouraging turn out. I am really happy that someone is doing something for the children of Pembroke, and hopefully this will build year on year becoming ever more popular”

The mayor’s enthusiasm was matched by that of local organiser Lyn Edwards who observed “It was very powerful evening indeed, particularly for those members of the armed forces who were present. It was especially moving when we listened to the reading of a poem that talked about the plight of a soldier on the streets.”

“It’s been an amazing evening. This was a time when people from all sorts of backgrounds were able to get together and remember that Christmas is a time for bringing people together.  Christmas is a time of hope because it is about the coming of Christ Emmanuel God with us”.

truceGareth Jones Chair of local Royal British Legion and the local Community Association clearly found the whole experience very moving as he explained: “I was asked to read a piece written by a soldier named Taff Evans entitled “Where did it all go wrong?” It really got through to me because it is a year since I came back from Afghanistan and it really struck me just what it has been like there.  I thought of some of my colleagues who have not made it not to mention one who simply couldn’t cope and six months after returning home took her own life”

“But we have to carry on and I am privileged to have a family who are my strength and my reason. Also my military family needs to extend itself so that there aren’t any more that we lose. That’s what drives me”

“I was delighted with the turn out and thrilled with the hard work everyone had put in to make the evening such a success” said Pembroke Pastor Rob James. “I can think of no better way of thanking everyone than to quote the endorsement that these services have received from Prince William Duke of Cambridge. He has said “In the stillness of the night at Christmas one hundred years ago the carol Silent Night could be heard ringing out across No Man’s Land. Soldiers from both sides tentatively came out of the trenches to exchange gifts and to play football. For twenty four hours the fighting stopped for the 1914 Christmas truce. Even at the bleakest of times Christmas offers peace and hope. This Christmas the Silent Night Carol Services are a powerful way to remember the sacrifice made by so many in the Great War and to celebrate the peace we enjoy today”

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Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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