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Angle: Service 100 years after the sinking of a Japanese ship

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A NEW memorial commemorating those who died in the German sinking of a Japanese merchant ship in the final days of World War I will be next month in Angle.
The unveiling ceremony for the memorial to the victims will take place on Oct. 4, exactly 100 years after the sinking took place, and will be attended by residents and representatives from the company which owned the vessel, and the Japanese Embassy.
As one of the Allies contributing to the war effort during the first war, alongside Britain and France, merchant vessels from Japan were seen as legitimate targets by Germany.
More than 200 sailors and passengers died when the Hirano Maru, a Somedono Maru class transport ship, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea in October 1918, just over a month before the war ended.
The sinking of the Hirano Maru was the greatest loss experienced in Japanese commercial shipping during the conflict.
After the ship was sunk, residents of Pembrokeshire, found at least 20 bodies along different stretches of the coastline, though the majority were found on Irish beaches. Only 30 of the 240 people aboard survived the attack.
The bodies were buried in a local churchyard, but a wooden memorial erected at the time has since rotted away.
According the owner, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), the ship had just embarked on a journey from Liverpool to Yokohama when it was torpedoed.
About two-thirds of those aboard were crew members.
At the church in Angle, burial records list nine anonymous victims, naming only one man, Shiro Okoshi, who is listed in the records as having been a waiter on the vessel.
The church also possesses old photos in the churchyard of a wooden grave marker, which according to its inscription was erected 11 days after the ship was sunk.
David James, honorary secretary of the West Wales Heritage Maritime Society, has been raising funds to create a new memorial with support from Nippon Yusen.
As a former serviceman, James served in the British Army in Germany and Libya, where he noticed the graves of British soldiers had markers, inspiring him to commemorate the victims of war in his hometown.
“We must remember them,” he said in an interview with the Japan Times.
“The men in the graves there had families, somebody grieved when they died,” James said. He hopes the memorial will “show there is feeling here, and compassion.”
He also said he wants the memorial to keep the story alive for younger generations and help them understand the realities of war.
A spokesperson for Nippon Yusen said it was always difficult to retrieve keepsakes to send back to the families of victims who die when a ship is lost at sea.

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Judith Rhead murder: Police appeal to public for information

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm it is appealing for information after the death of a 68-year-old woman from Pembroke Dock.

Judith Rhead’s body was discovered in a property in Market Street on Saturday, February 20.

Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with her murder and was remanded into custody on Thursday (Feb 25).

Morgan is due to appear at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow, police have confirmed.

A spokesman said: “The force has set up an online portal where the public can share any information they feel might help investigators with their enquiries.

“Specifically, police would like to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Judith between November 2020 and February 2021.”

Detectives said that they would also like to speak to anyone who has information about Dale Morgan’s movements on February 19 or 20, or who believes they have other information that could assist the investigation.

To share information to the police via the portal, please click here.

Alternatively, you can also contact the force by calling the non-emergency number, 101.

 

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PM backs Crabb’s calls for CPR lessons in schools

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PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has backed Preseli MP Stephen Crabb’s calls for CPR to be taught in schools in Wales.

Following a letter signed by Stephen Crabb which aimed to introduce CPR and lifesaving skills to the Welsh curriculum, Prime Minister Boris Johnson added his support to the campaign during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions (Feb 24).

Responding to a question in the Chamber from a colleague, the Prime Minister said: “I agree very much about the importance of learning CPR. That is why we introduced it into the curriculum for all state funded schools in England.”

However, as education is a devolved matter, the decision as to whether to introduce CPR into the Welsh curriculum lies with the Welsh Government in Cardiff and the Prime Minister added: “I share his urgency that the policy should be adopted in Wales as well.”

Commenting after the Prime Minister pledged his support towards the campaign in Wales, Stephen Crabb said: “Basic CPR lifesaving skills could play an important role in helping unexpected cardiac deaths across Wales.

“For the Welsh Government to continually say no to the idea feels wrong and could put lives at risk.

“I’m pleased the Prime Minister supports this campaign and I will continue to work with colleagues in the Senedd to ensure these skills are taught to the children of Wales.”

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Single port plan should be off the agenda for now says MS

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WELSH Labour Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales, Eluned Morgan, has welcomed a decision from Irish Ferries that underlines its commitment to the port of Pembroke.

The company has signed a 10 year deal with the Port of Milford Haven for the berth at Pembroke Dock which first came into operation under B&I Line in 1979. Since then, the port of Pembroke has seen multimillion pound investments to improve facilities and creating jobs and has become established as an important transport node with Europe.

In recent weeks, Westminster politicians have raised the suggestion that as a result of Brexit, Pembrokeshire could only support a single port linking the county of Pembrokeshire and the M4 corridor with the Irish Republic.

Eluned Morgan MS said: “I was frankly disappointed at the lack of ambition displayed by Pembrokeshire’s MPs over this issue. These continue to be worrying days for our ports which have played a pivotal role in defining the coastal communities of both Pembroke Dock and Fishguard over the years. We were told Brexit would bring benefits not the demise of our links with Europe. So I am pleased to hear that Irish Ferries has signed a 10 year deal with the Port of Milford Haven to maintain facilities at Pembroke Dock. I understand that Stena Line is committed to Fishguard also.

“In recent weeks, I have been in touch with Irish Ferries and Stena Line to understand their position as part of an ongoing conversation in light of Brexit and the subsequent shift in trade that has followed. We must all work together to ensure that Pembrokeshire is recognised as a gateway to Europe and seek out every opportunity to replace the trade lost in the years ahead.”

The Port of Milford Haven confirmed: “We are pleased to report that Irish Ferries reconfirmed its commitment to Pembroke Dock with the signing of a new 10-year deal.
This marks a huge statement of confidence in the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock crossing, which is the primary freight corridor carrying two thirds of the total freight units using the south Wales corridor, and supporting 325,000 passenger movements each year.”

Eluned Morgan is a Labour Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales and currently serves in the Welsh Government as Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language.

She is also a member of the House of Lords.

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