Some members ex-service men of the Old Colwyn Residents Association wished to ensure that the names on our Memorial were more than a mere embossed name on a brass plate and set about to research their background so that we could understand as far as possible who each was. Where did he live? Who was his wife? What was his job? Did he have children? And any fact or photograph which would make the name a real person who once lived and breathed and went to defend our way of living. On the anniversary of his death in the field, or often later in a hospital, all that had been gleaned would be posted near to the Memorial so that we could reflect on a real person who lived and breathed.
Many hours were spent at the War Office, the National Archives and at the many sites in France which commemorate their sacrifice in addition to numerous hours trawling the internet and library records. As the research progressed, the project became more complex as it was discovered that there were many missing names from our Memorial. Had some moved from Old Colwyn shortly before the outbreak of war to another area, only to be recorded on that town’s Memorial? Had some died as a result of injuries much later after the Armistice, and been recorded elsewhere?
As the project evolved, all these anomalies had to be resolved. As the Centenary of the end of that war approached a total of 27 names were established and a bronze plaque was completed ready for the 4th November and a Special Service at Saint John’s Church, Old Colwyn in order that it could be dedicated in a fitting manner. Côr Meibion Colwyn, service representatives and Residents filled the Church and during the service, each man’s name was read out by a different and appropriate person.
Thanks to the persistent detective work of Diege Evans and Steve Binks with help from Rhiannon Thomas, we are now able to remember these men who gave their lives for our freedom. Canon Quentin Bellamy ensured that the order of service ran to perfection assisted by Merfyn Thomas who was instrumental in raising the required sum of £5,000 in order to make and install the plaque. There is a residue from this which will serve to add further names that may come to light and maintain the memorial.