The Memorial

The history of the Newbridge War Memorial

The Newbridge War Memorial was unveiled on 24th October 1936, it was surrounded by iron railings and the design resembled the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

The memorial was unveiled by Sir John Beynon. Referring to those to whose memory the Memorial had been erected he said:

"At the call of their King and country, they left their various occupations to take up arms. This Memorial will be a reminder to the youth of the district of what their fathers did before them, and I am confident that if the dread call comes, they will be as ready as in 1914."

The Memorial also has the names of the Newbridge men who died in the Second World War, given time they will be added to the site but research is currently concentrated on the Great War.

The Memorial Location

Dominating the Newbridge skyline

Situated at the top of the hill in Caetwmpyn Park, the Memorial commanded a view of almost the whole of the town and was a visible reminder of the sacrifice made by the people of the town.

The photograph is a view over Newbridge from the old 'Hill Street Park'; sitting at the summit of Top Park is the Newbridge War Memorial.

The Memorial in Distress

Veterans ask museum for help

The location of the Memorial, high on the hill in Caetwmpyn Park began to be an issue in the mid 1990s as ageing veterans were finding the location difficult to access on Remembrance Sunday and the isolated location also made it an easy target for vandals who were regularly defacing it.

Something had to be done and in 1995 Islwyn Borough Council asked staff at St Fagans if they would be interested in re-erecting the memorial in the museum grounds. The Newbridge branch of the British Legion agreed to dismantle the memorial and it was agreed that a new one should be erected in the town.

Photo © South Wales Echo

The Move to St Fagans

Tasker Watkins VC lays the foundation Stone

Islwyn council approached St Fagans: National History Museum in Cardiff to see if they would be interested in moving the memorial to Cardiff. The museum took up the offer and the Memorial was dismantled and re-erected next to the Oakdale Institute in the museum.

The foundation stone was re-laid in July 1996 by Sir Tasker Watkins V.C. and the memorial was re-dedicated in its new home on 19th October 1996 by the Archbishop of Wales the Most Reverend Alwyn Rice Jones

Photo © South Wales Echo

A New Memorial for Newbridge

Built alongside the Institute Memorial Hall

When the original memorial was removed and re-erected in the museum at St Fagans a replacement was built between the Police station and the Newbridge Workmen's Institute.

The new memorial has plaques identical to the ones on the original memorial, one listing the casualties from the First World War and the other listing those men lost in the Second World War.

Photo © Tim Bowers