An area of Bellevue Park, Wrexham was dedicated as a Centenary Field on Sunday May 22. The Centenary Field programme protects war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces in memory of those who lost their lives during World War I.
The Centenary Fields initiative was established by Fields in Trust in partnership with the Royal British Legion. Wrexham's Executive Board agreed to the dedication of Bellvue Park in March 2015.
Cllr David A Bithell, who attended the dedication, said: "I am very proud that we have been able to honour the millions who died in WWI, many from the Wrexham area, with a sustainable and permanent Centenary Field. It is particularly appropriate during this the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Mametz Wood which saw thousands killed from the Royal Welch Fusiliers which was and is particularly close to people's hearts in Wrexham."
The Wrexham event was one of three Centenary Field dedications happening across the UK over the same weekend. On Saturday May 21 in a ceremony with Royal British Legion members attending their National Conference Redoubt Gardens, Eastbourne was dedicated. On Sunday 22 May an event at the Cumbernauld Peace Garden in Lanarkshire mark the dedication of the space as a Centenary Field.
Fields in Trust Cymru Chairman Ivor Morgan said: “This programme is a fitting way for us to mark the sacrifices made by so many in World War I whilst looking to the future through a living remembrance. We are delighted that Wrexham County Borough Council is embracing Centenary Fields, commemorating the centenary of World War I for the people of Wrexham in a way they can appreciate forever. We look forward to many more landowners following their lead.”
Wrexham's Armed Forces Champion, Cllr David Griffiths, commented: "I am very privileged and honoured to attend this commemoration. The area in Bellevue Park has been associated with veterans of the wars who have held memorial events there for many years. The area is easily accessible and there is space to hold events in the future in memory of those who have paid the ultimate price in their service to their country."
At the ceremony, Father Sam Erlandson, Vicar of All Saints Church, Poywer Street led a short service and the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr John Pritchard, unveiled the dedication plaque. Normandy veteran Ted Edwards read the citation after Last Post and Reveille and was then presented with the Legion D'Honneur by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas on behalf of the French Government to honour and thank him risking his life to secure France’s liberation during the Second World War.