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David to play Last Post at reduced Remembrance Sunday

Created on 04/11/2020 @ 10:55
A volunteer from Newtown, who has played the Last Post at the town’s Remembrance Service every year for nearly 50 years will once again pay his respects at the scaled back service on Sunday.

David Gardner, 59, first performed at the service in 1974 alongside the Newtown Silver Band, where he is the band’s principal cornet.

The band, formed in 1880, has a proud history of supporting Remembrance Day activities - having had members serve on the front line in both World Wars - and would usually lead the civic parade through the town.

Having joined the band in 1972, David participated in his first service two years later and hasn’t missed a ceremony since.

This year, restrictions on public events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have forced Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council to allow just 30 people at a shorter service at the cenotaph.

Among the 30 will be several members of the Newtown Silver Band, who will be playing hymns during the laying of the wreaths and the Last Post shortly before 11am, before signalling the Reveille following a two-minute silence.

While Remembrance Day means different things for different people, for David it’s an opportunity to reflect and honour his father Tom, who was wounded in France fighting alongside the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during World War II.

 “Dad was originally from Pontypridd, but after he was wounded, he was sent to recuperate in Newtown. He met my mother shortly after and the rest is history,” said David.

“It means a lot to me to be able to take part in the service each year and to remember all those who sacrificed so much, including my father.

“I’m proud to have not missed a single parade since I started, and while there’ll only be a few of us there this year, it’s more important still that we’re there to pay our respects.”

A passionate volunteer, David, who works for Powys County Council, is also a County Commissioner for St John Ambulance Cymru in Powys, which he’s been a part of since 1967 and would often juggle his volunteering duties with his band commitments; cycling between the two in the evening.