Mid Wales

Pendre WW1 plaque found in Brecon Cathedral cellar

Pendre war memorial Image copyright Karen Griffiths
Image caption The war memorial was erected at Pendre School in 1920 and honours 27 fallen former pupils

A school's memorial honouring 27 former pupils who died in World War One has been found in a cathedral cellar decades after being mothballed.

The marble roll of honour had hung at Pendre School in Brecon, Powys, since 1920 but it disappeared once the school closed in the 1970s.

It was found gathering dust underneath Brecon Cathedral by a man whose great uncles-in-law are listed on it.

It will be restored and returned to its old home, which is now a family centre.

A local history society is also researching the names listed on the plaque to try to find out more about what happened to the old pupils and trace their families ahead of a ceremony to rededicate the memorial.

It will be the culmination of a campaign led by Bethan Williams and her family, who lost three great uncles, Alfred, Arthur and Philip Pritchard - all former Pendre pupils - during World War One.

Karen Griffiths, Ms Williams's friend and fellow campaigner, said: "Bethan's mum, who passed away a few years ago, knew that there had been a roll of honour at the school and that it had been taken down years ago.

"Everybody thought it had disappeared for a while until Bethan's father, who was a verger at Brecon Cathedral, found it in a cellar there.

Image copyright Jaggery
Image caption The roll of honour was found in a cellar underneath Brecon Cathedral

"Bethan and I were chatting about it one day and she said wouldn't it be lovely if we could get it back up where it should be."

So the pair started lobbying for funding to help restore the memorial and, after financial help from Brecon town council, they now have enough money for the work to go ahead.

Tracing families

They plan to hold a rededication ceremony at the former school building, which had been unused until it re-opened as the St John Family Centre in July 2012.

The Brecon Local and Family History Society is researching what happened to the men listed on the memorial, many of whom are from well-known Brecon families.

However, some of the names are still unknown and the campaigners are hoping their families can be traced before the ceremony, which is likely to be held before the end of this year.

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