Llanfechell Local War Heroes Remembered
by Alix Warren
(Bull Bay, Amlwch)
As you leave Cemaes take the second turning and follow the road to Llanfechell. This village is as pretty as a Welsh village can ever be.
Tiny cottages, the only shop and the Cefn Glas pub huddle around the square.
The church of St Mechell, parts of which date back to the 12th century, and surrounded by a shrub-filled graveyard, shines bright under its white wash, and the war memorial, a clock tower topped by a leaning soldier, stands in the very heart of the village.
Nineteen young men, and where they were lost during both the world wars are remembered here, including three brothers whose family home lies just outside the village.
Their walled garden is opened to the public occasionally. Do they stroll with the visitors and admire the neat vegetable plots and carefully hoed rows.
Also remembered in a fatal night flying accident was Flight Commander Owen Vincent Thomas. All seems perfect here in the village at first sight until you look a little more closely.
The church tower has been plastered up to stop the bells disturbing the sleep of some local eccentric. The pub is up 'to let', and the shop struggles to keep open.
Walk behind the memorial and you'll see it has not been well maintained.
The inscription on the memorial states that when your sons question the war you will be able to say that the stones carry the message of sacrifice by the brave who fell for freedom, for their King and country. Is the message heard?
Did you see the T.V. film made in the village square?
Here cameras rolled,
and costumed actors spoke their
lines. Illusion settled on the town.
road signs moved, and further down
the lane, Robert Lindsey fluttered female hearts.
The road was closed
and for a little while extras played the parts
of Russian soldiers. Boys in long grey socks
ran about the square,
and stood in groups and listened as the clock
chimed nine. A shot rang out.
An actor fell,
and fell again, until he'd got it right. No doubt
the extras who by now were bored
were pleased to hear
'Cut, it's in the can,' and stored
their memories for another day of let's pretend.
For that is all it was.
The illusion lingers on, no-one cares to mend
the broken pane. And if you walk around the back
you start to see a certain lack
of paint upon the door.
Weeds grow, and only one
instead of four
clock faces are left to tell the time.