Barry Male Voice Choir in hunt for missing memorial

One of Wales’ longest-established choirs is trying to find a lost piece of its wartime history ahead of a poignant
visit to the battlefields of World War I.

In the 1920s, The Barry Dock News reported that a plaque was unveiled in memory of four members
of Barry Male Voice Choir (BMVC) who were killed during the Great War.

The memorial plaque was originally put up in the Barry YMCA building on Woodlands Road where the choir held rehearsals for many years.

But the building has since been transformed into residential accommodation, and members of the choir are trying to locate the plaque containing the names of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The choir, which is celebrating its 115th anniversary this year, is thought to be the longest-standing cultural organisation in Barry. Gareth Jones, the choir’s vicechairman, said: “I don’t think we have had much success since we first advertised our search for the plaque.

“We are visiting Belgium later this year to commemorate those who lost their lives in the war, and we would like to locate the plaque before we leave.

“It will be a very emotional occasion.” BMVC is one of the oldest choirs in Wales and, when many other choirs stopped singing during the world war, the boys from Barry continued to perform.

The choirs next performance is on Saturday 29th April at the Masonic Hall

The choir is now preparing to visit Belgium in July following an invitation from the Vale of Glamorgan twinning committee.

During this visit choristers will perform and lay a wreath at the Welsh National World War I Memorial at Pilkem Ridge, near Ypres. They also intend to visit one of the Vale’s twin towns, Mouscron, to celebrate Belgium National Day on July 21.

The choir will also sing at a ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. “We have researchers who have been trying to find the names of those included on the plaque,” added Gareth.

“They believe they have found two names, but we are still searching for the others. “We are trying to bring a little
more knowledge to our visit.”

If you have any information about the plaque, contact the choir via the Barry Male Voice Choir Facebook page.

Listen Again: On Friday (28th April) Geoff, was joined by Daniel White of Barry Male Voice Choir to talk about the Plaque and upcoming choir events.

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Nathan Spackman

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