A small town in Wales – farmers, with their families, and livestock are gathering for market day in the square. A recruiting sergeant and his team sets up their stall, and start to call the young men over, promising travel and adventure. In their smart uniforms they will be rewarded by admiring looks from women, and then ‘will all be home for Christmas’.
But not everyone in the crowd is prepared to stand by and see the boys marched away with ambitious promises. As the new recruits assemble to take the King’s Shilling, the minister from the chapel dares to confront the army men with their ‘warmongering’ and calls down damnation on their heads. He makes such a disturbance that the sergeant calls over the constabulary to have him bundled off.
Another arrival in the square: a mounted troop to requisition farm horses – the shire horse is led away to a new life drawing guns to the front.
A suffragette, local farmers wives’, and the children have opinions on the morality of the coming war. Again a protester tries to disrupt proceedings; the Conscientious Objector cannot stand by and let these raw recruits be marched off to kill their fellow men. The policeman has to step in once more to restore order and drag the troublemaker away.
Suddenly attention turns to the arrival of a Very Important Person: a magnificent horse and carriage bearing David Lloyd George, champion of Welsh participation. He gives a rousing call to arms.
Military music tells us that a parade is on its way: our farm boys are now a proud and erect troop, bearing broom handles as rifles, and singing ‘A long way to Tipperary’. Behind them come the splendid cavalry horses, no longer working down on the farm. All marching off to war……..
The arrival of the international conflict in a small country town was the theme of the commemoration staged in the Market Square in Llandovery on Saturday 26th July 2014. The afternoon began at the War Memorial with an Act of Remembrance. Local community groups joined re-enactors to depict opinions and events based on those recorded locally in 1914.