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Launch of the book " Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War" by Linda Hervieux at Abertsychan, near Pontypool.

On Saturday 24th September I was invited along with the author Linda Hervieux to attend the event below at the Trinity Methodist Church, Abersychan.

This was part of the BBC history series Black History of Britain and was designed to commemorate the fact that members of the all black 320th Balloon Barrage Battalion had been billeted in the basement of the church in readiness for D-day. A special plaque was to be installed and unveiled at the church to commemorate these fine young lads and their time in Abersychan.

 

The plaque is being readied for fixing to the church

The event started at 2.30 p.m. with the Pontnewydd Male Voice Choir singing some well known songs from the valleys.

 The Reverend  Steve Boxall welcomed everyone to the church.

 Kenneth Clarke then gave a brief  overview of event and introduced Peter Garwood.

 Peter Garwood, from the Barrage Balloon Reunion Club gave a brief explanation of what barrage balloons were deployed and how they worked.

 Kenneth Clarke then thanked Peter and introduce Linda Hervieux. 

 Linda Hervieux told the story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion’s stay in Wales from her book "Forgotten". 

 Cheryl Morgan and family – granddaughter of Jessie and Godfrey Prior.  Will read out letters sent by Jessie to Wilson Monk’s mother. 

 Kenneth thanked Cheryl. 

The Pontnewydd Male Voice Choir sang a second song.

 Kenneth Clarke introduced Neil Sinclair a Butetown historian seen here with Linda Hervieux. 

Neil was to speak briefly about black GI babies and introduce Ann Sansom and her family. 

 Ann Sansom and Family said a few words about their experiences during the war.

The plaque was unveiled in memory of the black GIs who stayed in Abersychan. 

                                The bilingual plaque

 The Pontnewydd Male Voice Choir sang a third song.

After everyone met in the church for a social chat about the event.

The Mayor and Mayoress found the event very interesting.

Linda Hervieux talks about her book