Festival Of Remembrance To Feature Shaky and Military Wives Choir

Two of the country’s most successful chart-topping acts will be joining the line-up of this year’s national Service of Remembrance for Wales which pays tribute to all victims of conflict past and present.

Welsh singer/songwriter Shakin’ Stevens will headline the 36th Festival of Remembrance festival at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on November 5. The Defence Academy Military Wives Choir and the Bristol Military Wives Choir will also be performing at the event.

In 2011 the Military Wives Choir made it to the Christmas No 1 with Wherever You Are, which raised £500,000 for military charities including the Royal British Legion. They also support the Legion by performing at the Fields of Remembrance ceremony at Cardiff Castle.
For the Welsh members of the choir it will be an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of conflict.

They are Allison Oakden from Newport, Helen Jones from Tonypandy, Maggie Bartlett from Cardiff, Cardiff-born Emma Hallam, who grew up in Bangor, soloist Claire Westlake, who studied music at Bangor, and Ali Draper, from Llanelli.

Mother-of-three Ali, a teaching assistant, joined the Bristol choir earlier this year. Her husband Robert, a Major in the Royal Artillery, joined the Army 32 years ago with the 22 Regiment Welsh Gunners and has carried out three tours of duty to Iraq and two to Afghanistan.

In recent years, Ali’s friends have lost husbands and brothers in conflict. She said: “I am proud to be part of the Wales Festival of Remembrance. We have lost so many service men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the Great War. It’s important that we remember the sacrifices they have made.”

Veterans past and present will take part in the festival, which this year commemorates the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the fight for Mametz Wood, one of the bloodiest battles in Welsh military history that cost the 38th (Welsh) Division 4,000 casualties.

Also confirmed to appear at the event are the Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh and a massed male voice choir formed of choristers selected from across Wales. During the Festival there will be the traditional Drum Head service and Two Minute Silence.