VISIT | Discover the Military Connection at the Havard Chapel in Brecon Cathedral | Powys
Reflect on the Regimental Chapel of the South Wales Borderers, the 24th Regiment of Foot
A fascinating aspect of military history tucked inside Brecon Cathedral
The History of the 24th Regiment of Foot and the South Wales Borderers
A place of honour, of respect, of loss, of Pride
"...the enduring link between the soldiers and their regimental home..."
The Havard Chapel at Brecon Cathedral is one of those memorable sites that lives long in the memory. The regiment chapel of the South Wales Borderers, the 24th Regiment of Foot. Its legacy is in the memorials and the colours which so brightly and nobly carry the past in this great military history.
The Havard Chapel was once a private chapel named for the family of Havards from Pontwylin. The 24th Regiment of Foot involved in such military incursions such as the Indian Mutiny in 1857 and the events at Isandlwana as well as Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War were based at Brecon Garrison. Men were recruited for the 24th Foot from Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Brecknockshire (Breconshire). The nine Victoria Crosses of the 24th Foot of Zulu are celebrated here in dignity.
In 1880, the 24th Foot were re-designated as the South Wales Borderers. During the Boer War at the turn of the 20th century, the regimental colours for the South Wales Borderers were held in care and security whilst the went abroad to foreign climes.
When the Great War came to Brecon, the regular British army in the name of the South Wales Borderers ordered them to on to the Western Front. The 1st Battalion to France and Belgium. The 2nd to China, then Gallipoli, then France. The Territorials of Brecon to India, Aden and to India once more. And then the volunteers of the Service Battalions – to the Western Front, Salonika and more…
All in all, the South Wales Borders lost 5,777 men in the First World War. And a look around this tragic and wonderful place brings you back to those names of the Great War.
For in 1922, the Havard Chapel was officially dedicated as the South Wales Borderers’ Regimental Chapel. A place to remember, to honour, to grieve and be proud.
And then for the succession of the Second World War – the loss of 79 officers and 946 men of the battalion. All linked to this place. To Brecon. To this Chapel.
The memorials that lie in Havard Chapel are more than just stone and marble. They remember men. They honour individuals. And moreover, a connection between a place, a safe place and people who left to fight – some who returned, and some who never did.
Directions and Map |
Find Brecon Cathedral in the north of the town off Priory Hill and Brecon is off the A40 and A470 in mid-Wales