Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society  was founded in October 2009 with the following aims:

  • To raise public awareness of the heritage of our communities

  • To research, record and disseminate the history of Pembroke and Monkton

  • To encourage community participation

  • To support Pembroke Museum

To achieve these aims we have a programme of speakers, events and exhibitions. We organise visits and carry out research, scan photographs and record memories. We are now a registered charity.



Presented at the AGM on Friday, February 21st 2020 at Monkton Priory Church Hall


I am pleased to report that the year 2019-2020, which marks the Society’s 10th anniversary, has been another successful year with even more positive achievements.  However, once again we mourn the loss of a much loved Trustee, Dilys Hanmer MBE who has been a great supporter of our work from the beginning and an inspiration to us all.  She is sadly missed.

William Marshal Statue

At last year’s AGM I reported that our big project of the year would be to raise money for a second Pembroke statue, which was to be of William Marshal and I am pleased to report that this has been achieved.  From the start the statue project has attracted great public interest and last February’s consultation resulted in many comments and suggestions.  As a result modifications were made and the final maquette which enjoyed its first public showing at Pembroke Castle’s William Marshal Festival at Pembroke Castle May 27th.  The fundraising had a good start with the donation of £20K from Wales Community CIC and this money was transferred to the Pembroke Heritage Fund, administered by Pembroke Town Council. Support from Pembroke Town Council is essential in a project such as this and we are indebted to them for adopting the project and for the invaluable assistance given by Mrs Suzie Thomas, Pembroke Town Clerk.

Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society volunteers have done a great job in fundraising – a Local Giving appeal was made and fundraising activities carried out throughout the year.  We successfully applied for a  £30K grant from the Enhancing Pembrokeshire grant (2nd homes tax) – so thank you Pembrokeshire County Council and thank you to Richard Evans for his help in negotiating the application, Pembroke Male Voice Choir, Pembroke Rotary and Valero which has promised the remaining £5K to achieve the £65K total.  And to everyone who donated with a special thanks to John Hyam for bravely abseiling Pembroke Keep to raise funds.


World War One Centenary Project

Our multi media project ‘Pembroke Commemorates the Centenary of WW1 in words, pictures, art and film’ funded by Heritage Lottery Fund was completed last November.  Our project began with investigating the identities of those named on Pembroke Cenotaph and a sub group was formed – George Palmer, Ron Rees, Ann Lankshear, Liz Jenkins, Vicki Haggar, Rose Blackburn, Stuart Asman and myself to carry out the research.  It was the intention to print a Book of Remembrance and to place copies in our churches.  However, we decided to hold back and extend the project to include the WW2 Fallen.  In the meantime the WW1 Book of Remembrance has been published online on our website which also contains details of the project.

I undertook to write the book of the project and this was launched at our Commemoration event on Saturday November 10th at Pembroke Town Hall entitled 'Pembroke Remembers … ‘ It was launched at a very successful meeting attended by around 100 people.  Simon Hancock gave a talk on ‘The Great Peace’, the VC Gallery put on a display of work and held the a raffle to raise funds as it was felt appropriate that we support veterans at such a time.

Many people contributed to the book and I thank my fellow historians for their invaluable input, above all to Keith Johnson who edited the book and whose superb page layouts resulted in a lovely book printed by Gomer Press.

Launch of our WW1 publication 'Pembroke Remembers'

P & M Publications

Pembroke Remembers is our fifth publication, an enterprise that began with our community history ‘Through My Eyes: a community history of Pembroke and Monkton’.  I feel very proud of what we have achieved here.  This year we also published the memoirs of Ted Owens entitled ‘Ted: the Welsh Goat Hero’: WW2 veteran Ted Owens is 94 years old, the last surviving member of 41 Commando which stormed Sword Beach in France on D-Day.  Last year was the 75th anniversary of D-Day so this has been a great way of commemorating it.  With kind permission of the Sunderland Trust, we held the Book Launch in Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre: a great many people came along which made it a memorable occasion. I have to add that without the professional expertise of Keith Johnson who edits our books, we would not be able to achieve the success we have achieved with this important branch of our work.

Launch of Ted Owens book 'Ted, the Welsh Goat Hero'

Te,The 'Welsh Goat' Hero by Ted Owens published by Pembroke&Montkon Local History Society

Other Projects we are involved with:

Inspirational Dragons Project

The aim of our project is to build a fountain in Pembroke Millpond:  the vision is to develop a fountain in the form of a dragon, inspired by Llandrindod Wells ‘Fabulous Water Beast’. It will be a fitting sculpture for a town branding itself as the birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty!

 I obtained initial funding amounting to £13,587.00 from LEADER (which is administered by Planed)

and this is enabling us to:

Carry out a scoping study into the building of the fountain

  1. Explore the design and technology involved in its working and construction

  2. Build a working maquette - (small scale working model)

  3. In the process to involve the schools in the design, working with them to develop resources.

Joanna Burton and Paris Rouse have been working with Golden Grove, Monkton Priory Community School and the Henry Tudor School.  The project is due to be completed by May 30th and will result in an exhibition in the Town Hall so that all can see what has been done and what is proposed.  

Funded by LEADER

Sharing Heritage

We work closely with other History Societies and last year agreed to take part in the ‘Sharing Heritage’ Project, a joint project with Llangwm, Hook, Penally and Coastlands local history societies.  It was instigated by Liz Rawlings of Llangwm History Society and arose out of the need for assistance with cataloguing and digitally archiving documents, photographs, artefacts etc.  The 5 Societies have formed a constituted group, the Five Communities Group (FCG) and successfully won funding from Leader and the HLF for a professional archivist.  Angela Jones and David Llewellyn were appointed as a job share.

Pembroke Museum

The Museum opened this week for the 2020 season after making improvements and additions as we do each year when we close over the winter months.  The museum is entirely voluntary, receiving no grants but accommodation in the Court Room is by permission of Pembroke Town Council.  I take this opportunity to thank our band of volunteers who are committed to providing this service to the community, especially to Ron Rees, George Palmer, Roy Smith and Peter Thomas in assembling the new displays and to Rose Blackburn who has added a new feature to the museum.  She has acquired dolls’ houses and a large collection of miniatures, which now form a major collection.  Rose has formed a group of volunteers to help with the project: Rita and John Hyam, Mary Floyd, Marcia Whitehead, Ann & Dennis Mortenson.

Pembroke Museum


Programme of Events

Important in the year of the Society is our Programme of Events - Saturday morning Local History Coffee Mornings as well as evening talks and are held both in the Town Hall and Monkton Church Hall. Evening talks alternate with the popular Quiz Nights & buffets which continue to be popular.  A lot of organising goes into these events, promoting our heritage as well as raising funds for our work. Thank you to our hard working volunteers without whom nothing could be achieved.

Popular Quiz Night at Monkton Church Hall Winners of the Quiz Jan 2020 with Quiz Master Rose Blackburn Our buffets are very popular


Taking Part in community Events

Working in the community and supporting local events is also important.  We have taken part in Pembroke Show, Stackpole Flower Festival, Pembroke River Rally, Pembroke Castle’s Christmas Market as well as organising displays in St Mary’s Church and in the window of Brown’s Café. 

Stuart and I regularly give talks to local community groups including PD Pensioners Club, Tenby Historical Society, Lamphey History Society, Hundleton WI, Sunderland Trust, Bosherston WI, Pembroke Civic Trust, as well as our own History Society.

At Pembroke Castles Christmas Market At the Pembroke Show


To conclude, our Society has achieved a great deal this year, and continues to enjoy great support for which I thank you all. 

Former Society President, the late George Lewis receiving the Civic Award from

Pembroke Town Council for the Society's contribution to the community



























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account of our activities


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2019-20 Programme



Annual Report