OWEN VAUGHAN’S book ‘The headstones and memorials of the Garrison Cemetery at Pembroke Dock’ was launched at a small gathering of friends and family in The Pater Hall’s Warrior Room on April 15.
This is the second of Owen’s books to have been published locally – the first was about the Park Street Cemetery. These books are not simply a list of names and gravestones, but wherever possible Owen traced the history of the people recorded.
Sadly, Owen passed away before this second book was published, but the prodigious amount of work and research he put in, have resulted in a social history of Pembroke Dock in the nineteenth century, which is invaluable, since the town today bears little resemblance to the way it was then.
In the Military Cemetery book he establishes that it is not just servicemen who are buried here, but also their families – wives, children, even sisters – and also that it is not just about men stationed in Pembroke Dock, but also from establishments further down the Haven, such as Hubberston Fort and servicemen who originate from all over Britain and Ireland.
This is a wonderful reference for anyone tracing their family history, just like the Park Street book.
Another thing which comes across strongly is the high infant mortality rate in the nineteenth century, with many graves of young children. It also illustrates that although Pembroke Dock was known as a Royal Dockyard Town, it was also an important Military Town, with servicemen stationed at the Hut Encampment which became Llanion Barracks, Defensible Barracks, Pennar Barracks and other Military establishments in the area.
Copies of the book, priced at £10.00, may be purchased from The Pater Hall Office between the hours of 10 and 12 weekday mornings, or from PD Heritage Centre or Pembroke Town Museum.