DURING the First World War, the Monmouthshire Regiment’s 2nd Battalion fought throughout the War on the Western Front and also earned the distinction of being the only territorial force unit to form part of the Army of Occupation in 1918 to 1919.

The 2nd Mons left from Pontypool in August 1914, the first territorial unit to travel to France and did not return until June 1919.

After four years of trench warfare, in September 1918, The 2nd Mons were back in Ypres and took part in a successful offensive against Passchendaele Ridge. This advance continued until October 2 when the Germans made a spirited defence and both sides consolidated their positions.

The 2nd Mons continued with their pioneer tasks, suffering casualties from German shelling.

By October 1918, the advance began again with the Regiment crossing the River Lys, which straddles the border of France and Belgium and occupying Courtrai where they received a heroes welcome from the townspeople.

For Private Heare and his pal Scottie, this proved to be a mixed blessing - for, after enjoying a plate of steak and chips given to them, they received some unwelcome information:

“I feel my stomach go all about," recalled Private Heare.

"‘What’s wrong?’ says Scottie. ‘We have eaten horse flesh’.

"Out rushes Scottie and he has it all up. I manage to keep mine down!”

Torfaen Museum is currently showing the exhibition Out in 1914, Home at Last which is organised in partnership with the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh in Brecon and runs in Pontypool until November 17.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.