First World War remembered in Anglesey thanks to Lottery funding

First World War remembered in Anglesey thanks to Lottery funding

Bilingual interpretation boards at the Holyhead Maritime Museum
Bilingual interpretation boards at the Holyhead Maritime Museum

HLF has recently awarded over £20,000 to projects in Anglesey, which will ensure the repair of the memorial village clock in Gwalchmai, expand and revitalise Holyhead’s Maritime Museum and fund a programme of commemorative events in Beaumaris.

Jennifer Stewart, Head of HLF, Wales said, “We want to help as many communities and people as possible across Wales to commemorate the First World War and to recognise the long-lasting impact the conflict had on their communities. It’s excellent to see so many groups getting involved in Anglesey, with people of all ages playing their part to ensure that the sacrifices made a century ago are not forgotten.”

Home to a naval base during the First World War, Holyhead has a long maritime history and the town’s maritime museum will now be able to expand its existing collection of memorabilia related to the town’s role in the conflict whilst also expanding their exhibition to reflect the significant involvement of Holyhead in the war.

Albert Owen MP for Ynys Môn, museum patron, welcomed the news and said: “This is such a great museum that truly deserves this support from HLF. The grant will enable them to build on their existing collection of artefacts related to the war and helping them to contribute positively towards the commemorations taking place across Anglesey.”

The St Mary and St Nicholas Church in Beaumaris will become central to First World War commemorations in the town as a result of their grant with a host of memorial activities including an exhibition about Beaumaris and Anglesey during the war, concerts, drama performances, poetry readings and conservation works. The historic church is home to Beaumaris’ First World War memorial, and two church windows that are dedicated to those lost in the conflict will be repaired and restored.

The memorial clock, which has stood at the heart of Gwalchmai since the local parishioners grouped together to provide funding for it in 1926, will be repaired and brought back into action once again. It is recognised as one of the most notable memorials in Anglesey, and research undertaken by local schoolchildren will aim to provide insight and connections with those who continue to live in the small community.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Assembly Member for Ynys Mon, welcomed the HLF support for First World War projects in Anglesey. He said: “It’s inspiring to see so much interest across the island in commemorating the First World War in so many different ways. Anglesey felt the effects of war, providing several military bases, and of course the island lost many of its sons. It is vitally important that this history is remembered and understood now and by future generations, which is why HLF’s support is so important.”

Note to editors

The following grants have been awarded by HLF to:

  • Holyhead Maritime Museum Ltd: Holyhead during the First World War: £3,700
  • St Mary and St Nicholas Church: Beaumaris and World War One: £10,000
  • Trewalchmai Community Council: Restoration and Repair to Village War Memorial Clock: £10,000

Project plans:
Holyhead during the First World War
Holyhead Maritime Museum (HMM) is a volunteer-led museum in a Victorian Lifeboat House. Their principal collection relates to the area's maritime history but they also have an exhibition of wartime artefacts in a WW2 Air Raid Shelter.

  • The project will enable them to add to the existing collection of First World War artefacts by working with local private owners of photographs and memorabilia
  • New bilingual interpretation boards and education packs will be created
  • Collecting oral histories from local people who remember stories about the First War World in Holyhead
  • Engaging with local community groups, schools and libraries to share the project more widely.

Beaumaris and World War One
The 14th-century church is listed Grade 1 and contains many fine tombs, carvings and monuments including two stained glass memorial windows to officers who fell in the First World War and the main town war memorial is situated within the churchyard.

  • Repairs to the two First World War memorial windows and installation of protective guards.
  • Research will be undertaken about Beaumaris and Anglesey in the war, informing a temporary display within the church and will be published in an accompanying memorial booklet
  • Work with volunteers, local youth groups and schools to research the eight Commonwealth War Graves in the parish and effect of the war on the community
  • Educational packs will be produced and a series of commemorative talks, concerts, poetry readings and events will be held in the church
  • Production of a project DVD and use of the People's Collection to upload key project information

Restoration and Repair to Village War Memorial Clock, Gwalchmai

  • The Gwalchmai war memorial clock commemorates local First and Second World War military servicemen who lost their lives
  • Repair and restoration of the clock mechanism, returning it to full working order
  • Schoolchildren from the local primary school will research the monument's history and names of those listed; making connections with those who continue to live in the community
  • Local schoolchildren involved with the project will read out the names of the fallen at a service on remembrance Sunday

Further information

Naomi Williams, on tel: 02920 442020, or email: