Helping Wales mark 100 years since the First World War

The HLF is playing a key part in a national programme of events and initiatives to mark the centenary of the war between 2014 and 2018 and tomorrow, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, will set out this programme and timeline of events. Through the First World War: then and now grant programme, local groups and communities across Wales have already started marking this historic milestone in their own unique ways and further funding has recently been earmarked towards the Temple of Peace in Cardiff and memorials across Powys.

A £950,000 grant has been earmarked for the Welsh Centre for International Affairs which will use an initial £32,000 development grant to make improvements at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff which houses Wales’ National Book of Remembrance for the First World War. The book of remembrance itself will be digitised through the funding so that it will be accessible to all across Wales and a research project will look at existing information to enable people of all ages to better understand Welsh experiences during the war and the way that people now feel about conflict.

Welcoming the grant award, Martin Pollard from the WCIA, said "We believe it is important to get people throughout Wales discussing what conflict and peace mean to them today so that we can try to avoid devastating conflicts happening in the future. Therefore, we feel it is vital that we enable people to appreciate Wales' First World War heritage, including the National Book of Remembrance, which is housed in the Temple of Peace and is a key commemorative symbol of the war in Wales.”

Funding has also been earmarked for the Powys War Memorials Project 2014-2018: A Mark of Respect where a £51,000 development grant will be used to revive 48 war memorials across the county. Awarded to Powys County Council, the funding will provide ‘conservation kits’ to communities, schools and local groups across the county to help them care for and conserve their local memorials.

The centenary of the First World War will mark a significant milestone in Wales’ history and the Heritage Lottery Fund will continue to highlight its importance. Stressing the significance of this anniversary, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund’s Committee for Wales, Manon Williams said, “With interest from communities extremely high, the Heritage Lottery Fund has already awarded grants to a number of excellent wide-ranging projects in Wales that aim to explore the legacy of the First World War. As we draw nearer to the centenary, it is encouraging to see so many groups looking for ways to commemorate the war in their area and make their contribution to nationwide tributes to those generations directly affected by the conflict.”

Other HLF funded First World War projects in Wales

The effects of the First World War on the residents of Flintshire
A pan-school project in Ysgol Maes Garmon, Flintshire will see pupils of all ages undertaking their own research to commemorate and mark the First World War and its far-reaching effect on the residents of the area. The year-long project will be led by a committee of Year 12 pupils who will use their £10,000 grant to launch a local and national appeal for personal stories of those who lived in Flintshire during the war. Visits to the National Museum in Cardiff, the Imperial War Museum and the National Library of Wales will also help them in their research. Following the collection of research, their work will be displayed as part of an exhibition in the town in June 2014 and it will then be made available on the Flintshire Memorial website.

Remembering the Fallen – Caerphilly
This project will see pupils from Rhymney Comprehensive School, Caerphilly, exploring and learning about their local First World War heritage by researching the history of servicemen listed on an existing memorial plaque at the school. The school was awarded £3,500 which will help them to run an out-of-hours group for people of all ages from the local community where they will research this local history. As part of the group’s work, they will also create a website to mark the lives of soldiers named on the memorial and take part in the design and creation of a commemorative mosaic.

Brecon Remembers – Brecon
The first project to be awarded funding through the First World War: then and now programme, members of the Brecon Family History branch of University of the Third Age wanted to mark the centenary of the war by creating a short history of each person named on memorials in Brecon and the surrounding area. The hope is that when the information gathering about their birth, schooling, work life and about their role in the conflict is completed, they will then be able to create an information leaflet which will be shared locally and with visitors to the area.

Cartooning the First World War in Wales - Swansea
The patriotic cartoons of J M Staniforth cheered readers of the Western Mail in Wales throughout the First World War and this project will digitise his wartime work and explore public feeling in Wales towards the First World War at the time of the conflict. 1,350 of Staniforth’s images will be reproduced on an interactive website. Volunteers, including school students, cadet groups and undergraduates from Swansea University will play a key part in the undertaking of the work with the completed website allowing users to view and share the cartoons, as well as upload other First World War cartoons.

Remembering the Local People who made the Sacrifice in the Wars - Denbighshire
Families in Denbighshire have been learning about their relatives whose names appear on three local war memorials in Llangollen, Froncysyllte and Garth for the Boer War, First World War and Second World War. Volunteers of all ages have been taking part in the project to ensure that relatives killed during the war are remembered, and to ensure future generations can understand the impact of the war on their families and communities.

Park Place Remembers the Great War - Tredegar
Eleven names on a plaque fascinated the young people at Kidz R Us, a performing arts centre in Tredegar that was once a chapel.  This led to a research project on the lives of the eleven young men listed who died during the First World War. The group created an art project based on their findings with the help of a £23,000 grant and over forty young people were involved in the project, producing a documentary film and exhibition about life in Tredegar during the First World War. Younger children also created a horse sculpture inspired by a trip to London to see the play Warhorse.

Further information

For further information please contact Naomi Williams on 029 2044 2020, email: naomi@positifgroup.co.uk.

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