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Wales at War

The National Library of Wales is pleased to announce the launch today in Cardiff of Wales at War Cymru yn y Rhyfel (W@W), a project to develop inclusive learning and heritage activities as part of the commemoration of the First World War in Wales.

Wales at War has been funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Education and Skills in Welsh Government.  The project is led by the National Library of Wales, in partnership with the Royal Navy and schools in Wales.  The project will also work closely with a range of partners, including the Armed Forces, ARCW, RCAHM, CADW, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the War Memorials Trust. 

Wales at War will create a major digital resource via a dedicated platform/App.  The app will include: a First World War timeline with a distinct Welsh flavour; a Theatres of War element, depicting where Welsh Service personnel fought and using primary source materials to depict their living conditions and experiences; and a war memorial section which will include details of war memorial throughout Wales and engage young people in historical research compiling biographies of the fallen of the War as listed on their local community war memorials.  The project will raise community awareness and resonance of the memorials, drawing attention to any conservation needs and will serve as a meaningful First World War  legacy for Wales and a tribute to the fallen.

Professor Lorna Hughes, University of Wales Chair in Digital Collections at the National Library of Wales, and Project Director said, “Wales at War is an inclusive, bilingual learning and discovery programme that will engage young people in Wales in activities to develop their understanding of history.  The project will encourage reflection of the transformational impact of the First World War on life and communities in Wales.”

Commander Tom Herman, Royal Navy said, “Through activities focused on local war memorials, Wales at War will highlight the sacrifice of Welsh Service personnel, and show the impact of the War on individuals and communities.  The project will introduce new generations to the cause, impact and consequences of the First World War, on life and communities throughout Wales, and pay tribute to those Welsh people whose hard work and sacrifice is remembered by us all.”

Dr Jonathan Hicks, Headteacher, St Cyres School, historian and author said, “Throughout this project, pupils and teachers will be guided in developing skills in historical research and new technology to document and capture images of local war memorials, construct biographies of the fallen, report their findings, and illustrate their learning experience through creative activities, digital or recorded, according to each pupils age and ability.  This project will give pupils a more representational understanding of the global nature of the First World War, and develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the War outside the stereotyped images of the Western Front trenches.”

Kate Marshall, Educational Coordinator, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, believes that “Wales at War will encourage students to research their past and ultimately engage with their local history.  The project will allow students, and teachers alike, to commemorate those men and women who died in the First World War.  Through developing new skills and knowledge students will be able to cultivate and share their research, visit war memorials and war cemeteries and hopefully paint a picture of how the war affected the whole of Wales”.

Wales at War is an important community outreach project that will foster greater engagement between schools, families, community groups and military organisations, and develop a collective biography of Wales at War.  The project will give Wales a meaningful and fitting tribute, ‘To the sons of Wales who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914 – 1918.’ (Inscription – Welsh National War Memorial, Cardiff)

Further Information

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