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Help The National Library of Wales to unlock the hidden history of the Great War


Today, The National Library of Wales (NLW) has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards 'Unlocking the Hidden History of the Great War' project.

Awarded through the HLF First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on the Cardiganshire Great War Tribunals Records, the tribunals that dealt with appeals against conscription to the armed forces (on personal, economic, moral or religious grounds.)

In 1921, the Government ordered that all tribunal records should be destroyed; nevertheless the Cardiganshire minutes survived. Now the archive is completely unique in Wales, and one of the few of its kind that exists in the United Kingdom.

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the 'Unlocking the Hidden History of the Great War' project enables volunteers across Wales to use the online resource, recently developed by NLW, to transcribe and index the records so that they can search by Name, Address, Date, etc. The final resource will be available on the NLW website to researchers, family historians and anyone interested in the heritage of the Great War, and on the education website ‘Hwb' for schools and colleges.

The financial support from HLF enables staff and NLW volunteers to visit communities and local societies in Ceredigion to share the history of the records and to provide training on how to use the online resource, encouraging groups to work together to provide practical support and to socialize. There will also be an opportunity during the information sessions to share and record local oral histories of the First World War.

Commenting on the award, Pedr ap Llwyd, Director of Collections and Public Programmes at The National Library of Wales said:

"The history of those who tried to avoid going to war for whatever reason has not had the attention it deserves in the historiography of the First World War. Through the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund part of the war’s secret heritage which is held at The National Library of Wales will become accessible to the people of Wales and the world, now and in the future. "

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, added:

“The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching every corner of the UK. Through our dedicated grants programme, created to commemorate the Centenary, we are helping communities remember and pay tribute to those involved. The story of those who did not fight played its own part in Britain’s social history, and digitising Wales’s only remaining record will ensure this important snippet of history is not forgotten.”

To book an information session, please contact Gwyneth Davies (Volunteer Coordinator NLW) 01970 632 991 or

Further Information

Elin-Hâf  01970 632471 or


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