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‘First World War: then and now’


On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, The National Library of Wales (NLW) is publishing on its website The Cardiganshire Great War Appeals Tribunals Records.  This Centenary project was made possible by a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) programme ‘First World War: then and now’.  

Conscription came into effect in January 1916 through The Military Service Act and county tribunals were set up to deal with appeals against conscription to the armed forces on personal, economic, moral or religious grounds.  In 1921, the Government ordered that all county tribunal records should be destroyed; nevertheless the Cardiganshire records survived. Now the archive is completely unique in Wales, and one of the few of its kind that exists in the United Kingdom.

The information within these tribunals records offers an often poignant insight to the personal circumstances of those applying for exemption, as well as the impact of conscription on rural communities.

Gwyneth Davies, Volunteering Co-ordinator, The National Library of Wales said:

“HLF funding enabled NLW staff to train community groups in how to use an online resource, recently developed by the NLW, to transcribe and index the records.  Thanks to the dedication of over 200 volunteers, the records can now be searched by name, address, date, etc. “

To recognise the contribution the HLF and its First World War projects have made to the Centenary, the Department for Digital, Media and Sport invited HLF to nominate people to attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 11th of November to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

As a result, two of the NLW’s volunteers (who were among the top five transcribers of the Tribunal Records) will be travelling to London this weekend to join members of the Royal family, religious and political leaders, as well as 300 members of the public who have contributed to the Centenary on a national, regional and local level, at Westminster Abbey for this special commemoration service.
To view The Cardiganshire Great War Appeals Tribunals Records, please visit the Archives section of the Digital Gallery on - the National Library's website

Further Information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or


The Heritage Lottery Fund distributes the heritage share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK. HLF has invested £97million in 2,200 First World War Centenary projects.
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