First Minister Disclosed Wales’ Plans for Honoring WWI Centenary

Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones during his visit in Belgium for the Welsh Memorial in Flanders campaign.
Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones during his visit in Belgium for the Welsh Memorial in Flanders campaign.

Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones has disclosed that the country indeed has plans to commemorate First World War’s Centenary celebration this coming November 2014. He further revealed during the launch of the Welsh Soldier at Cardiff Castle’s Museum that an amount of 850,000 pounds has been set aside to fund educational projects connected to the said occasion.

Wales Remembers 1914-1918 has a website which will put in the details of the events and the information regarding the commemorations.

The First Minister has asserted that every activity should include, with national events, exhibitions and must be community-based.

The Activities

“The centenary of the start of the war in 1914 marks an important opportunity for us to remember all those who took part in the First World War and the transformational impact of the conflict in shaping modern Wales,” he stated.

He also added that there are only a few people in the country whose lives have not been affected by the Great War’s legacy, professing that the war has left a mark on most of Wales’ citizens, they may be aware of it or not.

He said he wanted community events and education to play an essential role during the commemoration.

“We want to reach everyone and I encourage you to visit the new Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 website where you will find information about events, projects and funding, and signposting services relevant to activities in Wales.”

All activities are targeted towards schools, local and national organisations, the armed forces and every individual of the country.

Leading-edge App

The commemoration’s aim is to allow people from all backgrounds and age levels to acquire a broader insight about WWI and its impact.

“The funding we are allocating will allow the National Library of Wales to lead a major project to develop bilingual, cross-curriculum learning resources, including an innovative ‘app’ which will act as a ‘Welsh guide to the battlefields’,” Huw Lewis, Wales’ Education Minister, added.

He also revealed that every secondary school in Wales is going to receive funding amounting to 1,000 pounds which will be their finance base to making creative and innovative projects in honor of the war’s memories as well as to engage students into discussing the event and eventually, debate.

“We have left it to schools to decide how best they can do this and it may be that schools will group together to undertake collaborative projects to mark the anniversary,” he said.

There are also a number of projects which have already received funding from heritage Lottery with these events being included as part of the commemorations.

Memorialized Rightly

Flintshire’s Ysgol Maes Garmon was the recipient of 10,000 pounds for pupils to conduct a study on how WWI has affected local residents.

Meanwhile, Rhymney Comprehensive School’s pupils together with adults from the Caerphilly county’s local community are the recipient of a 3,500-pound grant which they use to fund an out-of-hours group which is doing an investigation about the lives of the servicemen whose names are engraved on the plaque displayed in the school building.

“Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 will develop over the years to come and will link with the wider commemorations of the First World War that are taking place in the rest of the UK and around the world. It will be a fitting and Wales-wide commemoration, which will pay tribute to those people whose sacrifice is justly remembered by us all,” the First Minister stated in regards to these activities.

Last September, First Minister Jones made a visit to the battlegrounds in Flanders, Belgium in support of a memorial built in honor of the Welsh soldiers who died in WWI.

That time, he also announced a Welsh government funding which amounted to 25,000 pounds for the Wales Memorial in Flanders drive.

BBC News (UK) reports


Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE