Dragons symbolize sovereignty in Welsh culture. It is no wonder why a Welsh-based organization is aiming at making a marker in the likeness of this mighty creature to honor their fellow countrymen who have fallen while defending their country in the World War I.
The Welsh Memorial in Flanders has put up a campaign to give tribute to the Welshmen who fought in WWI. Their goal is to put up a marker or a “cromlech” in Langemark, near Ypres in Belgium — the area being the stage to a number of the grisliest battles of the Great War of Belgium. Additionally, the symbol they are planning to put up on the top of this monument is that of a fierce, glorious dragon.
The WMF needs to raise 90,000 pounds for their said endeavor; so far, they are 30,000 nearer to that amount.
Conwy’s former mayor, 85-year-old Betty Pattinson, has shown her support for WMF’s plan in putting up the said memorial for the brave people of Wales who served in WWI.
Mrs. Pattinson, whose father served in the trenches with a Border Regiment during the First World War, said:
“I think the campaign is a wonderful idea. I don’t know quite why it hasn’t happened before. I do know that the First World War affected every family in the land.”
She went on to say that after the war, survivors’ quality of lives were very much affected — some got sick due to the gases they had inhaled while others had lost limbs. Even her father’s life, William Owens Robert, was cut short due to the three wounds he had sustained in the war.
And just like Mrs. Pattinson, families of other former World War I servicemen and women gave their approval about the Flanders’ WWI monument.
87-year-old Muriel Price’s father, Private Ernest Jones, also served in the war. She even have in her possession the lead shot bullet which took his life. She expressed delight upon knowing WMF’s campaign.
“I have very fond memories of my father as a child and I’ve wanted his story to be told for many years. We should never forget their bravery, their terrible suffering they had to endure and the sacrifice they made for us. I am pleased that plans are ongoing to remember the brave soldiers who fought in Flanders Fields.”
Casting the Bronze Dragon
Alwyn Bevan, one of the people who spearheaded the campaign, has decided upon a 6-foot long bronze dragon to be the symbol of the upcoming WWI monument.
Welsh Memorial Flanders’ North Wales committee has been in talk with two sculptors from Poplar Forge ironworks in Ewloe Green, Steve Gillard and Stewart Wilson for the project though decisions still have to be made for the commission.
Article based on:
Let Us Honor Our Fallen War Heroes (Daily Post)
Bronze Dragon Forged in North Wales Could Top Flanders Memorial to WWI Heroes (Daily Post)