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Appeal launched for Welsh Passchendaele memorial

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BBC Wales History BBC Wales History | 10:58 UK time, Monday, 24 October 2011

The Passchendaele Society in Belgium has launched an appeal to erect a memorial to commemorate soldiers from Wales who were killed in the Battle of Passchendaele during World War One.

The Battle of Passchendaele, which is also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, saw hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides of the conflict.

It lasted from 31 July to 6 November 1917 and is notorious, not just for the high number of deaths, (there were a total of 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties) but also the abominable muddy conditions in which it was fought.

The appeal for a Welsh memorial was unveiled at an event close to where many of the Welsh soldiers died in Langemark, near Ypres.

Retired police officer Peter Jones, who is co-ordinating the appeal in Wales, and was in Belgium for the launch, said it was important to remember the Welsh soldiers lost their lives during the conflict.

"It's very worthwhile. Everybody else has got a monument out there - the Irish and the Scottish - but we don't have anything at all," he said.

"On the Somme in France there is a memorial for the Welsh but not here.

"There is a lot of support for it. Whether that support will be converted into cash we will have to see."

Appeal organisers are looking to raise 60,000 euros (£52,000) to fund the Welsh memorial.

Read more about the appeal on the BBC Wales News website.

View Welsh Voices of the Great War Online gallery on BBC Wales History http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/galleries/world-war-one-remembrance/index.shtml

Organisers hope it will become a memorial to all Welsh soldiers who died in the Great War.

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