Wales' commemoration plans for WWI unveiled by first minister

First Minister Carwyn Jones visited Flanders on Wednesday Carwyn Jones visited Welsh soldiers' graves in Belgium in September

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Plans to commemorate the centenary of World War I in Wales have been unveiled by the first minister.

Carwyn Jones said £850,000 would be available for educational projects, during the launch at Cardiff Castle's Museum of the Welsh Soldier.

Wales Remembers 1914-1918 also has a website detailing events and information about the commemorations.

Mr Jones said they should be inclusive, with national events, exhibitions and community-based activities.

Mr Jones said: "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.

Signposting

Start Quote

"I want the commemoration in Wales to be inclusive, with national events and exhibitions accompanied by community-based activities.”

End Quote Carwyn Jones First Minister

"There will be very few people in Wales whose lives have not been affected by the First World War's enduring legacy, whether they are aware of it or not."

The first minister said he wanted education and community events to play a central role.

"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."

School, local and national organisations, the armed forces and individuals are all being targeted.

Innovative app

The aim of the programme is to enable people of all ages and backgrounds to gain a greater understanding of the war and its impact.

Education Minister Huw Lewis added: "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'.

"In addition, every secondary school in Wales will receive £1,000 to develop creative and innovative projects to commemorate the war and to encourage debate and discussion.

"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."

Some projects have already received Heritage Lottery funding for events that will form part of the commemorations.

'Justly remembered'

Ysgol Maes Garmon in Flintshire received £10,000 for pupils to research the effects of WWI on local residents.

Pupils from Rhymney Comprehensive School and adults from the local community in Caerphilly county are using a £3,500 grant to run an out-of-hours group investigating the lives of servicemen named on a plaque in the school building.

Mr Jones added: "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."

In September, Mr Jones visited battlefields in Flanders, Belgium, to support a memorial to the Welsh soldiers who died during WWI.

He announced £25,000 in Welsh government funding for the Wales Memorial in Flanders Campaign.

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