Brecon's World War I project wins lottery grant

media captionProject leader Steve Morris says they have discovered more veterans

A project exploring the lives of more than 100 soldiers from Brecon killed during World War I has won a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Brecon Remembers project will use the £5,500 to learn more about the men listed on the town's war memorial.

The HLF said it was the first grant awarded in Wales through its First World War: then and now programme.

Centenary commemorations marking the outbreak of WWI are due to begin around the UK on 4 August, 2014.

The grant for the nine-month project was awarded to the family history branch of the Brecon University of the Third Age (U3A).

Brecon Remembers will create a short history of each person named on the Powys town's memorial, including details of their birth, schooling, occupation and their role and involvement in the war.

The information will be placed on the project's webpage and published in an information booklet to be shared locally and with visitors.

Project leader Steve Morris said the grant will help ensure the project is completed.

"As part of the family history group of Brecon U3A, we wanted to do something to commemorate World War One," he explained.

"We decided to try and provide mini biographies of each of the men from the Brecon parishes who fell.

"It turned out to be a larger process than we first thought - starting with 119 men, and then I found another 30 others on top of that who are not currently on the memorials.

"Every man has a story to tell."

Jennifer Stewart, head of the HLF in Wales, said: "This grant programme marking the centenary of the First World War is extremely important to the Heritage Lottery Fund as it will allow us to help the communities of Wales to commemorate their First World War heritage.

"The Brecon Remembers project is a great example of the sort of community project which can be carried out with our funding."

In the run-up to the start of the 2014 centenary commemorations, the HLF is providing small grants to communities looking to mark the anniversary.

The HLF said the money would enable communities explore the continuing legacy of the war and help young people broaden their understanding of how it had shaped their country.

Local links to the Armed Forces are strong in Brecon, with the Infantry Battle School based in the town and a barracks.

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