Lottery money helps Brecon remember the First World War

04 / 08 / 2013

HLF Logo image - LGEThe Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant to help Brecon remember the First World War – the first grant awarded in Wales through the First World War: then and now programme. 

The grant has been given to the ‘Brecon Remembers’ project and will now enable people research the stories and background of names on local First World War memorials.

The announcement of this grant award for the Brecon Remembers project marks a year to the day that the First World War centenary commemorations begin on 4 August 2014, initiating a series of centenary events. The funding means that a 9-month project investigating the 119 local men whose names are on Brecon memorials will now commence and Brecon’s role in the First World War will be commemorated.

The grant was awarded to the Family History branch of the Brecon University of the Third Age and in welcoming the announcement, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, Jennifer Stewart, 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.”

First World War Commemorations
In the run-up to the start of the 2014 centenary commemorations, the Heritage Lottery Fund is providing small grants to communities looking to mark the centenary through its ‘First World War: then and now’ programme. The new programme will enable communities in Wales to explore the continuing legacy of the war and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped their country.

Strong emphasis has been placed on the commemorations by the Welsh Government and Professor Sir Deian Hopkin, President of The National Library of Wales and expert advisor to the Welsh Government on commemorative activities, has stressed the need to engage with as many people and associations as possible in marking the centenary.

He said:

“As we draw closer to the conflict’s centenary it is vital that those who lost their lives, suffered great injury or generally played their part over the four years of the First World War are commemorated so that future generations can understand the enormous significance of this period in our history. It is therefore encouraging, a year ahead of the centenary, to see groups and communities already looking at the ways they can commemorate the war locally and contribute to the legacy of understanding which we hope the programme of projects and activities will create. Hopefully many more will do the same in the years ahead.”

The Brecon Remembers project will seek to create a short history of each person named on the town’s memorials, including details of their birth, schooling, occupation and their role and involvement in the war. The information collated will then be widely available on the project’s webpage and catalogued in an information booklet to be shared locally and with visitors.

Local links to the Armed Forces remain strong, with the Infantry Battle School (IBS) based in Brecon and is one of the largest military training areas in the UK. It is therefore particularly appropriate that the first grant awarded in Wales through the First World War: then and now programme has been given to this project. 

Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said 

“We are thrilled that this project, in an area that still remains so connected with the Armed Forces, has been successful in its application bid.”