Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales announces its four year programme to commemorate the First World War at St Fagans National History Museum

08 / 11 / 2013

Events and News feature holding image - 220x140On Saturday, 9 November 2013, a Remembrance Service will be held at the Newbridge War Memorial – which now stands at St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff.

The service will be held at 10.50am with Deputy Lord Lieutenant – Wing Commander Graham Morgan, the Newbridge branch of the British Legion and former soldiers attending to commemorate the sacrifice made by soldiers in the First and Second World Wars, and other wars.

Before this year’s service, Reverend Jefford, will lead a procession to the memorial from the Museum entrance at 10:30am; the Museum will observe two minutes’ silence at 11.00am. Visitors are welcome to join the service of remembrance, including a wreath-laying ceremony.

Following the service (11.30am – 1pm), curators from St Fagans and a number of the other national museums will be at the Oakdale Workman’s Institute to share stories, information on events and show objects and that will form part of the Museum’s four year programme to note the commemoration of the First World War.

Throughout the four year period, Amgueddfa Cymru ‘s seven national museums will tell the stories of the people of Wales during the war and explore the unique impact on Welsh life. Key events examined include Mametz Wood, Passchendaele, the death of Hedd Wyn and the end of the War.

The first exhibition of the programme will open at National Museum Cardiff on 2 August 2014. Efforts and Ideals: Prints of the First World War will include a series of lithographic prints which were commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917 to encourage a war-weary public and raise support for the war effort. The images, by various artists, illustrate some of the changing attitudes such as women’s role during the War.

Also next year, staff at the national museums will be encouraging members of the public to help them plant hundreds of poppy seeds. For the rest of the commemoration period, the poppies will provide an annual reminder and a place to gather to reflect.

From 2015, St Fagans will host trails to uncover the hidden histories of St Fagans Castle and gardens from the First World War.

The programme of events and exhibitions is developing continuously and will also include:

  • A dark cloud over the woollen industry (September 2014) The National Wool Museum will look at the desperation of the woollen mills for contracts to keep the mills open, and the use of Welsh national identity for recruitment;
  • Welsh industry and the Great War (Autumn 2014) An exhibition at the National Waterfront Museum, which will examine the huge impact the First World War made on Welsh industry, and the contribution of Welsh industry to Britain’s war effort;
  • Death at a Distance (31 January 2015) The National Roman Legion Museum will explore how weapons for long-range fighting, such as the catapulta and archery, have changed from the Romans to the First World War;
  • When Dai became Tommy (2 February 2015) The presentation of personal stories of the Welsh miners whose unique underground skills were exploited to dig tunnels at Big Pit National Coal Museum;
  • For Freedom and for Empire (July 2015) An exploration of the reactions of the slate quarrying communities to the recruitment campaigns at the National Slate Museum.

Throughout the commemoration period, the Museum will be producing a series of booklets to expand on and enhance these stories. Please visit our website for more details on the four year programme.

Amgueddfa Cymru’s commemoration programme forms a key part of the Welsh Government’s Wales-wide programme marking the centenary, called Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Big Pit National Coal Museum, National Wool Museum, National Waterfront Museum in Swansea and the National Slate Museum.

Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales sites is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.