National Army Museum Reports for Duty in Cardiff

29 / 05 / 2014
  • Special exhibition will commemorate the regiments of Wales’ role during the Great War
  • Photos and stories bring their unique war experience to life
  • Exhibition created in partnership with Firing Line – Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier


An exhibition exploring the unique role played by the regiments of Wales during World War One is set to open in Cardiff this summer.

Wales Goes to War will be brought to Firing Line, Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier by the National Army Museum (NAM), based in Chelsea, London. The exhibition draws on a host of artefacts, photos and stories from the Museum’s rich Collection, relating to regiments like the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the South Wales Borderers and the Welsh Regiment.

Regiments from Wales played a vital role in all stages of the First World War, and visitors to the exhibition will learn more about the stories and experiences of the troops who fought. Displays will look at how the battalions from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the South Wales Borderers and the Welsh Regiment were amongst the first to be sent to France in August 1914. The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers also took part in the famous Christmas Truce in 1914.

Wales Goes to War will also put the wartime experiences of Welsh regiments into the context of the Great War as a global war, exploring the South Wales Borderers’ involvement in the Siege of Tsingtao, a German held port in China.

Seeking to bring to life the personal experiences of Welsh soldiers on the front line, the exhibition focuses on day-to-day experiences such as letter writing, looking at the quick and effective postal service run by the Royal Engineers between the Western Front and Britain.

Janice Murray, Director General at the NAM says, “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting this unique exhibition together, and are looking forward to opening its doors to Cardiff residents and visitors. Peppered with stories showing how local regiments played their own important part in the events of the First World War, Wales Goes to War untangles the complex war experience of Wales in the historic city centre.”

Rachel Silverson, Curator- Firing Line, Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier adds, “We’re pleased to have been able to partner with the NAM to realise this exhibition, set to add a powerful string to our bow of First World War commemoration activities.”

Wales Goes to War forms part of the NAM’s extensive First World War commemoration programme. Under the overarching theme of ‘Outbreak and Mobilisation 1914-1915’, the Museum is currently taking its unique objects and learning facilities out into the nation, exploring the early days of the war and the way in which the British Army was prepared and mobilised. The programme draws on recruitment and propaganda posters, uniforms, photographs, weapons and letters to tell a world war story with personal and local elements.