Flanders and Wales A First World War Symposium

12 / 10 / 2017

Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

9 November 2017, 8.45am – 5.45pm

poster-05a_jpgThis one day symposium on the Welsh and Flemish experience in the First World War, sponsored by the Cardiff University, the Government of Flanders, and the Welsh Government, held at the Pierhead building in Cardiff on 9 November 2017. Presentations will be offered on the military experiences in Flanders Fields, on the hosting of Belgian refugees in Wales, as well as the wider social and literary context.

The symposium is organized with reference to the commemoration of the Passchendaele campaign of July-November 1917, 100 years ago. This centenary has been marked by a wider series of commemorative events, with a Welsh Service of Commemoration in Flanders on 31 July 2017, and collaborative projects between the Government of Flanders and the Welsh Government, including this symposium.






8.45 – 14.10  Registration for entire day or morning only, and coffee


9.15 – 9.30     Opening address and greetings from the Presiding Officers of the Welsh National Assembly and the Flemish Parliament
9.30 – 9.45     Julian Walker, writer and researcher, University College London: An introduction to the themes of the conference
9.45 – 10.15    1. Toby Thacker, Cardiff University: ‘The most dolorous scenes in British military history: Passchendaele in History and Memory’
10.15 – 10.45   2. Aled Eirug, Swansea University: ‘Conscientious objectors in Wales during the First World War’

10.45 – 11.15   Coffee

11.15 – 11.45   3. Christophe Declercq, Leuven University / University College London: ‘Flemish and Belgian identity in Wales in the First World War’
11.45 – 12.15   4. Toni Vitti:  ‘The Belgian refugees in Rhyl’Ifor ap Glyn, National Poet of Wales: ‘Letters home from Welsh soldiers in the First World War’
12.15 – 12.45   5. John Bradshaw, former Portreeve of Laugharne, and local historian: ‘Belgian refugees in Laugharne and Carmarthenshire’

12.45 – 14.00  Lunch 


14.00 – 14.30   6. Rhian Davies, Artistic Director of the Gregynog Festival:  ‘Belgian refugee musicians in Wales’
14.30 – 15.00   7. Peter Theunynck, Writer in residence at Tŷ Newydd Writing Cente: ‘”Wales is among the most beautiful spots in Great Britain”. Gustave Van de Woestyne –  Painter in exile’
15.00 – 15.30    8. Hugh Dunthorne, Swansea University: ‘Frank Brangwyn and Flemish refugee artists in Wales’

15.30 – 16.00   Coffee

16.00 – 16.30   9. Gethin Matthews, Swansea University: ‘Welsh Soldiers and their Identity on the Western Front’
16.30 – 17.00   10. Ifor ap Glyn, National Poet of Wales, ‘Letters Home from Welsh Soldiers on the Western Front’

17.00 – 17.15   11. Christophe Declercq and Toby Thacker, Concluding Remarks

Main Hall, Pierhead Building
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99

Booking Attendance at the symposium is free and lunch will be provided. If you wish to attend please do so on the following webpage Places at the symposium are limited and will be allotted on a first come first served basis.