Sunday, 4 May 2014

Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum safeguards valuable First World War memories

The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum in Caernarfon is playing an important role in safeguarding valuable memories and history from the First World War as we mark the centenary of the conflict, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said.

The First Minister visited the museum, which is housed in two of Caernarfon Castle’s towers,  to view their existing display on the First World War and to hear about their plans for events and further exhibitions that will take place during the period of the commemoration.  
The museum is currently seeking photographs of soldiers who died so they can be displayed at the Museum.  Over 10,000 members of the RWF died in the conflict.   The existing exhibition at the Museum also highlights the number of writers who were in the RWF during the war, including Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Hedd Wyn.
The First Minister said:
“No part of Wales was untouched by the First World War and as we commemorate the centenary, the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum is playing a key role in preserving the memories and history of that time.  Its aspiration to collect photographs of all the members of the battalion who fell is a huge task but one which will help to connect us with our lost generation.
“The museum programme of events is part of a range of activities and events taking place across Wales.  Cadw recently announced a new scheme to safeguard our war memorials in Wales, and I would encourage local communities to apply for the grants available to assist with the conservation of these important monuments to the fallen of Wales.
“The First World War changed the course of history and the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum is ensuring that future generations realise the impact this event had across the country.”
Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley said:
“The First Minister has given a clear lead in highlighting the importance of the Great War centenary to the enrichment of Welsh life and culture.  We are always delighted to welcome him to our resources in Caernarfon Castle, Wrexham and Bodelwyddan -  and never more so than at this time. We are committed to doing whatever we can to contribute to the events of the next four years, with our friends and partners.”
Shirley Williams the Museum’s Education Officer said:
"We have recently launched a project where we are collecting the photographs and biographical details of fallen soldiers of the RWF. Our eventual aim is to display the information of each man on the centenary of their deaths.
“Our project has already drawn the interest of the local community and people further afield who have enthusiastically contributed around 1,000 photographs to our collection so far.  Our project is on-going and we continue to appeal for materials from the public and hope for some volunteers who would be willing to scan old newspapers and archived collections."
The Royal Welch Fusiliers is Wales’ oldest infantry regiment, with 300 years of service.  North Wales is its traditional home but recruits have come from all over the UK and Ireland.

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