Call to protect 'hidden' war memorials

Reporter:

Arron Evans

Anglesey Assembly Member, Rhun ap Iorwerth, has this week called on the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to safeguard an important part of the area’s heritage for the future.

All around Wales, there are memorials for those who lost their lives in war and Rhun believes that Although CADW take steps to protect the more ‘public memorials, the other ‘hidden’ memorials are largely unprotected.

During First Minister’s Questions, Rhun said: “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to ask the question, and it is a matter I feel quite strongly about. Major war memorials—you will know about them—on village squares are things that are protected, and Cadw do excellent work in protecting them.

“But there are other war memorials around Wales—in chapels, for example, or even in old factories—that commemorate people who’ve lost their lives in wars. Those need protection too, and may I make an appeal to the Welsh Government to ensure that work is done in order to assist us to safeguard our heritage for the future and commemorate those who lost their lives.”

This resulted from an approach from historian Dr Gethin Matthews of Swansea University, who believes that in many cases the 'unofficial' war memorials that can be found all over Wales are actually more interesting than the civic memorials.

”When chapel congregations or members of a club or workmates chose to commemorate their fallen friends and colleagues, they did so without being told what to do, and so what they created tells us a lot about what they thought about the war at the time.” he said.

Repsonding to Rhun ap, the First Minister said: “One of the things that we had to do was to ensure that we knew how many memorials we had, because no-one had a list and no-one knew exactly where they were.

“But what has happened up to now is that more and more people have considered that they have a memorial, and, of course, that they want some money to maintain that memorial in the appropriate manner. So, if there are some on Ynys Môn, it’s important that we know their location and, of course, that they know in what ways they can get some help.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth will now write to the First Minister with further details.

Email:

arron.evans@nwn.co.uk

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