Amgueddfa Cymru remembers the First World War
Telling the story of the impact of the First World War on Wales through the national museums
The First World War had a huge impact on Wales. As part of the national commemorations for the centenary of the First World War, our seven museums are exploring its impact at home and abroad through a programme of exhibitions, events and activities.
We are looking at how and why the people of Wales responded to the call of war, the experience of living through the war at home, and those fighting and working in the arenas of war. We also look at how Wales was transformed through changing skills, attitudes and beliefs during and after the war.
We will explore different opinions about the war through our collections, to help understand why it happened, the key events and its legacy today.
You can keep up to date with information and events, and share your own memories and thoughts on the First World War on: Twitter @WalesRemembers and @AmgueddfaCymru. When posting your own messages include the hashtag #WW1.
Our Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914–1918 programme and related activities are generously supported by the Welsh Government (CyMAL), the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund and other donors.
April – October 2014
In spring 2014 hundreds of poppy seeds are being planted at all our seven museums. For the rest of the commemoration period, the poppies will provide an annual reminder and a place we can all gather to reflect.
National Museum Cardiff
Efforts and Ideals: Prints of the First World War [Exhibition]
2 August 2014 - 4 January 2015
In 1917 the Ministry of Information commissioned a series of 66 lithographic prints to raise support for the war effort among a war-weary public. The images, by artists such as Nevinson, Kennington, Frank Brangwyn and Augustus John, illustrate the impact the war had on changing social attitudes. They cover nine themes, including the role of women.
The Welsh and the War [Exhibition]
2 August 2014 – 11 January 2015
Portraits of people – soldiers, sailors, airmen, politicians and families – whose lives were transformed by the First World War.
National Memory – Local Stories [Exhibition]
2 August 2014 – 4 January 1015
This display explores how objects from museum collections, via creative digital workshops, can help today’s young people and artists create their own response to the First World War.
Events and Activities
Big Pit National Coal Museum
Poppies for Remembrance [Exhibition]
19 July 2014 – 8 February 2015
Investigating the link between the cultural uses of poppies for remembrance and the science of biodiversity – the study of plant and animal species in the natural environment.
When Dai became Tommy [Exhibition]
14 February 2015 – 6 September 2015
A look at the personal stories of miners who went to war as tunnellers. It will draw in communities by asking their families for personal stories from all fields of war.
National Slate Museum
A Call to Remember! [Exhibition]
21 July 2014–26 June 2015
How do we remember and how should we commemorate war? From personal acts such as putting flowers on a grave or a photo on the wall to public memorials such as village cenotaphs and church services, the act of remembrance is something that touches us all. This exhibition makes an appeal across slate quarrying communities for information about how we remember the War and its influence on people’s lives.
Events and activities
23 July & 30 August 1pm – 3pm
In preparation for a larger exhibition in 2016 which focuses on a unique memorial to quarrymen from Dyffryn Nantlle, come and visit this exhibition and let us know how you remember and make your own poppy for rememberence
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
Working for Victory – Welsh Industry and the First World War [Exhibition]
11 October 2014 - 15 March 2015
The tens of thousands of Welshmen who went to fight in Europe were supported by many thousands more who worked in essential industries, often joined by women for the first time. This display looks at what they produced, how it contributed to the war effort and the impact of the war on Welsh industry.
Events and Activities
National Wool Museum
A Dark Cloud over the Woollen Industry [Exhibition]
1 July – 29 November 2014
This display explores the desperation of the woollen mills for contracts during the war to keep the mills open, and the use of Welsh national identity for recruitment. The Welsh Army Corps wanted to promote a Welsh national identity by clothing the new army in native homespun cloth – Brethyn Llwyd. It was short-lived and never used for active service..
National Roman Legion Museum
Equus- the Horse at War [Exhibition]
27 June 2014 – 30 January 2015
A look at how the Romans used the horse in war. This follows the Wales Millennium Centre’s performance of War Horse and the recent discovery of a horse’s head armour, called a ‘chamfron’, at Priory Field excavations at Caerleon
Pain and Passion – the Opium Poppy [Exhibition]
1 July – 16 October 2014
A display telling the story of the poppy in Roman times and how it is linked to the First World War. Poppies will be growing in the National Roman Legion Museum garden..
Death at a Distance [Exhibition]
31 January 2015 – 15 October 2016
How weapons for long-range fighting such as the catapulta and archery have changed from the Romans to the First World War. This exhibition also examines the consequences of this form of warfare on the soldiers who fought.
War, What is it Good For? [Exhibition]
16th October 2015 – 20th May 2016
Considers the good and bad concepts that come out of war.
Events and Activities
St Fagans National History Museum
A series of talks and tours using objects from the collection to reveal personal experiences of the war and different perspectives on the period.
Events and activities
Health and Healing: St Fagans Castle and the First World War
28 August 2014. St. Fagans Castle 2:00 – 3:00pm (English). 3:00 – 4:00pm (Welsh)
Discover the hidden history of St Fagans Castle during the First World War.
Meet outside the Castle. Max 15. Booking essential. (029) 2057 3424
Postcards, telegrams and letters: Communication during the First World War
18 September 2014. St Fagans Library 2:00 – 3:00pm (English). 3:00 – 4:00pm (Welsh)
An opportunity to view the Museum’s collection of First World War archives. Max 10. Booking essential (029) 2057 3424
8 November 2014, Newbridge War Memorial 10.50am
Annual service to remember the fallen, at the Newbridge War Memorial outside Oakdale Workmen’s Institute..
Click here to visit the Newbridge War Memorial website.
First World War digital database launch and open day.
8 November 2014, Oakdale Workmen’s Institute 12-2pm
Join the curators for the launch of our online database of objects, archives and photographs relating to the First World War. This online resource will contribute to the lasting digital legacy of the commemoration. The work is supported by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme.
Disability History Month: War and Impairment.
4 December 2014 2-3pm English 3-4pm Welsh
Explore objects that reveal the psychological and physical impact of the First World War on the health of Welsh soldiers. Booking required: (029) 2057 3424.
Our 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
Cymru'n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 (www.walesremembers.org) is the official site for information on how Wales will mark the centenary of the First World War in Wales. It provides a focal point for information on the latest news, projects, events and signposting services for the programme of commemoration which will take place in Wales from 2014 to 2018.