Rhagor - Opening our national collections

Aftermath: remembering the Great War in Wales

Of the 700,000 British servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War, 35,000 are listed in the Welsh Book of Remembrance.

The decision taken in 1915 to ban the repatriation of bodies from the battlefield had far reaching consequences in the commemoration process.

The many hundreds of local war memorials across Wales reflected the desire for an immediate and permanent reminder of the dead, as communities sought public acknowledgement for their loss.

Inscriptions on memorials invoke ideals of honour, sacrifice and loyalty, and are often expressed in Welsh and English, or as at Swansea, in Latin. The Second World War prompted a new ear of commemoration.

A selection of different designs of war memorial built throughout Wales is shown in the following image gallery.