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Welsh Voices of the Great War Online

03 August 2010

Old photo of two people in the war.

Do you have family heirlooms in your home related to the First World War? Maybe a diary written on the front line by a relative or a collection of letters put away for safe keeping at the back of a drawer?

Visitors to this year’s National Eisteddfod are invited to bring along artefacts from this significant time to one of two special roadshows taking place at Cardiff University’s Pavilion on the Maes on Tuesday 3 August at 11am, and again on Friday 6 August at 11am.

Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion has launched a new project to give people across Wales the chance to share their forgotten treasures and family history with the rest of the nation.

Led by Dr Gethin Matthews, Welsh Voices of the Great War Online is a digital community heritage project that seeks to gather and make public artefacts and memorabilia which remain in private hands.

Everything from letters and diaries, postcards and newspaper clippings are sought by the team. They’re also interested in hearing about stories passed down from generation to generation about the war.

Dr Matthews said: "The Great War is one of the most significant events in world history and the project’s main aim is to investigate the huge local impact it had on Wales. We’re hoping that it will really capture people’s attention and encourage them to contribute."

People can take part in the project by going along to roadshows across Wales or by uploading images and information to the project’s website at www.welshvoices.com.

Roadshows will be held in Wrexham, Newport, Aberystwyth, Swansea, Blaenavon and Llanberis.

Once catalogued, the material will be made available to everyone through The People’s Collection website, a major initiative funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to be launched at the 2010 National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale.

"The idea is that schools, organisations, academics and the public will be able to access the collection in order to discover new insights into Welsh perspectives of the Great War," said Gethin. "The collection will also shed new light on the differences in the reactions to war of people in North Wales and South Wales, or between industrial and rural areas of the country. Some of the findings are sure to change the way we think about the impact the war had on Wales."

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