Weapons in the attic
25 October 2010
Over the summer, the 'Welsh Voices of the Great War Online' project, based at the School of History Archaeology and Religion, ran a series of seven successful roadshows around Wales to collect items and memorabilia from the First World War. The roadshows have collected an impressive range of material pointing to the rich collections held by Welsh families and the significance of the First World War to their histories and the histories of their communities. However, in addition to the expected items such as letters, photographs and diaries, people brought along all kinds of material that had been squirelled away in the attic. At both the Newport and Llanberis roadshows, bayonets were brought in, still razor-sharp and evil-looking; a Blaenau Ffestiniog family brought in an American pistol; several people brought in WW1 shell casings that had been turned into ornamental ashtrays or umbrella stands; a Rhyl family had an exquisite German Army carbide lamp that had been 'liberated' by a Welsh private. At the Swansea roadshow, two life-saving bibles were brought in: one which had stopped a bullet, and one which had taken the blast of shrapnel from a German shell.
To read more about these exciting items and some of the stories involved, follow the reports in the:
The BBC website also has a feature on the project
The project co-ordinator, Gethin Matthews, has a live web chat on: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-history/articles/2010/10/05/webchat-dr-gethin-matthews-on-the-history-of-welsh-emmigration-1pm-friday-91466-27404302/?altcast_code=fd4571344a