Conservative call to save Wales’ war memorials from vandalism and neglect
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has called for cross-party support to protect the nation’s war memorials from vandalism and neglect.
Paul Davies said that for generations, Wales had “punched above its weight” in terms of the numbers of its residents that have joined the Armed Forces.
The Preseli Pembrokeshire AM made his request during a debate in the Senedd on November 6, 2019. In a speech timed to coincide with Remembrance Week, he described the memorials – some 3,000 in Wales and 10,000 in the UK – as “…an essential part of the cultural and social fabric of Wales and Britain”.
“We owe our fallen heroes nothing less, and our future generations must remember and never forget those who died for our freedoms,” he said.
“By doing so, they can learn from previous conflicts so that they are never repeated again.”
While he recognised the value of CADW’s Grants for War Memorials in Wales scheme, and its partnership with the War Memorials Trust to provide funding for the repair and conservation of memorials across Wales, he described funding as “only one piece of the puzzle”.
Launching the campaign – #NeverForgetOurWarMemorials – Mr Davies said he foresees each local authority, in close collaboration with community groups and organisations, to have a specific custodian whose job it would be to identify and preserve war memorials in their areas.
“Each village, town, and city in Wales has a war memorial, some going back to the Boer War, and some that have had names added much more recently following conflicts in Korea, The Falklands, The Balkans, and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
“We owe it to these brave men and women to protect and conserve each memorial in every county in Wales.
“So, take a selfie of yourself next to your nearest war memorial, and post it on social media using the hashtag #NeverForgetOurWarMemorials in time for Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.
“Together, we will remember them.”
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All for protecting our memorials as a constant reminder of the folly of war and the lives lost defending a dodgy imperial system under the guise of defending the weak and helpless. I deeply resent the current tone of Brit jingoism that surrounds the poppy and the whole rememberance thing reducing it to a grotesque Loyalist panto. I wear a red poppy to acknowledge the loss of lives, brave people mostly boys many of whom were conscripts without “get out clauses”. WW2 may have been something of a just war to resist Hitler and the Axis, but any justification for… Read more »
Bad argument – “Britain should punch above our weight” – desperate folly to keep our veto in the UN Security Council. Stops us moving on from Empire. Good argument – in Dinas Cross (my uncle on the Memorial) Nov 11th has morphed from Poppy Fascism, no Welsh. The Welsh from the Capel now have a big input and the service is Welsh in every way, respectful and I now support it. We cannot let the Yankee Puritans like the US Dems, get started on Welsh Memorials as they have gone after Confederate Statues, or Founding Fathers. Our history, in what… Read more »
All for the removal of statues idolising slave traders and child abusers like General picton in Caerfyrddin and Penfro though
Diolch, Penderyn, for sending me to read more about Picton. Couple of thoughts (1) More of a brute than Washington, Jefferson or Robert E.Lee, all attacked by the US left. All very public in Picton’s case, prosecutions etc. Certainly the 18th Century was brutal. but (2) something about him really got people on his side. What could that be? Answer the people who knew him close to, in his own time, thought that his being a brave and tough army general was worth at least one statue and they named pubs after him etc. Surely all depends on whether you… Read more »
Of course the statues will be protected, even if I dont always agree with how some have ignored the actual sacrifices of the community and eulogising “sacrifice for the king”, the ignoring of Welsh language in past welsh speaking areas etc.. Only truly good war imo was fighting nazism in ww2.. Together with the honourable defence of kosovo….and the mess of the balkans… both were done by independent nations side by side not because london led forces carried the day.. ……yes as you say, we ‘ve punched above our weight in wars but for what beneficial investments? Killing boers and… Read more »
Wrexham has had a councillor who acts as the ‘Armed Forces’ champion for some time and that person has been involved in various projects connected to local war memorials as have local community councils (Esclusham, Coedpoeth), Royal British Legions, community groups, local history societies (Holt, Brynteg and Broughton) and many dedicated individuals. I have no reason to believe that Wrexham is unusually active in this field compared to the rest of Wales, though the town does have a long military tradition through its links to the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Llangollen have recently transformed the area around that town’s memorial creating… Read more »
Robert Grave’s “Goodbye To All That” depicts, in part, his RWF experiences and bits and pieces.
David Jone’s “In Parenthesis” on WW1 a work of high art. I am from the area and my family a bit
tattered due to being martial, as many in old Wrecsam were.
I say “were”, as RWF now transferred to Chester, of all god forsaken camps, as far as we are concerned.
A gift from the good Lord, I feel, as it tears away emotional ties and lays bare their disdain. Sod ’em!
We should never go to war again.
Welsh nationalism is disrespectful toward war memorials because it means standing alongside the English, they stand with Argentina not Falkland war veterans.
Of course it is Pete- you’re absolutely right! I noticed it myself recently when shopping in Iceland, I noticed that a number of shoppers were dressed like Galtieri. Fascist’ I thought. They’re nothing like Pete from Aberystwyth.
By the way, how is Aberystwyth these days?