Welsh First Minister to visit Belgium and France this month to launch Centenary programme

Posted on centenarynews.com on 11 September 2013
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Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, will visit Belgium and France this month to begin Wales' "programme of commemoration" to mark the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

During his trip the First Minister will visit Ypres to see the proposed site of a new memorial at Langemark to commemorate Welsh soldiers who fought during the First World War.

There has been a public campaign and fundraising by both Welsh and Belgian people for a memorial to Welsh First World War soldiers here.

Mr. Jones will also visit the Mametz Wood Memorial, a statue dedicated to the 38th (Welsh) Division who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Earlier this year the Welsh Government announced £7,000 to refurbish the memorial.

The First Minister said that he was "proud" to be leading Wales' official commemoration programme: Wales Remembers 1914-18 and that "the centenary of the start of the war in 1914 marks an important opportunity for us to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War".

"My trip to Belgium and France is a chance for me to pay my respects to the people of Wales and from across the world who fought and lost their lives, often far from home and loved ones, and outline some of the ways we as a nation will mark this significant anniversary.”

The First Minister will also visit the grave of Hedd Wyn – one of the most high-profile casualties of the battles fought in this area – and will attend the last post at Menin Gate.

Source: Welsh Government press release

Date of press release: 04/09/2013

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News