Welsh First Minister announces support for new First World War memorial in Belgium

Posted on centenarynews.com on 19 September 2013
Share |

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, announced Welsh Government financial support for a new memorial in Belgium to remember the Welsh who served during the First World War.

On a visit to the site of the new memorial in Langemark in Belgium, the First Minister announced funding of up to £25,000 will be provided to underwrite the Welsh Memorial in Flanders appeal.

Speaking before the official announcement, Mr. Jones stated that "the public appeal to build this memorial is a partnership between the people of Wales and Flanders".

"They are people who felt moved by the sacrifice of Welsh service personnel during the First World War and wanted to make sure that they were remembered. This memorial honours not just the Welsh men who fell in battle in Flanders during the conflict, but all Welsh men and women who served during the War".

Construction begins

The public appeal has already raised £30,000 towards the cost of the memorial to enable construction of the memorial to begin.

The First Minister dug the first sod of earth during his visit on the 18th September 2013.

The land on which the memorial will stand has been donated at no cost by the local authority, the municipality of Langemark.

The appeal will now seek to raise a further £60,000 to add a symbolic Welsh Dragon to complete the memorial and the Welsh Government’s support will help with this fund-raising effort.

The West Flanders provincial authority has agreed to create and maintain a Welsh garden of remembrance to surround the memorial.

The First Minister said that he "warmly thanked" both the Welsh and Flemish members of the Welsh Memorial in Flanders Appeal for their efforts".

He also recognised "the generosity of the local authorities in Flanders in donating the land and undertaking to create and maintain a Welsh garden of remembrance. On behalf of the people of Wales, I thank them for their kindness in remembering our compatriots".

Wales Remembers 1914-1918

The First Minister's continues this week onto Belgium today, as he visits a series of First World War related sites.

The visit is the start of the Cymru’n Cofio - Wales Remembers 1914-1918 - the official Welsh programme of commemoration to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

Source: Welsh Government press release

Date of press release: 18/09/2013

Images courtesy of the Welsh Government website

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News