The Exhibition accompanying Temple80 sought to draw together the story of the Temple, with Wales’ peace heritage of the last 100 years – including hidden histories gathered by community groups and volunteers 2014-18 – along with responses from young people, schools and artists.
On Saturday 24th, this was followed by a #PeaceGarden30 Rededication and Family Fun Day, in which WCIA brought together UNA Exchange international volunteers and alumni and Garden of Peace Founder Robert Davies, with children from Roath Park Primary School
Together they unveiled 2 new colourful mosaics (created by international volunteers) on a new archway entrance in the Peace Garden; buried a Time Capsule in the Garden, to be opened in 50 years time; and unveiled a plaque on one of WCIA’s meeting rooms in honour of Robert Davies, and all international youth volunteers inspired by him from 1973 to today.
by Sallie Slade, daughter of Bill and Sallie Davies
This fund was set up in 1980 . The story behind this is:
During James Callaghan’s premiership it was decided to hold a national competition among Labour party members to build up the information in the Labour Party archives. The competition was held in 1979. The secretary of each constituency was asked to seek out their longest serving members and ask them to make a tape recording for the Labour Party’s “Tape Archive Competition”. Dad was asked by the Secretary of the Monmouth Constituency Party Mr. Ray Hill to participate. Dad duly spoke into the tape about his early memories of the early Labour party days in Ebbw Vale, and the people who were welcomed into his home such as early Labour party greats including Noah Ablett, Enoch Morrell, Keir Hardie, his parents standing surety in case there was “crowd trouble “at the open air meetings. The ” soap box” people stood on to speak was kept under their stairs. As he said it took a great deal of courage to be involved in the Labour Movement during those early days.
Much to dad’s surprise he actually won first prize of £500 . Dad decided he wanted to do something worthwhile with the money. At the time he was heavily involved with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. (He had served as the Welsh representative on the UK executive of UNA for 5 years. In 1981 he was appointed president of Welsh National Council of the United Nations Association).
He decided to set up the Sallie Davies Memorial fund in memory of his late wife to be used by C.E.W.C. (Council for Education in World Citizenship) to promote their aims. My dad, family members and other people contributed to the fund so that the sum available increased. The Wales TUC and Welsh UNA made significant contributions. In the early days the fund was used to provide prizes for a Sallie Davies Memorial Fund Competition to be held in schools. One early competition was a poster competition about peace. In 1989 schools that raised the most money for UNICEF were able to nominate young people to go to Lesotho to see how the UNICEF money was being spent. Beth Appleton from Llandrindod Wells and Stephen Pearce from Neath were accompanied by Mandy Owen (CEWC officer at WCIA at the time ). They had a wonderful experience being seen off at the airport by the High Commissioner of Lesotho and being welcomed at the other end by UNICEF officials and members of the British Consulate. They were able to witness how UNICEF donations were put to good use in a recipient country.
Later it was decided that the best way to use the money was to help support the Wales Schools Debating Team which competed in the World Schools Debating Competition. This continued for a number of years.
The family hope that the money will continue to be used in ways that continue to support education in Wales.
The trustees of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (the WCIA) have decided that converting the charity’s status from a charitable trust to a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) best serves the charity’s interests. As a result, in May 2014, the assets, business and affairs of the original WCIA charity (registered charity number 259701), were transferred to a newly created CIO with the same name and logo (registered charity number 1156822).
A CIO is a new legal form for a charity. Whilst it is an incorporated organisation, it is not a company and has to register with the Charity Commission, not Companies House. The Charity Commission has more information.
Our Chief Executive, Martin Pollard says that the main advantages of a CIO over the traditional charitable trust form are that:
“The WCIA now has a legal personality of its own,which means it can conduct business in its own name, rather than in the name of the trustees.
Also, a CIO’s trustees are usually personally safeguarded from the financial liabilities the charity incurs, which is not normally the case for unincorporated charities.
Our change of status will have no external impact on the WCIA’s work. Becoming a CIO will not affect our aims, activity plans, membership structures, accounting arrangements or ability to fundraise; nor does it affect our ability to operate under the separate names of CEWC and UNA Wales.
This is an exciting time for the WCIA with our bid for Heritage Lottery funding to support our Wales for Peace project.
The WCIA is most grateful to Martyn Robinson of Geldards LLP Cardiff office for all his hard work and assistance in effecting a smooth transfer of operations and for his and his firm’s generosity in providing pro bono legal services.”
Giselle Davies (Head of Charity Law and Social Enterprise at Geldards LLP) said “I am delighted that my team was able to support the work of WCIA by dealing with their transition to a corporate body in order to provide a safe platform for the future development of the organisation and the excellent work they undertake for the people of Wales”.
Geldards has a Charities and Social Enterprise section that acts for all types of charitable organisations.
In the 100 years since the First World War, how have women in Wales felt the impact of war, and contributed to the search for peace? This is the question that WCIA’s ‘Wales for Peace’ project explores with world-renowned photojournalist, Lee Karen Stow, in our latest exhibition: Women, War and Peace.
The exhibition will be on display in the Senedd from August 8th 2017 to the end of September.
Lee Karen Stow is a photojournalist from Yorkshire whose work has been displayed at venues across the world – including Cambridge University and the UN headquarters in New York. She has travelled the world collecting stories of war and peace, and for the first time this summer a selection of her work will be on display in Wales.
The inspiration for her documentary work came from a visit to Sierra Leone in 2007, when she met women displaced by a decade of civil war. Since then she has travelled the world recording the personal stories of women of war and conflict, and women who campaign for peace.
Then, in Lee’s words: “In 2017 Wales for Peace asked me to photograph some of the many women in Wales involved in or affected by war and conflict, along with a fraction of women who have campaigned and who continue to work and hope for peace. The faces on the walls will only be a few examples of the many individuals out there whose stories have yet to be told and shared. We hope this exhibition can begin a conversation about the historic and ongoing presence of war on our lives, and the ongoing search for peace.”
Lee’s work has also been an inspiration to the next generation of photojournalists, thanks to a linked project. Whilst Lee was visiting Wales, Ffotogallery, the national agency for photography in Wales, filmed her in an interview with some photography students from Whitchurch High school, Cardiff, talking about her work. This film was then used as inspiration for a series of workshops in 6 schools across south Wales, who produced documentary films about a peace story in their community. A selection of these films will be available to see as part of the exhibition.
Two of the historical documents held in the Temple of Peace will be on display alongside the documentary work, which give us a new perspective on the impact of the First World War on women. The Welsh National Book of Remembrance, contains the names of around 35,000 names of men and women who died in the First World War. The focus for this exhibition will be on the women listed under the Queen Mary Army Auxiliary Corps. As ever, the digital copy of the Book, created by the National Library of Wales, will be available alongside the real thing, so that people can take a closer look.
The women’s petition for peace, 1923-24, is a little known document with an extraordinary story. Over the course of a few short months 390,296 women in Wales (around 60% of the female population at the time) signed a petition asking the women of America to use their influence to ask their government to join the League of Nations, as a means of avoiding the horror of another world war. The petition’s beautiful frontpiece will be on display and we will further explore its history as part of the exhibition.
Ffion Fielding, Exhibitions and Engagement Coordinator for Wales for Peace, explained: “When we became aware of Lee’s work, we jumped at the chance to bring such a high-profile photographer to Wales. As a project we work with communities to find and share their ‘hidden histories’, and we often felt that women’s stories were missing, particularly in relation to the First World War. We hope the exhibition will inspire families to research their own stories, and share them with the nation through the Wales for Peace project. We’re very grateful to the National Assembly for the chance to develop and share this work”.
Throughout the summer of 2017, as a response to the exhibition, we will be asking people to contribute the stories of the women in their lives who have been affected by war or who have campaigned for peace. You can keep an eye on this campaign through Twitter @walesforpeace #womenwarpeace, or you can go straight to the peace map on our website to add their story.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Assembly for Wales.
A former Wales for Peace Volunteer developed a survey on Attitudes towards Peace survey
In 2017, Trystan Cullinan, created this survey, for people across Wales and beyond to complete.
Peace is an ideal that is almost universally aspired to, but achieving peace is another matter. Here, Trystan, our WCIA and Wales for Peace volunteer, is conducting peace research in Wales through a short and accessible survey.
He said: “To fully achieve peace we must first understand what it means and what it entails; how does it arise and how can we sustain it? The purpose of this survey is to see what people in Wales, and people further afield, think about peace. What do people value when thinking about peace? I hope it gets you thinking!”
The survey is informed by the Institute of Economics and Peace’s (IEP) Positive Peace reports; their data is empirically derived using the Positive Peace Index. Their eight pillars of peace have had an influential impact on how the survey is structured.
Trystan added: “The scale of our project however is small in comparison therefore there is an emphasis on qualitative data collection; unique individual opinion is what’s important. The value of this survey rest on its ability to balance both qualitative and quantitative aspects.”
‘Digital Act of Remembrance’ links past and future generations’
The Welsh Book of Remembrance from the First World War, a national treasure housed in Wales’ Temple of Peace in Cardiff, has been digitised and is now publicly searchable online at BookofRemembrance.Wales, following a 2 year project involving over 150 volunteers from communities across Wales, working with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and National Library of Wales and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Book of Remembrance
The beautiful, leather bound Book of Remembrance contains on velum parchment – illuminated in gold leaf, fine ink and calligraphy – the names of over 40,000 “men and women of Welsh birth and parentage, and of all those belonging to the regiments of Wales, who gave their lives in the war 1914-1918.”
Researched and compiled by hand through the 1920s by a women working with renowned calligrapher Graily Hewitt of Lincoln’s Inn and the Gregynog Press, the book is the Roll of Honour to accompany the WW1 War Memorial in Cathays Park, opened by King Edward VII in 1928. Opposite Wales’ War Memorial, the Temple of Peace – opened in 1938 – was built to house the book, and in memory of those who had lost their lives, to ‘become a symbol of Wales’ determination to strive for justice and peace for future generations’. These words were spoken in 1938 by Minnie James, a mother from Merthyr Tydfil who had lost 3 sons in WW1, and who was asked to open the Temple of Peace on behalf of the war-bereaved mothers and widows of the world.
Finding Individuals in the Book of Remembrance
For Remembrance Day 2017, WCIA and the National Library are delighted to launch the digitised Book of Remembrance online, at:
Functionality enabling users and the public for the first time to search and view the inscriptions honouring individual soldiers, nurses, relatives and community members who died in WW1, by typing names of individuals, home towns or regiments in to the ‘search’ box at the bottom. Users can then view the inscriptions individually.
Sir Emyr Jones Parry, WCIA President, said: “It is right that we remember the sacrifices made by so many Welsh men and women during the First World War. The echo is constant and now the Welsh National Book of Remembrance is available online so that descendants, historians and those interested can access details of those who died for a peaceful future.”
Transcription of the 40,000 names was undertaken over the course of 2 years by volunteers in Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Caernarfon and Bangor, along with young people from a number of schools, colleges and community groups, as a ‘digital act of remembrance’. WCIA and NLW would like to pay tribute to volunteers whose efforts have enabled this national treasure to be accessible online for future generations.
The Book at Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire; volunteer Mared transcribes at the Eisteddfod in Anglesey; school children in Wrexham participate in a ‘transcribathon’
“My grandfather was an engineer in the Merchant Navy and his ship, the S.S. Memnon was torpedoed. As a family we always mentioned him as having died in the war, but nothing more. Looking through old boxes, I found some of his medals, and taking part in the transcription prompted me to do some more research into his story”.
Gwenno Watkin, Aberystwyth – whose grandfather’s story was featured in WCIA’s exhibition in the National Library of Wales:
Open Source Data
The records are also being made available as an open source data set with the invitation – and challenge – for organisations, students and programmers to develop web-based resources that enable people to find out more about those who lost their lives. The data set will be accessible within coming weeks from the National Library’s online Research tools (NLW data):
One organisation picking up the data challenge is the UK’s Imperial War Museum, who will be integrating the WCIA project into their IWM War Memorials Register, which seeks to record every war memorial, both extant and lost, in the United Kingdom, with the names of the men and women that are commemorated on them. The completion of the Welsh Book of Remembrance enables IWM to reach their long-held target of a million memorials, which they have been working towards since 1989.
Remembering for Peace: The Exhibition Tour
To mark the WW1 centenary period, the Book has been touring Wales as the centrepiece of WCIA’s ‘Remembering for Peace’ exhibition, complementing the Poppies: Weeping Window sculptures in Caernarfon Castle through Autumn 2016, and Cardiff Bay in Autumn 2017 as well as appearances at Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire, Narberth Museum, Pembrokeshire, and Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey.
Throughout the 1920s – with an absence of dependable and centralised records – a nationwide drive was launched across Wales, with significant support of women’s movements, to try to capture the names of all those who perished. However, some families held mixed and raw emotions on the nature of remembrance. Many felt their loved ones had been ‘cannon fodder’ for governments in a needless and wasteful war – and refused for their names to be used on institutional memorials that they perceived to glorify war, or justify further military recruitment. Out of such debates emerged the powerful symbols of the red and white poppies (see below), favoured by the military and peace movements for remembrance respectively. The symbolic significance of the book is often seen to be as important as its role as a record of the fallen:
“The collection of the names.. was a work of considerable magnitude… and although the list can scarcely be claimed to be absolutely accurate and complete, the greatest care has been taken to make it so.” Excerpt from the Programme of the Unveiling Ceremony for the Welsh National Memorial.
Sharing Soldiers Stories
For relatives seeking to remember a loved one, or schools seeking to undertake projects that connect with the people behind the names in the book, WCIA and NLW continue to appeal for stories that can be contributed to soldiers records on Wales at War.
On November the 10th and 11th, members of Cymdeithas y Cymod, the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales will be meeting in Caernarfon to remember. As well as remembering their forefathers and grandfathers who were killed during wars, they will be recalling the depth of the loss suffered by their grandmothers. As a result these women deeply desired to create a world without war.
In 1923, 390,296 women from Wales signed a petition calling for countries to resolve their differences without resorting to violence and war. This amounted to sixty per cent of the women living in Wales at that time. The women went to every farm and house in Wales and Monmouthshire collecting names. In presenting the petition to the American President, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, this is what the women said:
“Our constant hope and prayer is that our message may contribute something towards the realisation of the proud heritage of a warless world.”
The Cymdeithas y Cymod meetings in the Galeri will have this spirit of rememberence.
At 1 o’clock on Friday the 10th, Aled Eirug will give a talk about the concientious objectors that were imprisoned in Caernarfon during the First World War. Between 2.30 and 3.30 there will be an opportunity to visit the Caernarfon prison cells with Emrys Llywelyn.
Remember like Nain On November 10th and 11th, members of the Cymdeithas y Cymod with the support of Wales for Peace met in Caernarfon, to remember the women peace builders of Wales. There were 70 people together over the two days. As well as remembering their relatives lost in the war, they remembered the depth of the loss to their grandmothers.
There was an opportunity to learn about the peace petition by Lowri Ifor who had researched the history.
In 1923, 390,296 Welsh women signed a petition calling on countries to resolve any disagreement without turning to violence and war. The women went to house and farm in Wales and Monmouth collecting names. When presenting the petition to the American President, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, the women said
“Our hope and our constant prayer is that our message will be a contribution to the realization of the proud legacy of the world of war.”
This was the spirit of recall at the Galeri meetings.