‘Conwy and the Great War’ is a Heritage Lottery Funded project run by Menter Iaith Conwy that has been exploring the various ways in which the rural communities of Conwy county were affected by the First World War. These vary from individuals stories to the bigger picture: the effect on the Welsh language and the social dynamic of the parishes, whilst also providing a snapshot into what kind of places these areas were in terms of culture and outlook a century ago. The aim of the project was to combine existing information with extensive new research to present these forgotten elements of our local history in the form of an exhibition, a book, a website and a drama production. The hope is that these outputs will be valuable and useful resources for the public — not something that already exists on this scale in rural Conwy.

The task of trying to discover the identity and backgrounds of the men (and women) who took part in the war — with an emphasis on the ones who lost their lives — has been a huge and seemilgly endless one, and the challenge of evaluating and presenting the information in terms of the mark that was left on the area even more difficult! However, with the help of the excellent internet resources available as well as the invaluable contributions of tens of local people I’ve built up a large store of material and information.

The exhibition, the book and the website was launched on Thursday November 16th in the Eagles Hotel, Llanrwst, with guest speakers and live music from Tecwyn Ifan.

The project will be touring round the rural area of the county for two months.

Eryl Prys Jones, author and project co-ordinator says;

“I very much enjoyed the process of investigating the stories of the Great War of all the rural county parishes of the county – and getting to know parts of the county that had been somewhat unknown to me, and of course, meeting many kind and interesting people. It’s nice to see my name on the cover! And I’m looking forward to traveling around the area, along with the exhibition and website, and I hope I have given justice to such an important subject.”

‘Conwy Wledig a’r Rhyfel Mawr’ (a Welsh language book which summarizes the area’s WW1 stories) was printed by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch printers. It’s available (for free) from Menter Iaith Conwy’s office in Llanrwst, in the countys libraries and several other locations.

For more infromation, as well as an interactive version of the exhibition, go to the new website 

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