North Wales Western Front Association

Many of our members are into local history relating to WWI, including of course the local war memorials and the people commemorated on them.  It is important to realise that war memorials are not systematic registers of those who died in a particular locality.  They depended on relatives and others coming forward with information, often several years later.  Consequently, people are missed off the memorial, or names are misspelled.  On the other hand, if it is somebody of local importance such as a landowning family the person may appear on a number of local memorials. Indeed, they may be "promoted" to the top of an alphabetical list because of the social standing of their family, or possibly because they paid for the memorial as in the village of Eglwysbach, here in North Wales, in the case of 2nd Lt The Hon Francis McLaren MP.  He is also on the memorial in the House of Commons.

Perhaps the most famous of the local heroes from North Wales is Hedd Wynn, the bard of the black chair who posthumously won the Eisteddfod in 1917.  He was born and grew up in Trawsfynnydd, a small village in hills around Snowdonia. His homestead is being developed by the Snowdonia National Parks Authority as a tribute to him - see Yr Ysgwrn home page

Hedd Wyn is the bardic name of Ellis Humphrey Evans.  He is buried at Artillery Wood CWGC cemetery, not far from the new Welsh memorial at Langemark in the Ypres sector. The Irish poet Francis Ledwidge is buried in the same cemetery and died on the same day as Hedd Wynn. Read more about both Hedd Wynn and Francis Ledwidge in our articles by Anne Pedley on their life and work - Hedd Wynn article and Francis Ledwidge article.

There is an article on the camp at Frongoch near Bala where prisoners from the Easter Rising in Dublin were held for 6 months in 1916, and where the centenary was commemorated recently -Frongoch camp 1916.

The silhouette artist of Llandudno pier, Lawrence Harry Oakley, is remembered in an article by his great nephew - Silhouette artist.

There is a section of this website which has information on local Welsh memorials and graves, and indeed on some which are far from home.