Canadians and Australians on Welsh war memorials
This is a recording of a talk given by Dr Gethin Matthews of Swansea University at a day-conference held in Cardiff in April 2017 on the theme ‘Myth, Memory and Military encounters – National Rememberings of First World War Battles’.
The event, kindly co-sponsored by the Canadian Studies in Wales Group and the Living Legacies 1914-18 WW1 Engagement Centre, was held at the time of the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which is widely commemorated as a Canadian victory.
In the talk Dr Matthews begins with an exploration of how towns sought to count and publicise the number of volunteers they had provided in the early months of the war, and how Welshmen serving with Canadian units were included in the figures. There are examples of Canadian and Australian soldiers from Wales being celebrated by their home communities, and then an examination of how town memorials, and other memorials put up by Welsh communities, include significant numbers of Dominion troops. A number of interesting memorials in Welsh chapels are considered and the talk finishes with a family memorial in a Welsh graveyard to a Canadian soldier whose remains lie somewhere on Vimy Ridge.