Visitors attending the Western Front Exhibition held in the Masonic Hall Stanwell Road yesterday
The Penarth Branch of the Western Front Association has put a wide variety of First World War memorabilia on show in an exhibition which brings down the curtain on the commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice.
The exhibition – in the Masonic Hall in Penarth – was open to all and displayed a large selection of medals, weapons, helmets and numerous researched biographies of men who fought, who survived, who were killed in action or even executed by military firing squads.
Thousands of Welshmen answered Lord Kitchener’s “Call to Arms” which offered an engagement of 3 years or “until the war is concluded”
The Penarth Rugby XI of 1903. At least two of the team died in battle
The dreaded “Death Penny”. The large copper medallion presented on behalf of the King George V to bereaved families in memory of sons who died – in this case two brothers. A individual memorial certificate bearing the name of the fallen serviceman accompanied each memento which said “Let those who come after see to it that his name not be forgotten”
The standard-issue bolt actionBritish Lee Enfield 303 WW1 rifle weighed over 9 pounds and a bullet from its 10-round magazine could kill the enemy at a range of 1500 yards. Its fearsome bayonet made it a formidable weapon at close quarters
When army great-coats were in short supply – soldiers resorted to using animal skins to keep warm
The controversial execution by firing squad of Sub Lieutenant Edwin Dyett of Cardiff is commemorated
German and British helmets were on display at the exhibition
The Western Front Association is a registered charity which is run by a group of military researchers and enthusiasts who have collected the exhibits over the years and who possess an unrivalled detailed knowledge of the Great War and those who fought in it.
The memorial at Mametz Wood which was funded by the Penarth Branch of the Western Front Association
The Association says its main objective is to perpetuate the memory of those of both sides who served in action.
The Penarth Branch was instrumental in raising the fiance for the “dragon” memorial to the 38th (Welsh Division) which fought the notoriously ferocious battle of Mametz Wood on the Somme in July 1916 in which a third of the infantry were killed . It receives donations to preserve and maintain the memorial.