More than 700,000 British servicemen died in the First World War and 35,000 of these are listed in the Welsh Book of Remembrance. The loss of life on such an immense scale meant that bereavement became a shared experience throughout Britain, as the British public attempted to come to terms with such widespread grief. The war memorials found in almost every town and village bear witness to the need felt in the post-war years to commemorate the dead. These memorials have already been studied as repositories of political ideas and as works of art and public sculpture, but little work has been done on the social history of commemoration. This book provides the first comprehensive examination of the social and political significance of remembrance in Wales. It places the commemoration process within the wider context of Welsh history in the decade following the Great War, and studies the impact of that war upon local communities and the ways in which those communities chose to remember the fallen.
Angela Gaffney is a native of Bath. She was an undergraduate in the School of History, University of Wales, Cardiff from 1989 to 1992 and a postgraduate there until 1996, when she was awarded a doctorate for the research upon which this book is based. She is currently Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales.