WWI Exhibitions

Heritage Display Area in Yr Hen Ysgol – a team effort – November 2018


The ‘Vision’ – its inception.

The vision of a ‘heritage display area’ arose out of two Dinas Community Forum public consultation meetings in Yr Hen Ysgol during 2011 and 2016.  An ‘information and display area’ was proposed to describe and interpret the heritage of the village.


Phase One – Securing Financial Support – an application was submitted in April 2017 for a capital grant of £50,000 from the Welsh Government Rural – Communities Rural Development Programme.

The grant was for the refurbishment of the Meeting Room; the replacement of the ceiling in the Front Room; and the creation of a ‘Heritage Display Area’ in Yr Hen Ysgol.  The grant paid 80%, with the remaining 20% coming from the ‘Friends of Yr Hen Ysgol’ capital fund.  The ‘Heritage Display Area’ cost £10,000, made up of £8,000 capital grant from the Welsh Government and £2,000 match-funding from the ‘Friends’.

We are greatly indebted to Imogen for the hundreds of hours she spent in 2016/2017 thinking through a complex and bureaucratic application process and creatively writing a superb application to the Welsh Government, which secured the funding.


Phase Two – The Building and Refurbishment – May 2018.

Property Refurb Ltd. won the tender and was awarded the contract and they carried out the work in a professional manner between May and September 2018.  Iain MacRae drew up the plans and the detailed specifications and Rex supervised the day-to-day management of the project.  It was completed to a high standard on time and within budget.  Brian fitted out the display boards and Imogen and Ruth managed the complex financial administration.


Phase Three – The Exhibition – The Dinas ‘Boys’ on the WW1 Memorial.

         ‘The Dinas ‘Boys’ wanted to forget and the people of Dinas have forgotten’

 – with this in mind, the 100th Anniversary of the end of hostilities in WW1 was the incentive to re-discover and record the families; the homes; the WW1 service record; and the gravestones and memorials of the Dinas ‘Boys’ recorded on the WW1 Memorial.

Rex spent many hundreds of hours of dedicated research to re-discover who these Dinas ‘Boys’ and their families were and valuable help was kindly offered by Paddy Davies, Susan Hughes and Kate Grace.  All the gravestones and memorials of the Dinas ‘Boys’ in Belgium, around Ypres; in France around the Somme; and in Cologne, Germany were visited and photographed for the first time, with support from David Peregrine and Gerson Davies.

The three WW1 Booklets; the Exhibition; and the Lecture complete the project on the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 – Sunday November 11th 2018. The booklets and displays were kindly photocopied by Non Harries with the support of Paul Nicholas.

The families, houses, WW1 service records, gravestones and memorials of these Dinas ‘Boys’ are recorded in ‘booklets’ and ‘displays panels’ at Yr Hen Ysgol, Dinas.


Rex Harries

Sunday, November 11th 2018