Ruthin remembers fallen heroes of World War battle

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A North Wales community group is calling on people with links to Ruthin to help them put faces to the stories of some of the town’s World War I heroes.

Ruthin Community Group was awarded £9,250 through HLF’s ‘First World War Then And Now’ programme to focus on the first battle of the Somme at Mametz Wood, which claimed the lives of 4,000 soldiers from the 38th (Welsh) Division.

Now many of the descendants of those brave men are being invited to contribute their family stories and items for a new community project called ‘The Great War and its Effect on Ruthin and Surrounding Areas’.

Ruthin Community Group Events Organiser Ron Bell said: “Mametz Wood saw the terrible carnage of so many Welshmen and Ruthin paid the price with some streets losing husbands and sons from every third house which is a horrific statistic.

“We have the stories of the men in one such road, Mwrog Street, but are calling on anyone with links to the area to share their family history of this period so that we can put faces to the stories of men who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

A total of 101 men from Ruthin died in World War I and members of Ruthin Community Group have researched their military history, awards and how they died.

“Now we want the present-day residents to share the stories they’ve heard about family members who went off to war along with what life was like home in Ruthin a century ago so we can produce a commemorative DVD,” Ron added.

Other activities taking place to commemorate WWI include publishing a history book, audio files for blind war veterans, an exhibition, guest speaking programme and even a living history camp for people to experience a glimpse at what life was like in the trenches.

The ‘Memories Day’ will see volunteers collect photographs, newspaper reports, letters and documents from residents while also recording their family stories to build a clear picture of what life was like in Ruthin a century ago.

Ysgol Brynhyfryd students will also film and record those memories for an eight-week long exhibition that will be held in Ruthin Library from July 4.

Memories Day will take place at Ruthin Youth Centre, Denbigh Road on Saturday June 25 from 10am to 3pm. For further details contact Ron Bell via email at Ronbell46@tiscali.co.uk

For further details about the project visit www.ruthincommunitygroup.co.uk