Love and betrayal ends museum's year

Barry And District News: VISITORS: Jane Hutt AM, Alun Cairns MP, Cllr Claire Curtis the Barry Town Mayor and Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan with volunteer Wayne Gill in the museum's First World War trench. (2898014) VISITORS: Jane Hutt AM, Alun Cairns MP, Cllr Claire Curtis the Barry Town Mayor and Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan with volunteer Wayne Gill in the museum's First World War trench. (2898014)

A LECTURE on love and betrayal behind enemy lines during the First World War brought the year's programme of events to a close at the Barry Island based Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre.

As the last of this year's monthly programme of evening lectures, Rosemary Chaloner told the story of a group of British soldiers trapped behind enemy lines during the early stages of the First World War. As the years passed the local villagers hid the soldiers, and one fell in love with a French girl.

After almost two years the German soldiers discovered the soldiers and they were shot.

Barry at War Spokesman, Ade Pitman said: "Ending our series of monthly talks, this story of love and betrayal behind the enemy lines exemplified what we are trying to achieve at our little museum. It told the very moving human story behind a global war.

"Showing equally well the human face of global warfare, our first birthday event, on Sunday, November 24, brought together many local groups with whom Barry at War have worked throughout the year. These included Penarth Aviation Society, The RAF Association, 372 Squadron (Barry) ATC, The ‘Scallywags’, the Glamorgan Home Guard Living History Group, the YMCA and the RNLI.

"Some visitors were surprised to see the YMCA and RNLI at a wartime heritage event, until they learned of the valuable role that both organisations played during both World Wars.

"Visitors to our event learned that the YMCA actually provided care and respite facilities in the trenches of the First World War battlefields, and that the RNLI played the same lifesaving role at sea during the war years as they do today; saving the lives of seamen and downed airmen.

"You can find out more about the role of the YMCA during wartime, at our first evening lecture in the New Year, and Barry at War will also be working with the YMCA team on a First World War Centenary Project throughout 2014.

"It was lovely that our local leaders came along to support the museum's first anniversary event, with Jane Hutt AM, Alun Cairns MP, Cllr Claire Curtis the Barry Town Council Mayor, and Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan all attending. Everyone noticed the progress that we have made since their last visits.

"Councillor Claire Curtis brought with her the plaque that was awarded to the people of Barry for buying a Spitfire for the RAF during the Second World War.

"With the creation of the Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre, the last year has been a busy one for the volunteers of Barry at War, and next year looks to be even busier; with the 70th Commemorations of the Normandy D-Day landings, and ‘Operation Market Garden’ taking place alongside the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

"Barry at War volunteers are keen to ensure that we are able to provide support to the community to commemorate these dates, help to remember those who played a part in them and to seek to show the way that our region's wartime heritage has shaped Barry and the Vale."

"With a memorial to those who have fallen in the two world wars in most towns and villages across the Vale, and with the ever growing support seen at the Barry Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph, I'd personally love to work with the Vale Council to find a larger facility in the town in which Barry at War could establish a First World War centenary display.

Working with partners, this would be used as a learning resource for local schools during the centenary period, up until 2020. The Barry Library would be an ideal location due to the research facilities located there, and a similar idea was mentioned in the Vale funded Options Appraisal into the location of a museum. That's what I'd like Father Christmas to bring me.’’

The Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre will open its doors to the public again on our first open day in the New Year on Sunday , January 12. To find out more see our website at www.wartimeglamorgan.co.uk or call Ade Pitman on 07930 874161.

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