£78,000 grant boost for St Dogmaels evacuees project

Western Telegraph: LOOKING BACK: 111th Ordnance American Airmen, who were stationed at Albro Castle in St Dogmaels to prepare for the D Day landings. (2910690) LOOKING BACK: 111th Ordnance American Airmen, who were stationed at Albro Castle in St Dogmaels to prepare for the D Day landings. (2910690)

A £78,000 grant will be used to help share the stories of St Dogmaels evacuees during the First and Second World Wars.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the grant to the Hanes Llandoch project, which aims to mark the impact of the wars on St Dogmaels.

As part of the project, 50 evacuees, American GIs and former Italian Prisoners of War will be invited back to the village for a ‘Welcome Home’ exhibition, where their personal stories and those of local residents will be shared.

Some members of the 111th Ordnance American Airmen, who were stationed at Albro Castle in St. Dogmaels to prepare for the D Day landings, will also take part in the event.

A week of events and exhibitions – including residents and volunteers surviving on rations for a week on - is also being planned.

Project leaders are eager to find out about stories from the Second World War and will be looking to hear from those who lived in the area during that time in the hope of collating information to help place fifty missing names on a new memorial.

All of the information collected will be made available at the local Coach House, as well as being uploaded onto the People’s Collection Wales website.

Project organiser Nia Siggins said: “This funding is of great significance to our project plans to highlight the heritage of our area and will allow us to identify and record living memories from the Second World War while we still have the opportunity to do so.

“We’re hopeful that through our calendar of activities, St Dogmaels war experiences will be documented and remembered for future generations.”

The funding, provided through HLF’s Our Heritage grant programme, will help local people learn about both conflicts and enable them to gain a better understanding of this significant part of history.

HLF Wales head officer Jennifer Stewart said: “At a time when our attention is drawn to the centenary of the First World War, it’s great to see local community groups, such as Hanes Llandoch, taking the initiative and developing their own exciting projects to commemorate past conflicts.

“I am thrilled that HLF funding will help the community find out about this key period and have the opportunity to learn firsthand from evacuees about their life in this area.”

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