Archives and the First World War

  • September 18, 2012 - niawilliams

During this project we’re going to be digitising two main archives held at the National Library. The Aberystwyth Comforts Fund Papers and the Welsh Army Corps Records. The Aberystwyth Comforts Fund is made up of reams of bills and thank you letters written by the boys of Aber in thanks to Mr. Fear (Aberystwyth Comforts Fund leader) for his generosity in sending them out parcels of cigarettes etc. The amount of cigarette bills is pretty impressive considering.

Every now and again something interesting in the archives will catch your eye. There is the odd letter that makes you think. For example I saw yesterday a letter from an Aber boy saying that he would like to join the Aberystwyth YMCA however he couldn’t as he had a wife and three children waiting for him in Canada. This man had evidently emigrated to Canada before the war to have a family there, and yet he must have come back to Wales in order to fight. He must have really believed in the war. Then there are letters that come around the end of the war proclaiming the armistice and thanking God that it looked as if peace was coming at last. Many of the letters talk about God and the hope that He would guide the world to peace again. It shows a different world.

In the middle of the tenders and bills and general Paperwork that makes up the Welsh Army Corps Records  luck found a member of staff,  she found a button or a badge (see insert) which had the Welsh Dragon on it.   This made all the boring bills and tenders worth it as you never know what you’ll find in the treasure hunt that is looking through the Archives.

So watch this space you never know what we’ll find next.