National War Memorial restored ahead of Armistice Centenary

The Welsh National War Memorial has undergone extensive restoration work, ahead of the centenary of Armistice Day this weekend.

Thanks to grant funding from the War Memorials Trust Grants Scheme, supported by the First World War Memorials Programme, and Cadw, the entire memorial at Alexandra Gardens, Cathays Park has been professionally cleaned and repaired in time for Wales' national observance of Remembrance Sunday.

The grant of £29,720 from War Memorials Trust and up to £10,000 from Cadw has also enabled the memorial's statues to be cleaned and waxed as well as essential work to the fountains and drainage of the memorial to be completed. Works have been carried out by Abbey Masonry & Restoration Ltd and Davies Sutton Architects, in partnership with Cardiff Council's Bereavement Services.

Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cllr Michael Michael, said: "TheWelsh National War Memorial will be the focal point of the nation's Remembrance commemorations this Sunday and we are very grateful to theWar Memorials Trust and Cadw for the funding that has enabled the restoration work to be carried out.

"As we prepare to mark 100 years since the Armistice was signed and remember the service and sacrifice of our country's brave men and women over the years, I'm delighted that this important monument has been returned to such a prime condition."

The Welsh National War Memorial is a Grade II* listed structure, designed by Sir John Ninian Comper, that was completed in June 1928 to commemorate those who fell in the Great War. The monument consists of a circular colonnade of 21 unfluted Corinthian columns with three projecting rectangular porticoes.

There is an English inscription to the frieze internally reads "Remember here in Peace those who in Tumult of War by Sea, on Land, in Air, for us and for our Victory endured unto Death" while the Welsh inscription on the exterior to the frieze says "I Feibion Cymru A Rhoddes Eu Bywyd Dros Eu Gwlad Yn RhyfelMCMXIV - MCMXVIII".

The memorial has gated porticoes, each with three steps leading down to a circular space within which is set a circular fountain basin with a podium at its centre. Three bronze figures stand in the centre - a soldier, an airman and a sailor, each holding a wreath below the bronze winged messenger Archangel Michael, representing Victory, standing on the podium holding a sword aloft.

Frances Moreton, Director, War Memorials Trust said: "War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project. The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity forlocal communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help please contact us."