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Swansea remembers First World War with memorial benches

Park benches commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War are popping up all over Swansea.

war benches

A total of nine benches have been transformed into colourful and poignant reminders of WW1, featuring images of soldiers and poppies as well as lines from war poems written by local poets.

The public can see and sit on the benches in Cwmdonkin Park, Brynmill Park, the Guildhall and at the Cenotaph.

A further nine benches have been commissioned for other parts of the city.

A local art group called Fresh Murals Co has been commissioned by Swansea Council to complete the artwork. 

Councillor June Burtonshaw, Swansea Council's Armed Forces Champion said: "While all cities will have official war memorials for the public to visit, the idea of the benches is to add to this and create lasting memorials across the city which are also part of the environment.

"All the benches are being funded through councillors community budgets or through grants that have been obtained. Many more are wanting to be involved to enable benches to be included in their own communities.

"We hope they will be a talking point for young and old, where children can ask questions about the benches and find out more about the sacrifice made by millions of soldiers during the Great War.

"The local artists have done a fantastic job in transforming the benches, adding a little bit of colour to a dark period in our nation's history."

James Burgess, one of the artists at Fresh Murals Co, said: "We're really pleased with the results we have achieved with the park benches.

"We began this project by doing some research into the subject before settling on some ideas for the different benches.

"We have more to do and it's great to be part of a very important piece of British history."

In addition to the memorial park benches, the city is also making way for some theatrical performances as part of the Now the Hero event which takes place between 25 - 29 September and forms part of the WW1 centenary arts events taking place. 

The event includes performances at a number of outdoor sites including the Brangwyn Hall. Road closures are being implemented to allow the performances to take place safely.

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