Modern schools, established post-1945, often lack their own memorials to World Wars. This creates a gap in awareness among pupils regarding the impact of war and conflict on their communities. Changing commemorative practices over time also means that older memorials might not reflect current attitudes and understanding.

Funded by the Imperial War Museum (IWM), this project involved six schools in south-east Wales and muralist Siôn Tomos Owen. We introduced pupils to the concept of war memorials, then took them on field trips to view local memorials. They then created their own artworks expressing their thoughts about war and conflict. The resulting works were displayed at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay for a month in June-July 2023, and then at the Rhondda Heritage Park until September 2023.

This project has fostered appreciation and understanding among the participating students about the significance of commemorating war and conflict. Interestingly, given the opportunity, the pupils chose to create peace memorials. These artworks, rich with messages of peace and hope, will remain in the schools, inspiring future generations to remember past conflicts and make thoughtful decisions when facing future challenges.