Welsh Conservatives will today call for a National Military Museum for Wales to showcase and help us understand the nation’s military heritage.
In a wider debate, ahead of Armed Forces Day later this month, Welsh Conservatives will debate support for our military personnel and urge the Assembly, as well as the Welsh Government, to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014.
The UK Government has already established a programme of commemorative events to mark the centenary of the start of a war, which resulted in the deaths of 40,000 Welshmen. The Heritage Lottery Fund is offering £6million of grants to community groups to mark the anniversary.
There are a series of smaller military collections across Wales, including in Brecon, Caernarfon, Carmarthen and in Cardiff Castle, but there is no provision for a National Military Museum.
One of the Welsh Conservatives’ flagship policies in 2011 was an Armed Forces Card to give additional benefits to ex-personnel to recognise their service.
Suzy Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Heritage, said, "Our armed forces do a tremendous job at great personal risk and cost to themselves, their families and their communities.
"As we approach Armed Forces Day on 29 June, an opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of our military to keeping our nation safe, it is timely that we should do all we can to recognise their sacrifice.
"This would be an appropriate time for the Welsh Government to bring forward measures to support our Armed Forces by backing a Veterans’ Card, co-ordinating events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War or to fund a National Military Museum for Wales.
"Wales has a long and proud military heritage, with some fine independent regimental museums, but currently we don’t have one national museum to provide a wider historical context for our military archives and collections.
"We hope the Welsh Government will take this opportunity to take further steps to recognise the role of our armed forces in life in Wales."