Back in 2018 Josh and I visited Cardiff to see Bullet For My Valentine play in their home city. The gig fell on Remembrance Day, 11th November; but more than that, it fell on the Remembrance Day Centenary. This means we were in Wales’ capital 100 years after the end of the War and had the unique chance to explore Cardiff Castle the next day when their Remembrance event was still on.
What is Remembrance Day?
It’s possible that you already know a great deal about World War I. However I want to be inclusive and just say that Remembrance Day (a.k.a. Armistice Day/Poppy Day) is celebrated by the Allied countries to remember the fallen soldiers of World War I, which occurred between 1914-1918. Around 17 million soldiers & civilians were killed in WWI – and they are remembered on the 11th November each year, the same day the War ended.
The Firing Line
Although we hadn’t come to Wales specifically for the Centenary event, it was a great chance to learn more about Wales’ history. Luckily for us there’s a museum within Cardiff Castle grounds called The Firing Line, all about the Welsh soldier. We spent quite a bit of time in here learning about Cardiff’s role in World War I, but I must admit it’s been a couple of years and I need to brush up on my facts! Entrance to the museum isn’t free but it is included in your ticket into Cardiff Castle – which is currently £14.50 each for adults.
Remembrance at Cardiff Castle
Other than the beautiful Poppy Soldier display in the Firing Line Museum, Cardiff Castle had a number of other displays specifically so you could go and pay your respects. There were poppy wreaths on wooden crosses dotted about in the ground, each with a message from a Welsh citizen, that I think were used in some television event the day before. But, perhaps even more touching was the main display. Set against the Welsh and British flags was an installation of white gravestones, each labelled A Soldier of the Great War.
They were also running other war-time related events. The creepiest (and most realistic) event they had on was the air-raid sirens as you walked inside the castle walls in low-light. It was terrifying! But probably the closest we’ll get to what the people of Cardiff experienced. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this because I was trying to get through it as quickly as possible.
Cardiff Castle grounds
We visited Cardiff Castle in November (November!!) and you can see how beautiful the weather was! Chilly, perhaps, but beautiful blue skies. With our ticket we got to explore so many areas of the grounds, including a limited amount of rooms within the castle. We walked the Roman Walls and explored the Roman Keep thoroughly. It’s so stunning it’s often mistaken for the main Castle!
Hoping we can travel the UK again soon,