In 1914, soon to be Prime Minister Lloyd George had passionately appealed to Welshmen everywhere to fulfil his dream of a Welsh Army to fight in the Great War. Although his ambitions fell short of this ideal, it did lead to the raising of a Division of men from the Principality. The 38th Division were beset with problems from the start. Ill trained, ill equipped and poorly led these men would be thrown into the furnace of the Battle of Somme. Their task, the capture of Mametz Wood; the largest on the Somme. After 5 days of brutal fighting and 4000 casualties, their efforts would, for the next 100 years be mired in controversy, folklore and legend.
This virtual tour will touch on the raising and training of the Division and focus on the attacks on the 7th and 10th July 1916. It will explain why the Division inherited such a poor reputation and was virtually overlooked as a fighting force for a year. Finally using first-hand accounts and analysis of the attack and its place in the wider context of the Somme Campaign, it will challenge the perception of failure which has long overshadowed the achievements of those that fought there.