The ‘U-Boat Project’ commemorates the Great War at Sea around the coast of Wales. It is a 2-year Heritage Lottery Funded partnership project led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Bangor University and the Nautical Archaeology Society which commemorates those who served at sea during the First World War.
The partnership has used the latest techniques in underwater visualization in order to research boats that have been sunk along the Welsh coastline by U-Boat attacks.
In the exhibition at Storiel, Bangor there a numerous panels which explore various themes within the history of war at sea including: Desperate Measures, Danger Unseen, Life on the Wrecks, Sounding the Seabed. Two panels deal with Gwynedd directly: Gwynedd, the First World War and the Sea and Gwynedd War Memorials and Graves.
The ‘Gwynedd, the First World War and the Sea’ panel refers to the history of the UC 65, a German U-Boat which sank many ships during WWI, including five near Bardsey Island. We also get to know about the history of a ship owned by Lord Penrhyn called the MARY B MITCHELL, which was modified and fitted with collapsible guns. Her role was to lure German U-Boats to the surface.
The ‘Gwynedd War Memorials and Graves’ panel pays tribute to those from North Wales who lost their lives during WWI and refers to the memorials at Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberdyfi. We get to know about Thomas Jones Williams from Bangor who was on board the ALGIERS when she was sunk by the UC 65 U-Boat, and Thomas John Roberts, also from Bangor, who was only 15 years old when he was on board the GOOD HOPE when she sank on 1 November 1914.
Along with the above, members of Criw Celf have responded to the exhibition by undertaking research and sketch work at the Maritime Museum in Porthmadog. They were inspired by the history of the MISS MORRIS, a ship that sank 20 miles off the coast of southern Spain after being attacked by a German U-Boat.
With the help of artist Theresa Urbanska, they have created an artistic piece which ties in all of the themes in the exhibition, and can be seen at Storiel.
The exhibition is open at Storiel, Bangor until 6 October. Storiel is open 11am-5pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
Photo: Creative work by members of Criw Celf in co-operation with the artist Theresa Urbanska.