outlive their parents. Writing in 1915 Freud noted that the war was 'bound to sweep away this conventional treatment of death. Death will no longer be denied; we are forced to believe in it. People really die; and no longer one by one, but many, often tens of thousands, in a single day. And death is no longer a chance event.,7 During the early years of war, street memorials or shrines were made, often in the form of rolls of honour, and some of these were later incorporated into local war memorials, but very few civic memo- rials were erected before the Armistice.8 Exhibitions of war memorial designs were held at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919 but there was no 'official' central direction or funding for commemoration.9 In Wales, as in the rest of Britain, most war memorials were funded by public subscription and organized by committees chosen to reflect the structure of local society but which inevitably also reflected the social hierarchy of a community. 10 The decision taken in 1915 to ban the repatriation of bodies from the battlefield had far-reaching consequences in the commemoration process. The formalities of burial were taken over by the Imperial War Graves Commission whose policy was guided by the principle of equality of sacrifice and therefore equality of commemoration.11 Whilst this was a laud- able ambition, in reality it appeared a bureaucratic and remote process into which those most affected by the war had little input apart from choosing a personal inscription for the headstone.12 Pilgrimages were organised to the battlefields in the decade after the war to enable relatives of the dead to visit either an individual grave or a memorial.13 Death and burial on the battle- field, however, denied those left behind the opportunity to participate in the funeral ritual, a process accepted to be an intrinsic and integral part of the grieving process by helping the bereaved to face the reality of death.14 Erecting a war memorial, the ritual involved in the subsequent unveiling ceremonies and the position of the memorial, invariably at the centre of a community both literally and figuratively, acted as an emotional catharsis enabling the bereaved to begin to accept the death of a loved one and to con- template moving life forward. In this context, commemoration of the indi- vidual was an extremely important element in the process of mourning as the local war memorial became the surrogate grave providing an essential focus for individual and collective grief.15 The emotional reaction of the British public to the temporary cenotaph built in London for the Peace Day cele- brations in July 1919 was testament to the overwhelming need for a visible representation of their grief, whilst the many thousands of local memorials reflected the desire for an immediate and permanent reminder of the dead.16