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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 12:57 GMT
Great War memorial arch appeal
Bangor's Memorial Arch
The Memorial Arch is a well-known landmark in the centre of Bangor
A public appeal has begun to raise 100,000 to save a monument to honour servicemen who died in World War I.

The Memorial Arch, a well-known landmark near Bangor university, features the names of 8,500 men from Gwynedd who died in the Great War.

Built in 1923 the arch needs 155,000 of refurbishments to bring it up to scratch and 47,000 has been donated by the Welsh Assembly Government already.

One of those named on the monument is Trawsfynydd poet Hedd Wyn.

"There is an incredible feeling when you walk into the monument and are faced with tall, six to seven foot (2m) panels, with all the names of those who died," said Llio Wyn Richards, a fund-raising officer at the University of Bangor, which looks after the arch.

"It really strikes you, and has quite an impact," she said.

The appeal is really changing gear now
Llio Wyn Richards, Bangor University

As part of the appeal 400 letters have been sent to "anyone we could think of who might have an interest in the First World War or the history of the place," Ms Richards added.

Posters have been placed on buses throughout the area highlighting the campaign, and a web site has been set up which includes a virtual tour of the inside.

There is also a chance for anyone with interesting stories about those named on the memorial to pass them on.

"We have Hedd Wyn, whose story is amazing of course, but we would welcome other stories concerning any of the other people," she added.

Closed to the public

"It is topical because it will be Remembrance Sunday this weekend," Ms Richards said.

"The arch is closed at the moment so people will not be able to go in again this year.

"On Sunday there will be people there lying wreaths however, and as the cenotaph is over the road there will be people milling around.

"We really need to refurbish the building however, because it will then give people the opportunity to see the inside, and to make better use of the place.

"The appeal is really changing gear now," she added.


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