'In Memoriam' in the Cambrian Daily Leader, 6 December 1917, and Royal Naval Reserve book for Norman Lloyd Williams from Holyhead.
Having a loved one away at sea often meant months of waiting for news and if the worst happened and the person was drowned, often no body to bury. The stress of claiming compensation from shipping companies and pensions from the government, as well as the poverty resulting from the loss of a wage earner was another impact on families and communities.
The food shortages and rationing caused by the loss of merchant ships had an effect in households and local businesses across Wales.
The longer-term effects are often overlooked. Those who survived but were injured or traumatised during their service at sea, found their earning capacity reduced or stopped. The emotional impact on their families could be passed down the generations.
Beryl Makkers with a photo of her WW1 seaman father John Freeman who settled in Butetown from Jamaica.
Black and ethnic minority seamen in ports such as Cardiff and Barry had a huge influence on their communities, often marrying local women and having families. They contributed aspects of their home cultures such as food and music to the communities and set up organisations such as the CIACS (Cardiff Internationals Athletic Club) in Butetown, which went on to produce sportsmen such as Joe Erskine and Billy Boston. The impacts of the race riots following the war in 1919 had long-lasting effects, as did the poverty resulting from unemployment in the docks.
A major part of the U-boat project has been working with communities to uncover local stories from around Wales that are not widely known. People have kindly come forward with photographs, letters, documents and information passed down through families. These treasures are very valuable as they add detail and human stories to the wider picture of Wales and the War at Sea. We believe that there are many more waiting to be discovered and shared.