The Opening of the Temple of Peace


The Temple of Peace was opened on 23 November 1938 by Mrs Minnie James of Dowlais, who had lost 3 sons in the First World War and represented the war-bereaved mothers of Wales. Minnie opened the building with a golden key before leading a procession of 23 war mothers representing Britain, its Empire and the United States into the Temple. This was to be a transformative moment in Minnie’s life: local legend has it that she was buried with the ceremonial key.

“We are assembled here today to take part in the solemn dedication of this building for the noble purposes for which it was erected. In the name of the women of Wales it is my privilege to open the building. I dedicate it to the memorial to those gallant men of all nations who gave their lives in the war that was to end war. I pray that it may come to be regarded by the people of my country both of our generation and of those that are to follow as a constant reminder of the debt we owe to the millions who sacrificed their all; in a great cause, and as a symbol of our determination to strive for justice and peace in the future.”

-- Minnie James, Opening Dedication of the Temple of Peace

Watch footage of Minnie opening the Temple here; find out more about Minnie and the ‘Mothers of Peace’ here; and learn about the Temple’s opening ceremony here.