Shepherd war poet Hedd Wyn to light up the library

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

A VIDEO project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Wales' most famous Great War poet Ellis Humphrey Evans is set to be beamed onto the National Library of Wales during Armistice week.

The Snowdonia shepherd – better known by his bardic name Hedd Wyn (‘Blessed Peace’) - was killed on the opening day of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

Yr Arwr (The Hero) is an epic poem the conscripted soldier wrote just before his death, and which posthumously won him the Chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod.

The National Library of Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority have maintained Hedd Wyn's family farm as a museum and helped to keep his legacy alive.

The initiative culminates on November 9 - two days before Remembrance Day - when a video, involving children from Hedd Wyn's native village, will be beamed on to the facade of the library. Pupils from Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn will read his most famous work, Rhyfel (War).

Lines from the poem have been interwoven with footage from Yr Ysgwrn, and images relating to the poet and the Welsh experience during the Great War provided by both the National Library of Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority. The project has received backing from the ScottishPower Foundation.

Linda Tomos, chief executive and librarian of the National Library of Wales, said: “The event will be a thrilling conclusion to a wonderful programme of outreach work. We are very grateful to the ScottishPower Foundation for generously funding the programme and to Gerald Williams, Hedd Wyn’s nephew, and Yr Ysgwrn for continuing support.”

A spokesman for the Snowdonia National Park Authority said: “In September 1917, Hedd Wyn became a symbol of a generation of Welshmen killed during the First World War. Since then, his family home at Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd, has been a quiet memorial to this lost generation, perpetuating timeless messages on peace, war, culture and society.”

ScottishPower Foundation trustee Ann McKechin said: "The story of Hedd Wyn, his poetry, and his tragic death before he was able to claim his rightful honour as winner of the Bardic Chair at the 1917 Eisteddfod are an important cultural legacy, not only for the people of Wales, but for us all.

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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