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EVANS, ELLIS HUMPHREY (Hedd Wyn; 1887 - 1917), poet

Name: Ellis Humphrey Evans
Pseudonym: Hedd Wyn
Date of birth: 1887
Date of death: 1917
Parent: Mary Evans (née Morris)
Parent: Evan Evans
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Poetry
Author: William Morris

Born 13 January 1887, the eldest son of Evan and Mary Evans of Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd, Meirionethshire. He received his education, such as it was, at the elementary school and Sunday school, but his self-education went on unceasingly. His aptitude for poetry became evident at an early age and he was given every encouragement at home, for his father was by way of being a home-spun poet as his maternal grandfather had been. He was given the name Hedd Wyn at a concert held on the banks of Llyn y Morynion. He won the first of his six chairs at Bala in 1907, and his awdl on Strata Florida gained him second place at the national eisteddfod at Aberystwyth in 1916. Early in 1917 he enlisted in the 15th battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Before doing so he had already begun his awdl ' Yr Arwr,' half of which was written at Trawsfynydd. It was finished in camp at Litherland and was posted from France. When his pseudonym (Fleur-de-lis) was called out at the national eisteddfod at Birkenhead in 6 September 1917, it was announced that he was dead; he had been killed at the battle of Pilkem Ridge, 31 July. A volume of his poems, Cerddi'r Bugail, was published in 1918. With the profits of this work, supplemented by subscriptions, a statue (by L. S. Merrifield) was raised to him at Trawsfynydd. A 2nd edition of the Cerddi was published in 1931. Hedd Wyn's chief delight was in poetry, and it was by competing that he perfected his craft.


Published date: 1959

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