Two Poets, One War Cemetery, One Destiny...
1. Francis Ledwidge
A An Irish poet , killed in action during World War I.
Francis Ledwidge was born on August 19 ,1887 at Slane, County Meath, Ireland, into a large and poverty-stricken family.
Within a week of the outbreak of WW1, he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Dublin.
In 1915 he saw action at Suvla Bay in Turkey. Having survived Gallipoli , he was dismayed by the news of the Easter Rising and was court-martialled and demoted for overstaying his home leave and being drunk in uniform.
On July 31 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, he was killed by a stray shell while out with a working party near Pilkem Ridge. In due course he was laid to rest in the Artillery Wood CWGC Cemetery at Boezinge in Belgium.
He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain.
One of three verses in his Lament for Thomas MacDonagh, one the executed leaders of the Irish rebellion at Easter, 1916.
When he wrote these lines he unwittingly composed his own enduring epitaph.
The Wife of Llew
A poem for Wales by Francis Ledwidge...
A poem for summer by Francis Ledwidge...
A Robin on a Broken Tree
Just four poignant lines of longing for home by Francis Ledwidge...
2. Ellis Humphrey Evans (Hedd Wyn)
A Welsh poet, killed in action during World War I, on the same day, during the same battle, in the same sector as Francis Ledwidge...
Private of the 15th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. A Welsh national hero, having won six Bardic Chairs. He was the subject of the 1992 film, Hedd Wyn,, nominated for a Foreign‑Language Film Oscar.
He was born on January 13, 1887 near the village of Trawsfynydd, Wales. He was killed during an assault on the German lines at Pilkem Ridge on July 31, 1917. In due course he was laid to rest in the Artillery Wood CWGC Cemetery at Boezinge in Belgium.
The last of the three verses of his most famous poem, Rhyfel (War):
The old harps that were played in a time of joys
Hang from the branches of that willow wood,
The wind fills up with the screams of boys,
And the falling rain with their blood.
Two Poets:Two Graves
Views and descriptions of the respective burial places...
The Poetry of Things