Prep School pupils research life of famous Welsh WWI poet Hedd Wyn
21st July 2017

A group of Preparatory School pupils have been learning about the life of a notorious Welsh poet.

Year' 5 and 6 pupils at Rydal Penrhos recently researched the life of First World War poet, Ellis Evans, more famously known as Hedd Wyn of Trawsfynydd.

The groups learnt about the culture of the Eisteddfod and how a bard could win a chair for the best poem.

They also discovered that poets in the courts of kings and princes, for centuries earned a chair at the high table, for the poetry they wrote, and they put their findings into a special display situated outside the school’s dining room.

Hedd Wyn was Born on the 13 January 1887, went to school until he was 14, and then stayed home to look after the family farm.

Due to the Military Act of 1916, he was expected to join the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and while marching he wrote his poem and gave his nome de plume, as Fleur de Lis. 

He sadly lost his life on July 31, 1917, after he was injured with a nose cap shell after being among the first wave of soldiers to battle the Germans in Belgium.

Welsh teacher Nerys Wynne-Jones, said: “While marching to Belgium he had written an Ode, for the Birkenhead National Eisteddfod in 1917. 

“His poem had been accepted and he won the chair. Unfortunately he died before knowing that he had won. The chair became known as the black chair, because a black cloth was laid over it, at the announcement that Hedd Wyn had died in the war. 

“The pupils have made a request for next year that they would like to write poems, to have their own nome de plume and, for the winning poet, to receive a chair.”

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