Every first Monday of the month, at the remembrance plaque of the Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, a small Last Post ceremony takes place. Opposite the Last Post of the Menin Gate in Ypres, the memorial attracts only a few people. Most consist of locals who are present monthly. In the pub on the other side of the street, De Sportman, a small but fascinating exhibition takes place in the pub itself. It can only be visited during the ceremony event or on request. After visiting the pub, the local police holds traffic and the Last Post starts at 19:00.
During the edition of October 2013 it was not only Hedd Wyn who was commemorated, but also Major Lawrence Robert Vaughan Colby of the Grenadier Guards.
About Hedd Wyn
Hedd Wyn was the pseudonym for the Welsh poet Ellis Humphrey Evans and was born on January 13, 1887 in Trawsfynydd in Meirionydd in North Wales. He took part in poetry competitions from 1906 and earns the name Hedd Wyn in 1910, what means "Shining Peace". In 1915 he took part in his first national poetry contest. Meanwhile, Wales became involved in the Great War and reported many compatriots voluntarily, but not him. After he took part in the competition in September 1917, he listed himself in the army after he was called and was assigned to the 15th Battalion "Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The Battalion conquer Pilckem Ridge during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917, and quickly moved up to the crossroads "Hagebos", known on the British maps as "Iron Cross". Near this crossroad, he was mortally wounded on the same day. He was buried on the Artillery Wood Cemetery at Boezinge, not far from where Francis Edward Ledwidge, an Irish poet, was killed on the same day and also burried at the Artillery Wood Cemetery. Hedd Wyn was a national legend after he won the national poetry contest, and received The Seat (wich you can find in the pub) as a prize. In his birthplace, a statue was unveiled by his mother in 1923. On the celebration of the 75st anniversary of his death, the plaque unveiled at the intersection where he was killed. For several years, this monthly ceremony took place. Meanwhile, there are plans for a large memorial, clearly stated during the ceremony and can only be made when the financial steps can be won.
About Major Lawrence Robert Vaughan Colby
Lawrence was the only son of John Vaughan Colby, Ffynone, Pembrokshire. He was a professional soldier and had the rank of Major in the 1th Battalion Grenadier Guards, who were active during the First Battle of Ypres under the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division, commanded by Major-General T. Capper .
The division was formed in September 1914 and at the beginning of October 1914 they landed at Zeebrugge. After having covered the flank of the Belgian army during the retreat to the IJzer river, the 7th Division was one of the first British units in the Ypres Salient. There they defended a front on the heights around the city.
They were involved during the First Battle of Ypres and played an important role in stopping the German advance.
In the heat of those battles, on October 24, 1914, during the Battle of Langemarck, Lawrence was killed in action at Kruiseke, between Geluveld and Wervik. He was 34 years old and has no known grave . His name is commemorated on the Menin Gate on panel 9 .
Page made by Rino Deltombe.