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Custodian of poet Hedd Wyn’s home, Gerald Williams, passes away aged 92

11 Jun 2021 2 minute read
Gerald Williams, nephew of Hedd Wyn, outside the Ysgwrn. Picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Gerald Williams, the nephew of Hedd Wyn, as well as the custodian of the poet’s home, has passed away, aged 92.

The farmer from Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd dedicated his life to preserving the memory of his uncle, as the guardian of Yr Ysgwrn.

He has maintained his promise to “always keep the door open” since 1954, by welcoming visitors from all over the world to Yr Ysgwrn, and doing so free of charge.

Williams was given the First Minister’s Special Award in 2018 at the St David’s Awards, and has also been awarded an MBE.

His tireless work helped to keep the memory of Hedd Wyn alive and preserve the First World War poet’s legacy for future generations.

The open door policy of his family’s home helps has made sure that a vital piece of Welsh history and heritage is not lost.

He was always happy to speak to anyone about ‘Yr Ysgwrn’ and was an expert on Hedd Wyn’s life. Yr Ysgwrn houses exhibitions about the life and legacy of Hedd Wyn, which are weaved together with themes of Welsh language and culture, the bardic tradition, social and rural history, and the First World War.

‘Future generations’ 

He ensured the buildings are preserved for future generations by transferring them to the Snowdonia National Park in 2012.

A spokesperson for the Eisteddfod said: “Very sad news. We send our deepest condolences to Gerald’s family. He was an exemplary custodian of one of the nation’s treasures, and we and everyone else are grateful to him for his work and his lifelong dedication. Thank you for everything, Gerald.

A spokesperson for the Hedd Wyn museum Yr Ysgwrn, said: “Mr Gerald Williams, the inspirational custodian of Yr Ysgwrn, farmer, and nephew of Hedd Wyn at 92 years of age. As an authority we send our deepest condolences to Gerald’s wife, sister and family, and we thank him for his lifelong work in safeguarding and keeping the door of Yr Ysgwrn open.”

Ellis Humphrey Evans who went by the Welsh bardic name of Hedd Wyn died at the Battle of Passchendaele 6 weeks before the National Eisteddfod in 1917, where he was awarded the Black Chair for his poem Yr Arwr (The Hero).

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Gill Jones
Gill Jones
2 years ago

Mae ‘na gerdd wych sef “Porthor” gan Vernon Jones yn clodfori Gerald – gweler rhyfin y Gwanwyn o Barddas. ‘Ei weld fel milwr o’r rhyfel byd cyntaf ar ei ddyletswydd ….’

Tom Parsons
Tom Parsons
2 years ago

I visited there in 2005 with friends and met Mr. Williams. He was a very welcoming host. RIP Mr. Williams

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
2 years ago


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