Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First World War poet Hedd Wyn’s home to become a museum | First World War Centenary

 

Funding has been secured by the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) to turn the home of First World War poet, Hedd Wyn, into a museum and interpretation centre.

The Grade II listed farmhouse, called Yr Ysgrwn, is near Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd, Wales. An award of nearly £150,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will be used to secure its future as a tourist attraction.

The chair of HLF Wales, Dr Manon Williams, said: ‘Hedd Wyn is one of Wales’ heroes and it is fitting that this project should be developed as part of the First World War commemorations.’

Hedd Wyn’s real name was Ellis Humphrey Evans. He became a successful Welsh-language poet before the First World War and had won several prizes at eisteddfodau – festivals of literature and poetry. In 1916, he won second place at the National Eisteddfod. He vowed to win first place the following year.

But in early 1917, Hedd Wyn joined the 15th battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and left for the Western Front in June. He was killed in action on 31 July during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge.

First World War poet Hedd Wyn’s home to become a museum | First World War Centenary

First American Casualty In WWI From Kansas, Honored

The First American Officer to die in WW1.

You might not know it, but a Kansan has a major place in World War One history, and his hometown took time to honor him today.

Thanks to a dedication ceremony, this piece of history will always be remembered.

Lieutenant William T. Fitzsimons was the first American officer to die in World War One. The story had been lost over time, but through a little digging, it was finally uncovered.

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The FItzsimons Army Medical Center was renamed after him in 1920 by the U.S. Army. He also has a memorial and fountain in Kansas City, where his family moved during his late childhood.

The health system's Rehabilitation and Wellness Services facility was going through a renovation, and they decided the side of the building would be a perfect place for a mural of Fitzsimons.

"It was high time for Burlington to honor his memory," Campbell said.

Fitzsimons attended the University of Kansas School of Medicine and volunteered with the Army Medical Reserve Corps in Europe before the United States joined the Allies in the war. After the U.S. joined the war, he went back over to France.

He died in 1917 when a bomb struck his field hospital in France.

First American Casualty In WWI From Kansas, Honored

Fallout from 1917 Halifax explosion reached all the way to the Prairies - Winnipeg Free Press

My Dad was in San Francisco during WW2 when a similar explosion occurred at Port Chicago.  I had never heard of this one in Halifax (link at bottom).

Shortly after 9 a.m. on Dec. 6, 1917, in the midst of the First World War, the largest human-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb was set off when the munitions ship Mont Blanc and the steamer Imo collided in Halifax harbor.

It had a catastrophic effect on Halifax, leveling five square kilometers of the city and killing as many as 1,600 people instantly. But, as the Manitoba Free Press told its readers in the following days, "the calamity was a national one."

Fallout from 1917 Halifax explosion reached all the way to the Prairies - Winnipeg Free Press

The trench talk that is now entrenched in the English language - Telegraph

A review of Trench Talk in the Telegraph (link at bottom).

If you’re feeling washed out, fed up or downright lousy, World War One is to blame.

New research has shown how the conflict meant that hundreds of words and phrases came into common parlance thanks to the trenches.

Among the list of everyday terms found to have originated or spread from the conflict are cushy, snapshot, bloke, wash out, conk out, blind spot, binge drink and pushing up daisies.

The research has been conducted by Peter Doyle, a military historian, and Julian Walker, an etymologist, who have analysed thousands of documents from the period — including letters from the front, trench newspapers, diaries, books and official military records - to trace how language changed during the four years of the war.

The trench talk that is now entrenched in the English language - Telegraph