Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Aurel Sercu

Message in a Welsh heart and an Irish bottle

Recommended Posts

Aurel Sercu

A month or three ago I took these two pics in Artillery Wood Cemetery, in my Boezinge (near Ypres).

This one shows a bottle with ... water ? (I didn't open it to taste it.)

Does this have a specific meaning when left at a headstone ?

(The pic with the Welsh heart will come in a following posting.)

Aurel

post-92-0-00293900-1421945615_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

And this is the Welsh heart. What does the text say (in English) ?

Aurel

post-92-0-02373700-1421946012_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Aurel,

Not sure about the bottle: ?possibly holy water from that church, or local Kilkenny water. Someone will doubtless explain!

I will comment on the Welsh heart when you post next - I visited Artillery Wood for the first time in December (and saw the new Welsh Dragon as well). Meantime, can you explain something to me? We drove up and down the main road in Hagebos/Iron Cross looking for the Hedd Wyn wall plaque. The people with me insisted they'd seen it before, but we couldn't see it now. Were we not looking in the right place, or has it been moved?

Clive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Ah, the Welsh heart - I saw it during my visit.

it says something like "Sweet memories of you in Penrhiw, Llanllwni". Llanllwni is a village in rural Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales, between the county town Carmarthen and the university town of Lampeter. The beginning of the house/farm name, Penrhiw, mutates (as do most nouns in Welsh) depending on what precedes it. So what should be "yn Penrhiw" is softened to "ym Mhenrhiw".

There are a number of such private memorials at Artillery Wood: the Hedd Wyn grave is a riot of dragons, daffodils, slate plaque etc. But the "heart" is an old one, and I also noticed an old rectangular stone plaque on a Welsh officer's grave. Seems the CWGC has chosen to leave those alone.

Clive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Clive,

Thanks for the translation from Welsh.

As to the bottle : I wish I had opened it and ... smelled. Or ... maybe there is no difference between plain water and holy water ? Well, it certainly (?) was no vodka. I think. :-)

You didn't see the Hedd Wyn plaque ?!?! It is on the house on the crossroads (mainroad side), 50 yards or so from the dragon ! (Direction of Langemark.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Scorer

I'm not an expert (in fact, I don't speak Welsh, so maybe I shouldn't comment!), but Google's translation says it's "Sweet memories around you at Penrhiw, Llanllwni".

I guess, though, that either would be appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michelle Young

The heart looks like some of the marble plaques you sometimes find laid on stones by bereaved families in the post war period, it looks old, not a modern thing

Michelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asanewt

Clive's translation is OK for me.

Recall of my last visit to Kilkenny suggests the contents may be Poteen. Frivolous maybe but couldn't resist.

Spent, raucous, delightful weekends at Wm. Byrne's pub directly opposite St John's Church.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Clive's translation is correct.

Google translate is incorrect. ...again.

Man 1- Machine 0

Google translate is ok for individual words.

But language is more than a collection of words.

The way they are put together- syntax, context etc is way beyond Google translate at the moment.

Just be wary of depending on machines to translate for you.

A lesson this road sign manufacturer failed to heed, when opening the reply from the translation company to his original email request ...

post-109762-0-30106700-1421962533_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

For the benefit of those unversed with the language of Heaven, the lower part of the road sign says "I am not in the office at present. Please send any work to be translated."

Aurel, no - somehow despite driving slowly and scanning the houses on both sides - twice - the four of us couldn't see it! Is it on a wall facing the road, or round a corner on a wall facing a side road?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scalyback

There are worse translations out there. The Tesco cash machine being the best.

With the Welsh heart I get the impression of thoughts at home. Hard to translate! The Irish water again something of home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theletterwriter

Clive,

Thanks for the translation from Welsh.

As to the bottle : I wish I had opened it and ... smelled. Or ... maybe there is no difference between plain water and holy water ? Well, it certainly (?) was no vodka. I think. :-)

You didn't see the Hedd Wyn plaque ?!?! It is on the house on the crossroads (mainroad side), 50 yards or so from the dragon ! (Direction of Langemark.)

Aurel

From Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918

Guardsman Patrick Doherty Reg. No. 1062 : 4th. Battn. Guards Machine Gun Regiment (formerly Irish Guards) killed in action 9th. October 1917, born St. John's Kilkenny :poppy:

Hopefully, the bottle and its contents was placed by the grave by Guardsman Doherty's family.

Douglas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carmania

Clive

The memorial plaque is on the wall of the building directly opposite to De Sportman - well it was there in both June and August :mellow:

Aled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theletterwriter

From the CWGC site

Pte. Henry Evans 55453, 16th. Battn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Evan and Mary Evans of Penrhiw, Llanllwni, Llanbyther, Carmanthenshire :poppy: As Scalyback said, the heart must be thoughts from home

Douglas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Clive

The memorial plaque is on the wall of the building directly opposite to De Sportman - well it was there in both June and August :mellow:

Aled

Here it is on Google Streetview, behind the white van.

post-109762-0-54640700-1421971822_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Scorer

Clive's translation is OK for me.

Clive's translation is correct.

Google translate is incorrect. ...again.

Man 1- Machine 0

Google translate is ok for individual words.

But language is more than a collection of words.

The way they are put together- syntax, context etc is way beyond Google translate at the moment.

Points taken ... but I did say that I don't speak Welsh, so can I be forgiven, please?

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Aurel & Aled, you're clearly right about the location. I just can't understand why we didn't see it!

Scorer, absolute and unconditional forgiveness be yours! Most of us in tackling a language not our own would try google-translate or something similar (I have). The fact is that organisations and firms will frequently employ people who claim to be translators but just have a smattering. My brother is a professionally-qualified and full-time translator, and collects hilarious examples of gaffes. I supplied one for him myself: a sign in a new branch of a well-known burger outlet which managed to offer Ice cream with hot fudge sauce in English but Ice cream with hot trash sauce in Welsh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Points taken ... but I did say that I don't speak Welsh, so can I be forgiven, please?

:)

All is forgiven.

Now write out a hundred times:

"I must go to Welsh language classes in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch."

:thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Thanks to everyone who replied !

I even learned a new word : "poteen". (Thanks, Jules. But ... is poteen colourless ?)

And this may be a surprise : A long time ago I could not pronounce Llanfair etc., (and I can't and don't want to now either) but I did know what it meant ! Learning the meaning by heart, just in case I met a Welshman, to impress him. I never met one, and then when at last I did, I had ... forgotten. But it was something about a cave, and a whirlpool, an a tree (hazel ?) ... (No no, don't help me, I'll go to Wikipedia after this ... :-) )

Aurel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
depaor01

Hi Aurel,

Poteen is indeed colourless. Pronounced "putcheen" it is Irish moonshine that was illegal for many years until some distilleries got licences to produce it. It tastes horrendous.

The presence of the church name on the bottle makes me tend towards the Holy Water theory.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Dave,

Not sure if the bottle is still there ... But as you wrote "horrendous", NO, I will not try it.

Besides, one of the gardeners may have been unable to resist temptation, and may filled it again afterwards with holy or unholy water !...

However, IIRC I think I once saw a gardener there zigzagging with his mower !... :-)

Aurel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Hone

My daughter in law ( a native Welsh speaker) burst into tears when she saw the heart at Artillery Wood in 2011. Like many people it was a small thing like this that cemented her connection to the battlefields and she made sure that we visited it again on our tour last summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Mark,

I didn't burst into tears, but I must say I was moved when I saw this, about the same time (a month or 3 ago) at a headstone in Duhallow ADS Cemetery.

(A Royal Scots Fusilier, died 1 month before Armistice ...)

Aurel

post-92-0-35775900-1422039017_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Pegum

Hi Aurel,

Poteen is indeed colourless. Pronounced "putcheen" it is Irish moonshine that was illegal for many years until some distilleries got licences to produce it. It tastes horrendous.

The presence of the church name on the bottle makes me tend towards the Holy Water theory.

Dave

It is certainly holy water. It comes in all sorts of bottles. I once made the mistake of mixing it with whiskey, as the bottle it was in said soda water. I called the result a Holy Mary.

Sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
depaor01

Hi Michael,

Glad you survived. It's well-known that although Holy Water is blessed, it remains a breeding ground for bacteria. Helped by the length of time it's kept.

Dodged a bullet!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...