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Remembered Today:

Alfred Owen Williams, The Hammerman Poet


helpjpl

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Alfred Owen Williams was found fit for duty in in September 1916, posted to Ireland in January 1917, and ended up serving in India. This courtesy of ancestry:

66958258_AlfredWilliams.jpg.33977305df22b2e3c9dc9abfeaa2481f.jpg

 

I'm looking for 2 of his poems, which may have been written while he was recuperating at Fermoy Military Hospital from a back injury, and I'd be most grateful for your help.

The poems are:

 

Love's Memory

To Niam on Duty

 

Many thanks

 

JP

 

 

Edited by helpjpl
back injury
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I'm assuming you have your information from this?

https://johngoodridgesite.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/alfred-williams-folklorist-poet-translator-autodidact/.

 

I've looked on archive.org and the poems aren't included in Nature and other poems, which seems to be the only volume there. War sonnets and songs, published by Erskine Macdonald in 1916, is probably too early.

 

They might be in The selected poems, with much new and recent work hitherto unpublished / by Alfred Williams ; and an introduction by John Bailey (London: Erskine Macdonald, 1926). There's a copy of that in the University of Exeter Library and another in the British Library, so an inter-library loan request might get you results.

 

The Wiltshire & Swindon Archives have some material on him but I think not the manuscript of any of his poems.

 

Oh, and cataloguers seem oddly confused as to whether he is Owen Alfred or Alfred Owen ...

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14 hours ago, seaJane said:

I'm assuming you have your information from this?

https://johngoodridgesite.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/alfred-williams-folklorist-poet-translator-autodidact/.

 

They might be in The selected poems, with much new and recent work hitherto unpublished / by Alfred Williams ; and an introduction by John Bailey (London: Erskine Macdonald, 1926). There's a copy of that in the University of Exeter Library and another in the British Library, so an inter-library loan request might get you results.

 

 

I was aware of the article and many thanks for the tip.

 

As a child I was told that a Swindon poet wrote about Ida Florence Levinge who was a nurse in the Great War.

 

Having confirmed that Ida was a nurse  https://vad.redcross.org.uk/Search?sname=Levinge I'm eager to find the two poems.

 

JP 

Edited by helpjpl
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  • 1 year later...
HammermanPoet

Alfred was my great grand uncle.

 

I have all of his books and have Selected Poems in front of me now. 'Love's Memory' is on Page 44.

 

There is no poem titled 'To Naim on Duty' in there. Where did you get the reference to the title from? There is a poem titled 'The Woodland' that mentions Naim.

 

"I wandered in the Woodland -

Young Niam loves it well - "

 

Kind Regards

 

Michael

 

LOVE'S MEMORY

 

The cloud remembers the hill,

The moon remembers the sea,

The dew forgets not the rose,

And I will remember thee.

 

The blue tide foams on the shore,

With its passionate kisses wet;

The winds have their trysing-place,

Then how could my soul forget?

 

Soft as the rose-leaf falls,

By spirit fingers prest,

So sweet thy memory lies,

Full-perfumed in my breast.

 

 

 

 

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HammermanPoet
On 13/01/2020 at 22:39, seaJane said:

Oh, and cataloguers seem oddly confused as to whether he is Owen Alfred or Alfred Owen ...

There appears some confusion around this with his biographers in general. His birth certificate has it as 'Owen Alfred' but every other document and family reference is to 'Alfred Qwen'. His eldest brother has the patronym 'Lloyd' as his middle name referencing the LLwyd ancestry. I suspect that 'Owen' may be similar. and be a middle name referencing that ancestry rather than a first name? It may be a mistake on the birth certificate, since none of his siblings have welsh first names.

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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your contributions! What a wonderful connection to have.

 

I am tagging @helpjplin case he does not see this.

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13 hours ago, HammermanPoet said:

Alfred was my great grand uncle.

I have all of his books and have Selected Poems in front of me now. 'Love's Memory' is on Page 44.

There is no poem titled 'To Naim on Duty' in there. Where did you get the reference to the title from? There is a poem titled 'The Woodland' that mentions Naim.

 

In January 1817 his unit was sent to Newbridge Barracks in County Kildare, Ireland, after a stormy, seasick crossing. He sustained a back injury there that laid him up for some time, and a book-loving Irish nurse, Ada (sic) Levinge, fostered a new interest: Irish literature and the history of Ireland. She would remain a beloved friend, and he wrote two poems about her, ‘Love’s Memory’ and ‘To Niam on Duty’. 

https://johngoodridgesite.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/alfred-williams-folklorist-poet-translator-autodidact/

 

JP

 

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12 hours ago, HammermanPoet said:

There appears some confusion around this with his biographers in general. His birth certificate has it as 'Owen Alfred' but every other document and family reference is to 'Alfred Qwen'. His eldest brother has the patronym 'Lloyd' as his middle name referencing the LLwyd ancestry. I suspect that 'Owen' may be similar. and be a middle name referencing that ancestry rather than a first name? It may be a mistake on the birth certificate, since none of his siblings have welsh first names.

 

Baptised Alfred Owen Williams at South Marston on 03 August 1877:

AOW.jpg.a476b70cbb412b2ea7bb8689f02be384.jpg

 

JP

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HammermanPoet

I have not seen that Baptism register before @helpjpl but it has the name of his father as 'William' and not 'Elias', so that is a mistake. It also looks as though his elder brother was baptised on the same day. That is the first time I have been aware of that fact, which is unusual. His birth WAS registered in Highworth (Jan-Feb-Mar 5a 7) as Owen Alfred Williams. That is the only time it is recorded that way round as far as I know.

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HammermanPoet
7 hours ago, helpjpl said:

 

In January 1817 his unit was sent to Newbridge Barracks in County Kildare, Ireland, after a stormy, seasick crossing. He sustained a back injury there that laid him up for some time, and a book-loving Irish nurse, Ada (sic) Levinge, fostered a new interest: Irish literature and the history of Ireland. She would remain a beloved friend, and he wrote two poems about her, ‘Love’s Memory’ and ‘To Niam on Duty’. 

https://johngoodridgesite.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/alfred-williams-folklorist-poet-translator-autodidact/

 

JP

 

Leonard Clark Writes "On 9th May, 1917, the Battery left Fermoy for the Curragh, 110 miles by road. Alfred Williams had seen the last of Ida Levinge, but he would never forget her companionship. On the last evening they met, in the soft and gentle Irish twilight, he gave her her souvenir present: [text of Love's Memory follows]". The other may remain unpublished?

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HammermanPoet
19 hours ago, seaJane said:

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your contributions! What a wonderful connection to have.

 

I am tagging @helpjplin case he does not see this.

Thank you @seaJane

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