Archive of the month

The Archive of the Month feature raises awareness amongst students and staff about the variety of material that we hold. In particular, the old Bangor photographs appear to spark a lot of interest and debate on the University’s Facebook pages.

Every month, an item is selected to be showcased. The item is scanned and a short piece of text written about its history.

July 2017

Hedd Wyn sitting in the Bala Eisteddfod Chair, 1907

Hedd Wyn’ was born Ellis Humphrey Evans at Yr Ysgwrn, the family farm in Trawsfynydd, on the 13th January 1887, to Evan Evans and Mary Morris. He received his education at the local elementary school and Sunday school, but his self-education went on unceasingly. On leaving school aged 14 Ellis helped on the farm with his father working largely as a shepherd, but he continued valiantly to educate himself. His aptitude for poetry became evident at an early age and he took part in numerous competitions and local eisteddfodau, winning his first of 6 chairs (Cadair y Bardd) in Bala in 1907 at the age of 20 for his ode ‘Y Dyffryn’ (The Valley).

In October 1916 Hedd Wyn began composing his ode ‘Yr Arwr’ which he planned to enter for the Chair Competition of the National Eisteddfod to be held in Birkenhead, 1917. Before he could finish his piece he was conscripted into the 15th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and sailed to France in June 1917. In early July he was in the Ypres Salient and there in the mud of the trenches he completed the ode. Bearing the pseudonym “Fleur de Lys” he posted his work back to Wales on the 15th July 1917. On July 31st Hedd Wyn went over the top with his regiment in a major offensive to capture ‘Pilckem Ridge’ in what would become known as the Battle of Passchendaele. Men were falling on all sides, amongst them Hedd Wyn who was mortally wounded.

This "Archive of the Month" was created by Lynette Hunter, Archivist

Click on the links below to view all our showcased documents.









  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013