Francis Ledwidge Irish Poet and Soldier

Jean Reinhardt

A tribute on Remembrance Day, 2014

Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)

francis ledwidge war years

Irish Poet, Francis Ledwidge, was born in Slane, county Meath, into a family of little means, the eighth of nine children. His parents, Patrick and Anne Ledwidge, gave their children the best education they could afford. When Francis was five his father died, forcing his wife and children to work in order to survive. Francis left the local national school aged thirteen, but continued to educate himself. He worked at whatever he could find, a farm hand, road mender, and mining copper. As a miner he was sacked for organising a strike for better working conditions, three years before the 1913 general strike. He was a trade union activist from 1906 and was appointed secretary of the Slane branch of the Meath Labour Union (1913–14).

While working as a road labourer he won the patronage of Lord Dunsany after writing to him in 1912, enclosing copybooks…

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