Francis Ledwidge was born in Slane, County Meath, in 1887. He worked as a road labourer and activist before joining the British Army. Famously he said, ‘I would not have her say that she defended us while we did nothing at home but passed resolutions.’
He died in action at Ypres in 1917.
Francis Ledwidge is the author of exquisitely delicate lyrics. His elegy for Thomas MacDonagh which begins ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry . . .’ is one of the best known Irish poems of the past century.