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Rev. William Evans (Wil Ifan), the Archdruid of Wales from 1947 to 1950, won three Crowns at the National Eisteddfod (Abergavenny, 1913; Birkenhead, 1917; and Pwllheli, 1925) and several of the chief prizes at provincial eisteddfodau. In 1912 he won two Chairs – the first at the Eisteddfod Gadeiriol Meirion in Dolgellau at the beginning of the year and the second in Treorchy in the autumn. According to the Rhondda Leader on 5 October 1912 (p. 5), this was the third annual Chair Eisteddfod to be held at Noddfa chapel, Treorchy under the auspices of the Young People’s Society, and the chairing ceremony was performed ‘with full Gorsedd rites’. The adjudicator for poetry was the bard Gwili (Rev. John Jenkins), who was then teaching at Gwynfryn School in Ammanford and who later, in 1931, was elected Archdruid. The subject set for the pryddest was ‘Suddiad y Titanic’ [The Sinking of the Titanic]: Wil Ifan’s poem, with the title ‘Ebrill 15fed, 1912’, was published in 1913 in Dros y Nyth, the first collection of his poetry (pp. 26-29). The book, whose full title was Dros y Nyth: Caniadau William Evans Penybont ar Ogwr, was published by the Minerva Press in Abergavenny and had a second edition in 1915. It included the lyrics which had won competitions at the Llangollen National Eisteddfod in 1908 and the London National in 1909. Wil Ifan published an English version of ‘Ebrill 15fed, 1912’, entitled ‘The Loss of the “Titanic”’, in his A Quire of Rhymes (Cardiff, The Educational Publishing Co, Ltd., [1918?], pp. 28-30).

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