Great-nieces unveil blue plaque in memory of war poet

Two great-nieces of war poet, Francis Ledwidge unveiled a plaque in his memory in Derry, marking the centenary of his death at the Battle of Passchendaele. Maolíosa McHugh, maayor of Derry and Strabane District Council is pictured with with Catherine Diggett (on right) and Eileen Ledwidge-Wilson (on left). Included are Professor Gerard Dawe, TCD and from right, Rosemary Yore and Chris Spurr, UHC. Picture by Tom Heaney, nwpresspics
Seamus McKinney

Two great-nieces of Irish war poet, Francis Ledwidge have attended the unveiling of a blue plaque in his memory in Derry.

Ledwidge, who was killed at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, was stationed at Ebrington barracks before he was sent to France 100 years ago.

Known as the “Poet of the Blackbird,” one of Ledwidge's most famous works is a tribute to his close friend and executed Easter Rising leader, Thomas McDonagh.

Around 50 people attended the unveiling of the plaque in his honour by the Ulster History Circle. The plaque at Building Number 46 at Ebrington Square, is one of several unveiled in Derry through a partnership between the Ulster History Circle and Derry city and Strabane district council.

Admirers of Ledwidge's poetry joined family members from all over the world, including two great-nieces of the poet, Catherine Diggett and Eileen Ledwidge-Wilson.

Ms Diggit said her “Uncle Frank” had a huge presence in their family. She said her mother often spoke of his visits to their home. Ms Ledwidge-Wilson thanked the people of Derry for recognising her great-uncle.

“It was a very great honour for Catherine and I to come over here. We are very honoured that you are honouring our great-uncle Frank in this way,” she said.

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