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David William Lloyd Back to War Memorial Edward Evans
Another soldier killed in the Great War, with strong Llangynog connections but understandably not included on the war memorial, is Aneurin Maldwyn Evans of Manchester. He was born in 1891, and killed in action fighting with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the Battle of Polygon Wood, near Ypres on 26th September 1917. He is buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the world.
Aneurin's connection with Llangynog is that both his parents, John and Elizabeth Evans were born and lived their early lives here. Indeed John Evans was one of Llangynog's most famous sons. He was born in 1857 at Pen y Parc, the cottage that still stands high above the quarries and the new bike park, looking down on the village. By the age of ten he was working a twelve hour day in the lead mines and had already gained the Solfa certificate of the London College of Music. Before he was twenty he was playing the harmonium in chapel, conducting Llangynog's choir and winning trophies at local eisteddfodau, both for the choir and for his own poetry.
John had taught himself academic subjects as well as music and became a clerk in the office at the slate quarry. At the age of 23 he moved to Manchester to work in a textile warehouse, where he stayed for 49 years. He devoted much time to his work as deacon in the Methodist church, but music and poetry remained his first love. He chose the bardic name of Cynog Fab (Son of Cynog) and achieved national fame, composing more than twenty hymns of which a number are still sung today. He formed and conducted the North Wales Union Choir and was well known as a conductor and adjudicator at music festivals all over England and Wales.
In 1918, a year after Aneurin’s death, John wrote a hymn, Aneurin, in his memory.