Ledwidge, Francis

Ledwidge, Francis (1891 - 1917)


Born on August 19, 1891, in Slane, Ireland, Francis Ledwidge left school when twelve years old to work on a farm, on the roads, and in the mines. Before he entered World War I in October 1914 in the 5th battalion of the Royal Inniskillings, Ledwidge published verse in the Drogheda Independent. He acted as secretary of a farm workers' union in Meath and then insurance commissioner for Navan, Meath's county town. As early as 1912, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Lord Dunsany, had assisted him to get his poetry recognized. Ledwidge brought out his first volume of poems, Songs of the Field, in 1915, the year he fought at Gallipoli, Salonika, and Vardar, and a second volume, Songs of Peace, the next year, when he returned to England on a leave. Ledwidge then fought at the Somme in France and was killed by an exploding shell in Boesinghe, Belgium, on July 31, 1917. Lord Dunsany wrote a preface to Ledwidge's last two volumes, Last Songs (1918) and Complete Poems (1919).

  • C-N., N. B. "Ledwidge, Francis." Dictionary of National Biography 1912-1921. 328-39.
  • Curtayne, Alice. Francis Ledwidge; a life of the poet (1887-1917). London: M. Brian and O'Keeffe, 1972. PR 6023 .E25Z6 Robarts Library
  • Ledwidge, Francis. Complete Poems. London: Jenkins, 1919. PR 6023 .E25A17 1919 Robarts Library
  • The Complete Poems of Francis Ledwidge. Ed. Alice Curtayne. London: Brian and O'Keeffe, 1974.
  • --. Last Songs. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1918. PR 6023 .E25L3 1918 Robarts Library
  • --. Songs of Peace. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1917. del L443 S65 1917 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Songs of the Fields. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1916. PR 6023 .E25S6 1916 Robarts Library
Given Name
Family Name
Birth Date
August 19, 1891
Death Date
July 31, 1917
Family Relations
father : Patrick Ledwidge
mother : Annie Ledwidge
  • Slane national school

Literary Period
Literary Movement
Cause of Death
First RPO Edition