RELATIVES of a First World War soldier from Ceredigion – who the Archdruid Dic Jones was named after - will be remembering him on the 100th anniversary of his death on Tuesday, 18 September, as well as reflecting on the anguished letter he sent home from the front line.
The letter – from Pvt Richard Jenkin “Dick” Isaac, of Taliesin - reveals his desperation for the conflict to cease as well as his undisguised envy of wounded comrades being shipped home.
Apparently scribbled down hurriedly on 12 May, 1918, the letter discloses that battle-weary British troops sensed the war was drawing to a close, although they were not to know Germany’s surrender was still six months away.
“There is quite a lot of fellows that I came out with been wounded and back in Blighty,” the 19-year-old tells his parents back home in Taliesin.
“I wish I was there out of this terrible lot.
“There is a lot of talk about Germany offering peace terms to the Allies. I hope it’s true. Sooner the war will end the better.”
Pvt Isaac asks his parents to send him some writing materials as "paper and envelopes are very scarce (in) this part of the world".
“We are quite out of the reach of any human being so you can imagine how difficult it is to get things,” he adds.
“We came out of the line last night and am expecting to go back tomorrow night to the front line.”
Clearly homesick, the young soldier goes on to say that he has not yet seen anyone he knows, but speaks of his hope of meeting up with a fellow soldier named Jack Edwards – possibly also from Taliesin.
“I would be very glad to see somebody I know,” he writes. “I wonder what part of France J F Edwards is in?
“I saw a battalion of the Northants the other day but I never thought of asking them because I didn’t know what regiment Jack was in.”
Tragically, Pvt Isaac was killed at Epehy, France, on the first day of the Battle of the Hindenburg Line on 18 September just weeks before the Armistice. He has no known grave but his name can be seen on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial.