In Pennard, St Mary’s churchyard contains the remains of three local poets - Nigel Jenkins, who died in 2014 and whose parents lived at what was Kilvrough Manor’s Home Farm, Vernon Watkins, who died overseas in 1967 but whose ashes are in the churchyard, and Harri Webb, who never lived in Pennard, but who was buried in his parents’ grave in 1995.
Harri Webb’s father had been brought up on a farm at High Pennard, while his mother was from Oxwich. Harry (as his name was originally spelt) was born in September 1920 in Sketty, where his parents lodged. When he was nearly two years old the family moved to
After the war he began to learn Welsh, joined Plaid Cymru and later the Welsh
Republican Movement (which was wound up in 1957), and edited its newspaper. He took various jobs until in 1952 he began working at Cheltenham Public Library, and like poet Philip Larkin he became a librarian - at Dowlais branch in
Having changed the spelling of his first name to Harri, he described his poetry as “unrepentantly nationalistic”. His first poetry collection “The Green Desert”, which was published in 1969 and won a Welsh Arts Council prize, concerned the history and social condition of
One day, when
And dull, they’ll all be wishing they were us.
Harri Webb also wrote pamphlets, such as “Dic Penderyn and the Merthyr Rising of 1831”, spoke at political meetings, stood as a Plaid Cymru candidate for Pontypool, wrote poetry in Welsh, and from the 1970s wrote scripts for television. For three years from 1957 he was chairman of
But after a stroke the following year he was virtually housebound, and in November 1994 was moved to