A painting of First World War RWF soldiers, including the late Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, has been unveiled at Caernarfon Castle.

Painted by former Royal Welch Fusiliers Sergeant Major Graham Evans, ‘Yr Arwr’ (‘The Hero’) was unveiled by Elsa Davies, a member of Hedd Wyn’s family, at a ceremony at the castle on Saturday, July 31.

Born Ellis Humphrey Evans, Hedd Wyn served with the 15th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers and was killed on July 31, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I.

In Sergeant Major Evans’ painting, named after the poem for which Hedd Wyn won the National Eisteddfodd, Hedd Wyn is the only soldier making eye contact with the viewer, reaching out as he did in his poetry.

North Wales Chronicle: ‘Yr Arwr’, painted by Sergeant Major Evans ‘Yr Arwr’, painted by Sergeant Major Evans

Sergeant Major Evans, currently a school staff instructor at Myddelton College in Denbigh, said: “It went fantastically. The interest in it certainly exceeded the invitation list. The rain held off, so I was quite pleased about that.

“Elsa Davies has kept in touch since and was very pleased with the event.

“Elsa was presented with flowers and a copy of the print (of the painting). Her husband recently died and the print is now hanging in his bungalow, which is a nice touch.”

The Royal Welsh and the Royal Welch Fusiliers were both well-represented by veterans and those still serving today.

Also present at the event were Myddelton College headmaster Andrew Allman, Councillor Ioan Thomas, cabinet member for finance, the RWF Corps of Drums, and Shenkin IV, the regimental goat mascot.

The painting was a successful lockdown project of Sergeant Major Evans, who opened his first art exhibition at the age of 13.

It is now on display in Caernarfon Castle’s RWF museum, who are also selling a limited number of signed prints available at their reception, with some of the proceeds going to the regimental charities.