To the memory of the late Lieut. Harold Vivian Jones, killed in France by G. R. Thomas
Captain of the 1913-14 University College of North Wales Football Team.
The poem, to commemorate Harold Vivian Jones, was reproduced in the Brecon & Radnor Express Carmarthen and Swansea Valley Gazette and Brynmawr District Advertiser, 3 August 1916 where it was attributed to "Eradreba" (i.e. 'Aberdare' backwards). In fact it was written by G. R. Thomas, B.Sc., the science master at the County School, Builth Wells, where Harold had been educated before moving on to university in Bangor. G.R. Thomas was a poet of repute and this poem was chosen by a London newspaper to be rendered into Latin elegiacs (omitting verse 2) for a prize.
Harold was Vernon Elias Owen's captain in the 1913-14 football team at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. Both young men were killed in WWI.
Lad of the bright, and fearless eye,
And spirits like a feather.
With buoyant mind, like upland wind,
That swept his native heather;
No futile paean can unfold,
The glory of that heart of gold.
For him no organ down the nave
Shall swell its solemn dirges;
The guns athwart his soldier-grave
Shall boom their last asperges.
At boyhood's threshold yet he donned—,
The Manhood of the Great Beyond.
And setting sun doth not excel
In majesty and splendour,
That life's eclipse with smiling lips,
Who made the Great Surrender.
The shell-scarred wood shall be the shrine,
Of noble, valiant souls like thine.
The game and not the guerdon bright,
On playing-fields inspired him;
The contest was his sole delight,
The trophy scarcely fired him,
And on that larger field of fame,
In death he won the nobler game.