Hedd Wyn was a privilege to work on. It told the story of poet and reluctant soldier Hedd Wyn from his life in the peace of a North Wales farm to his death during the slaughter that was WW1.

Shan Davies was the producer and Paul Turner the director, Ray Orton the director of photography and Jane Roberts and myself were the designers. We had worked together before and so knew each others work. Jane was engaged for the project first and looked after all the location work in North Wales. I was engaged to create the battlefield from four acres of the disused Templeton air field in South Wales and to look after various other locations connected with his training and journey through France to the front. I was working in South Wales while the scenes were being shot in the North. There was a great crew working with me to create the Somme. It is amazing what 3 JCBs and a plough can achieve in a couple of weeks. In addition to the general desolation, the frontline trenches were dug and dressed with scrap corrugated sheeting: a communications trench and the Yser Canal carved out. The hut used for the medical examinations and dormitory was erected on site and lastly the dugout, field ‘hospital’ where Hedd Wyn finally died. It is on projects like this that one truly understands what a collaborative effort is.

The Yser Canal


I think this was one of the most evocative parts of the location. A fairly short curved trench was excavated and filled with water at the last minute. The dead tress were branches found nearby and dressed in. The scene of the troops crossing it was filmed during the ‘magic’ hour of dusk.

Hedd Wyn

Pendefig

Directed by Paul Turner

1992

Hedd Wyn having his poem vetted. The location was a real find. It was only about 5 miles from Templeton Airfield and was a wonderfully ruined old Manor which with the addition of basic dressing really did evoke a war scarred HQ behind the front line.

BAFTA Cymru

Best design

Won jointly with

Jane Roberts

For

HEDD WYN

Martin Morley

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