A ground-breaking new book about bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Robert Victor Walling (1895-1976), soldier, poet, journalist and writer with a special interest in the Cornish language, is being published on St Piran’s Day, Saturday 5th March, 100 years after its original publication and exactly 121 years after the birth of the author.
“Scryfer – R.V.Walling”, has been researched and compiled by former Grand Bard Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Bryallen, the result of months of painstaking work by several bards of Gorsedh Kernow, including Stephen Gadd, Reskadinnick, who has translated Walling’s original words and designed and produced the layout.
Encouraged by his father Robert Alfred Walling, who was also a bard, the young R V Walling had been inspired by Henry Jenner’s Handbook of the Cornish Language, first published in 1904. As he lay injured in a British military hospital during the First World War, R V Walling drew on this inspiration and turned his attention to a deeper study of Cornish and while recuperating from his injuries, he produced a magazine called “An Houlsedhas” (‘The West’), an illustrated manuscript in his own handwriting.
“This important book is being published as a facsimile of “An Houlsedhas” for the very first time,” said Mrs Jenkin, “and will add considerably to our broad study of the Cornish language written during the First World War.”
R V Walling was made a bard of Gorsedh Kernow in 1934 taking the bardic name Scryfer an Mor, Sea Writer. The long awaited publication of his illustrated magazine, translated into English, has never been seen before by the general public.
“The original text has been translated by Stephen Gadd, from Camborne, a new bard living and working in London,” said Mrs Jenkin, “and he has worked extremely diligently on what has been a fascinating but sometimes difficult project.”
“This ground-breaking book is a valuable addition to other documents in the Cornish language,” said Grand Bard Merv Davey,“and Gorsedh Kernow, along with the Cornish Language Board, is very proud to support its publication.”
Skryfer – R V Walling” will be launched by Jori Ansell, Caradok, past Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow and current Chairman of the recently launched Cornish Language Academy, at 6pm at Camborne Rugby Club, on St Piran’s Day, Saturday 5th March 2016.