Arthur Machen was born in Caerleon in a house just opposite the Old Bull Inn. His house is next door to the Priory Hotel from the back he would have seen the great amphitheatre at Caerleon. I’ve walked past his house many times on my way to the Hanbury where another literary giant Tennyson whiled away many a pleasant hour scratching out poems on the back of a beer map – and where there is a window where you can also pass the time over a nice pint. I must also confess to a spent too much time in the Old Bull where from a window you can see directly towards his house. The landscape around Caerleon, the old Roman ruins and its long mediaeval history had a profound impact on him – and appears in many of his works.
He was born on 3 March 1863 so this year is 150th anniversary of his birth which will be celebrated by the Caerleon Arts Society (see link below). I painted this picture many years ago and tried to include many of the aspects of this complex and fascinating man.
Caerleon-on-Usk Born Arthur Machen 1863-1947 Writer, Actor, Journalist and Scholar.
A Painting by Victor Morgan. Oil on Canvas.40″ x 45.exhibited nyad2000 Manhattan U.S.A. Christie-Wild International
The inspiration and Composing of this painting came from the painter’s childhood memories.
Victor’s Mother often recounted the story. A story of Her young brother who served in the Royal West Kent’s. In the battle and the retreat from Mons in the First World War 1914-1918. ( Note records destroyed enemy action 1939. Not in war dead list of this name Robert Kitchener grave not known, believed to be interned Worceter. Father Farmed on family farm at Ross-On-Wye. I Remember pre-war visit to Farm.Uncle named IVOR Mother of author recounted how they had Robert home but he later died of the wound. Any info please email me for inclusion on this page. Please! please Remember our war dead please record the information you hear from your elder parents and Kin. Do not wait as I have myself until the shadows fall. Soon I will be gone and the little I learned from my Mother gone too.) Robert Kitchener the Soldier later died of the wound sustained in that Battle. He had recounted to his sister May.
That he and many fellow soldiers’. Had seen the Angel of Mon’s in the SKY. Who will ever know what one will ever see or imagine. Unless one has experienced the carnage of Battle. In the heat of battle the Blood runs hot with hate and cold with fear when the human instincts of survival take over. The mass killing and destruction of flesh and blood their bodies stained along with the soil that they enrich with its last ebb of life. Cries of wounded whimpering for their mothers a cry for water with pain of the about to die.
Our ancient ancestors no doubt delighted in sacrifice.
The Celts. Gaels. Romans. Aztec’s. And the inquisition. The many skills of expert torture professionals that once worked their craft and resided at the Tower of London. History will show the many ways of racking with pain the human body to induce the agony of mind and body. Hallucination from this nightmare and we soon utter an unheard cry from our lips. Delirium or trance we drift to imagination of another world. drifting in and out of a surreal imagery. Drink yourself stupid on the Bass you will see pink elephants. Bang your Forehead continuously. Wail at the wall. Chant Or stew magic mushrooms. Or smoke the devil’s weed.
The mind is a thing of mystery. The story That Arthur Machen printed in the Evening News. When working as a journalist. It still coincided with the many soldiers’ account of the event or happening. For many years the shrapnel pieces of shell fragment all jagged. And the Mons medal. Were kept and stored in a drawer of the walnut dressing table by May The mother of Victor. Many years past by. Then Victor rekindled the thoughts of this event. Remembering the Mons medal and Shell fragment. After reading of Arthur Machen about the Myth of St George and the BowMen of Gwent. Going to the aid of the British Tommie. The British Tommie were the best trained marksman and the best fighting animal of those days. Temporary holding up the German Advance.