Patrick MacGill was born in 1889 in County Donegal Ireland. The same county as myself. He became known as the "Navvy Poet."This was after his work for a time as a "navvy", this term comes from working with a shovel building roads, the shovel was called a navvy shovel, something to do with navigating and the roads. Before he worked as a navvy he worked as a farm laborer, a ditch digger and a quarryman. He later fought as a young man in Flanders in the First World War. He became a poet and writer. Below are two of his poems. The first on his work as a navvy and how he saw society with its brutal class divide. The second on his experience in the trenches in Flanders in the imperialist war.
From "Songs of the Dead
By Patrick MacGill.