E. J. MOERAN (1894-1950) WYNDHAM S. EVANS Mid-Wales is not known as an area which has nurtured a composer of classical music but Radnorshire can, in some small way, claim to have provided the creative impulse for one. Radnorshire was beloved by E. J. Moeran who spent much time in the Radnorshire hills. He was a country- man at heart and many of his musical ideas came to him as he walked the lonely hills of the Radnor Forest, Bradnor Hill and the Malvern Hills. Ernest John (Jack) Moeran was born on the 31st December. 1894 at Isleworth. Middlesex of Anglo-Irish descent. His mother was from Norfolk and his father, the Reverend J. W. W. Moeran, an Irishman and a priest of the Protestant Church. An elder brother. Graham, followed his father and his grandfather into the priesthood but Jack. despite a number of contributions to Church music, was not a believer and apart from the occasion of his wedding, never went to Church in his adult life. At the age of 10 years he was sent from the seclusion of an evangelical household to a preparatory school in Cromer as a boarder where he had violin lessons but he heard little music of significance. except in Church. He did however teach himself to read music and to make a beginning at the piano. His parents had hoped that he would become an engineer. The wish was undoubtedly kindled by his love of things mechanical- motorcycles, trains, and fast cars were a feature and love of his later life. When he reached the age of fourteen he became a pupil at Uppingham School which was musically forward looking and it was here that his first intensive musical education began. He developed into a fine pianist and violinist and his first efforts at composition date from his time at the School. Although opportunities to hear music in his home town were few. Moeran developed an interest in folk music and songs which was to remain with him throughout his career and indeed formed a considerable influence on his compositions, particularly Irish folk music. After Uppingham he became a student at the Royal College of Music in 1913. It was here that he first heard the music of Elgar and Delius. The latter was to become his favourite composer, whose music along with that of Sibelius particularly, was a great influence upon his later work. The onset of the Great War caused the college course to come to an abrupt end and the young Moeran did not return for the autumn term of 1914. Instead he enlisted in the September of that year for a period of active service in World War I as a motorcycle despatch rider and was commissioned early in 1915. serving as an Officer in the Norfolk Regiment. He was severely wounded in France in May, 1917 and was rendered unfit for active service, being eventually discharged in 1919. The injury resulted in several particles of shell being lodged too near to the brain for removal. A plate was fitted which probably permanently affected his health and is thought to have ultimately caused the cerebral haemorrhage which finally brought about his death in 1950. His interest in motorcycles continued after the war and he became a frequent competitor in long trials events, being awarded a gold medal in