Adrian Chiles rightly described Dylan Thomas’s grave as “an “extravagantly simple affair” in an overspill church graveyard in Laugharne (Do not go gentle into that hot tub! A luxury spa is the wrong way to remember Dylan Thomas, 3 February).
Correspondence held by the National Archives in Kew reveals that Caitlin, Thomas’s widow, wrote to the Home Office in the 1950s requesting that his body be exhumed and reinterred in the garden of his boathouse overlooking the Taf estuary. Caitlin said that the modest cross in a “bleak extension” of a church graveyard was not fitting for “Wales’ foremost poet”.
The Home Office agreed to grant a licence (to give effect to her wishes) on application and payment of a £2 fee. Caitlin submitted an application but, for reasons unknown, never paid the £2 fee. So the Home Office took no further action and Dylan Thomas’s body remained where it was originally buried.
Perhaps Caitlin came to believe that the humble church graveyard was a fitting resting place for her husband. After all, she lies there with him, and her name is also inscribed on that modest cross.
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