Mike Guilfoyle, vice-chair of the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, discovers a how Alfred Lloyd Hardy, a one time resident of Tressillian Road, came to translate a Slovenian national anthem, now the song of the Slovenian armed forces.
On one of my recent cemetery peregrinations I stopped aside the headstone of a Alfred Lloyd Hardy d.1929 in the Brockley section.
Something about the name suggested a quirky historical link perhaps?
Unfortunately Alfred’s family history on Ancestry UK was privately held. So I looked at what other historical links might arise in my search.
Most referenced the fact that Windsor born Alfred held the position of Committee Clerk in H.M. Customs (1901) and had some involvement with the Manorial Society.
He also contributed articles to the Dictionary of National Biography. A photography of Alfred captures something of his authorial gravitas. He married a Frances Adelaide Munn in 1875.
When Alfred passed away aged 82 years in December 1929, he was living at 54 Tressillian Road, Brockley. Probate documents refer to Alfred’s modest legacy of £1,828.5s.2d.
But as I was contenting myself with having sourced all I needed for my cemetery research dossier – an interesting online link appeared concerning a Alfred Lloyd Hardy and the Slovenian national anthem! Its available to listen to on You tube (see below).
The helpful information on the provenance of the song and it’s English translation is gleaned from You tube annotation.
“Naprej, zastava Slave” (English: “Forward, Flag of Glory”) is a former national anthem of Slovenia, used from 1860 to 1989. It is now used as the official service song of the Slovenian Armed Forces.
It tells about a boy who goes to defend his homeland, a feat meaning more to him than his mother or sweetheart. As such, it is a patriotic recruiting poem.
It was the first Slovene literature to be translated into English. The lyrics were written originally by Simon Jenko and then improved collaboratively by him and his cousin Davorin Jenko who also wrote the music.
The poem was first publicly sung with great success in front of a large Slavic audience on 22 October 1860, and was first published in Slovenski glasnik (The Slovene Herald) on 1 December 1860.
In 1863, it was renamed by Radoslav Razlag to Naprej, zastava Slave. In 1885, it became the first poem in Slovene to have been translated into English, under the title “With Slava’s Banner, Forward!”
The translators were Andrej Jurtela, the first lecturer of Slavic languages at the University of Oxford, and English journalist Alfred Lloyd Hardy, who had a keen interest in music and in Slavic culture.
He arranged the melody by Davorin Jenko for piano, wrote an interlinear translation and published it lithographed as an independent publication.
The poem was originally titled “Naprej” (“Forward”) and set to music in an inn in Vienna’s Prater by Davorin Jenko, who was angered by the German snub of Slovenia on May 16 1860.
I would appreciate it if any readers who might have definitive confirmatory information or an interest in Slovenia to offer their observations.