Cornwall is mourning the loss of the first female Grand Bard, Ann Trevenen Jenkin, who passed away on April 8 at her home in Leedstown.

Ann was born on April 14, 1930 in Barnet, Hertfordshire to John Arnold Trevenen and Dorothy Goldsmith. The family moved to Redruth in two years later, where young Ann attended school followed by Truro High School and an English degree from Exeter University.

After obtaining her teaching qualification, she became an English teacher. It was during this time she met Richard Jenkin, himself a prominent member of many Cornish organisations. They married in 1956 and had four children: Morwenna, Loveday, Gawen and Conan.

She will be remembered as an exceptional Cornish woman and a trailblazer in many fields. She became a bard of the Cornish Gorsedh in 1956, taking the bardic name Bryallen, and in 1997 had the great honour of being appointed the first female Grand Bard.

She was an exceptional organiser and a catalyst for many projects in the Cornish cultural sector; during her tenure as Grand Bard, she set up the Gorsedh Archives and organised the first Dewhelans/Homecoming for the Cornish Diaspora.

A founder member of Mebyon Kernow, she became Life President. She was also Life President of the Celtic Congress, a trustee of the Cornwall Heritage Trust, a member of Helston Old Cornwall Society, a volunteer at Helston Museum, a Guide Leader and District Commissioner, an active member in Leedstown WI and Leedstown Village Hall Committee, a school governor and much more.

One of her greatest achievements was the organisation of Keskerdh Kernow, the March to London in 1997 to commemorate the Cornish Rising of 1497.  She not only organised much of the route but walked it in its entirety with her faithful dog, Brengy, and wrote a children's book about it afterwards.

Ann Trevenen Jenkin inspired many as a teacher and educator too. She taught English at Camborne Grammar School and Camborne School, introduced Cornish lessons and became the librarian, rising to be national chairperson of The Schools' Library Association.

She was in her element writing, editing and publishing, including books of her own poetry, and wrote many articles about Cornwall. 

As well as working tirelessly for Cornwall, Ann also had time for her family. She researched the Trevenen family history, travelling to the Baltic and St Petersburg in the footsteps of her ancestor James Trevenen, visited relatives in Canada and Hawai'i and organised several family reunions.

She will be greatly missed by her four children and 10 grandchildren. Her funeral service will be held at Crowan Parish Church on Tuesday at 2pm, followed by a celebration of her life at Leedstown Village Hall.