Evans spent most of his life on a hill farm, Ysgwrn, near Trawsfynydd, Merionethshire. By the age of 28 he had won four Eisteddfod chairs for his poetry. Evans’ nephew still lives at Ysgwrn today and regularly entertains guests with the story of Ellis and his chairs.
Evans was awarded the Bardic Chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod, Birkenhead, for his poem “Yr Arwr” (“The Hero”), written in the verse form known as an awdl. The award was posthumous, with the Eisteddfod Chair draped in black cloth during the award ceremony, Evans having been killed in Belgium at Pilckem Ridge shortly before. (Another war poet, Francis Ledwidge, was killed on the same day.)
He is buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery, near Boezinge.
The story became the subject of the Oscar-nominated Welsh-language film Hedd Wyn in 1992.