Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Sunday, 28 December 2014
C.S. Lewis - 3rd Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry
J.R.R. Tolkein - 2nd Lieutenant, Lancashire Fusiliers
Saturday, 27 December 2014
Friday, 26 December 2014
Reading through Catherine W. Reilly's amazing Bibliography of English Poetry of the First World War - if you haven't read this please try to (see the details under "Bibliography" www.femalewarpoets.blogspot.co.uk) - I was surprised to find she had included Alec Waugh. I did a little research for the Forgotten Poets section of the exhibition project and found that the Waugh family were related to the Gosse family. You will find Philip Gosse, grandson of the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse, under my Fascinating Facts of the Great War heading - http://fascinatingfactsofww1.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/philip-gosse-official-rat-catcher-of.html.
Philip was for a time the official 2nd British Army Rat Catcher on the Western Front and his story is, to my mind, definitely "fascinating".
In his memoirs, Philip Gosse mentioned that his Mother had received a letter from their family friend Siegfried Sassoon - who is definitely NOT "forgotten" ! In the letter. Sassoon described how Robert Graves had recently joined Sassoon's Regiment. Philip's mother was an artist and writer. It turns out that Philip's father Edmund William Gosse (1849 - 1928) was also a poet. And it is not surprising that Philip Gosse became a doctor and a naturalist in his spare time, as one of his Grandfathers was a Homeopath and the other was the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse.
Alec was educated at Sherborne School in Dorset.
During the First World War he was commissioned into the Dorset Regiment in May 1917. Taken prisoner of war at Arras in March 1918, Lieutenant Waugh spent the remainder of the conflict in prisons in Karlsruhe and Mainz.
Perhaps best remembered for his novel "Island in the Sun" which was published in 1957, Alec Waugh's WW1 poems were published by Grant Richards in 1918 under the title "Resentment Poems". He died on 3rd September 1981.
Source: Catherine W. Reilly "English Poetry of the First World War A Bibliography" and Wikipedia; Photo Google Images
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
The following poem "Christmas Day on the Somme" was written by George Leslie Rub.
The men stood on parade,
The snow laid six feet on the ground
Twas twenty in the shade.
Up spoke the Captain ‘gallant man’,
"Just hear what I’ve to say,
You may not have remembered that
Today is Christmas Day."
"The General has expressed a wish
This day may be observed,
Today you will only work eight hours,
A rest that’s well deserved.
I hope you’ll keep yourselves quite clean
And smart and spruce and nice,
The stream is frozen hard
But a pick will break the ice."
"All men will get two biscuits each,
I’m sure you’re tired of bread,
I’m sorry there’s no turkey
but there’s Bully Beef instead.
The puddings plum have not arrived
But they are on their way,
I’ll guarantee they’ll be in time
To eat next Christmas Day."
"You’re parcels would have been in time
But I regret to say
The vessel which conveyed them was
Torpedoed on the way.
The Quartermaster’s got your rum
But you may get some yet,
Each man will be presented with
A Woodbine Cigarette."
"The Huns have caught us in the rear
And painted France all red,
Pray do not let that trouble you,
Tomorrow you’ll be dead.
Now ere you go I wish you all
This season of good cheer,
A very happy Christmas and
A prosperous New Year."
Photo: Google Images
Sunday, 21 December 2014
Educated at Kings College, Wimbledon and Kendrick School, Reading, Leslie, like his now very famous cousin, also wrote poetry. The cousins found they had a lot in common as they were growing up and sharing holidays. They also apparently had poetry writing competitions between themselves, challenging each other to write poems on a certain subject. According to Dominic Hibberd, a poem by Leslie entitled "The End" was published in the YMCA magazine "YMCA Weekly" on 22nd December 1916 ("The Red Triangle" Number 102 Volume 2 p 1229).
Leslie trained as an architect and was also an extremely talented artist. His work was regularly displayed at art exhibitions. The example of his work shown here is entitled "Venice". Leslie married Norah Whitwell in 1925.
Leslie died in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on 24th March 1988, at the age of 92. His WW1 poetry collection collection "The Nymph, and Other poems" was published by Stockwell in 1917.
Sources: Internet Search and Catherine Reilly's "English Poetry of the First World War A Bibliography" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1978)
Find my Past
“Wilfred Owen: A New Biography” by Dominic Hibberd (Ivan R. Dee, 2002)
Friday, 19 December 2014
A limited edition of only sixteen copies of the poetry was printed by Riccardi P. and published by the Medici Society. There is apparently a copy at Manchester Public Library.
Page 108, "English Poetry of the First World War An Anthology" compiled by Catherine W. Reilly and published by St. Martin's Press, New York in 1978.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Richard Webster asks if anyone has any information concerning a First World War soldier poet who published his work using the pen name A.O? His surname was Osborne and he was possibly a Major with the 4th Irish Dragoon Guards, who formed part of the British Expeditionary Force. He may have served throughout the war and survived it.
Richard surmises from his poems that he might have been public/grammar school educated, possibly classics?
This is one of A.O's poems posted by Richard on the War Poets Association Facebook Page:
THE NIGHT ATTACK
Hark ! The still night
rebellious voices wakes
chorus from the groaning hills,
And all the
vales of Aisne and Vendresse
to the fiery hate.
Rises the loud
refrain, crescendent roar,
onward comes the march of death
thunder of the loud barrage.
I have looked in my copy of Catherine W. Reilly's "Bibliography of English Poetry of the First World War" and can't find anything there for Richard. All help greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Educated at Eton College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he became friends with the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert went on to study medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. His plan was to work as a doctor until he was forty and then retire to write poetry. Robert worked at Bart’s before going on to work at the Great Northern Hospital. He was also a doctor at the Hospital for Sick Children. Robert published his first collection of poetry in 1873.
Forced to retire in 1882 due to ill health, Robert was then able to fulfill his dream of becoming a full-time writer. In 1884 he married Monica Waterhouse, who was the daughter of the architect Alfred Waterhouse R.A. The couple had two children – Elizabeth, who became a poet and wrote under her married name of Daryush, and Edward, who became a Cabinet Minister in the British Government.
Robert was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1913 – so far, the only medical graduate to have held the office.
During the First World War, Robert was one of the writers and poets invited to join the group of assembled by Charles Masterman as part of Britain's War Propaganda Bureau.
Robert died at his home in Boars Hill, Berkshire, UK on 21st April 1930.
Among those who set some of Robert’s poems to music were Hubert Parry, Gustav Holst and later Gerald Finzi.
Robert’s WW1 poetry collections were: “Britannica victrix” (Oxford University Press, 1918) and “The Tapestry: Poems” (Privately printed in 1925). His poems were included in nineteen WW1 poetry anthologies
Photograph of Robert Bridges photographer unknown.
“Lord Kitchener” by Robert Bridges
Unflinching hero, watchful to foresee
And face thy country's peril wheresoe'er,
Directing war and peace with equal care,
Till by long toil ennobled thou wert he
Whom England call'd and bade "Set my arm free
To obey my will and save my honour fair," --
What day the foe presumed on her despair
And she herself had trust in none but thee:
Among Herculean deeds the miracle
That mass'd the labour of ten years in one
Shall be thy monument. Thy work was done
Ere we could thank thee; and the high sea swell
Surgeth unheeding where thy proud ship fell
By the lone Orkneys, at the set of sun.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
After the death of Robert Bridges in 1930, John Masefield was appointed Poet Laureate by King George V, a post that he held until his death in 1967. The only other British Poet Laureate to hold the post for as long was Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
John Masefield's WW1 poetry collections were:
'Sonnets and poems', Chosley, Berks, 1916
'Lollington Downs and other poems', Heinemann, 1917
'Philip the King and other poems', Heinemann, 1914
'Poems', Macmillan, New York, 1935
'Collected poems', Heinemann, 1932.
His poems were included in six WW1 Anthologies.
Photo of HMS Conway at anchor in the River Mersey near Rock Ferry.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Sunday, 9 November 2014
In 1915, Leip was conscripted into the Imperial German Army and served on the Eastern Front and in the Carpathians. He was wounded in 1917 and invalided out of the army. After the war, Leip travelled to Paris, London, New York and Algiers. He wrote novels, plays, short stories and, of course, poetry. Leip was also a talented artist and sculptor.
Hans Leip died in 1963.
Photo: Google Images - Hans Leip before his departure to the Front in 1915
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Was blended with the cornfields and the clay.
The family emigrated to Australia when Geoffrey was ten years old and he attended Wesley College Preparatory School in Melbourne.
Geoffrey began writing poetry at Wesley College and his work was published in the school magazine. He enrolled in Queen's College at Melbourne University to study The Arts in September 1915. At the end of his first year at university, Geoffrey returned to Britain and joined the Royal Flying Corps.
After training in Oxford and Denham, Geoffrey was sent to Netheravon Aerodrome in Wiltshire. He was killed in a flying accident in England on 6th August 1917 and is commemorated in the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Wirral. A short obituary in a local paper mentioned that Geoffrey was the nephew of Councillor C. Hewetson Nelson.
Geoffrey's poems with the title "Songs of an Airman" and a Preface written by L.A. Adamson, Geoffrey's former headmaster, were published after his death. Adamson hailed Geoffrey as "Australia's Rupert Brooke".
“New Year’s Eve, 1915” from “Songs of an Airman” (Australasian Authors’ Agency, Melbourne, 1917) p.34
“And the moon was full” Tennyson
And so the year is dying in the night,
Another moment with its hopes and fears,
Another instant with its smiles and tears
Is passing to its fellows as I write.
Perchance amidst the musical moonlight,
Across the valley of forgotten years,
Another stood; and watched the rolling spheres
That cleft the purple heavens in their flight;
And pondered on the meaning of it all:
But here the moonlit hours flow softly on
Unheeding that o’er half the world a pall
Of unthought sorrow lies; and peace is gone
From many homes; and many men must fall
Before the dawning new year dies anon.
December 31st 1914 11.45 p.m.
Source: Catherine W. Reilly's "English Poetry of the First World War An Anthology" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1978) and www.findmypast.co.uk
And thanks to the Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Wirral, UK for the press cutting and photograph of Geoffrey's memorial.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
I also decided that, as this was the first truly world war and affected every country in the world, I wanted to include poets from as many countries as possible. I am still adding to the list and still searching for women poets from other countries. You can find out my progress so far by clicking on "List..." at the top of each weblog page.
Those who follow my other weblogs will know that when I found out about Mary Riter Hamilton, the Canadian artist who was commissioned by the Canadian War Amputees Association to go and paint the aftermath on the Western Front in France in 1919, I could not leave her out and so added "Inspirational Women of World War One".
As I continued searching, I came upon a gentleman called Philip Gosse. Gosse was a doctor with a practice in the New Forest and he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at the outbreak of WW1. Gosse became the official Rat Catcher Officer of the 2nd British Army on the Western Front and his story was so fascinating that I couldn't leave it out - cue another heading "Fascinating Facts of the Great War".
Just recently, some relatively unknown male poets have been brought to my attention so I have decided to create a further section in order to include them all - Forgotten Poets of the First World War. As with the other sections, I should like to include poets from as many countries of the world as possible to reflect the global impact of the conflict. In order to do that, some of the poetry included may not be about war.
Please let me know if you have any names to add to any of the lists.
If you have not been able to visit an exhibition, there are companion books available which give you a rough idea of the project - see www.poshupnorth.com for details. Exhibition panels are printed in black on white card and are A3 size with brief biographical details, a photograph where possible and one or two poems, etc. I do not comment on the poems but let the poets speak for themselves. If you would like to organise an exhibition do please get in touch.
The project is in loving memory of my Maternal Grandfather Lewis Jackson who was an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery. Grandfather survived the war but my Great-Uncle James Yule was killed at Arras on Easter Monday, 9th April 1917 - the same day as the poets R.E.Vernède and Edward Thomas were killed. James has no known grave but is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in France.
Photos: Commemorative James Yule, Arras Memorial and panels at the exhibition at the Marine Hall, Fleetwood, August 2014