Sunday, 6 November 2022

Jack Anderson (1849 – 1931) – Folkestone Kent Town Crier

 The following was sent to Christine Warren, by Chris Long.  Christine, who runs the Folkestone Then & Now website  

 has very kindly given me permission to post this on my Forgotten Poets weblog

Chris Long says :

"This was given to my father Horace by his father Alfred after the Great War, He told me it was given to all the Folkestone lads who served in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th Folkestone Battalion at the end of the war in 1918 by the Folkestone Council.  I don’t know why, or indeed if it was ever sung.”

Here are the words to the song - kindly typed out for us by Christine Warren:

“The Gallant Little Buffs” by Folkestone Town Crier Jack Anderson 

To the Tune of "Marching to Georgia”

Lord Kitchener's appeal has been nobly responded to

By our brave Folkestone lads who've rallied round the Red

and Blue.

Father, Mother, proud are you

Whose sons enlisted in the Buffs for Egypt.


Hurrah! Hurrah ! for the gallant little Buffs

Hurrah ! Hurrah ! each man is true and tough

And they'll give the Germans quite enough

before they arrive in Egypt.

Good luck, Good luck to all our Folkestone boys.

Shout out, Shout out, and make a joyful noise.

For they'll take the German Kaiser by surprise,

Before they arrive in Egypt,


There's brave Captain Atkinson and Commander Gosling

They've left their homes to fight for Country and their King

And their praises let us sing

As they lead the gallant Buffs to Egypt.

God save the King.

Lyrics composed by Jack Anderson, Town Crier, Folkestone.

According to my research, Jack (known as Chopper) Anderson was born in Ireland in 1849.  

Jack was Folkestone’sTown Crier from c. 1910 until he died in 1931.

Evidence of that is on the 1911 Census in which Jack, listed as John Anderson, described himself as "Town crier - born in Westport Maye Ireland" His wife was Sarah Anderson, nee Philpott, born in Saltwood, Kent in around 1860.  

The couple were living in Myrtle Road Folkestone, Folkestone, Kent, England and had two children - Jessie and William.

Jack died on 17th September 1931 and was buried in Cherton Road Cemetery, Folkestone. 

The Buffs were The Royal Kent Regiment

The Buffs were one of the first infantry regiments in the British Army. With origins dating back to 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I supplied military aid to Protestant rebels in the Netherlands against King Phillip II of Spain. Until the 1751 reforms, regimental units were commonly named after their current Colonel. The Buffs reverted to this practice when Prince George of Denmark died in 1708, although it was also referred to as the 'Holland Regiment' or "Buffs" after its coat facings. Stationed in Canterbury at the outbreak of war, The Buffs then moved to Dover where they remained. 

Buffs Boer War Memorial
Canterbury, Kent, UK

The Regiment took part in many campaigns in the years that followed. In 1961, after nearly 400 years of distinguished service, the Regiment became part of The Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment.

Sources:  Find my Past, Free BMD, 

A poem written by Private Charles Davies from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who served during the First Worle War in the 12 Canadian Field Ambulance

 While researching for republishing a volume of poetry written by a Canadian soldier poet in WW1, I noticed a mention of Shorncliffe Camp in Kent, England.  As my Grandfather, who was a professional soldier with the British Royal Field Artillery, was stationed at Shorncliffe Camp for a while in 1913, I had to find out more.  I discovereed a marvellous website that features two WW1 poems and contacted the website administrator - Christine Warren - who very kindly sent me this information, with permission to share the poems with you.

The second poem was written as a song and will, I  hope, be featured in a separate post.

Private Charles Davies from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who served during the First Worle War in the 12 Canadian Field Ambulance, wrote the following lines which were published in a Canadian newspaper in 1919.  Christine Warren found the poem in the book “Coast of Conflict” by Michael & Martin George. Christine typed it out and added it to the Military page of her Folkestone Then & Now website

“SHORNCLIFFE CAMP” by Private Charles Davies

Folkestone, though Queen of the Southern Coast,

I'm loath to leave your grassy warren;

Those steep white cliffs that beacon like a genial host

Receding from my eyes night dim with tears.

What soothing hours and happy days so dear does memory recall;

The walk along the Leas, the leafy undercliff, and Oh, that changing sea,

When the rich red sunset sparkles on thy face,

Such are my thoughts of thee picture of grace.

Garden of England! Men of Kent!

Think of your heritage; the flowers sweet scent,

That wooded glade at Seabrook, primrose clad;

The glimpse of moving picture shore to make you glad.

Those verdant meads of Shorncliffe Plain,

Bright green as emeralds after rain.

Deep down in mist of blue lies sleeping Sandgate town,

Whose twinkling lights shine like some fairy's crown.

St. Martin's spire, neath which brave Plimsol sleeps,

Whose noble work the British sailor reaps;

The bugle blasts and all war's grim array,

Much as it did in Moore's fair distant day.

Not even the mists of Passchendaele and its blood strewn duckboard track

Can blot from out my memory the charm of Radnor Park,

Who would not fight for thee, dear land,

For every flower and Kentish maid's fair hand.

Who cares for the muddy trenches and the shrapnel's piercing scream,

The waves of poison and all the ghastly scene?

There are those away in the Golden West dearer than Nelson's name-

Mothers and wives and sisters; it's for them we play the game.

Shorncliffe Camp

Shorncliffe Army Camp is a large military camp near Cheriton in Kent, UK. Established in 1794, it later served as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front during the First World War.  In April 1915 a Canadian Training Division was formed at Shorncliffe Camp. The Canadian Army Medical Corps had general hospitals based at Shorncliffe from September 1917 to December 1918. The camp at that time was composed of five unit lines known as Moore Barracks, Napier Barracks, Risborough Barracks, Ross Barracks and Somerset Barracks. On three occasions there were German air raids which killed soldiers in the camp.

Additional information from:

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Richard Gibbs Mansfield II (1898 – 1918) – American poet who died in WW1

With thanks to Chris Dubbs for his help in find out more about Richard, to AC Benus for his help in finding some of Richar’s poems and to Dr Connie Ruzich for the post on her weblog that led me to discover the Carnegie Tech poets and more. 

Richard Gibbs Mansfield II was born in 1898. His father was Richard Mansfield (24 May 1857 – 30 August 1907) was a famous English actor-manager and his mother, an American actress, was Beatrice Mansfield, nee Cameron (1868 – 1940).  They were married in 1892. Richard was their only child. Richard was also an actor and played the part of Prince Karl in his Father's play "Old Heidelberg". The picture of him left is from from “The Kansas City Times” 8 September 1916 - - found by Chris Dubbs.

Richard Mansfield II attended Carnegie Institute of Technology – known as “Carnegie Tech”.  

He volunteered as an ambulance driver in France early on in The First World War, though officially underage - albeit with his mother's permission.  When America entered the war, he joined the U.S. Army and went to Texas to be part of an aviation unit. While there, he contracted meningitis and died in 1918.

While the list is known to be incomplete, approximately 900 Carnegie Tech students, alumni, and faculty served during The First World War. At least 44 students died in service. The first was Walter Crellin, a design student, who was on the Tuscania when it was torpedoed by a U-boat off the northern coast of Ireland on 5th February 1918. The last known death was Arthur H. McGill, a science student, who died of pneumonia in France on 2nd February 1919.

Here is one of Richard’s poems:

“For King and Country” 

The kingy he sits in his chamber high^ 

With a hundred faithful courtiers by . . , 

What matter it if the soldiers die? 

         Tis all for King and Country! 

Outside is heard the bugler's blare; 

The band is playing a lively air. 

See how the burghers stop to stare . . . 

       'Tis all for King and Country! 

What matters it if far away, 

In the trenches, they're dying every day? 

While they're dying, hear them say: 

       'Tis all for King and Country! 

Over the wires comes the news, 

That this is a battle our enemies lose — 

But our men they die in the bloody ooze,   

       'Tis all for King and Country! 

The king, he smiles that the news is good; 

His men are dying for the lack of food — 

But it doesn't matter — ^when understood 

       Tis all for King and Country! 

But for the mothers who weep, and for the babes who cry 

And for the girls who wait, and for men who die, 

Led to their death by a noble lie, 

There'll be a reckoning by and by! 

       To be met by King and Country! 

Richard Mansfield^ II

From “Carnegie Tech War Verse” (Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 1918), p. 27

“Carnegie Tech War Verse” is a two-book set printed in 1918 entitled “The Soldier’s Progress and Carnegie Tech War Verse”. The books were edited by English professor Haniel Long of the Carnegie Institute of Technology (present-day Carnegie Mellon University)


Press cutting from “The Kansas City Times” 8 September 1916 -


Author Chris Dubbs has written and edited books about WW1, such as

Historian, Writer, Translator and Poet AC Benus is the author of of a book about German WW1 poet Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele : “The Thousandth Regiment: A Translation of and Commentary on Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele’s War Poems” by AC Benus (AC Benus, San Francisco, 2020). Along with Hans's story, the book includes original poems as well as translations.    ISBN: 978-1657220584

Dr. Connie Ruzich, a former Fulbright Scholar in the UK, is now a University Professor at Robert Morris University Sewickley, Pennsylvania, USA.  She has edited a WW1 Anthology entitled “International Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology of Lost Voices” Editor Constance M. Ruzich (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) and also has the WW1 poetry website Behind their Lines

Jack Morris Wright (1898 - 1918) – American aviator poet

 With thanks to AC Benus who found me the WW1 poems of Carnegie Tech that led to the discovery of this poet

Jack Morris Wright was born in New York City, USA. He was taken to France when he was a little boy and remained there mostly until the start of the First World War. He was educated in France and America and French was his mother tongue. Jack graduated with special honours from l’École Alsacienne in Paris and also attended Andover College, Massachusetts in America, before entering Harvard University. 

On The Andover College Memorial website, we learn that: 

“Jack Morris Wright, Class of 1917, left school before graduation to sail for France with the Andover Ambulance Unit. After arriving, members of the unit were told there was little need for additional ambulance drivers but a great need for men to drive ammunition trucks for the French Army — the Camion Corps. Like most members of the unit, Wright volunteered. It was necessary but dull work, and (again, like many others) Wright soon wangled his way into aviation, first in the French Army, then with the U.S. Army Air Servie of the American Expeditionary Force.”

Jack was killed flying on the Western Front on 24th January 1918.   After the War, his mother had his letters published Jack’s letters with the title  “A Poet Of The Air; Letters Of Jack Morris Wright: First Lieutenant Of The American Aviation In France, April, 1917-January, 1918”

When she wrote to Jack telling him of her intention, he agreed to her suggestion and penned a bellicose foreword for the book in December 1917. It began:

“These letters are taken directly out of the hurried office of Mars; 

they are notes on the exact shell-holes your man will crouch in, 

on the precious stars and mighty heavens he will look up to; 

on War’s fight, toil, and divinity; 

on War’s romance and War’s exile; 

on War’s New World and the new life it spreads each passing day, 

to every human proud to have a soul across the Atlantic firmament 

in the first grasping streaks of dawn.”

In a letter to his Grandmother, dated 19th May 1917, Jack said: 

"After a week in Paris where I awaited my ambulance, I was suddenly sent with a transport section that carries munitions up to the line, so that I should make sketches to be sent to America.

Within three months, though, I will be back to a Ford ambulance unless something else turns up or unless I prefer to remain here.

Twenty boys and two Profs of my school have come with me, so I feel quite at home. But of course I am at home anyway since France means so very much to me. I have always been in Paradise here. I have often been in Hell in America. Then the war is a sight that only a fool or a prisoner would miss."

On 5th September 1917, Jack wrote to his mother:

"You want to know something of my aviation program? I have told you much already. I can't tell you very much more on account of the censor, but here is a general idea of it which is public and permissible to tell: --

I go to training camp in the most beautiful country of France, this autumn. After three months' training --- proportional to weather conditions, I will know all about aeroplanes, motors and tactics and fighting. I will have passed semi-final and final exams and will be a full-fledged aviator pilot. with the grade of a First Lieutenant of the U.S. Army in whose service I will be.

I am enlisted now as a private for the duration of the war and will not get my stripes for some three months, when I am sent to the front to fly.

“A Poet Of The Air; Letters Of Jack Morris Wright: First Lieutenant Of The American Aviation In France, April, 1917-January, 1918” is available to read on the Internet

Here is a poem written by one of Jack's friends - Richard Gibbs Mansfield II - dedicated to Jack:


Written upon hearing of the death of his friend, who had served as an ambulance driver in France with Richard before joining the American Air Service - Lieutenant Jack Wright  Although only 18 years old, Jack Morris Wright who was also a poet, was commissioned as a First Lieutenant Pilot-Aviator of the American Aviation and was killed in France on 24th January 1918. 

It's a face in a crowd as you're passing by; 

It's the turn of a head that will catch your eye; 

It's a gay refrain that will make you sigh. 

Memories — memories — we all must die. 

The hotel lobby is gold and red. 

And you catch yourself thinking of things he said. 

And a girl comes near, with a turn of her head; — 

He'd have liked her, too, — but he's dead. 

So the flowers will grow by his grave some day. 

And the world goes on with its work and play; 

But I catch myself humming a song that's gay. 

It's how he would like to have died — that way! 

By Richard Mansfield II 

From “Carnegie Tech War Verse” (Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 1918), p. 13

AC Benus is the author of a book about German WW1 poet Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele : “The Thousandth Regiment: A Translation of and Commentary on Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele’s War Poems” by AC Benus (AC Benus, San Francisco, 2020). Along with Hans's story, the book includes original poems as well as translations.    ISBN: 978-1657220584

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Francis Fowler Hogan (1896 - 1918) – American soldier poet

With thanks to Dr. Connie Ruzich via Twitter @wherrypilgrim for helping to discover so many other WW1 poets.

Francis Fowler Hogan was born in Pittsburgh, PC, USA on November 13, 1896, to Thomas and Emma Hogan, who once lived in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Thomas Hogan was a tea and coffee dealer in Pittsburgh and died in Saint Francis Hospital of pneumonia the day before his son, Francis’s eleventh birthday.

Francis was educated at Peabody High School where he was a member of the debate team, drama club, and the literary society. In May 1916, he took part in an Oscar Wilde play produced by the class - “The Importance Of Being Earnest.”   A classmate commented : “Mr. Hogan as Algernon Moncrieff was his own charming self to the delight of his audience.” While at the school, Francis also edited the student’s newspaper, “The Melting Pot”. He graduatedl in 1916 with honours. Following his graduation, Francis entered the newly formed School of Drama at the Carnegie Institute of Technology - "Carnegie Tech" - which is now the Carnegie Mellon University.

When America joined the First World War, Francis enlisted in the National Army.  He was sent to Camp Colt in Gettysburg PA for initial training, then to Camp Greene, NC, and finally to Camp Stuart, VA, a troop clearinghouse during WW1. 

Francis was assigned to Company M, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division, travelled to the Western Front and took part in three major military operations: Aisne-Marne, Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne.  He was killed during the fighting on 17th October 1918 at Bois de Forêt and Clairs Chênes woods.  Several of his poems were included in Carnegie Tech War Verse (1918). 

This is believed to have been last poem written by Francis.  It was included in a letter written to his mother who sent it to the “Pittsburgh Dispatch” in November 1918.

“The Adventure”

I have found a cave.

Dark and very deep;

Who may know what wonders

In the cannon sleep?

Maybe there are gems

And a heap of gold;

Maybe sacred volumes

Stored there of old.

Maybe there are poppies

Which the gnomes hoard;

Bits of dragon skin,

Or a broken sword.

Or a queen enchanted

Whom we may free;

Maybe only death –

Come, let us see.

Francis Fowler Hogan

Francis's friend William Hervey Allen Jr (1889 – 1949) – American poet, writer and educator wrote a poem dedicated to him.


Former Fulbright Scholar Dr. Connie Ruzich's website entitled Behind their Lines.  (Connie’s approach is rather more academic than mine:..) 

“Carnegie Tech War Verse” (Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, 1918)

Monday, 24 October 2022

John Allan Wyeth (1894 – 1981) was an American World War I veteran, war poet, and artist.

John in WW1
John Allan Wyeth was born on 24th October 1894 in New York City, USA. His parents were John Allan Wyeth, a war veteran and surgeon, and his wife, Florence Nightingale Wyeth, nee Sims. He had a brother, Marion Sims Wyeth, who designed houses in Florida.

Educated at the Lawrenceville School, a boarding school in New Jersey, John graduated from Princeton University in 1915, where he was a member of the Princeton Charter Club. He became a French teacher in a high school in Mesa, Arizona for a year, then went to graduate school at Princeton to study to become a professor of Romance languages.  

During the First World War, John served with the 33rd Division of the American Expeditionary Force as a translator/interpreter and then with the Army of Occupation in Germany. His WW1 collection was“This Man’s Army: A War in Fifty-Odd Sonnets” published in 1928 by Harold Vinal, Maine.

The Road to Bayonvillers

A German gun, Bayonvillers, 1918

The sidecar skimmed low down like a flying sled

over the straight road with its double screen

of wire—the blue profile of Amiens sank

below the plain—near by, a hidden blast

of gunfire by the roadside—just ahead,

a white cloud bursting out of a slope of green.

Then low swift open land and the wasted flank

of a leprous hillside—over the ridge and past

the blackened stumps of Bois Vert, bleak and dead.

Our sidecar jolted and rocked, twisting between

craters, lunging at every rack and wrench.

Through Bayonvillers—her dusty wreckage stank

of rotten flesh, a dead street overcast

with a half-sweet, fetid, cloying fog of stench.

On To Paris

Map of Paris subway WW1

Light enough now to watch the trees go by--

a sleep like sickness in the rattling train.

Men's bodies joggle on the opposite seat

and tired greasy faces half awake

stir restlessly and breathe a stagnant sigh.

The stale air thickens on the grimy pane

reeking of musty smoke and woolly feet.

Versailles—a bridge of shadow on a lake

dawn-blue and pale, the color of the sky.

Paris at last!--and a great joy like pain

in my heart. We scuffle down the corridor.



                                       "In half an hour we meet

at another station — your orders are to take

these men by subway to the Gare du Nord."

"French Countryside" a
painting by John Allan Wyeth


Sunday, 23 October 2022

Gerhard Moerner (1894-1917) – German WW1 poet

With grateful thanks to my friend Timo Gälzer for finding Gerhard’s resting place and to Timo and to my friend Dani Stöpselfor their help in translating the poem included here

Born Gerhard Klaus Müller-Rastatt, he used the pen-name Gerhard Moerner.  Gerhard was killed on 15th April 1917 and was buried in Vladslo Cemetery, Block 3 Grave 2587 

Albert Ehrenstein dedicated his poem "War Country" to Gerhard. 

Here is a poem by Gerhard:

"Nacht im Schützengraben"

Tief will sich der Himmel neigen,

Schwer von seiner Sternenlast.

Runde Leuchtraketen steigen

Auf zu seinem Blaudamast.

Rückwärts ist mein Kopf geglitten

Auf den Sand der Schulterwehr

Und mir ist, als wär ich mitten

In dem weißen Silbermeer.

Schüsse fallen, Rufe kommen,

Meine Hand kühlt kühlen Wind,

Und ich weiß kaum, traumbenommen,

Noch, was Stern, was Augen sind.

aus: „Aus dem Felde“. Gedichte. Kugelverlag, Hamburg 1917.

German troops in a trench WW1

“A Night in the Trenches”

 The sky wants to bend low,

Heavy with the burden of the stars

Round flares rise up

Onto the sky’s damask blue.

My head slips back

Onto the sand of the trench parapet

And I feel as if I'm in the middle

Of the silvery-white sea.

Shots are fired, shouts are heard,

My hand cools in the chill wind,

And I hardly know, I feel so dreamy,

Neither what stars, nor what eyes are.

from: "From the Field" - poems. Kugelverlag, Hamburg, 1917.