Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Arthur Graeme West (1891 – 1917) – British

Arthur was born in Norwich, Norfolk, UK on 23rd September 1891.  His parents were Arhur Birt West, a Mechanical Engineer and his wife, Mary Wingate West, nee McLaren. Arthur had three younger siblings - two brothers and a sister.  The family lived in Highate.  Arthur was educated Highgate School, Blundells School in Devonshire and Balliiol College, Oxford, where he joined the Officers’ Training Corps.

Arthur joined the Public Schools Regiment of the Middlesex Regiment as a Private, having been initially turned down when he applied for a commission due to poor eyesight. He served on the Western Front and was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in August 1916. After training Arthur returned to the Western Front and was killed on 3rd April 1917 near Bapaume.  He was buried in the H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, France.  At the time of his death Arthur was an Acting Captain.

Arthur Graeme West’s WW1 Collection: “The Diary of a Dead Officer:  Posthumous Papers” was published by George Allen & Unwin, London in 1918 and his poems were included in four WW1 anthologies.  The collection is available as a free download on Archive: 

“Seeing her off”

A whistle ‘mid the distant hills
Shattered the silence grey,
She turned on me her great sad eyes,
Then lightly skimmed away.

I followed slow her flying feet
In idlest heaviness,
But, oh! My heart it laughed to see
Roar through the proud express.

In the after silence and the gloom
I found her there again,
And won three minutes more delight
Before the second pain.