Tuesday, 9 April 2019

William Henry Littlejohn (1891 – 1917) – British poet

William was born in Islington, London in 1891.  His parents were William Littlejohn, a coach builder, and his wife, Mary Ann Littlejohn, nee Bulled.  The family live in Hammersmith, London.

William went to work as a clerk for the Civil Service and joined the Territorial Branch of the Middlesex Regiment.  By the time WW1 began, he had reached the rank of Sergeant.

William married Florence Annabel Bell in Fulham in 1915.

Promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant Major (CSM), William served in Gallipoli with his Regiment, before being posted to the Western Front.  He was killed on 10th April 1917 and was buried in Wancourt British Cemetery, France.

William’s poems were included in WW1 Anthologies “The Muse in Arms”, edited by E.B. Osborn (Murray, London, 1917) and “The Valiant Muse”, edited by F.W. Ziv (Putnam, New York, 1938).

“A Prayer”

Lord, if it be Thy will
That I enter the great shadowed valley that lies
Silent, just over the hill,
Grant they may say, 'There's a comrade that dies
Waving his hand to us still!'

Lord, if there come the end,
Let me find space and breath all the dearest I prize
Into Thy hands to commend:
Then let me go, with my boy's laughing eyes
Smiling a word to a friend.

W H Littlejohn