Friday, 23 August 2019

Geoffrey Faber (1889 - 1961) - British WW1 soldier poet, academic and publisher

Geoffrey Faber c. 1927
Bassano Ltd.
Geoffrey Colt Faber was born on 23rd August 1889 in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK.  His parents were Henry M. Faber and his wife, Florence Ellen, nee Colt.  Geoffrey's uncle was the hymn writer, Father Frederick William Faber, C.O., founder of the Catholic church Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London.  Geoffrey had a brother - Stanley - who joined the Royal Field Artillery and was killed in March 1917

Geoffrey was educated at Rugby School, before going up to study Classical Moderations at Christ Church College, Oxford University. In 1913 he joined the Oxford University Press.

During the First World War, Geoffrey was commissioned into The 8th London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), serving on the Western Front and rising to the rank of Major.

In 1920, Geoffrey married Enid Richards (WW1 Schoolgirl poet).  It was because Enid did not like the smell of the Faber family brewery - Strong’s Romsey Ales - that Geoffrey began his publishing venture. A fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, he was the founding editor of Faber and Gwyer (shortly afterwards Faber and Faber), one of the most celebrated of literary publishing houses.  He remained Chariman of the company until his retirement in 1960.

Geoffrey Faber was knighted in 1954.   He died on 31st March 1961.

Geoffrey Faber’s WW1 poetry collections were:
“Interflow: poems, chieflylyrical” (Constable, London, 1915)
 “In the valley of vision: poems written in time of war” (Blackwell, Oxford, 1918) and one of his poems was included in the WW1 anthology “Poems of the Great War – Selected on Behalf of the Belgian Scholarship Committee” (Macmillan, New York, 1916)

Sources:  Cahterine W. Reilly,
“Female Poets of the First World War: Volume 2”
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