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Five War Poets


Fred van Woerkom
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Forumites,

Who has ever heard of these poets

Walter Wilkinson

Bernard Pitt

Clifford Flower

Cameron Wilson

Charles Blackall ?

They all fell near Arras, 1917 and that is all I know.

All the best,

Fred

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I know T.P. Cameron Wilson, having his Magpies in Picardy in the anthology Up the Line to Death which I have had on the shelves for years. Published in 1964, it has a lovely foreword by Edmund Blunden.

The biographical details in this book indicate Cameron Wilson was a pre-war schoolmaster, Captain Sherwood Foresters, kia Somme Valley 23 March 1918, not Arras.

His work was almost forgotten, but Archibald Wavell included Magpies in his own famous anthology Other Men's Flowers (1944)

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Thank you Stoppage, And for the biographical detail.

I couldn't find anything on Google.

Is there a collection of English poets on the internet, as there is in Germany, where there are several site that one can consult?

All the best,

Fred

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The biographical details in this book indicate Cameron Wilson was a pre-war schoolmaster, Captain Sherwood Foresters, kia Somme Valley 23 March 1918, not Arras.

Hi, I'm unable to locate Cameron Wilson on my Sherwood Forester's officer records, do you have more information of his service with the regiment at all. BRONNO. :(

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from wikepedia


Theodore Percival Cameron Wilson (April 25, 1888 - March 23, 1918), was an English poet and novelist of World War I, best known for his poem Magpies in Picardy.[1]


Wilson was born in Paignton, Devon, where his father, Theodore Cameron Wilson, was vicar of Christchurch. His mother was Annie Smith, possibly an American; his grandfather, the ReverendTheodore Percival Wilson, had been a popular novelist. He was the fourth of six children; the youngest brother became a successful actor under the name of Charles Cameron, and one sister, Marjorie, was a published poet.


Wilson preferred to be known as "Jim" rather than by any of his given forenames. He was scrappily educated, went to Oxford in 1907 as a non-collegiate student, and left without a degree in about 1910 to become a teacher at a preparatory school, Mount Arlington in Hindhead, Surrey. One of his pupils was the son of the poet Harold Monro, who became a friend. His first, and not very good novel, The Friendly Enemy, was published in 1913. Before the First World War broke out, he spent much of his leisure time at the Poetry Bookshop in London, which was run by Monro, and probably wrote a great many poems and short stories.


In August 1914, though quite unmilitary, he joined the armed forces, and the following year obtained a commission in the Sherwood Foresters. He reached the Western Front in February 1916 and was horrified by what he saw. Some emotional letters home said that a man had to be 'either a peace-maker or a degenerate'. 'Magpies in Picardy' was published in the Westminster Gazette on 16 August 1916. At around the same time he was moved to the staff and was introduced to Douglas Haig. He continued to write poems, but became more and more depressed by his situation. Having gained promotion to the rank of captain, he was moved back to the front line and was killed at Hermies in France during the great German assault. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing and on the lychgate at Little Eaton church, Derbyshire. His collected poems were published by Monro in 1919 under the title Magpies in Picardy and a second novel, Bolts from the Blue, appeared in 1929.



regards Ray



Edit on SDGW rank given Lieut Regiment given General list New Armys


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original cwgc register gives rank as Captain

attachicon.gifT P C Wilson.JPG

Thank you, sorry my mistake as I didn't look under Theodore Percival. Other pieces of information, 2/Lt (13th Battalion) The Sherwood Foresters, joined 10th Battalion at La Clytte, Staff Captain in the 51st Brigade. M.I.D. London Gazette 25th May 1917. Sorted. :blush:

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Thanks for all your infomation.

Can anyone tell me the name of the German poet who wrote The Hymn of Hatred in 1914. Hatred of Britain, to be sure.

I remember Peter Ustinow reading it in the first part of 80s TV series, MIGHTY CONTINENT (John Terraine) .

All the best,

Fred

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Hello Fred

Have you looked at -FOR REMEMBRANCE

SOLDIER POETS WHO HAVE FALLEN

IN THE WAR

http://www.archive.org/stream/forremembranceso00adcouoft/forremembranceso00adcouoft_djvu.txt

And

A TREASURY OF WAR POETS
BRITISH AND AMERICAN POEMS
OF THE WORLD WAR, 1914-1919

Edited by George Herbert Clarke

http://archive.org/stream/treasuryofwarpoe00claruoft/treasuryofwarpoe00claruoft_djvu.txt

Regards, Michael Bully

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I have a memorial volume of letters and poems written by Bernard Pitt.

Maricourt

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Michael,

Thank you for the information. The first site could only be read in fragments as if the first 20 words of the lines were missing, but that may be due to my ignorance.

The second site confused me by its immense number of data.

I think I will concentrate for the moment on Edward Thomas and Isaac Rosenberg in connection with Arras 1917. Our Dutch WFA excursion concentrates on that battle.

Perhaps I can ask you a couple of questions off Forum.

All the best,

Fred

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Maricourt,

Thank you for mentioning Bernard Pitt's memorial book.

I may come back to you later, but in the meantime, see post #14. I will concentrate on two well-known poets.

Cheers,

Fred

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Fred. Feel free to message me . I am interested in both poets. Ik ben ook een lid van WFA Nederland !

Michael,

Thank you for the information. The first site could only be read in fragments as if the first 20 words of the lines were missing, but that may be due to my ignorance.

The second site confused me by its immense number of data.

I think I will concentrate for the moment on Edward Thomas and Isaac Rosenberg in connection with Arras 1917. Our Dutch WFA excursion concentrates on that battle.

Perhaps I can ask you a couple of questions off Forum.

All the best,

Fred

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Hello Fred

I will search out the Bernard Pitt memorial volume!

Capt Charles Walter Blackall wrote "Songs from the Trenches" and during WW1 served originally with the West Kents and later attached to 1/RWF quite early in the war [1914]. Later still, attached to South Staffs where he went on to command the 4th Battalion and was killed 24th March, 1918 - no known grave and commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He served with "The Buffs" in the Boer War.

You can download "Songs from the Trenches" for free from archive.org and there is an excellent biographical piece of work by Hilary Tolputt on the web that includes a photograph.

I hope that helps, Fred - Tot ziens ... Maricourt

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Michael has mentioned A Treasury of War Poetry - British & American Poems of the World War 1914-1919 and there is one poem [A Lament for the Dead] on page 404-5 by Walter Lightowler Wilkinson - this may be who you are looking for. A quick Wiki look reveals he was a Lt in the 8th A & SH and was killed at Vimy Ridge on the opening day of the Battle of Arras - 9th April, 1917. You can access three other poems of his on the Beck Center website that covers 1914-1918.

Clifford Flower 1891-1917 was a British poet and an RFA driver. He wrote verses in support of striking miners: My People's Voice [1912] and 4 war poems that were privately published - Memoir & Poems. Source: The Lost Voices of World War 1 by Tim Cross.

Both men have CWGC entries.

Regards ... Maricourt

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Maricourt,

What a gifted poet this Walter Wilkinson is ! I must admit I had never headr of him.

'Tot ziens'? Another member of the Dutch WFA ?

All the best,

Fred

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Hello Fred

I'm glad you have found Wilkinson interesting. There seem to be many minor war poets that wrote excellent poetry away from the mainstream "stars" such as Sassoon, Graves & Owen. Michael Bully has been able to point me in the direction of several that I had never heard of before - the Great War Forum at its best!

The "Tot Ziens" is courtesy of my Dutch mother!

Do let us know how your trip to Arras goes - I found it very hard to find the cemetery where Edward Thomas was buried and did manage to pay tribute to Isaac Rosenberg.

Best wishes ... Maricourt

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Thank you, Danny. I have found the photograph and I found it vaguely familiar, probably ftom a very early edition of war poets.

All the best,

Fred

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Michael,

Is it true that Edward Thomas wrote few of no poems during the war at all?

I tried to PM you but I got a message that you could not receive any new message. Probably because you were also on line this afternoon?

Het allerbeste !

Fred

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Hi Fred

It's my understanding that Edward Thomas only began to write poetry shortly after the outbreak of war after his meeting with the American poet, Robert Frost. With the encouragement of Frost, and a regular wage from enlistment into the Army, this freed Thomas from having to earn a living writing prose articles and, therefore, his complete output of poetry was written during the war, until his death in 1917. Thomas only spent three months on the Western Front before being killed by a percussion blast at Arras on the 9th April, 1917. Much of his poetry was written after he badly sprained an ankle on New Year's Day 1915 and he enlisted as a private in July 1915 in the Artists' Rifles - at 37 a great deal older than most others. He was commissioned into the RGA as a 2/Lt. Much of his poetry is linked to the landscape and the effect war has on the land and that, eventually, nature will regain what man has destroyed.

Sorry, Michael, if I have hijacked this a bit!

My best wishes ... Maricourt

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