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Remembered Today:

Alexandra Ethelreda Grantham


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 Cultural historian of the Orient and poet  Alexandra Ethelreda  Grantham was born in Germany in 1870, and settled in Britain in the early 1890's. She has the tragic distinction of having two sons dying in each world war : The first to die was Ltn. Hugo Frederick Grantham,Third Battalion Essex Regiment, died at Gallipoli, on 28th June 1915, and is  buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery. The second son was Godfrey Harry Grantham, who was a pilot instructor in the RAF volunteer reserve and was killed  on 21st June 1942 aged 30 whilst training another serviceman. He was buried at St. Wythan's churchyard, Repton Derbyshire. 


In 1915 a collection of poems was published by William Heineman titled  'Mater Dolorosa'  , the author was stated as 'A.E.G.'  (clearly Alexandra Grantham), as dedicated 

" In Deepest Love to my son Hugo Frederick , Born Easter MDCCCX IV 

killed in a heroic charge on an

overwhelmingly strong Turkish 

Position in the Gallipoli Peninsula

In the evening of the Twenty

Eighth of June MCMXV"


Managed to access a copy at the British Library and thought that post the following 


Poem XI


SUNSET on northern seas effulgence bright

Wash of grey waters burned to wondrous gold

While wandering winds about them weary cold 

Awaking, wax warm and tremulous with light 


Sunset, two hours ago in eastern bay-

The selfsame sun sinking red 'neath sapphire sea,

Silver foam, gleaming depths of lazuli

On ochre cliffs brilliance of dying day.


A shadow there, sinister in lambent flame

Of all that splendour, rough, a humble cross,

Bearing some day in June, and thy sweet name,

That soon forgotten to be they loss

That as I dream, to the lone grave star

Of evening guide my prayers from afar. "



Post from Female Poets of the First World War blog    http://femalewarpoets.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/alexandra-etheldred-grantham-pen-name.html

Post from World War 2 poetry blog                              http://worldwar2poetry.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/beatrice-gibbs-alexandra-etheldreda.html

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  • 1 year later...

For lots more information about Alexandra Grantham see https://everydaylivesinwar.herts.ac.uk/2017/03/international-womens-day-alexandra-grantham/  Also Tumult and Tears: The Story of the Great War Through the Eyes and Lives of its Women Poets Vivien Newman (Pen and Sword) and http://firstworldwarwomen.co.uk/lines-of-dissent.html

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  • 2 months later...

That's excellent, thank you for the response. Will be exploring the links and the books cite and will add them to my blogpost about Alexandra Grantham.  

 Only realised recently  that Alexandra Grantham's husband Captain Frederick William Grantham , 2nd Bn., Royal Munster Fusiliers, was killed  whilst serving on the Western Front,  9th May 1915 ,some six weeks before their son Hugo. He is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial 










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