Category Archive: Britain

Edmund Blunden

Edmund Blunden

Edmund Charles Blunden was born on London on November 1st 1896, the oldest child of headmaster Charles Blunden and his wife, Margaret (née Georgina Margaret Tyler). After the arrival of two more children, the Blundens moved to Yalding in Kent, where Charles became headmaster of the local village school. Edmund passed a very happy childhood […]

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David Jones

David Jones

Walter David Michael Jones was born in Brockley, Kent on November 1st 1895, the youngest of the three children of printer’s overseer, James Jones and his wife Alice (née Bradshaw). James Jones was of Welsh descent, having been born at Holywell in Flintshire, although he had lived in or near London for several years and […]

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May Wedderburn Cannan

May Wedderburn Cannan

May Wedderburn Cannan was born on October 14th 1893 at St Giles in Oxford. Her twin sister, Frances, died two months later, leaving May as the second of three sisters: Margaret Dorothea (known by her second name) and Joanna Maxwell. May’s father Charles was a Classics tutor, who went on to become Dean of Trinity […]

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Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

Wilfred Wilson Gibson

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson was born on 2nd October 1878 at Hexham in Northumberland, one of the nine children of John Pattison Gibson and his wife Elizabeth Judith (née Walton). Wilfrid Gibson’s father was a pharmacist by profession, but was also a part-time writer and historian and while his upbringing was by no means affluent, it […]

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Alan P Herbert

Alan P Herbert

Alan Patrick Herbert was born on September 24th 1890, at Ashtead in Surrey, the oldest of the three sons of Patrick and Beatrice Herbert (née Selwyn). His father’s job, as a civil servant at the India Office ensured a comfortable and happy childhood for Alan and his two younger brothers, Sidney and Owen. However, their […]

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Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon

Born on 8th September 1886, Siegfried Loraine Sassoon was the second of three sons of Alfred and Theresa Sassoon. His parents separated when he was four years old, leaving his mother to raise her three sons alone. Nonetheless, Sassoon spent a happy and secure childhood and was educated at Marlborough before going on to Clare […]

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Ivor Gurney

Ivor Gurney

Born on August 28th 1890, Ivor Gurney typified the fine line that is often said to exist between genius and insanity. His talent for musical composition and poetry hid a troubled mind that the battlefields of the First World War would ultimately destroy. The son of a master tailor, Gurney grew up among working-class people, […]

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E A Mackintosh

E A Mackintosh

Ewart Alan Mackintosh was born on 4th March 1893 in Brighton, Sussex, the son of Scotsman Alexander Mackintosh and his wife, Lilian. From this and Alexander’s first marriage, Alan (as he was known from an early age) had one half brother and five sisters and half sisters. Alexander Mackintosh worked as a banker and Senior […]

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Charles Hamilton Sorley

Charles Hamilton Sorley

Charles Sorley was born on May 19th, 1895 in Aberdeen, where his father, William Ritchie Sorley was professor of moral philosophy at the university. In 1900, the family, including Charles’s twin brother, Kenneth and their older sister Jean, moved to Cambridge, where their father took up a new position and was elected a Fellow of […]

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Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas

PERSPECTIVES OF POETRY Edward Thomas enlisted and fought because he loved his country, in every way – even though he knew, prophetically, that going overseas would almost certainly cost him his life. He gave up his future happiness with his wife, Helen, and their children, for his England and a way of life which he […]

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