Monday, 6 February 2017

Joyce Amphlett (1897 - ?) – British

One of the nicest things about this commemorative exhibition project is the number of people who have contacted me with the names of poets not yet on my list.  My grateful thanks to-day to Steve Millward for finding Joyce and sending me a poem written by her.

Steve sent me the following report:
“On a visit to Hartlebury Castle (Worcestershire County Museum) at the weekend, I came across an exhibition (running to March 2018) on the Castle's history as WW1 VAD hospital. The exhibits included three of five scrapbooks kept by Nurse Laura Stocks (b 1877). One of them contained a poem - 'Absence' by Joyce Amphlett...  The attendant I spoke to was unable to give any information on Joyce Amphlett.  Anyway the poem reads as follows:


As winter sunshine, falling softly gold,
Lays gentle fingers on the shell-torn ground,
So shall our thoughts encompass you around,
The benediction of our love enfold;
And never shall you feel the world be cold
For this warm refuge that your hearts have found
Your slumbers shall be sweeter and more sound
For lullabies we sing you as of old,
And our hearts music, like a perfect song,
Shall fill the long-drawn silence of your sleep.
You shall march nobly with your hearts more strong,
Your lives more vital, and your faith more deep
For us who love you through the ages long,
Who live, remembering the tryst we keep.

Joyce Amphlett
Jan. 1917 “

Many thanks indeed Steve.

This is what I have so far found out about Joyce:

Born in Ombersley, Worcestershire, Marian Joyce Amphlett’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1897.  Joyce Amplett’s parents were Thomas Edward Amphlett, a farmer, and his wife, Marian Constance Jane Amphlett.   Joyce seems to have been educated at home with her elder sister, Rosamond Constance, who was born in 1896.

In February 1916, Joyce volunteered to work with the Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross. I haven’t been able to find out in what capacity she worked yet.  At some stage Joyce may have worked at Hartlebury Castle, which was a hospital during the First World War.
Joyce’s poem “Absence” was written into the autograph album of a nurse who served in WW1 at the hospital in Hartlebury Castle - photo sent by Steve. 

I haven’t been able to find out anything else about Joyce. If anyone can help please get in touch.

Sources:  Find my Past, Free BMD and the British Red Cross Archive website.

To find out more about the exhibition at Hartlebury Castle see the website

Friday, 27 January 2017

Commemorative event in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 7.15 p.m.

Some time ago, writer Irene Lofthouse contacted me via the weblog, regarding female poets from Yorkshire.

I am delighted to announce that Irene has been back in touch with to tell me that she is holding a one-woman event, commemorating the First World War. Entitled “Words, Women &  War”, this is about Yorkshire women in poetry and prose and will be held on Wednesday, 8th March 2017 from 7.15 pm. – 8.15 pm at Bradford Cathedral.

Bradford Cathedral, Stott Hill, Bradford, Yorkshire, BD 1 4EH

Tickets from £5.  For further information, please see the attached flyer.

Monday, 2 January 2017

The War Poets Association

The War Poets Association promotes interest in the work, life and historical context of poets whose subject is the experience of war.  To find out more, visit the Association's website:

Monday, 26 December 2016

Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925) - American poet and writer

Amy was a Pullitzer Prize-winning, cigar-smoking poet from Bookline, Massachusets America. She coined the phrase “unrhymed cadence” for blank verse.   In London during 1913, it was Amy who asked Rupert Brooke to ‘speak up’ when he read his poems at The Poetry Bookshop.   

Amy's WW1 collection “Men, Women & Ghosts” was published by The MacMillan Co., New York, in 1916.

Another collection, with the title of “Sword Blades & Poppy Seed” was published in 1914 by Houghton Mifflin & Co., New York.

Amy died in 1925 and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusets.

Sources:  Wikipedia and Cecil Roberts "The Years of Promise" (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1968)

Friday, 23 December 2016

List update

Many thanks to "In the Know" who pointed out that Hilary Douglas Clark Pepler (HDCP) should be on the list of Forgotten Poets and not Female Poets.  This will be put right forthwith.  I must admit that I did put a question mark against the name in Catherine W. Reilly's "English Poetry of the First World War A Bibliography" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1978) and had not got around to researching Hilary.   Hilary, as "In the Know" points out is both a male and female name in the UK and indeed I have a cousin Hilary and a cousin Elliott, who are female and a neighbour called Cameron who unlike Cameron Diaz is male.

I am indeed grateful to the eagle eyes of those 'in the know' who are helping me compile a list of both male and female poets of the First World War.

My current project is the poets who were involved in WW1 in 1917 as it was the year in which my Great Uncle was killed.  He was lost on Easter Monday, 9th April 1917 at Arras.

Now to include Hilary on Forgotten Poets of the First World War.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Kathleen Ethel Burne (1879 - 1959) - British poet and school teacher

My grateful thanks to Lesley Young for providing the following information:

Kathleen Ethel Burne was born in Kensington on 11th May 1879.   Her father was Thomas Burne, who worked as a clerk in a colliery in Co. Durham, and her mother was Mary Isabella Burne, nee Simons.   The family moved to London in 1864 when Thomas worked for the Civil Service, re-organising the War Office accounts during the Boer War.  He then became an Officer's secretary at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Thomas and his wife had several children - Adeline, Godfrey, Cecil and Ormond who went to teach in Germany.  One of Thomas and Mary's sons and a grandson became mining engineers.  Thomas died on 22nd March 1903.

Kathleen attended boarding school in St Andrews, Fife  in 1891 and went on to study at Girton College, Cambridge in 1901.   From 1907 until 1925, Kathleen worked as private secretary to Edmund Lamb MP at his estate in Borden Wood, Essex, where she lived at 3 Garden Cottages, Borden Wood.   During that time Kathleen helped Edmund Lamb research his book ‘Some Annals of the Lambs: a Border Family’ published in 1926.

Kathleen was a teacher for a time and worked for over 25 years with Father Andrew in Plaistow, East London.  She never married.   Kathleen's nephew Harold Burne was killed in Palestine on 3rd November 1917.

Kathleen died after an illness aged 80 on 10th June 1959 at the Hostel of God, Clapham Common, but her WIll states her usual residence was Lake Cottage, Bobbolds Farm, Milland, LIPHOOK, West Sussex.

Kathleen's poetry collection "Poems by K.E.B." includes several poems written during the First World War.

Sources:  Information kindly supplied by Lesley Young who has carried out extensive research on the life and work of Kathleen, and members of Kathleen's family.

Christmas Eve, 1916 by Kathleen Ethel Burne

The little lamp burns bright; the Babe
Lies in the manger there;
The mother bends above; her hands
Are clasped in praise and prayer;
Her tender face a-light with love
Looks down upon Him there.

This little Child was born, they say,
To save the world from sin.
So still and peaceful lies the scene-
How crept the evil in?
What madness swept across the earth
And plunged the world in sin?

The Shepherds kneel, simple souls,
Beneath the open sky
They learn to read the signs of God
And humbly drawing nigh
They worship here the Sign that flamed
From out the midnight sky.

The Wise Men from the East with gifts
In adoration dumb
Bend low. Stern searchers after truth,
But yet in faith they come:
Before the Mother and the Child
Their restless doubts are dumb.

The gentle large-eyed ox, the ass,
Stand gazing without fear;
The camels through the open door,
and small wild things draw near-
Where all is love and peace and joy,
What room is there for fear?
So sweet and peaceful is the scene-
Ah, whence crept evil in?-
Give peace, O God, to weary hearts
And cleanse our souls from sin !
Stretch forth Thine arms, all-loving God
And draw Thy children in !

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Female Poets of the First World War Volume 2 now out

In time for Christmas.   Volume 2 concentrates on British poets and features some of the lesser-known women writers.  Also featured is poetry written by Munitions Workers and Schoolgirls, plus a guest article about poetry and knitting in WW1 by Phil Dawes.

To order a copy please go to

"Wonderful book - well researched. Definitely worth getting a copy" - Dominic Sheridan.