Sunday, 8 December 2013

Undiscovered WW1 Poets

I am indebted to Seamus Breslin for posting the attached poem written by the mother of a solider who was killed in WW1. Seamus posted the poem on the Remembering World War One in 2014 one hundred years Facebook Group page.  The poem was written by Sarah Toye in memory of her son John Vincent Toye who died on 2nd July 1915.

Unlike many others who collect anthologies of WW1 poetry written by women, I would like to highlight those who were not 'professional poets' but who wrote from the heart.

And I hope that my exhibitions will inspire a new generation to write their own poetry.  In the words of Scottish poet George Bruce "Just do it!".

With thanks to Dr. Ian Olson for bringing George Bruce to my attention.

And thanks to Stanley Kaye for starting the Facebook Group and for his wonderful idea of planting poppies in remembrance, so that next year the world will be ablaze with colour.


  1. Sarah Toye was my great grandmother. We have only just discovered this poems existence!
    Great Uncle John was in the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was killed in action in Gallipoli. His memorial is in Helles, Turkey.
    Thank you for sharing this

    1. Sarah Toye was also my great great grandmother.

  2. hi Rozzie, Many thanks for your message - that is wonderful. Ideally I would like a photograph of Sarah, brief biographical details and a couple of poems and then I can produce a panel about her and include her in Volume 2 of Female Poets of the First World War. Hoping to hear from you again Best Regards Lucy

    1. Hi there. As far as I am aware this was Sarahs only poem but I will check with family in Derry.

      We have now found the scan of the original entry

      Its on page 40 of the memorial register and is in her own hand

  3. Hi Rozzie Please could you email me at I would like to ask you a quick question. Also, have you got a pphoto of Great uncle John's name on the Helles Memorial? if not I could easily sort one for you 9assuming it is not too high up on the monument). I go to the Peninsula quite a lot. Viv