Monday, 19 May 2014

WW1 Poets who nursed or were VADs, etc. - Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976)

People are surprised to find the name of one of the most famous dramatists and writers of crime fiction in my list of Female Poets of the First World War but Agatha Christie did indeed write poetry during that time.   Her wartime poetry was first published in "The Road of Dreams" by Geoffrey Bles, London in 1924.

Having just got in from seeing a wonderful production of Agatha Christie's play "Black Coffee", which was first performed in 1930 and features the ever-popular Belgian detective Hercult Poirot, I felt I had to post something about Agatha Christie.  During tonight's play, I marvelled yet again at her incredible knowledge of medical substances which she must have learned about when she worked as a VAD in a hospital in Torquay during the First World War.

The performance I saw stars Robert Powell and Liza Goddard with an excellent supporting cast and features Hastings as well as Poirot and Inspector Japp.  I was impressed by the beautiful Art Deco style setting as well as the fantastic acting, costumes and lighting and of course the intricately  woven storyline which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the last  - an absolute delight.

The play "Black Coffee" is currently on tour - do try to see it.  Details from

Photo:  Google Images

Note:  VAD - The Voluntary Aid Detachment was formed in 1909 with the support of the Red Cross and the Order of St. John.   At first it was felt that the volunteers - apparently mostly women of 'good education'  but without formal nursing training were considered to be unsuitable for 'rough work' and certainly nothing near the firing line.  All that changed in 1914 when Katharine Furse took some VADs to the Western Front.  The ladies proved very useful, even under fire.

I have just found out that Katharine Furse also wrote poetry...