Thursday, 5 June 2014

Catherine Bridson (1889 - 1956) - Liverpool WW1 Poet

Catherine was born in Liverpool in 1889. Her parents were Thomas Philip Bridson and his wife Alma Victoria nee McKim.

In 1911, the Bridson family were living in Everton, Liverpool and Catherine was a primary school teacher.

Catherine’s brother, who, like his father was called Thomas Philip Bridson, was a Private in the Coldstream Guards during the First World War.  He was killed in action on 22nd August 1918 aged 31. Thomas Philip was buried in the Bucquoy road Cemetery, Ficheux, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Catherine published a collection of her own poems in 1926 under the title “Poems”.   She died in Wallasey in December 1956.

Sydney Fowler Wright included Catherine’s poem “Peel Fishing Fleet” in his anthology “Poets of Merseyside: An Anthology of Present-Day Liverpool Poetry”, Edited by S. Fowler Wright and published by Merton Press Ltd., London, in 1923.

With grateful thanks to the following from The Wirral Peninsula:

Sheena Gaskell and her team of The Birkenhead Reference Library, who found me a copy of “Poets of Merseyside” which enabled me to contact

The Wirral Globe newspaper who published my letter asking for further information about Catherine and to

Angela Duffy of Vertu Antiques in Hoylake who read the article in “The Wirral Globe” and contacted me, bringing the collection of Catherine’s own poems to my attention.

I am still trying to find a photograph of Catherine...

Peel Fishing Fleet by Catherine Bridson

Bronze sail set to the bearing wind,
On wrack-strewn path, with foam-sprayed keel;
Borne on the ebbing, ev’ning tide,
Sets out the fishing fleet at Peel.

The setting sun half veils his light]
In grey dusk cloud and purple mist;
Foreshadowing what drear night-shades
Shall chill the waves – at noon sun-kissed.

Home with the dawning
Of a new morning;
The well-filled creels bring the spoils of the sea;
Nets on the field spread,
Pillow for tired head
Dreams of star silence and night’s mystery.