Saturday, 8 June 2019

Laurie Cruwys (1900 – 1983) – Wimbledon School WW1 Poet

The idea to research poetry written by schoolchilren during WW1 came to me after
reading "Peter Pan's XI" about J.M. Barrie's Recreational Cricket Team who played their last cricket match at Downe House School

Exhibition of Poetry Written by School Children during WW1

Born on 15th June 1900 in Clapham, Laurie was the only child of Lawrence Cruwys, a Metropolitain Police Court Usher, and his wife, Sarah Louise, nee Hicks.

Laura attended Wimbledon High School (then known as Wimbledon Hill School), which was one of the schools in the Girls’ Public Day School Trust.  The GPDST was set up in 1872 to offer reasonably priced secondary education to girls of all classes.  Laura was about twelve years old when she wrote this poem:

“Oh! Up and Fight!” by Laurie Crowys, Lower IV Class

Come lads, come boys, come men young and old,
Oh! Put down your axe,
And leave your plough,
Lay down your pen,
And take up the gun.
Oh! Up and fight for the dear Motherland
That has borne and bred and kept you.
Away to the War and conquer your foes,
For your home that is queen of the seas.
Oh! Up and fight for the dear Motherland
That is queen of the brave and the free.
And when ye have conquered your numerous foes
Come back to bonnie Old England,
And take up your axe,
And go back to your plough,
And do all that your duty bids you.

Laurie Cruwys

By kind permission of Kelly Jones, Archivist, Wimbledon High School