Rosaleen is just one of the British women poets featured in Volume 2 of Female War Poets of the First World War. To find out more please see the website http://www.poshupnorth.com/2016/09/female-poets-of-first-world-war-volume-2_27.html
I have written about Rosaleen Graves before but I can now bring you the finished wording that will go on the exhibition panel. With many thanks to Sue of the wonderful website www.scarletfinders.co.uk for suggesting I contact the British Red Cross, to the Red Cross for finding Rosaleen's WW1 service record and to Sally Ronchetti for the beautiful portrait of Rosaleen.
Rosaleen, sister of the WW1 soldier poet and writer
Robert Graves, was born in Wimbledon on 7th March 1894. Her father was Alfred Perceval
Graves, the second son of The Rt. Rev. Charles Graves, Bishop of Limerick (1846 – 1931). Alfred was a school inspector originally from Taunton, Somerset, and her
mother was Amalie (‘Amy’) Elizabeth Sophie (or Sophia) von Ranke (1857 – 1951),
eldest daughter of Professor Heinrich von Ranke MD, of Munich. Rosaleen’s grandmother was the daughter
of Norwegian astronomer Ludwig Tiarks. Rosaleen’s father was an Anglo-Irish poet, born in
Dublin. The Graves family home in Wimbledon was called "The Red Branch".
Rosaleen was a poet and musician. She joined the
Voluntary Aid Detachment on 17th September 1915 and, after initial
training in Chislehurst and London, she was sent to No. 54 General Hospital in
Wimereux, France on 23rd November 1917. Rosaleen served in France until 14th March 1919.
No. 54 Hospital in Wimereux was
one of the Base Hospitals known as "London General Hospital" and was
in operation from July 1917 until May 1919.
Rosaleen's poem "The Smells
of Home" - which awakened my curiosity and made me find out more about Rosaleen - was first published in "The Spectator" on 30th November
1918 and is included on page 269 of the WW1 Anthology "The Winter of the
World Poems of the First World War", edited by Dominic Hibberd and John
Onions, published by Constable and Robinson Ltd., London, 2007.
After the War, Rosaleen trained as a doctor and
worked as a GP in Devon. In the Spring of 1932,
Rosaleen married James Francis Cooper at St. Martin’s in London. The couple had three children.
Among her published works are “Night Sounds and other
poems”, published by Basil Blackwell in Oxford in 1923, “Snapdragons Poems“ by
Rosaleen Graves Cooper and “The Silver Mirror. Breton Folk Air", words
translated from the Breton by A.P. Graves and arranged by R. Graves (1928).
Rosaleen died on 3rd August 1989 in
Wimbledon, London, England.
‘A STRONGER THAN HE SHALL COME UPON HIM...’ by Rosaleen Graves
AND then he was seized by one who was stronger than he,
Seized and tamed and bound and forced to obey;
From the swinging choice of evil or good he was free;
Good was no longer; evil had vanished away
He left to another the gain or loss of the day.
Was he driven or drawn? What matter? He was content.
He yielded him, body and soul, to the whirl of War
As one yields to the high sea-wind, and is buffered, bent
To his will, when, shouting, he stamps in over the shore
Triumphant, driving all things like dust before.
Can aught but a rock stand firm, or question his might
Who tosses the leaves and clouds from a hand so strong?
The trees and grasses bow in awe of his might,
And men in the mountains, hearing his giant-song,
Yield, and are hurried—whirled—hounded along.
Thus he yielded to War, who was stronger than he—
No time to think—no time to ponder and weigh—
He was swept like a straw on the wind—and yet he knew himself free
Was it freedom or bondage, this? In truth, it were hard to say;
But, slave or king, he bowed his head to obey.
(Luke 11: 22)
From: “Oxford Poetry 1921”, Edited by Alan Porter, Richard Hughes and Robert Graves. (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1921)
Source: Wikipedia and the British Red Cross
who drew the portrait of Rosaleen in her Red Cross VAD uniform, is an artist
and qualified nurse from Cornwall.
Sally works mainly in graphite portraiture but also paints in oils and
acrylics from time to time. She
accepts commissions. You can see
more of Sally’s beautiful work on www.salyronchetti.co.uk