Sunday 16 June 2019

Ena Limebeer (1897 – 1984) – writer, artist and poet - schoolgirl poet of WW1

Ena was featured in the Exhibition of Poetry Written by School Pupils during the First World War, held at The Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead, Wirral, in March 2018

Ena Victoria Limebeer was born on 17th June 1897 in St. Mary Islington, Middlesex, in the north of London, UK. Her parents were Alfred J. Limebeer, an electrical mechanician, and his wife, Annie Emilia, nee Jefford.  Ena had two siblings – Alfred John, b. 1891, and Effie, b. 1895.

Educated at the North London Collegiate School in Camden, a school exclusively for girls, founded in 1850 by Frances Mary Buss, Suffragette and pioneer of advanced girls' education, Ena went on to study art and become a writer and artist.

On 9th June 1923, Ena married political scientist, originally from Bucharest, David Mitrany (1888 - 1975). The couple went to live in Kingston Blount, near Oxford. In 1929, Ena and her husband moved to America, where David had a visiting professorship at Harvard University and lectured at Yale University. In 1933, he became a permanent member of the newly established Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University. In September 1939, Ena and David returned to Britain.

After their return from America, Ena and David lived at The Lower Farm in Kingston Blount and also had a flat in London in Grove End Road, London NW 8. David Mitrany died in July 1975 and, following the death of her husband, Ena lived in Westminster, London.

Ena had poems and short stories published in magazines such as “New Age”, “The New Statesman”, “The Nation” and “The Athenaeum”, where Leonard Woolf was the literary editor. A collection of Ena’s poems was published by the Hogarth Press in July 1924: "To a Proud Phantom" - hand-printed and hand-bound by the Woolfs.

Ena also became famous for her watercolour paintings and exhibited them in the UK and at the Paris Salon during the 1960s. She painted all her life and after the publication of her last novel, focused entirely on painting. Ena signed her pictures in block letters: either EB or ENA LIMEBEER.  She died in the winter of 1984 in Westminster.

 “A Hero” by E. Limebeer, Form VI, North London Collegiate School

Was he dead? Had I heard it aright?
No, for there was his image imprinted in gold on my mind.
Does he live? The prince of men’s sight
No, for I wander ‘neath cypress, his flower-decked tomb to find.

Then ‘tis true? They told me, I know:
But I find not his tomb in the shadows down in the cypress glade.
And softly they answer and low,
“Only a rough wooden cross stands quiv’ring ‘neath Ardennes’ grey shade.

“Not as other men died,
Fighting with failing breath.
None were close at his side,
To sweeten the pangs of his death.

“Straight he stood and his eyes
Saw more than his slayers knew.
He watched his life sun rise,
His death star fade from view.

“They laugh at him who died
To keep his captain’s word,
And deeply in his side
In scorn they plunge their sword.

“And now beneath the shade
Of Ardennes’ leaves he lies.
Mourn not! All stars must fade
When Suns in glory rise.”

(First published in North London Collegiate School Magazine, 1915) and reproduced here by kind permission of Jenny Bartlett, Librarian, North London Collegiate School, to whom grateful thanks are due for her help in finding other poems written by pupils during WW1.

Ena also features in Volume 2 of Female Poets of the First World War -

“To a Proud Phantom”. Hogarth Press, London, 1924

Exhibition of Poetry Written by Schoolchildren during WW1,
WOS, March 2018

Here is a link to a news report about the opening of the exhibition of Poetry written by Schoolchildren during WW1 at the WOS on 17th March 2018:

Additional information from:

Self Portrait by Ena from

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

Sunday 2 June 2019

Katharine Tynan (23 January 1859 – 2 April 1931) – Irish writer and poet

"Windy Corner in the Battle of Jutland",  Charles Edward Dixon
Remembering all those who lost their lives in the Battle of Jutland, a sea battle of the First World War that took place on 31st May – 1st June 1916, here is a poem by Katharine Tynan entitled “After Jutland” from George Herbert Clarke, Editor (1873–1953),  “A Treasury of War Poetry” (1917), p. 327

The City of God is late become a seaport town
For the clean and bronzed sailors walking up and down
And the bearded Commanders, the Captains so brave,
Bringing there the taste of the sea from the salt sea wave.

There are boys in the City's streets make holiday
And all around are playing-fields and the boys at play;
They dive in clear waters, climb many a high tree,
They look out as they used to do for a ship at sea.

The sailor keeps a clean soul on the seas untrod;
There is room in the great spaces for the Vision of God
Walking on the waters, bidding him not fear;
He has the very cleanest eyes a man can wear.

There's salt wind in Heaven and the salt sea-spray,
And the little midshipmen boys are shouting at their play,
There's a soft sound of waters lapping on the shore,
The sailor he is home from sea to go back no more.

Katharine Tynan (1859 – 1931) – Irish writer and poet

Katharine was born on 23rd January 1859 into a large farming family in Clondalkin, County Dublin, and educated at St. Catherine's, a convent school in Drogheda. Her first poetry was published in 1878. She met and became friendly with the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1886.

After her marriage in 1898 to writer and barrister Henry Albert Hinkson (1865–1919), Katharine  usually wrote using the name Katharine Tynan Hinkson.. Her daughter, Pamela m. Hinkson (1900–1982), also became a writer.

Katharine was a close associate of William Butler Yeats and corresponded with the poet Francis Ledwidge.

Katharine Tynan Hinkson died on 2nd April 1931 in Wimbledon, London.

Saturday 1 June 2019

"Many such as She - Victorian AustralianWomen Poets of World War One" by Michael Sharkey

"Many such as She - Victorian Australian Women Poets of World War One" is much more than just another WW1 poetry anthology. 

Michael Sharkey goes into a great deal of detail about all the poets featured who were from the Australian State of Victoria.  In addition to biographical details and photographs, Michael has also included several poems by each of the women poets featured.

"Many such as She - Victorian AustralianWomen Poets of World War One", Editedf by Michael Sharkey - published by Walleah Press, Tasmania, Australia in 2018.

I will have to check my List of Female Poets to make sure they are all included.