Friday 21 July 2023

Enid B. Petre (1890 - 1962) – Britsh poet

With grateful thanks to Historian, Writer and Poet AC Benus* for reminding me that, although Enid Petre was already on the List of Female Poets of the First World War, I had not yet researched and written  a post about her.  

Enid Beatrice Petre was born on 3rd March 1890 in Aligarh, Bengal, India. Her parents were Francis Loraine Petre, a civil servant who worked in India, and his wife, Maude Ellen Petre, nee Rawlinson, who were married in Bengal in 1887. 

In the 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census, the family were living at No. 27, Gledhow Gardens, Kensington, London, UK.  

During the First World War, Enid served as a nurse with the British Red Cross as a VAD from 19th November 1917 until 28th February 1918.   According to her WW1 British Red Cross VAD Record Card, it seems that Enid worked at the Royal Free Military Hospital in London.

On the 1921 Census, Enid is recorded as living at No. 25 Golborne Street in Kensington, London, UK.  

Enid died on 13th October 1962.

Enid’s WW1 poetry collections were:

“Autumn Leaves, 1915” (A.L. Humphreys, 1916)

“Fallen Petals: Poems” (A.L. Humphreys, 1917)

Sources:  Find my Past

Catherine W. Reilly, “English Poetry of the First World War: A Bibliography” (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978) p. 252

*AC Benus is the author of a book about German WW1 poet Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele : “The Thousandth Regiment: A Translation of and Commentary on Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele’s War Poems” by AC Benus (AC Benus, San Francisco, 2020). Along with Hans's story, the book includes original poems as well as translations.    ISBN: 978-1657220584

Saturday 1 July 2023

Daisy Minnie Hannah Jones (1895 - 1980) – British poet

 A wonderful poem posted on the Facebook Group Cemeteries and Memorials of the Great War by Dave Barlee, on 26 June 2023 

Dave is Daisy’s grandson.  He gave me permission and sent me some poems plus some information about and a photograph of Daisy.  Dave tells us:

“Daisy penned this poem in September 1914 to my grandfather, William John Jones, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards:

“To W.J.J.”

When across the foaming billows

To a near, but foreign shore

When with all equipment laden

You are marching off to war :-

N’ere forget that one is thinking

Thinking of you far away

Praying that from midst wars rampant 

Safely you’ll return one day

x x x x x x 

When you are in the midst of dangers

And around you comrades fall

When with still undaunted courage 

You are answering duty’s call

Think that there’s one in England 

Who doth for you wait, and pray

That through all encircling dangers 

Safely you’ll return one day

x x x x x x 

When the war at last is ended

And the longed for reign of peace

Over- throws his welcome mantle

And the noise of battles cease:-

Even then shall one be thinking

Thinking of you day by day

Counting how long you’ll be coming

From the war field far away

x x x x x x

A poem from Daisy's notebook
in her own handwriting

Born Daisy Minnie Hannah Cook in Epsom in 1895, when Daisy left school she went into service. She was 19 when she wrote to William John Jones, who had been called back to the colours at the start of the war. I’m not sure where she met him as he was from Neath in South Wales. I presume it must have been when he was in the London area when he joined the Grenadier Guards.

William had served his time by 1916 and was discharged and continued with his job as a steel worker. They moved to Deeside, Flinshire, North Wales. After the death of William, Daisy remarried and became Daisy Thomas. She died in Flintshire in 1980.  

Grandmother was fantastic with her hands and made lace and could do macrame and tatting and was a seamstress too. As I said - a clever lady! 

She wrote quite a lot of poetry in her younger days. The above poems are related to the Great War.”

Additional information:

We find Daisy, married to William John Jones, living in Flintshire, Wales.  By then the couple had a son – Elwyn Idris - and a daughter – Glenys May. 

Original source: Group Cemeteries and Memorials of the Great War 

You can find out more about the importance of cigarettes for the troops fighting on the various Fronts during WW1 here: