A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Thursday 5 August 2010

A Poets Wooden Headboard

When I took this photo in my local cemetery in Saffron Walden, of the wooden headboard of the Johnson Family, I did not realise that it was rather special. For it seems that wooden headboards are rather rare and uncommon, due to their relatively perishable material.
So I decided to include it, for that reason alone and the inscription reads :

Arthur Tregellas Johnson - Born Oct 12th 1876 - Died Dec 31st 1896
Hilda Mary Johnson - Missionary in Bengal - Born Oct 12th 1877 - Died July 24th 1915
Owen Bennett Goold Johnson BA ( Cantab ) 2nd Lieut. Suffolk Regiment
Born April 17 1888 - Killed in Action April 9th 1917 - Buried at Arras
Donald Fredric Goold Johnson BA ( Cantab ) Lieut. Manchester Regiment
Born March 6th 1890 - Killed in Action July 15th 1916 - Buried at Bouzincourt

Donald was a Poet and won the Chancellor's Medal for English Verse with a 14-stanza poem "The Southern Pole", on Capt Scott's expedition.
At the outbreak of war he abandoned plans for writing a study of Chaucer and was gazetted to the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment. He was sent to France in late 1915 and participated in the opening of the Battle of the Somme in July. On the 15th, during the action to take Ovillers, while holding a trench against a German counter-attack, Donald was killed.

To read some of Donald's poetry, click on the + symbol below to zoom in and scroll down by moving the side bar - "The Southern Pole" is on page 74 and a Poem dedicated to the memory of his sister Hilda, titled H.M.J on page 11.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...