John Arnold Nicklin was born in Llanfair Caerncinion in Montgomeryshire,
Wales, UK in 1871.His parents were
Thomas Nicklin, a farmer from Glamorgan, Wales and his wife Hannah Nicklin, nee
Fenn, from Shropshire.John had the
following siblings: Thomas, b. 1869 and
Hannah Constance, b. 1870.The children’s
father died on 8th September 1873.
Educated at Shrewsbury School before going up to St. John’s
College, Cambridge to study Classics, John became a teacher and was Assistant
Master at Liverpool College from 1896 – 1901 when the family lived in Toxteth
on Merseyside.He wrote for “The Daily
Chronicle” and “The Tribune” newspapers.
In 1903, John married Maria Louisa Petrie in London and
they went to live in Lambeth, where John died on 16th April 1917.
John’s WW1 collection “And they went to the war: poems” was
published by Sidgwick & Jackson, London in October 1914.
Michael Copp “Cambridge Poets of the Great War: An
Anthology” (Associated University Presses, London, 2001)
Catherine W. Reilly “English Poetry of the First World
War:A Bibliograph” (St. Martin’s Press,
New York, 1978)
From “Whitechapel” by John Arnold Nicklin (describing a
white and wolfish face, with fangs Half-snarling
out of flaccid lips: Ann
unkempt head that loosely hangs; Shoulders
that cower from gaoler’s grips;
furtive in their greedy glance;
fingers not untaught to thieve; - He
shambles forward to the chance His
whole life’s squalor to retrieve.
It always surprises me when I research the forgotten poets of the First World War when I discover someone like writer and poet
Stephen Southwold who was a very prolific writer but is now almost completely forgotten. He has a brief mention in Catherine W. Reilly's "English Poetry of the First World War: A Bibliography" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1978) on page 300, giving the title of his WW1 collection and the fact that Reilly found a copy in the British Museum. Fortunately, Stephen's grandson, Andrew, is working hard to ensure that Stephen's work is given more attention.
Stephen was born Stephen Henry Critten on 22nd
February 1887 in Southwold, Suffolk.His
parents were George Miller Critten, an insurance agent, and his wife Emma
Critten, nee Lambert.The family lived
in Suffolk but in 1911 were registered as living in West Ham, London.Stephen’s siblings were Dorothea, b. 1880,
Katherine or Catherine, b. 1882 and Percy, b. 1885.Like Stephen, his siblings became school
Stephen studied to become a school teacher at St. Mark’s
Training College in Chelsea, London.He
then worked as a teacher at Earlsmead Council School in Tottenham from 1907
until 1913 and at Culvert Road Council School from 1913 until 1927, with a
break for military service.
Stephen joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private
and served on the Western Front from 1914 until 1919.Many of his WW1 poems were written in France
In 1928, Stephen married Edith A.S. Bill and they lived in
Herne Bay, Kent.
Apart from poems, Stephen, who changed his surname to
Southwold, wrote children’s stories, novels and science fiction and used the
pen names Neil Bell, Miles, Stephen Green, S.H. Lambert and Paul Martens.
His WW1 poetry collection “The Common Day: Poems” was
published by Allen & Unwin in 1915.
Catherine W. Reilly “English Poetry of the First World War:
A Bibliography” (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978) and information from the
Facebook Page Stephen Southwold kindly supplied by Andrew Southwold.
Verrall Lucas, a Quaker poet, writer, journalist and publisher, was born in Eltham,
Kent in 1868.He was the second of four
sons and three daughters born to Alfred Lucas and his wife Jane, nee Drewett.
was educated at The Friends’ School in Saffron Walden. After leaving school
Edward worked in a bookshop in Brighton before becoming a journalist for a
Brighton newspaper.He then went to
London to work on an evening paper.
Edward married Florence Elizabeth Griffin, whose father was American, and the
couple had a daughter, Audrey.
1904, Edward began working for “Punch” magazine and became assistant
editor.He worked there for 34 years and
in 1924 he also became Chairman of the publishers Methuen.
became a close friend of J.M. Barrie and joined Barrie’s recreational cricket
team.Barrie’s cricket team played their
final match on 28th July 1913 against E.V. Lucas’s XI at Downe House
School, which was at that time housed in Kent in a property that had belonged
to Charles Darwin. E.V.’s daughter Audrey Lucas, was a pupil at Downe House
School at that time.
the First World War, E.V. Lucas worked as a Secretary for the British Red Cross
in Italy.His WW1 poetry collections
were:“The Debt” (Methuen, 1914; “Guillaumism:
two aspects (Clement Shorter, 1914); “Swollen-headed William: painful stories
and funny pictures after the German” (Methuen, 1914); and his poems were
published in four WW1 poetry anthologies.
after the end of the war Edward and Elizabeth separated and Edward died in a
nursing home in Marylebone, London at the age of seventy.