Sunday 5 October 2014

Sunday War Poet...

Philip Bainbrigge

1891 -1918


If I should die, be not concerned to know
   The manner of my ending, if I fell
Leading a forlorn charge against the foe,
   Strangled by gas, or shattered by a shell.
Nor seek to see me in this death-in-life
   Mid shirks and curse, oaths and blood and sweat,
Cold in the darkness, on the edge of strife,
   Bored and afraid, irresolute, and wet

But if you think of me, remember one
   Who loved good dinners, curious parody,
Swimming, and lying naked in the sun,
   Latin hexameters, and heraldry,
Athenian subtleties of dhz and poiz,
   Beethoven, Botticelli, beer, and boys.

Philip Bainbrigge was born in London, and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. Master at Shrewsbury School September 1913-March 1917. He was conscripted in August 1918.

This sonnet, influenced by the work of Rupert Brooke, was written whilst Bainbrigge was in the trenches.

He was killed in action at Ephèy, 18 September 1918



  1. A month. Conscripted for a month. At the bitter end of WW1..... what a bloomin' waste it all was indeed.

    1. I agree Susan - but what a lasting legacy this poem is ...


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