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This article is taken from PN Review 29, Volume 9 Number 3, January - February 1983.

War Letters (edited by R. K. R. Thornton) Ivor Gurney

Note: This is a small selection of the War Letters of Ivor Gurney which will be published next year by MidNAG / Carcanet. They are chosen to suggest the range of Gurney's interests and the changes that occurred in his perspectives through the crucial years of the Great War. The first few letters date from Gurney's time in training. The second group are from Gurney at the Front. The third represent Gurney back in England at the end of the war.

Gurney was born in 1890 and died in 1937. He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1911, was accepted as a volunteer in 1915, and crossed to France in 1916. He was wounded in April 1917, saw service in July of that year at Passchendaele and was gassed in August. He returned to England. In 1919 he resumed his scholarship at the Royal College of Music. He was confined to an asylum in 1922.

19 Barton Street, Gloucester [?9 February 19151

Dear Willy
Well, here I am, and a soldier, in your own regiment's 2nd reserve-to go to Northampton on Monday for the first Reserve.

I am glad you are pretty well now, a week should put you right, and make you happy. Tonight I have been reading the Georgian Poetry Book, and it is this that has made me write to you. Our young poets think very much as we, or rather as we ...


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