Alec Waugh, the elder brother of Evelyn Waugh, was born in London and educated at Sherborne School, in Dorset and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. In 1914 he won the English Verse Prize at Sherborne and one of his poems was accepted in August 1915 by the Chronicle. While only 17 he wrote a novel about public school life – The Loom of Youth – that created quite a stir. ‘The Poet’s Grave’ was completed whilst he was at Sandhurst.
He was commissioned in the Dorset Regiment in May 1917 and served as a machine gunner. Captured by the Germans near Arras in March 1918, he spent the rest of the war in prisoner-of-war camps in Karlsruhe and Mainz. After the war he had a successful career as an author although he never achieved the fame of his younger brother. His most powerful poem about the First World War is ‘Cannon Fodder.’
Photograph of Alec Waugh © National Portrait Gallery Used under Creative Commons licence
Alec Waugh’s Poems