Ewart Alan Mackintosh was born in Brighton in Sussex, but his father’s roots were in Scotland. Mackintosh studied locally at Brighton College, also studying GaelicĀ and learning to play the bagpipes; he continued his studies at St Paul’s School, London and Christ Church, Oxford, where he became a member of the Officers’ Training Corps. He tried to enlist in the army when war broke out in August 1914 but was rejected for poor eyesight: he reapplied and was accepted by the Seaforth Highlanders and commissioned as a second lieutenant on 31 December 1914. He was wounded and returned to Britain in August 1915. Returning to France he received the Military Cross in June 1916. He was killed on the second day of the Battle of Cambrai on 21 November 1917.

At least one of his poems – ‘Ghosts of War’ – has been compared to the finest of Brooke’s work [Arnold Harvey: A Muse of Fire: Literature, Art and War, p.326] Lines from his poem ‘A Creed’ were used on the Scottish American war memorial in Edinburgh, installed in 1927.

If it be life that waits I shall live for ever unconquered.
If death I shall die at last strong in my pride and free

Ewart Alan Mackintosh’s Poetry

Resources

A Highland Regiment and Other Poems by Ewart Alan Mackintosh [1917]

War, the Liberator and Other Pieces by Ewart Alan Mackintosh [1918]

Can’t Shoot a Man with a Cold, Colin Campbell and Rosalind Green

Our thanks to Alwyn Gornall for suggesting we add this poet.