Frederic Manning was born in Australia in 1882 but was taken to England in 1898 by a close family friend, the Reverend Arthur Galton. Manning returned to Australia in 1900 but eventually settled in England in 1903. In the years immediately before the First World War he began to move in London artistic circles and published a number of volumes of prose and poetry.
With the outbreak of war in August 1914 Manning was keen to enlist and in October 1915, after several attempts, was enrolled as a Private with the 7th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. He was selected for officer training, failed the course and was sent to France in 1916. He was promoted to lance-corporal, recalled for further training and posted as a second lieutenant in the Royal Irish Regiment to Ireland in May 1917, where he drank excessively and resigned his commission on 28 February 1918.
In 1917 he published Eidola – a collection of poems mostly in his former style alongside war poems heavily influenced by Ezra Pound. In 1929 he published anonymously a novel – The Middle Parts of Fortune – an account in the vernacular of the lives of ordinary soldiers, which has been described as the greatest novel of war ever written.
Manning died on 22 February 1935.
Frederic Manning’s Poems & Prose
Resources for Frederic Manning
Eidola, 1917, from Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34966/34966-h/34966-h.htm
The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme and Ancre, 1916 from Project Gutenberg http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200261.txt