Geoffrey Dearmer was born in London in the same year as Wilfred Owen, went to the First World War before Owen and survived, living through what he called ‘the needless horror of the Dardanelles’. Two of his family members did not survive: his brother Christopher died at Gallipoli; his mother died two months later from enteric fever, caught whilst nursing wounded soldiers in Serbia. []

After the war, the poems of Geoffrey Dearmer, written at Gallipoli and the Somme were published in a collection called Poems in 1918. A reviewer in the New York Times stated:

This is the first book of a young English soldier-poet whose work has aroused the admiration of the English critics everywhere. Mr Dearmer is par excellence, a poet of the war: not that he glorifies bloodshed in any way, but because in each of the poems the vision of the battle holds the foreground. His work is characterised by an extreme simplicity of form that seems almost austere, but there is no lack of feeling in it or in the author.

Despite this initial popularity, his verse was soon forgotten and remained so for some 70 years. After the war Dearmer worked for BBC radio and continued writing all his life.

Geoffrey Dearmer’s Poetry