Nowell Oxland was the son of a Cumbrian vicar. He attended Durham School, where he became friends with fellow poet William Noel Hodgson, and went on to read History at Worcester College, Oxford. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Border Regiment in August 1914 and sailed for Gallipoli in The Empress of Britain on 1 July 1915. Oxland took part in the landings at Suvla Bay on 6 August 1915 where he was killed in action three days later. He is buried in the Green Hill Cemetery at Suvla Bay. His best-known poem, Outward Bound, was published in The Times in August 1915 after his death.

There is a touching memorial to Oxland at his father’s former church in Alston – St Augustine’s – where the reredos features two painted panels depicting Saint Michael and Saint George as portraits of Oxland. More information here

Nowell Oxland’s Poem