Rare items on loan from retired Major

Date posted

5 October 2018


A TREASURE trove of exciting new material has been loaned to Edinburgh Napier’s War Poets Collection for the period covering the centenary of the First World War Armistice on November 11. 

Curator Catherine Walker at the War Poets Collection at the Craiglockhart campus

The new exhibits, which will be available for public viewing, include original photographs of celebrated war poet Siegfried Sassoon, work privately printed by him and an original of his famous war protest letter of July 1917.

Other items acquired on a temporary loan from collector William L Kroelinger include wartime Cambridge Magazine reprints featuring Sassoon’s poetry and inscribed by him, a rare manuscript of The Dug-Out, written in 1918 about his experiences in the trenches, and the first publication of A Suppressed Poem (1929), a verse letter produced in private correspondence to Robert Graves.

Also on display will be a book gifted by Sassoon to the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, a copy of HG Wells’ Apropos of Dolores, inscribed to Sassoon by the author, and an original 1917 issue of The Hydra magazine, edited by Wilfred Owen and owned by Sassoon.

The War Poets Collection is based at Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart campus, the site of a military hospital for the treatment of shell-shocked officers during the First World War.

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) and Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) met here and produced some of the finest war poetry ever written, and the permanent exhibition area contains more than 600 unique items which allow visitors to get an insight into war through the experiences of the poets.

Catherine Walker, curator of the collection, which is open to the public for self-guided visits, said: “We are extremely grateful to Mr Kroelinger, a retired Major in the US Marine Corps, for allowing us to display these unique and fascinating items within our War Poets Collection exhibition. It is particularly relevant, as we mark the end of the four-year national commemoration of the First World War.”

The temporary exhibition runs until Monday November 26 during core business hours 09.00 – 17.00.