Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy

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Back to: Poets (you should know)

STUDDERT KENNEDY: Geoffrey Anketell (Military Cross 1917)

G A Studdert Kennedy
Born: 27 June 1883, Leeds, United Kingdom
Died: 8 March 1929, Liverpool, United Kingdom

BRIEF BACKGROUND

Studdert Kennedy was an Anglican priest who volunteered his services. He was a down to earth chaplain and who always handed out Woodbine cigarettes to the troops, earning the nickname ‘Woodbine Willie”. After the war he became a pacifist. He was taken ill during a 1929 crusade in Liverpool where he died. He has the honour of having a feast day (8 March) on the USA Episcopal Church calendar.

QUOTATIONS

“It’s much easier to do and die than it is to reason why.”

POETRY (* Better known)

WASTE
Waste of Muscle, waste of Brain,
Waste of Patience, waste of Pain,
Waste of Manhood, waste of Health,
Waste of Beauty, waste of Wealth,
Waste of Blood, waste of Tears,
Waste of Youth’s most precious years,
Waste of ways the Saints have trod,
Waste of Glory, waste of God, – War!

Woodbine Willie: They gave me this name like their nature,
Compacted of laughter and tears,
What’s the use of a Cross to ‘im: Parson says I’m to make ‘im a cross
To set up over his grave,
‘E’s buried there by the Moated Grange,
And I ‘ad a damn close shave,
But ‘e were taken and I were left,
To Stretcher Bearers: Easy does it — bit o’ trench ‘ere,
Mind that blinkin’ bit o’ wire,
There’s a shell ‘ole on your left there,
Lift ‘im up a little ‘igher.
Stick it, lad, ye’ll soon be there now,
Want to rest ‘ere for a while?