Tragic WWII poet’s papers and final works for sale at Bonhams


LONDON.- The papers of the Second World War poet, Richard (Dicky) Spender, who has been described as the Rupert Brooke of his generation, are being sold at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 27 March. They are estimated at £4,000-6,000. Spender was already a published poet in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Observer among others when he was killed in 1943 aged just 21 while leading his men into action in Tunisia during ‘Operation Torch’. His gravestone in the Imperial War Graves cemetery in Tabarka, Tunisia is inscribed with lines from his poem ‘The Young Soldier’: ‘In High Proud Exultation/ Let Us Repay/ Laughing Blood With Spilt.’ The Times Literary Supplement was in no doubt of Spender’s significance, writing in its obituary of him, “Those familiar with the work of the young solder-poet will be aware of the loss his death must mean