Important acquisitions

[Collection of poetry relating to the 1st and 2nd World Wars]

Author Campbell, Ethel M.
Title [Collection of poetry relating to the 1st and 2nd World Wars]
Imprint [Durban: Ethel M. Campbell]
Date of Publication 1914-40
Language English
Notes Ethel M. Campbell (1886-1954) was born in Glasgow and partly educated in Scotland. Her parents both had Scottish ancestry and her father, Dr Samuel Campbell, was a leading physician in South Africa. She became a well-known Durban socialite in her youth but when World War One broke out, she devoted herself enthusiastically to the entertainment and well-being of the Australian and New Zealand troops who sailed to the battlefields of Europe and the Middle East via South Africa. She published and distributed these and other patriotic verses to the troops. She earned herself a number of nicknames - 'the Durban signaller', 'the girl with the flags', 'the Diggers' idol' and 'Angel of Durban' - as she routinely signalled troopships into Durban harbour by semaphore and also used to throw oranges and other gifts to the troops on deck. She was awarded an MBE in 1919 and in 1923 she was invited to Australia to officially dedicate a memorial to the Diggers (Australian troops). Ethel Campbell's poems are a fascinating printed record of patriotism in the British Empire, Campbell's devotion to the cause being inspired by the loss of her own fiance in France at the start of the War (she never married). She went on to become a well-known poet and author in her native South Africa; her younger brother Roy was to find wider fame as a poet and writer in 1920s Britain.
Shelfmark RB.m.677(1-7)
Reference Sources Dictionary of South African Biography v. 4
Acquired on 19/09/08
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