Timeline of the Dymock Poets 1911-1916

Jeff Cooper

The following Timeline gives a summary of the important events between the time the first poet went to the Dymock area, in 1911, and 1916 when they had all left, but concentrating on 1914, “the year of the Dymock Poets”. It is, by its very nature, selective, and in some respects May give a wrong impression: I have tried to include the dates that the poets met within this period (Brooke met Thomas in 1910, so that is not included), but often the poets were in correspondence with each other some time before they actually met.

A few important books by the poets have been listed, but for a full list of the publications of most of the poets – Abercrombie, Brooke, Drinkwater, and Thomas – you will need to go to the checklists in the poets’ pages on the Friends of the Dymock Poets web site (www.dymockpoets.org.uk).

1917, the year after this Timeline, was the year that the first substantial number of poems by Thomas was published, in An Annual of New Poetry, edited by Lascelles Abercrombie, Gordon Bottomley and R.C. Trevelyan (published 13 March 1917); and he was killed later that year, on 9 April.

1911, April 8.Lascelles Abercrombie and his family completed their move to ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton, near Dymock.
1911, May.John Drinkwater visits Ryton and meets the Abercrombies for the first time.
1911, August 4?Abercrombie’s The Sale of Saint Thomas published by himself from Ryton.
1911, December 4.Rupert Brooke’s Poems published, his only major book of poems before his death.
1911, December 12.Abercrombie’s book Emblems of Love published.
1911, December?Drinkwater first meets Edward Thomas at the Square Club in London.
1912, January.The first issue of the monthly journal The Poetry Review, edited by Harold Monro.
1912, February.Wilfrid Gibson’s book Fires published.
1912, March 26.John Drinkwater visits the Abercrombies again, probably for one day.
1912, August 14.The Abercrombies’ second child, Michael, is born at home.
1912, September 2.Robert Frost and his family arrive in Britain. They stay in London until they find a house in Beaconsfield shortly afterwards.
1912, September 7.Abercrombie and Wilfrid Gibson go separately to Birmingham to see John Drinkwater, Gibson meeting them both for the first time.
1912, September 17.Wilfrid Gibson meets Rupert Brooke for the first time, in London.
1912, September 20.Brooke, Gibson, Drinkwater, Harold Monro and Arundel del RĂ© go for lunch with Edward Marsh to discuss a poetry anthology, later published as Georgian Poetry 1911-1912. It was the first time Drinkwater had met Brooke.
1912, November.Rupert Brooke responded to Ezra Pound’s criticism of Abercrombie, which had been published in the October issue of The Poetry Review.
1912, December 12.Wilfrid Gibson visits the Abercrombies in Ryton for the first time.
1912, December 16.The anthology Georgian Poetry 1911-1912 published, edited by Edward Marsh.
1913, January 8.The official opening of Harold Monro’s Poetry Bookshop (actually opened for business in November 1912).
1913, March.The first issue of the quarterly journal Poetry and Drama, edited by Harold Monro.
1913, March.Rupert Brooke wins the prize for ‘Grantchester’ as the best poem published in 1912.
1913, April 1?A Boy’s Will, Robert Frost’s first book, published.
1913, April.Edward Thomas’s The Icknield Way published.
1913, July 5?Abercrombie, Drinkwater & Gibson discuss the possibility of starting a magazine of their own poetry. It was to become New Numbers. Gibson was persuaded by Abercrombie to come and live near Dymock.
1913, July 9.Gordon Bottomley invited by Abercrombie to move to the Dymock area. He declined.
1913, July 11?Wilfrid Gibson writes to Rupert Brooke asking him to be a regular contributor to New Numbers. Brooke replies that he was ‘pleased and excited’ to be asked.
1913, July 17.Robert Bridges becomes the new Poet Laureate, replacing Alfred Austin.
1913, August 6.Robert Frost meets Wilfrid Gibson for the first time, in London.
1913, August 15.Edward Marsh pays his first visit to the area, staying with the Abercrombies for a few days.
1913, October 6.Gibson arrives for an extended visit with the Abercrombies. His fiancée Geraldine Townshend also stays some of the time.
1913, October 7.Robert Frost meets Edward Thomas for the first time, in St. George’s Restaurant, London.
1913, early-October. Gibson and Abercrombie go to London and meet up with Robert Frost, the first time Abercrombie had met Frost. Frost was persuaded to move to the Dymock area.
1913, December 9.Gibson marries Geraldine Townshend in Dublin, and they have their honeymoon at the Abercrombies’ home in Ryton.
1914, January 16.The Gibsons move in to their home ‘The Old Nail Shop’ in Greenway, near Dymock.
1914, February.Drinkwater stays with the Abercrombies at the Gallows, finishing his play ‘Rebellion’.
1914, February 7.Edward Marsh comes to stay with the Gibsons for the weekend.
1914, March 4.The first issue of New Numbers (dated February) issued.
1914, April 3?Robert Frost and his family move into the cottage ‘Little Iddens’ in Leddington near Dymock.
1914, April 15.Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit of Spring published.
1914, April 25.Edward Thomas with his children Mervyn and Bronwen come to stay at ‘Oldfields’, near the Frosts, for a week. Thomas meets Abercrombie for the first time.
1914, May 2.The Abercrombies, Gibsons, and Edward Marsh go to see Drinkwater’s play ‘Rebellion’ in Birmingham.
1914, May 15.Robert Frost’s North of Boston published, and the second issue of New Numbers issued (dated April).
1914, June 12.Abercrombie in London, where he meets Rupert Brooke for the first time.
1914, June 23.Rupert Brooke drives from Rugby to stay two nights with the Gibsons in ‘The Old Nail Shop’.
1914, June 24.Edward and Helen Thomas go, via Adlestrop, to stay for a few days with the Frosts at ‘Little Iddens’. They all, including Brooke, the Abercrombies and Frosts, gather at the Gibsons in the evening.
1914, June 26?Abercrombie receives a letter from Ezra Pound challenging him to a duel.
1914, July 18.Frost goes to stay with the Thomases in Steep, Hampshire, for a couple of days.
1914, August 4.War declared with Germany.
1914, August 5.Thomas and his son Mervyn arrive by bicycle to stay for a month at ‘Oldfields’. Helen Thomas, with their other children and a Russian boy, arrive later that day by train and taxi.
1914, August 6.Thomas and Frost, while out walking in the Malvern Hills, experience a moon-bow.
1914, mid-August.The Abercrombies, Gibsons, and Frosts are accused of being German spies.
1914, August 20.Eleanor Farjeon comes to stay for two weeks at ‘Glyn Iddens’ near the Frosts and Thomases. Farjeon meets the Frosts for the first time.
1914, August 21?Abercrombie goes over to where the Thomases are staying and meets Farjeon for the first time.
1914, August 22.Thomas and Abercrombie cycle to Tewksbury Abbey.
1914, August 26.Thomas and Frost go for a walk through the afternoon until late evening.
1914, August 29?The Frosts move into the Gallows at Ryton with the Abercrombies.
1914, August 30.Dinner party (‘cider supper’) for Abercrombie, Gibson, the Thomases and the Frosts at the house where Eleanor Farjeon is staying.
1914, September 2.The Thomas family leave ‘Oldfields’ and return to Steep.
1914, September 3.Eleanor Farjeon leaves the Dymock area.
1914, September 15.Brooke enlists for a commission in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
1914, September 28.Two of Wilfrid Gibson’s books, Borderlands and Thoroughfares published.
1914, October 1?The third issue of New Numbers (dated August) is published.
1914, October 12.Abercrombie’s third son, Ralph, is born near Spalding, Lincolnshire.
1914, October 14.Abercrombie joins his wife Catherine and new son in Lincolnshire. They don’t return to Ryton until 26 February 1915.
1914, October 15.Thomas goes to stay with the Frosts at ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton, leaving three days later.
1914, November 25.Edward Thomas arrives at the Gallows in Ryton to stay with the Frosts again for a few days.
1914, November 26?Thomas and Frost have an argument with a gamekeeper, and Frost is summonsed for aggressive behaviour.
1914, December 3.Thomas wrote the first of his 142 mature poems, ‘Up in the Wind’.
1915, end January.Farjeon goes to stay with the Frosts at the Gallows for a week.
1915, February 5.The Frosts move out of ‘The Gallows’ and move temporarily to ‘Oldfields’.
1915, February 6?Edward Thomas briefly visits the Frosts.
1915, February 12.The Frost family leave the Dymock area and go to Liverpool. They return to the United States the following day.
1915, February 26.The Abercrombies return to ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton.
1915, February 27.The last issue of New Numbers (dated December 1914) published.
1915, March 9.Brooke writes to Edward Marsh, sorting out his affairs in case he should die.
1915, March.The anthology This England, edited by Thomas, is published, in which he included two of his own poems.
1915, April 23.Rupert Brooke dies of septicaemia in the Aegean. The beneficiaries of his estate are Abercrombie, Gibson, and Walter de la Mare.
1915, May 3.John Drinkwater’s Swords and Ploughshares published.
1915, July 19.Edward Thomas enlists in the Artists’ Rifles (having been passed fit for military service 5 days previously).
1915, September 28.Wilfrid Gibson’s book Battle published.
1915, November.The anthology Georgian Poetry 1913-1915 published.
1916, March 7.Abercrombie moves to Liverpool and starts work as a munitions inspector the following day, leaving his wife and children in Ryton.
1916, April?Thomas’s Six Poems by ‘Edward Eastaway’, from the Pear Tree Press, published.
1916, May 31.Wilfrid and Geraldine Gibson’s first child, Audrey, is born at home.
1916, August 21?The Abercrombie family come together and move to a house in Birkenhead, leaving Ryton for good.
1916, September 10.The Gibson family move from ‘The Old Nail Shop’ in Greenway to West Malvern. Gibson was the last poet to leave the Dymock area.

© Jeff Cooper, 2019


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