‘Wartime Poets’ at Gateway to The Glens

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‘Wartime Poets’ is a new exhibition at Gateway to the Glens Museum, Kirriemuir, running from this week until January, 2016.

It is part of the museum’s World War One commemorations.

The exhibition tells the story of young soldiers in the Great War who used poetry to describe, sometimes very graphically, their experiences.

Lance-Corporal John Beaton - born at Sawmill Row, Southmuir, and later employed as a chauffeur for the industrial Wilkie family of Kirriemuir - was a celebrated war poet, but he was killed during fierce fighting at Ypres, during 1915.

Members of the Boys’ Brigade locally sold copies of his final poems to raise much-needed money for the Comfort Fund.

The exhibition at the Gateway to the Glens features drawings by Joseph Johnston Lee, on loan from the Black Watch Castle Museum, Perth.

There area also poems kindly reproduced from Lee’s diaries, courtesy of the University of Dundee Archives.

Lee was once regarded as one of Scotland’s finest World War One poets, and he is sometimes referred to as ‘the forgotten writer fighter.’

Joseph Lee is subject of a free illustrated talk at the museum on Wednesday, November 11, by Dr Caroline Brown, Dundee University Archivist.

This will be accompanied by a recitation of some of Lee’s poems by Jim Smith.

For more information on either the exhibition or the talk, please contact museum staff, during normal opening hours, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, on 01575 575479,visit http://archive.angus.gov.uk/history/museums/kirriemuir/

Or you can Facebook – Angus Museums.

Members of Lance-Corporal John Beaton’s family attended the museum to inspect the display on Tuesday, September 15.