Vera Brittain:

Loved & Lost

Vera Brittain was studying at Somerville Collge, Oxford, when war broke out in August 1914. She decided to defer her 'finals' and contribute to the war effort by volunteering to become a VAD Nurse.

During that conflict, she was to lose her brother Edward, her fiancée Roland Leighton, and two other close friends.

In this talk, I discuss her life leading up to, and her involvement in, the Great War. I intersperse the talk with readings of her, and other contemporary, poems, selected from the following:-

  • 'The Lament of the Demobilised' by Vera Brittain

  • 'In The Rose Garden' by Roland Leighton

  • 'The War Generation: Ave' by Vera Brittain

  • 'Vitai Lampada' by Sir Henry Newbolt

  • 'Nachklang' by Roland Leighton

  • 'St. Pancras Station, August 1915' by Vera Brittain

  • 'The Dirge of Dead Sisters' by Rudyard Kipling

  • 'Violets From Plug Street' by Ronald Leighton

  • 'The Dead' by Rupert Brooke

  • 'Looking Westward' by Vera Brittain

  • 'Hedauville' by Roland Leighton

  • 'Perhaps' by Vera Brittain

  • 'To My Brother' by Vera Brittain

  • 'The Sisters Buried At Lemnos' by Vera Brittain

  • 'In Mdemorian, GRYT' by Vera Brittain

  • 'The German Ward' by Vera Brittain

  • 'That Which Remaineth' by Vera Brittain

  • 'Oxford Revisited' by Vera Brittain

  • 'Epitaph For Edward' by Vera Brittain