Frank Prewett (1893-1962). Courtesy

Frank James Prewett (August 24, 1893 - February 16, 1962) was a Canadian poet who spent most of his life in the United Kingdom.[1] He was a war poet of World War I, and was taken up by Siegfried Sassoon.


Prewett was born and raised on a farm in Kenilworth (near Mount Forest), Ontario.

In 1915 he left his studies at the University of Toronto and enlisted as a private soldier in the Canadian Army. Later he was offered a commission in the British Army, in the Royal Field Artillery. He served in France, but was invalided out of the armed forces in 1917. It was at Craiglockhart War Hospital that he met Sassoon.

After the end of the war he was at Christ Church, Oxford, having returned to Canada briefly but not settled there. Social introductions led him to become a firm friend of Lady Ottoline Morrell. Sassoon was attracted to Prewett, whom he knew by the nickname, "Toronto", but Prewett did not return his feelings.

He had an academic job from the mid-1920s to 1934 in an agricultural research institute. He married, but the marriage failed; on Sassoon's evidence he was a depression sufferer.

His poetry was recognized by inclusion in the final Georgian Poetry anthology and Oxford Poetry, and by publication by the Hogarth Press; followed by a collection, A Rural Scene, in 1922.

In the 1930s he was a BBC broadcaster and did editorial work. A historical novel set in Berkshire in the times of Captain Swing, The Chazzey Tragedy (1933), made little impact. He married again, to Dorothy Pollard who was a colleague on the editorial staff of The Countryman magazine where he was working.

During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force, staying on in the Air Ministry until 1954. Retiring because of poor health, he farmed near Abingdon, England, until his death in Inverness.

Recognition Edit

8 of his poems ("To My Mother in Canada, from Sick-bed in Italy," "The Kelso Road," "Voices of Women," "The Somme Valley," "Burial Stones," "Snow-Buntings," "Baldon Lane," "Come, Girl, and Embrace") were anthologized in Georgian Poetry, 1920-1922.

Robert Graves, a friend from Oxford days, edited his Collected Poems, published in 1964. A Selected Poems was published in 1987.




  • The Chazzy Tragedy. London: Chatto & Windus, 1933.[2]

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy Canadian Poetry.[3]

See alsoEdit


Notes Edit

  1. Andrew Coppolino, A Canadian in the Gasington Circle: Frank Prewett's literary relationships, Studies in Canadian Literature, 12:2 (1987)., Web, June 1, 2013.
  2. Search results = au:Frank Prewett, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Libary Center Inc. Web, Jan. 18, 2015.
  3. Carol W. Fullerton, "Frank Prewett: A fragment of a biography," Canadian Poetry: Studies / Documents / Reviews, Vol. 24 (Spring/Summer 1989), Canadian Poetry Press. Web, June 8, 2012.

External linksEdit

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