Laurence Binyon CH
(1869-1943)

poet, scholar, and Companion of Honour (from 1932)

Died aged c. 74

Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943) was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. Born in Lancaster, England, his parents were Frederick Binyon, a clergyman, and Mary Dockray. He studied at St Paul's School, London and at Trinity College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry in 1891. He worked for the British Museum from 1893 until his retirement in 1933. In 1904 he married the historian Cicely Margaret Powell, with whom he had three daughters, including the artist Nicolete Gray. Moved by the casualties of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, Binyon wrote his most famous work "For the Fallen", which is often recited at Remembrance Sunday services in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In 1915, he volunteered as a hospital orderly in France and afterwards worked in England, helping to take care of the wounded of the Battle of Verdun. He wrote about these experiences in For Dauntless France. After the war, he continued his career at the British Museum, writing numerous books on art. He was appointed Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in 1933. Between 1933 and his death in 1943, he published his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. His war poetry includes a poem about the London Blitz, "The Burning of the Leaves", regarded by many as his masterpiece. He died in Reading, on 10 March 1943, aged 73, after an operation.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Laurence Binyon, Poet & Scholar, 1869-1943, was born at No. 1 High Street on 10th August 1869

1 High Street, Lancaster, United Kingdom where they was born (1869)