Anthony Sargeant bought this charming portrait of Laurence Binyon quite recently at auction. It is a drypoint of 1898 by William Strang printed by his son David Strang. Other examples are owned by the National Portrait Gallery, and National Galleries of Scotland.
Laurence Binyon was a distinguished English poet, dramatist and art scholar (1869-1943) He was Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum for many years but also held posts as Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University and Byron Professor of English Literature at Athens University among others.
He is probably best remembered today for the middle stanza of his poem, “For the Fallen” used in Remembrance Days services:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
Aubretia spills over the old stone wall that forms the boundary between the garden of Anthony Sargeant and a quiet Shropshire lane. It is mid-April in England and the Aubretia is in full bloom on a cool English Spring day
Anthony J Sargeant thought the reader might like the alliteration – they look like snowdrops but flower slightly later in early spring in England (today is 2nd April 2017). It has been a beautiful Spring day. (Spring Snowflakes – Leucojum vernum)
The honours board that hung on the wall of the school hall name all of the school captains (head-prefect) for the period 1930-1972. Anthony J Sargeant, Tony, was a pupil from 1955-62. In this piece he reflects upon the school ethos and regime with respect to Daily Morning Assembly during that period. The school in question had been one of many Grammar schools in South London endowed by the Livery Companies of London (in this case The Haberdashers’ Company) – Thus the school was ‘Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Boys’ School.
Andy was a rescue dog – a great big irrepresible blond dollop of a dog. Anthony Sargeant took this photograph of him – he was an Alsatian cross of some kind. The rescue kennels had tried to rehouse him on 3 or 4 occasions but he was returned each time because the families could not cope with his size and energy – fortunately living in a big house with fields behind we could. He was irresistible on our first visit to the kennels bounding out to greet us. He lived to a good age for a big dog but it was heart wrenching when he died.
The lanes around the Shropshire home of Anthony Sargeant are full of snowdrops at this time of the year (February 2017). This small clump was photographed in the hedgerow just opposite the house. There are a remarkable number of different varieties – this one has delicately green tips to the inner corona.There is a local story that in the 19th Century a man from the nearby hamlet of Morville walked the lanes planting snowdrops in the hedgerows.