English poet Arthur Kilworth Keyes was born on May 27, 1922. He attended Tonbridge School for his secondary education and later, Queen’s College, Oxford. While at Oxford, Keyes wrote the only two books of his lifetime, The Cruel Solstice and The Iron Laurel. During this time he fell in love with the young German artist Milein Cosman, but his love was not returned. In April 1942, Keyes left Oxford and joined the British Army. He was sent with his regiment to fight in the Tunisia Campaign of World War II. Prior to this service, Keyes had already written more than half of the 110 poems that would later be gathered in The Collected Poems of Sidney Keyes. During combat, he was reported to have continued writing poetry. However, these works have not survived. Keyes fought and died in action on April 29, 1943, shortly before his 21st birthday. In 1943, he was posthumously awarded the Hawthornden Prize for The Cruel Solstice and The Iron Laurel.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links: