Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (1878-1962), a close friend of Rupert Brooke and a protégé of Edward Marsh, was born in Hexham, England in 1878. Gibson worked for a time as a social worker in London's East End. He published his first verse in 1902, Mountain Lovers. He had several poems included in various Georgian poetry collections prior to the war. He also wrote a play, Daily Bread, which was produced in 1910. After the outbreak of war, Gibson served as a private in the infantry on the Western Front. It was therefore from the perspective of the ordinary soldier that Gibson wrote his war poetry. His active service was brief, but his poetry belies his lack of experience,
I could not understand the sudden quiet—
The sudden darkness— in the crash of fight,
The din and glare of day quenched in a twinkling
In utter starless night.
I lay an age and idly gazed at nothing,
Half-puzzled that I could not lift my head;
And then I knew somehow that I was lying
Among the other dead.