BBC News

War poet wrote about 'stupidity and futility'

A 92-year-old war poet whose works have only been recently discovered, is to attend a poetry reception at Buckingham Palace.

Dennis Wilson's first book, "Elegy of a Common Soldier", was published for the first time last year, almost 70 years after he wrote the poem.

Speaking to the Today programme, the former soldier - who fought in WWII - explained why he wanted to write poetry.

He said: "I wanted to write what I thought about wars, and stupidity and futility. So I was writing what was meant to be a long poem, and I was writing it in sections.

"I actually started before Normandy, and then in Normandy I used the field service pocket book to write more.

"And then I would post them home to my mother in case I didn't get back, and she used to collect them together.

"Then I was wounded and I was taken back to hospital, and actually finished it in hospital with my left hand," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 19 November 2013.