Edmund Frederick Astley Birtwistle (1924-1986)

Unlike our uncles Michael and David, our uncle Edmund (aka Frog) never received an obituary we can find (even in the Ampleforth Journal):

As a child I had heard stories about his war exploits from my mother and grandmother, which included how he may have been picked up in the North Sea having had to ditch from a plane or possible accident while crossing the channel in patrol boat. That apparently included getting lung damage through the inhaling of diesel fumes, which may have contributed to lung problems later in life. My cousin Hamish had also been told a similar story by his mother, although in the version he’d heard our uncle had ended up in the channel when boat he was in sunk on its way to France.

Continue reading “Edmund Frederick Astley Birtwistle (1924-1986)”

Angela Kirby on Magma Poetry Site

The richest events occur in us long before the soul perceives them. And, when we begin to open our eyes to the visible, we have long since committed ourselves to the invisible.

My mother’s blog entry on the Magma Poetry site starts with the above quote by Gabriele D’Annunzio, before offering advice on finding your poetic voice that’s weaved into the kind of ‘hoke’ she describes below: Continue reading “Angela Kirby on Magma Poetry Site”

A poem for Sam and Claire on their wedding day

A poem written and read by my mother Angela at the wedding of my nephew Sam to Claire in 2009. He was awarded the MC the following year and they had a baby boy together called Leo. Earlier this year he was tragically killed in Afghanistan. I have lots of other material to add about Sam, including his entry in the Clan Maitland year book. In the meantime, you can read the poem his mother and my sister Serena wrote and read at his funeral here. Continue reading “A poem for Sam and Claire on their wedding day”

Angela Kirby on Radio 4’s Poetry Please

If you have nothing better to do on this coming Sunday, May 8th, my mother is having her ‘Father Shaughnessey’ poem read on the regular Poetry Please programme, on Radio Four, which starts at 4.30, and lasts half-an-hour. The Repeat is on the following Saturday, May 14th, at 11.30 pm. I’ve also included the poem below as a sneak preview: Continue reading “Angela Kirby on Radio 4’s Poetry Please”