Laurence Binyon was born in 1869, in Lancaster. He was educated at Oxford University,
and while he was there, he won the Newdigate prize for poetry. He was influenced by the
work of William Wordsworth, and published two major collections of original poetry -
Lyric Poems (1894) and Odes (1901).
Laurence Binyon's most famous work, For the Fallen, was published by The
Times on September 21, 1914. 'For the Fallen' was about the outbreak of World War I,
and Binyon wrote it whilst working at the British Museum, without having seen the war.
Today, 'For the Fallen' is a poignant reminder of the losses in WWI, is inscribed in many
war memorials worldwide, and is recited at every ANZAC Day service.
In 1916, Laurence Binyon experienced the Western Front as a Red Cross orderly.
After the Armistice (11am, November 11, 1918), Laurence Binyon returned to his work
at the British Museum, in the printed books department, with specific duties for Oriental
prints and paintings. During his life before and after the war, he wrote several art
books including Painting in the Far East (1908), Japanese Art (1909),
Botticelli (1913) and Drawings and Engravings of William Blake (1922).
In 1933, Laurence Binyon was appointed Norton professor of poetry at Harvard.
In the ensuing years, his work included a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Laurence Binyon died in 1943.
A sample of his work that is recited at war memorial services:
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.
- For the Fallen (Verse IV)