Monday, 6 February 2017

Joyce Amphlett (1897 - 1985) – British

One of the nicest things about this commemorative exhibition project is the number of people who have contacted me with the names of poets not yet on my list.  My grateful thanks to-day to Steve Millward for finding Joyce and sending me a poem written by her.

Steve sent me the following report:
“On a visit to Hartlebury Castle (Worcestershire County Museum) at the weekend, I came across an exhibition (running to March 2018) on the Castle's history as WW1 VAD hospital. The exhibits included three of five scrapbooks kept by Nurse Laura Stocks (b 1877). One of them contained a poem - 'Absence' by Joyce Amphlett...  The attendant I spoke to was unable to give any information on Joyce Amphlett.  Anyway the poem reads as follows:

“Absence”

As winter sunshine, falling softly gold,
Lays gentle fingers on the shell-torn ground,
So shall our thoughts encompass you around,
The benediction of our love enfold;
And never shall you feel the world be cold
For this warm refuge that your hearts have found
Your slumbers shall be sweeter and more sound
For lullabies we sing you as of old,
And our hearts music, like a perfect song,
Shall fill the long-drawn silence of your sleep.
You shall march nobly with your hearts more strong,
Your lives more vital, and your faith more deep
For us who love you through the ages long,
Who live, remembering the tryst we keep.

Joyce Amphlett
Jan. 1917 “

Many thanks indeed Steve.

This is what I have so far found out about Joyce:

Born in Ombersley, Worcestershire, Marian Joyce Amphlett’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1897.  Joyce Amplett’s parents were Thomas Edward Amphlett, a farmer, and his wife, Marian Constance Jane Amphlett, nee Rogers, who were married in Kidderminster in 1891.   Joyce seems to have been educated at home with her elder sister, Rosamond Constance, who was born in 1896.


In February 1916, Joyce volunteered to work with the Worcestershire Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross. I haven’t been able to find out in what capacity she worked yet.  At some stage Joyce may have worked at Hartlebury Castle, which was requisitioned for use as a hospital during the First World War.

Joyce’s poem “Absence” was written into the autograph album of a nurse who served in WW1 at the hospital in Hartlebury Castle - photo sent by Steve. 

I haven’t been able to find out anything else about Joyce. If anyone can help please get in touch.

Sources:  Find my Past, Free BMD and the British Red Cross Archive website.

To find out more about the exhibition at Hartlebury Castle see the website http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/museums/site/scripts/events_info.php?location=County+Museum+at+Hartlebury

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