Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) was considered by many of his contemporaries to be one of the leading poets of his generation. He was also an eminent art historian, with a specialist interest in Chinese and Japanese art. After studying at the University of Oxford he worked at the British Museum for forty years, latterly as Keeper of Prints and Drawings . . .
Mary Borden (1886 – 1968) was born in Chicago, the daughter of a wealthy silver prospector who died when Mary was twenty, leaving her independently wealthy. She studied Liberal Arts at Vassar College in New York. In 1913 she moved to London and later that year was arrested during a Suffragette demonstration, having smashed a window of the Treasury. When war broke out in 1914 she used her wealth to establish a field hospital for French soldiers on the Somme . . .
Alan Sillitoe (1928 ‑ 2010) grew up in Nottingham, leaving school at the age of fourteen to work in the local Raleigh bicycle factory. In 1945 he joined the RAF as a wireless operator and was posted to Malaya, though after contracting tuberculosis he was invalided out . . .