John Pudney (1909-1977) grew up on a farm in Buckinghamshire and left school at sixteen to train as an estate agent and surveyor.
His first book of poems was published in 1933, shortly after which he worked for BBC Radio. At the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force as an Intelligence Officer. He was part of the force that liberated Paris in 1945 and was the first allied officer to visit Pablo Picasso in his studio.
After the war Pudney earned his living from writing.
His Collected Poems was published in 1957. He also wrote ten novels and a remarkable autobiography, Thank Goodness for Cake.