Soldier, Miner, Poet, Son: The Life of Sergeant Will Streets

Ruth Imeson Da Silva

East Midlands
Notice Period:
Emergency (maybe less than one week's notice)
Paid: £50
18th August 2018
Local History | Military History | WW1 | World War 1

Sergeant John William Streets, better known to his 11 younger siblings as Will, was born in Whitwell, Derbyshire in 1886. At the age of 14 he began work in the local pit and, after a long walk home each day, would read into the small hours.

In 1914, Will joined the Sheffield Pals. He was transferred to the Western Front and went missing on 1 August 1916, being one of the 19,000 British soldiers who fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In 1917, Will’s poems were published posthumously as The Undying Splendour.

Will’s letters to his parents, siblings and friends betray an artistic soul, who sacrificed his favoured career to support his family. His Methodist faith shines clearly, as does his advice to his mother should he not return, his passion for the poetry of Rupert Brooke, and his pride in his comrades.

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About Ruth Imeson Da Silva

I love learning and talking about history. My passion lies with the lives of individual people like you and me. How did they live? Who did they love? What were their daily lives actually like?

Each of my talks tells the story of one person and those who shared their lives. From an Elizabethan exorcist, to a Georgian lady, to a World War One fighter pilot, I bring their stories to life - in their own words.

I have been interviewed several times on the BBC and delivered talks to, amongst others, the U3A, local history societies and the Southwell Poetry Festival.

All talks are illustrated and researched from the original letters, records and diaries of the people concerned.

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