Lieutenant Karl Henry Culpin, Gloucestershire Regiment.

T.S. Eliot & K.H. Culpin: a friendship born at Oxford, nurtured in Dorset, & ended by the First World War.

In 1963, T.S. Eliot wrote to the secretary of the Merton Society at his former Oxford college saying, ‘My closest friend at Merton, whose name was Culpin, was taken late because of bad eyesight and was killed, I think, on his first day in the trenches.’[1]

But who was this young man whom ‘one of the twentieth century’s major poets’[2] had known for less than three years and yet whose friendship he remembered over 40 years later?  A friendship that had begun at Merton College in Michaelmas term 1914 and ended on 15 May 1917 when Culpin died, aged 23, from wounds received during the Battle of Arras.

Karl Henry Culpin (1893-1917) was in his third year at Merton College, Oxford reading Modern History when Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) arrived there in October 1914.  Karl, who was five years younger than Eliot, was born on 10 September 1893 at 30 Beckett Road, Wheatley, now a suburb of Doncaster in Yorkshire.  He was the son of Anglo-German parents, Henry Culpin (1861-1912), chief locomotive accountant to the Great Northern Railway Company, and Johanna Culpin (née Staengel), a language teacher from Ulm, Württemberg in Southern Germany.  Two more children followed: John Reibel Culpin (1895-1948) and Mary Johanna Culpin (1897-1991).

Karl was obviously a bright boy and in 1902, at the age of 9, won a place at Doncaster Grammar School with a County Minor Scholarship.[3]  He made the most of the next nine years he spent at the school where he captained both the 2nd XI football team and the swimming club, was secretary of the rifle club, a keen debater, and joint editor of the school magazine, Danensis.  Poignantly, Karl’s obituary was published in Danensis, in July 1917, just six years after he had left the School, it read:

‘Culpin was much longer at school than most boys, and always diligent and determined. No great athlete, yet a good leader. He captained the 2nd XI at Football for two seasons, during which it never lost a match; the spirit in his teams was always excellent…  He will be remembered by his school contemporaries as a keen debater and a certainty for high Mathematical honours had not History appealed to him more.’[4]

In December 1911, Karl was awarded an Exhibition of £60 to read Modern History at Merton College[5] and in September 1912 he made the journey from Doncaster down to Oxford for his first term.  He must have been excited returning home for Christmas at the end of his first term, but tragedy struck on 23 December when his father was found lying unconscious over his office desk and, by the time the doctor arrived, he was dead.  The funeral was held on Boxing Day at Doncaster Cemetery and was attended by representatives of the GNR, the Mayor, the President of the Scientific Society, and many Freemasons.  An obituary appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph which stated that Henry Culpin was an ‘ex-president of the Scientific Society, was recognised as a high authority on the geology of the district, was a prominent Freemason, and as an accountant occupied the first rank in his profession.’[6]  Today, he is also credited with being a founding member and the first curator of Doncaster Museum.[7]

With Henry Culpin’s death in December 1912, the family lost their sole means of financial support.  Probate was granted to his widow Johanna Culpin in January 1913 of effects to the value of £1335.4s.8d.[8], but this money would not last for ever and Karl had to return to Oxford in January 1913 for the Lent term.  By October 1913, the state of the family’s finances had become critical and Karl was forced to appeal to the College for financial help, and in October 1913 and October 1914 the College granted him a termly allowance of £3.6s.8d. from the Exhibition Fund ‘on the ground of poverty.’[9]

In January 1914, while studying at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, T.S. Eliot received the news that he had been admitted as a Commoner at Merton College, Oxford for the academic year beginning Michaelmas term 1914.[10] He decided to spend July and August at a philosophy summer school at Philipps-Universität Marburg in Hesse, Germany, but his time at Marburg was cut short when Germany declared war in August on Russia and France and he decided he had better leave for England while he could still get out of the country.

Following Henry Culpin’s death, Karl’s mother, sister and brother gave up their home in Doncaster and returned to be nearer Johanna’s family in Württemberg, Southern Germany.  Karl’s brother John found work in a bank at Heilbronn, but when war broke out he was arrested and interned as a civilian prisoner of war at Ruhleben.[11]  Karl’s mother and sister were anxious to return to England but having no means of financial support were unable to do so.[12]

With many students having enlisted, Oxford in Michaelmas term 1914 seemed very empty.  Karl, who was a member of the Oxford University Officer Training Corps (OTC), had also tried to enlist but was rejected on account of his poor eyesight.  That term there were just under 50 students at Merton, including six Americans, four Indians, and two Canadians.[13]  Amongst the six Americans were T.S. Eliot and Percy ‘Brand’ Blanshard.  Quite when Karl and Eliot first met during that Michaelmas term we do not know, but with so few students at the college it would not have been long before they ran into one another.  Perhaps Karl sought Eliot out when he heard he had recently arrived from Germany and hoped he might be able to advise on the chances of getting his mother and sister home from Württemberg.  Eliot’s biographer Robert Sencourt claimed that Karl and Eliot’s friendship was instant: ‘As soon as Tom and Karl started talking to each other, each knew that he had found an ideal companion. The Yorkshireman’s brain was brilliant enough to keep pace with the American’s, and this exercise was the most stimulating because it was not centred on philosophy or literature, but history and economics.’[14]  Brand Blanshard also enjoyed Karl’s company, describing him as ‘a ready and humorous talker and a delightful companion.’[15]

By December 1914, Karl, Eliot and Brand Blanshard had decided that they would go away together for part of the six week Christmas holidays.  With Karl’s mother, brother and sister still in Germany, he had no family to spend Christmas with, and for Eliot and Blanshard returning to America for just six weeks was not an option.  Visiting the seaside town of Swanage in Dorset in winter may seem an usual choice of holiday location for three students, although Eliot’s biographer, Robert Crawford, likened Swanage to ‘an English version of Gloucester, Massachusetts’[16] where the Eliot family had spent their summer holidays.  It may have been the history and geology of the Isle of Purbeck area that attracted Culpin, or the fact that it could be easily reached on a branch of the London and South Western railway from Wareham.  It may also have been down to a personal recommendation, as Brand Blanshard suggested when recalling the holiday many years later: ‘we heard of a kindly landlady there who was willing to house and feed vagrant scholars, and we engaged rooms.’[17]

Geological map of the Isle of Purbeck, 1914.

In 1914, Swanage had a population of 4,689 and was becoming increasingly popular as a seaside resort.  The town then boasted a railway station, a number of hotels and boarding houses, two banks, a library, a pier, a post office and a police station, with excellent bathing and fine walks in the surrounding countryside.[18]  The outbreak of war had, so far, had little impact on the town, apart from the opening of a Red Cross Hospital at Cluny Crescent.  With Merton College closing for the Christmas break on 5 December 1914 and Eliot spending Christmas day with a friend in London[19], the three students probably spent much of the intervening weeks together at Swanage.

The only surviving account of their Swanage holiday was left by Brand Blanshard in his article ‘Eliot at Oxford’: ‘Each of us had his own room, but we had our meals together in a dining room that had the advantage of a tiny grate fire.  I well remember Eliot’s figure as he sat at the dining room table each morning with a huge volume of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica propped open before him… In mornings and evenings at Swanage, the three of us worked.  In the afternoons we took long walks along the seaside or over the softly turfed, treeless downs that fringed the town.  We explored the ruins of Corfe Castle and the caves of Tilly Whim.’[20]

Although Eliot had completed his poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ in 1911, it was not published until June 1915.  Brand Blanshard later wondered whether Eliot had the manuscript with him at Swanage.[21]  Perhaps, as Eliot walked along the beach at Swanage, he recalled the following lines from the poem:

‘I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.’[22]

Little did Eliot know then that his friend Karl would never have the opportunity to grow old.

Postcard of Swanage, 1914.

Back in London on 3 January 1915, Eliot mentioned the holiday in a letter to his cousin Eleanor Hinkley, ‘… London agrees with me – better in fact than the seashore did.  I had a pleasant fortnight there however, with the most intelligent of the Englishmen at Merton, and an American, who, if not intelligent, was at least an excellent butt for discourse…’[23]  The students were back at Merton on 15 January 1915 for the start of the Lent term.  That March, Eliot met Vivien Haigh-Wood at a lunch party in Scofield Thayer’s Magdalen College rooms[24], and they were married just three months later on 26 June 1915 at Hampstead Register Office.

Karl and his friend and fellow Merton student Kuruvila Zachariah (1890-1955) sat exams papers in June 1915 on English Political History and Political Science.  In July they had their viva voce examinations, as Kuruvila wrote in a letter on 10 July 1915: ‘I may have an hour’s viva… Buckland and Culpin who went in yesterday had an hour each and the former is depressed and the latter is elated as a result.  Personally, I think they both have a chance at a first… And yet Culpin told me yesterday that he was going down satisfied that he had got out of Oxford all that he wanted. Did his aim fail of the ideal if his achievement equalled it?’[25]  Both Karl and Kuruvila were awarded First Class degrees in Modern History.

By July 1915, Karl had already attempted to enlist in the Army three times, but on all three attempts had been rejected on account of his poor eyesight.  That same month he offered to undertake the financial support of his mother and sister, enabling them to return to England.[26]  Karl’s sister Mary, then aged 18, was evidently very musical and in 1916 enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied violin with Eric Coates and Frederick Corder and won a bronze medal for pianoforte.  She graduated in 1919 with a LRAM for pianoforte[27], and in 1974 published a book of pianoforte exercises, Fingers and Thumbs.[28]

After his marriage, Eliot returned briefly to America to inform his parents.  According to Robert Sencourt, who interviewed the Culpin family, on Eliot’s return to England ‘the warmest welcome to himself and his bride came from Karl Culpin and Culpin’s sister Mary’, Sencourt goes on to say that ‘Mary had first met Tom [presumably with Karl] in his favourite Soho, at a restaurant called “Au Petit Savoyard” where a Frenchwoman served a cheap appetizing meal.  The young bridegroom discovered that Mary had an ear for music, and later took her to hear Dolmetsch play… Some months after his return from America, and when he and Vivienne had ceased to be guests of Bertrand Russell, Mary Culpin helped them to move into 18 Crawford Mansions.’[29]  T.S. Eliot and Vivien’s friendship with the Culpin family was to last a lifetime.

Both Karl, now responsible for the financial support of his mother and sister, and the newly-married Eliot needed to find employment and both decided to become schoolmasters.  In September 1915, Karl was appointed to teach mathematics, geography and history at Sherborne School in Dorset[30], and Eliot was appointed to teach French, mathematics, history, drawing and swimming at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.[31]  No evidence survives, but it is probable that Karl and Eliot corresponded at this time comparing notes about their respective schools and pupils.  Perhaps Karl told Eliot that A.N. Whitehead, the co-author with Bertrand Russell of Eliot’s Swanage holiday reading, Principia Mathematica, had been educated at Sherborne School.  And Eliot probably also noted that Sherborne was just 8 miles east of East Coker in Somerset (‘Eliot Country’), from where his ancestor had emigrated to Massachusetts in around 1669[32] and where his own ashes were buried on Easter Sunday 1965.

At Sherborne, Karl took over some of the teaching of the Rev. A.G.J. Alderson (1880-1916), an Exhibitioner of Jesus College, Oxford who had been a master at Sherborne for four terms when he joined up as a Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps and was killed accidently on 19 October 1916 during bombing practice at Harrowby Camp in Lincolnshire.

Postcard of Sherborne School, c.1918.

As he had at Doncaster Grammar School and at Merton College, Karl was soon taking part in School debates.  On 24 October 1915, he took part in a debate concerning the Public School system of education during which he argued that ‘The object of education was to learn, not that things are so, but why they are so’.[33]  And on 10 December 1915, he spoke against fellow master and author S.P.B. Mais in a debate that argued that too much importance was given to Games.  Karl agreed with the motion, suggesting that two afternoons a week at least should be left to boys to use at their own discretion and that too much compulsion was not good for the character.[34]

That term, a long article written by Karl entitled ‘A Universal Service: Thrift’ appeared in the Western Chronicle (3 & 10 December 1915).  In it he discussed the economics of the war, concluding that ‘it is the individual upon whom all governmental action depends.  The Germans are only more equipped to bear the strain because they individually are imbued with a sense of the sacrifice which success demands from one and all.  We British have proved ourselves as ready or readier to die upon the battlefields – let us prove that we are as ready and readier to sacrifice individual pleasures and delights.  We have cankers in our midst worse than the fear of death.  Slothful ease, social convention, selfish indifference, luxurious self-satisfaction may prove our undoing, unless we one and all of us learn the sad lesson of daily, petty, grinding thrift.’[35]

In January 1916, Eliot and Vivien spent a few days at the seaside resort of Torquay in Devon.  Eliot wrote to his father, ‘This is a very towny seaside place, but much more attractive than Eastbourne with a real bay and a little harbour just in front of the hotel, with boats.  It is wonderful to be here at the seaside in January, warm enough to go out without an overcoat.  If I had some old clothes I should be inevitably tempted to seize a boat and put to sea… The West Country is very lovely – rich and green, with bright red soil.  We passed through Eliot country getting here – Somerset – quite near.’[36]

Later that month Eliot took up a better paid teaching post at Highgate Junior School in north London, teaching French, Latin, mathematics, drawing, swimming, geography, history and baseball.  Amongst his pupils was the ten year old John Betjeman.[37]

Meanwhile, life for Karl at Sherborne was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.  Anti-German sentiment, fuelled by propoganda and rising casualty figures, meant that anyone or anything German was a target for hostility, even in sleepy Sherborne.  In June 1915, the German housekeeper (Miss Wally von Bissing) to the Headmistress at Sherborne School for Girls, was forced to leave following protests and threats of rioting in the town.[38]  In January 1916, Karl decided it was safer to Anglicise his Christian name to Charles (‘to avoid unnecessary troubles in everyday life’[39]), and by March his mother had moved to Sherborne, lodging at ’Northfield’ in Priestlands with Mrs Emma Cobb[40], the wife of a Staff Sergeant Major Instructor in the Dorset Yeomanry.  On 5 March, Karl and his mother were invited to supper by Henry King, the housemaster of Abbeylands at Sherborne School.  Later that evening King wrote in his diary, ‘Mrs Culpin (a German?) and her son to supper.’[41]

At the end of February 1916, Karl was summoned to appear before the Sherborne Urban Military Service Tribunal.  One member of the tribunal board was Dr William McEnery whose four sons had been educated at Sherborne School and had all enlisted, one being killed in October 1914.[42]  Karl appeared before the tribunal asking for a total exemption from military service on the grounds of domestic hardship.[43]  He claimed that he provided financially for his mother and sister and that if he joined the army he would be unemployed at the end of the war.  The tribunal was not sympathetic to Karl’s plea and Dr McEnery informed him that ‘the Army offers splendid openings for a man’, adding ‘If I was a young man I would not hesitate’.  Karl’s case was sent on 10 April 1916 to the Dorset County Military Service Tribunal, but he decided to withdraw his plea stating that the ‘difficulties in the way of his joining the Army at that time had been removed, and he was now awaiting military instructions.’[44]

Karl’s change of plea was probably brought about following the intervention of the Headmaster of Sherborne School, Nowell Charles Smith.  On 2 April 1916, Nowell Smith wrote to Captain Clive telling him that Karl had seen an ophthalmic surgeon who had passed him fit for general service, adding that the doctors he has seen previously were not specially qualified ophthalmic surgeons.[45]  Karl had been seen the previous day at Dorchester by an ophthalmic surgeon employed by the Medical Recruitment Board who recorded that Karl was very short-sighted but with glasses had normal vision (6/6).[46]

Lent term ended at Sherborne School on 4 April 1916.   Charles Henry Culpin was instructed to join the No.6 Officer Cadet Battalion at Balliol College, Oxford on 17 April 1916.  His attestation papers recorded that he was then 22 years old, 5 ft 7 inches tall, that his chest when fully expanded was 37 inches, and that he had a mole on his right hip.  He had been selected to undergo a four month course of instruction in an Officer Cadet Unit in order to qualify him for appointment to a Temporary Commission in the Regular Army.  Following the course, in September 1916 he received a commission in the Gloucestershire Regiment.

On 5 April 1917, Karl made his will ‘In the Field’.  In the typed document he bequeathed to his mother, then residing at 75 Shirland Road, Maida Vale, West London, all of his possessions.[47]  On 8 May 1917, Karl was wounded in action near Fresnoise, north-east of Arras and the following day his mother received a telegram stating ‘Regret to inform you 18th Casualty Clearing Station reports May ninth 2nd Lt. C.H. Culpin Gloucester Regt admitted dangerously wounded gunshot wound head will report any further news immediately on receipt.’[48]  The Culpin family must have informed Eliot of Karl’s condition because on 13 May 1917 Eliot wrote to his mother, ‘you cannot realise what it is to live in the midst of alarms of war! Besides the brother of the man I mentioned, there was killed last week the fiancé of one of Vivien’s friends, and the next day I heard that one of my Oxford friends – the man who went to the seaside with me that Christmas – was critically wounded and may not live.  If the war goes on I shall be losing American friends too.’[49]

On 16 May 1917, Johanna Culpin received the telegram she had always dreaded, it read, ‘Deeply regret to inform you 2/Lt. C.H. Culpin Gloucester Regt. Died of wounds May fifteenth The Army Council expresses their sympathy.’[50]  Karl had died of his wounds on 15 May 1917 at the 18th Casualty Clearing Station, located at Lapugnoy, near Bethune, France.  He was buried at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery.  On his headstone are incised the words ‘IN MEMORY OF A DEAR SON AND A DEAR BROTHER.’[51]

Although, Karl’s body was not returned to England for burial, his personal effects were.  One can imagine Johanna Culpin’s feelings when on 23 May 1917, the following items were returned to her:

1 Fountain Pen in case.
1 Box Tobacco.
1 Metal Watch, damaged, & strap.
1 Handkerchief.
1 Whistle & Lanyard.
1 Nail File.
1 Treasury Note Case.
1 Note Book.
1 German Book.
1 Wooden Pipe.
1 Cheque Book.
2 Identity Discs.
1 Cigarette Case.
1 Pocket Knife.
2 Badges.
1 Box Cigarettes.
3 Pencils.

Followed on 25 May 1917 by:
1 Note book.
1 Wrist Watch (without glass & strap) – minute hand missing.
1 Pair Eyeglasses (broken) & case.
1 Pocket case containing photos & small note book.
1 Advance pay book No.24051.

Eliot and his wife Vivien remained close friends with the Culpin family after Karl’s death.  Karl’s sister Mary helped then with the cooking when they entertained friends, including her brother John, at the house that Bertrand Russell had lent them in Marlow[52].  Karl’s brother John also provided both Eliot and Vivien with financial and secretarial support.  On 28 March 1924, Eliot wrote to the publisher Richard Cobden-Sanderson asking him to send John Culpin four pounds for secretarial work he had carried out for The Criterion[53] (Eliot was editor of The Criterion, ‘a quarterly review dedicated to literature’, from 1922 to 1939), and on 22 December 1925, Vivien Eliot wrote to her doctor from The Stanboroughs, an hydrotherapy institution at Watford, telling him that ‘If my husband won’t help me you can rely on J.R. Culpin Esq. c/o Anglo-Argentine Bank, 24 Lombard St, E.C.3 (Royal 4020) to do any business and arrangements for me. He will always help in any way.’[54]

The closeness of Eliot’s relationship with Karl’s mother, whom he addressed as ‘Dear Aunt Johanna’, is very obvious in the letters they exchanged throughout Johanna’s life.  On 11 February 1928, Johanna wrote to Eliot from her hometown of Ulm in Württemberg, where she had gone to recover from a nervous breakdown, adding that ‘somehow or other, when I meet you, write to you or even think of you I feel Karl so close and near and my heart opens’.  In reply, Eliot wrote on 20 March 1928, ‘I am disappointed that you say nothing about coming back soon to London because I am still looking forward to that dinner at Schmidt’s… I am very happy to know that you are able to rest where you are, among congenial society, and I imagine with plenty of good reading and good music.  I envy you being in that beautiful old cathedral town of Ulm, where you have your family.’[55]

We do not know when Johanna Culpin died but she was not a witness at her daughter Mary’s wedding in April 1937.  Eliot and Vivien had formally separated in February 1933 but remained married until Vivien’s death at a private mental hospital on 22 January 1947. Karl’s brother John died on 14 September 1948, the same year that Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 1957, Eliot married Valerie Fletcher.  Eliot died on 4 January 1965, aged 76, and, in accordance with his wishes, his ashes were buried at the church of St Michael and All Angels at East Coker in Somerset.  On a memorial plaque are written the first and last lines from his poem ‘East Coker’, the second of his Four Quartets: ‘In my beginning is my end’ and ‘In my end is my beginning.’

Church of St Michael and All Angels, East Coker, Somerset.

Rachel Hassall
School Archivist
26 September 2018

[1] Valerie Eliot, The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922 (2011), Editor’s note to letter dated 13 May 1917.
[2] Ronald Bush, ‘T.S. Eliot’s Life and Career’, American National Biography (1999).
[3] I am indebted to Clive Howarth, Honorary Assistant Archivist at The Hall Cross Academy, Doncaster, for providing information about K.H. Culpin’s time at Doncaster Grammar School.
[4] Obituary from the Danensis, July 1917, provided by Clive Howarth, Honorary Assistant Archivist at The Hall Cross, Academy, Doncaster.
[5] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 20 December 1911.
[6] Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 27 December 1912.
[7] R.L. Dean, ‘Henry Culpin (1861–1912): a Yorkshire geologist and palaeontologist, and his collection in the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, South Yorkshire’, Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 3 September 2014.
[8] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1913.
[9] Merton College Archives: Minutes of the proceedings at the meetings of the Warden and Tutors of Merton College, Oxford, 22 October 1913 (p.134) & 21 October 1914 (p.150).
[10] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land (2016), p.199.
[11] International Committee of the Red Cross Historical Archives: civilian prisoners index files 1914-1918
[12] Western Gazette, 3 March 1916.
[13] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.208.
[14]  Robert Sencourt, T.S. Eliot. A Memoir (1971), p.47.
[15] Brand Blanshard, ‘Eliot at Oxford’, James Olney (ed.), T.S. Eliot. Essays from the Southern Review (1988), p.31.
[16] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.213.
[17] Brand Blanshard, ‘Eliot at Oxford’, p.31.
[18] William Baxter, South Hants and Dorset (1914), p.218.
[19] Valerie Eliot (ed.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922, letter from T.S. Eliot to Eleanor Hinkley, 3 January 1915.
[20] Brand Blanshard, ‘Eliot at Oxford’, p.32.
[21] Brand Blanshard, ‘Eliot at Oxford’, p.32.
[22] T.S. Eliot, Collected Poems 1909-1962 (2002), p.7.
[23] Valerie Eliot (ed.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922, letter from T.S. Eliot to Eleanor Hinkley, 3 January 1915.
[24] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.225.
[25] Merton College Archives: Kuruvila Zachariah, ‘Oxford Letters 1912-1915’, letter from Kuruvila Zachariah to ‘My dear Apachen’, 10 July 1915, pp.449-450.
[26] Western Gazette, 3 March 1916.
[27] I am indebted to Amy Foster, Library Assistant at the Royal Academy of Music for providing this information.
[28] Mary Johanna Symons, Fingers and Thumbs: A Project of Preliminary Exercises at the Pianoforte (1974).
[29] Robert Sencourt, T.S. Eliot. A Memoir, p.52.
[30] Sherborne School Archives: Head Master’s Report to the Governors for 1915.
[31] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.241.
[32] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.12.
[33] Sherborne School Archives: The Shirburnian, November 1915, pp.190-194.
[34] Sherborne School Archives: The Shirburnian, December 1915, p.224-226.
[35] Western Chronicle, 3 & 10 December 1915.
[36] Valerie Eliot (ed.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922, letter from T.S. Eliot to his father, 14 January 1916.
[37] Robert Crawford, Young Eliot. From St Louis to The Waste Land, p.247.
[38] Western Chronicle, 18 June 1915.
[39] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.  Letter from Nowell Smith to Captain Clive, 27 March 1916.
[40] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.
[41] Sherborne School Archives: Diaries of H.R. King.
[42] Rachel Hassall, Dr McEnery & the Sherborne Urban Military Tribunals (2018), Old Shirburnian Society website,
[43] Western Gazette, 3 March 1916.
[44] Western Gazette, 14 April 1916.
[45] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.  Letter from Nowell Smith to Captain Clive, 2April 1916.
[46] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.  Application for Appointment to a Temporary Commission in the Regular Army for the Period of the War.
[47] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment. Last Will & Testament of C.H. Culpin, 5 April 1917.
[48] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.  Telegram to Mrs Culpin, 5 St Marys Road, Doncaster, 9 May 1917.
[49] Valerie Eliot (ed.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922, letter from T.S. Eliot to his mother, 13 May 1917.
[50] TNA, WO 339/57968: Army Service Record for 2/Lieutenant Charles Henry Culpin, The Gloucestershire Regiment.  Telegram to Mrs Culpin, 75 Shirland Road, Maida Vale W.9, 16 May 1917.
[51] Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archives website: C.H. Culpin,%20CHARLES%20HENRY
[52] Robert Sencourt, T.S. Eliot. A Memoir, p.73.
[53] Valerie Eliot & Hugh Haughton (eds.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 2: 1923-1925 (2011), letter from T.S. Eliot to Richard Cobden-Sanderson, 28 March 1924.
[54] Valerie Eliot & Hugh Haughton (eds.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 2: 1923-1925, letter from Vivien Eliot to Dr Hubert Higgins, 22 December [1925].
[55] Valerie Eliot & John Haffenden (eds.), The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 4: 1928-1929 (2013), letter from T.S. Eliot to Johanna Culpin, 20 March 1928.  In the notes filed is an extract from Johanna Culpin’s letter to T.S. Eliot, 11 February 1928.


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