FABIAN S. WOODLEY

Poet of the Uranian Movement


A Tribute to his Memory

Born 19th July 1888. Died 8th August 1957.

Fabian Strachan Woodley was a poet of the 'Uranian' movement which flourished from 1889 to 1930. Other notable poets in this movement were Edmund John, E. E. Bradford, Cuthbert Wright and John Gambril Nicholson.

He was born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, and was the first son of William Augustus Woodley, a solicitor and newspaper proprietor. In 1902, he was admitted to Cheltenham College where he enrolled in the Classical Department. The application form, filled in by his father, has their address as 3 Worcester Terrace, Clifton, Bristol. There is mention of him in an early minute book from Southwood House and also in the College magazine, The Cheltonian. He was a keen sportsman and participated in football and boating. 

In 1907 he was admitted to University College, Oxford where he was awarded a BA in 1910.

According to the Great War Index he enlisted in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, rose to the rank of captain, and was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. The medal was awarded for gallantry in the field of battle. During the war he was wounded.

After the First World War he worked for a local newspaper, the Somerset County Gazette, of which he was a director, and eventually decided on a teaching career.  He became English master at several well-known schools, including Wellington.  His only book of verse, A Crown of Friendshipwas published in 1921.

Woodley may not have been in the same literary league as Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and other similar writers of that time but his poems do have an immediate appeal. Like the other 'Uranian' poets, he declared that Boyhood was the only ideal worth following.