Roy Broadbent Fuller
Roy Broadbent Fuller ( 11th February 1912- 27th September 1991) was already a published poet when he was conscripted into the Royal Navy in 1941. His first collection ‘Poems’ appeared in 1939, and he’d also appeared in the prestigious ‘Twentieth Century Verse’ anthology edited by Julian Symonds. His next collections, ‘The Middle of a War’ (1942) and the ‘Lost Season’ ( 1944 ) were well received. He was promoted to Petty Officer and served in Africa in 1942, returning to Britain as a lieutenant in the Admiralty in London in 1943. He was demobbed in December 1945.
Fuller became a reviewer of some note, further poetry collections and novels followed. His careers were varied, including a directorship with The Woolwich, and professor of poetry at Oxford University (1968- 1973). Fuller also became a BBC governor, and held positions on the Arts Council and Library Advisory Council for England. He had the distinction as a poet of having his later work held in high esteem. In fact his 1989 collection ‘Available for Dreams’ is often cited as featuring his greatest poetry.
His work was praised by fellow World War 2 poet Vernon Scannell in his 1976 work ‘Not Without Glory-poets of the Second World War’ , who also drew attention to Fuller’s initial support for Marxism, and the fact that Fuller’s service during the War involved little direct combat. Another contemporary, Alan Ross, who also served in the Royal Navy , was a friend of Fuller’s for decades, and dedicated his poem ‘The Sea 1939- 1945’ to Fuller.