Tuesday 19th November 7.30pmJuniper Green Bowling Club
“Hamish Henderson: Poet and War Hero”Tim Neat
Hamish Scott Henderson was born on the11th November 1919 - almost a century ago to the day.He was a catalyst for the folk revival in Scotland,and was also an accomplished folk song collector.He co-founded the School of Scottish studies and for many years he held court in Sandy Bell's Bar, the meeting place for local and visiting folk musicians. Timothy Neat's two-volume biography of Hamish was published in 2007/2009. It concluded a thirty-five year friendship during which the men collaborated on numerous projects involving the Highland Travelling People, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, the films ‘Play Me Something' (Europa Prize 1989) and 'The Tree of Liberty' (Burns, sung by Jean Redpath: Celtic Festival winner 1987). To celebrate his centenary, Tim will focus on Henderson's wartime career and poetry and song produced at that time. Hamish was anIntelligence Officer with the 51st Highland Division, in North Africa and Sicily. In Italy, with the Eighth Army, he fought with the Italian partisans, and took the Surrender of Italy in Florence, 5th May 1945.The courage, culture and humanity of the communist partigiani affirmed Hamish as an artist, a libertarian, an international socialist and peace activist. With peace,Henderson returned to Cambridge, to Edinburgh, South Uist, and Carradale – where he completed his magnificent 'Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica', first winner of the Somerset Maugham Award for Poetry.Brought up in North Cornwall, Tim moved to Scotland (home of his maternal ancestors) to teach at Lendrick Muir School, Perthshire (a residential school for Maladjusted Children of High Intelligence), in 1968. From 1973 till 1988 he worked as art historian at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. Subsequently he funded his creative career with work as a beekeeper, wild mushroom hunter and salmon-netter, from his home in North Fife. Author of eleven books, an Honorary Academician of the RSA and Fellow of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies, in 2018 Tim returned to Cornwall to start a new career.