Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, MC (June 27, 1883 - March 8 1929), was an Anglican priest and poet. He was nicknamed 'Woodbine Willie' during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured and dying soldiers.

Born in Leeds in 1883, Kennedy was the seventh of nine children born to Jeanette Anketell and William Studdert Kennedy, a vicar in Leeds. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained a degree in classics and divinity in 1904.

After a year's training, he became a curate in Rugby and then, in 1914, the vicar of St. Pauls, Worcester. On the outbreak of war, Kennedy volunteered as a chaplain to the armed forces on the Western Front, where he gained the nickname 'Woodbine Willie'. In 1917, he won the Military Cross at Messines Ridge after running into no man's land to help the wounded during an attack on the German frontline. He wrote a number of poems about his experiences, and these appeared in the books "Rough Rhymes of a Padre" (1918), and "More Rough Rhymes" (1919).

After the war, Kennedy was given charge of St. Edmund King and Martyr in Lombard Street, London. Having been converted to Christian socialism and pacifism during the war, he wrote "Lies" (1919), "Democracy and the Dog-Collar" (1921), "Food for the Fed Up" (1921), "The Wicket Gate" (1923), and "The Word and the Work" (1925). He moved to work for the Industrial Christian Fellowship, for whom he went on speaking tours of Britain. It was on one of these tours that he was taken ill, and died in Liverpool.

Books in Print

"The Unutterable Beauty" Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846851100
* [http://www.lutterworth.com/lp/titles/afterwar.htm "After War, Is Faith Possible? An Anthology"] by G.A. Studdert Kennedy, edited and introduced by Kerry Walters, Lutterworth Press, 2008.

External links

* [http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/dasc/TUB.HTM "The Unutterable Beauty: The Collected Poetry" of G. A. Studdert Kennedy, 1927.]
* [http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/dasc/IBSAC.HTM "I Believe: Sermons on the Apostle's Creed" by G. A. Studdert Kennedy, 1928.] First published as "Food for the Fed-up" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1921).


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