A Gurney Timeline


  • 28th August – Ivor Gurney is born at 3 Queen Street, Gloucester


  • Gurney begins composing music


  • Easter – First extant verse; a book inscription to Alfred Cheesman


  • Wins a scholarship to study composition at the Royal College of Music


  • Beginning to seriously write poetry


  • January – Completes his first musical masterpiece: the Five Elizabethan Songs
  • August – volunteers for military service but is rejected on account of his eyesight
  • October – takes position of organist at Christ Church, Crendon Street, High Wycombe


  • February – Volunteers once more for military service and is drafted into the 5th Gloucester Reserve Battalion
  • Army training at Northampton, Chelmsford and Epping


  • 7 April (Good Friday) – Wounded: shot in the arm, and sent to hospital at Rouen
  • 10 September – Gurney is gassed at St. Julien and invalided home to Blighty
  • November – Gurney’s first collection of poems, Severn & Somme, is published by Sidgwick and Jackson


  • June – Sends suicide note to his family, to Marion Scott and to Hubert Parry, but is unable to go through with the act
  • 24 July – Moved from the Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington, to the Middlesex War Hospital, Napsbury, St. Albans
  • 4 October – Discharged from the army, being deemed physically unfit for active service, with a pension of 8/3 per week


  • Living with his Aunt Marie at 1 Westfield Terrace, Longford, Gloucester
  • 22 September – Committed to Barnwood House, Gloucester
  • 21 December – Moved to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford, Kent


  • January – Gurney writes his last extant piece of music: Si j’etais roi for solo piano
  • May – Gurney turns to writing essays, it being too painful to write music or poetry


  • March – writes his last extant poem, The Wind, signed ‘Valentine Fane’


  • 26 December – Ivor Gurney dies at Dartford on Boxing Day, of tubercolosis
  • 31 December – Buried at Twigworth, Gloucestershire