University of Dundee University of Dundee
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5 November 2005

New Exhibition of Work of Joseph Lee, Dundee's First World War Poet


Nancy Blackwood, great niece of Joseph Lee, will be opening a new exhibition of the First World War poet's work. The opening is being held to mark Armistice Day.

Ranked alongside Owen, Brooke and Sassoon, Joseph Lee was once regarded as one of Scotland's finest First World War poets. Volumes of his poetry and war memoirs illustrated by his own sketches remain powerfully evocative and - 'composed amid the smoke and din of ... warfare' - are undeniably authentic.

Lee was born in Dundee and worked on the Dundee Advertiser and People's Journal as well as producing and illustrating his own newspapers and magazines such as the City Echo. He served in the Black Watch in the trenches in France and Belgium and had his first volume of poetry published in 1916. He was taken prisoner in 1917 and his journals, with photographs and sketches, vividly record his own experiences. After the war Lee worked as a journalist in London and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art before returning to Dundee where he died in 1949.

The exhibition of items from the University's Archive and Museum collections is to be held on two floors of the University: in the Tower Foyer and the Lamb Gallery. It includes papers and illustrations from Lee's journalistic days in Dundee, original poems and diaries from the First World War, and drawings from his time at the Slade School.

The exhibition is being opened by Mrs Nancy Blackwood, a great niece of Joseph Lee, and Professor James Calderhead, Vice-Principal of the University. The opening, to mark Armistice Day, takes place from 5 to 7 pm in the Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, Perth Road. All are welcome.

The exhibition will run from

11 November - 22 December 2005
Mon-Fri: 9.30 am - 8 pm
Sat: (9.30 am - 4.30 pm)

"Every bullet has its billet;
Many bullets more than one:
God! Perhaps I killed a mother
When I killed a mother's son."

The Bullet, Joseph Lee, 1916.

For more information contact:

Roddy Isles,
Head of Press
Tel: 01382 344910,
out of hours: 07968298585,