Harold Monro Tries to Enlist

Alerted by a front-page notice on the Daily Mirror, Poetry Bookstore owner Harold Monro took his American motorcycle along to enlist:

Motorcyclists for service with the army are also required. Their pay will be 35s weekly, all found. A bounty of £10 will be paid to each man approved and a further £5 on discharge.

Men are required to enlist for one year, or as long as the war continues.


Monro was turned away because spare parts for his American machine would be difficult to find. He returned the following day with an English motorcycle, but all billets had been filled by then. Monro would eventually enlist, though he grew to hate the war, shortly before he was to be drafted in 1916. His health was poor and he never left England (and thus saw no combat).


Harold Monro

Monro had published (and would continue to publish) the various Georgian anthologies through the Poetry Bookstore as well as Ezra Pound’s Imagist anthology. Monro’s literary taste only went so far, though: when given T.S Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” to read, Monro pronounced, “This is crazy”

From Matthew Hollis, Now All Roads Lead to France.



  1. Hi Andy, as you’re taking an interest in the Great War I thought you might also be interested in a picture of my dad who served in the Artist Rifles, (Wilfred Owen’s regiment), that I posted on Facebook on the 4th (more pics on my timeline)…

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