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John Bate obituary


My father, John Bate, a poet, librarian and father of 12, who has died aged 95, was a private man who reserved expression of his deepest self to his poetry.

John was born in London, son of Leonard, a civil servant, and Maud (nee Banks). After leaving school, he went to work in Birmingham public library. He was 19 when the second world war started and he became a conscientious objector. He was put to work picking potatoes in Wales. Later on he joined a Sapper unit with other “conscies” and a group of them started Oasis, an underground magazine about the horrors of war. Lifelong friendships were formed.

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