I ENJOYED the article by Harold Heys (Aug 24) on the soldier poet Charlie Skeels, the story and information therein were new to me. He was obviously like so many others, a brave man deserving of respect and remembrance.

Mr Heys is to be commended as a local historian, keeping the name of Charlie Skeels alive and within the annals of soldier poets.

I am aware Mr Heys is well versed in his subject, but he seems to deem poetic quality (or lack of it) a factor for class discrimination between Charlie and Rupert Brooke etc. I thought all men would be equal in the trenches and not adhere to the Orwellian concept of some men being more equal than other men. Not so!

Gertrude Stein might say “A poet is a poet”, I would agree with her. Nevertheless it was an excellent article and Mr Heys and the Telegraph merit a “pat on the back” but if Corporal Charlie Skeels had been an officer would he and his poetry be better known today, regardless of poetic quality?

James Reeds, my grandfather was badly damaged by mustard gas in the so called “Great War” and met an early death as a result. I was too young to know him, he is buried in Darwen old cemetery. He was a manual labourer and worked hard for his family, fought and died for his country and I love and respect his memory dearly. RIP James Reed.

Keep the aspidistra flying

Norman Redmayne