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James Crowden tells the story of Somerset’s war poet in the Western Desert – his life and reads from his poetry. Jarmain lived in West Pennard and was a schoolmaster at Millfield in Street. He joined the Royal Artillery and served at El Alamein with the 51st Highland Division as an anti-tank gunner. He then fought his way with them right along the desert coast to Tunisia, and then took part in the invasion of Sicily. Whilst in the Western desert he wrote some very fine poetry which was published by Collins. He also wrote a novel called Priddy Barrows. Sadly John Jarmain was killed by a German mortar shell just before breakfast on 26th June 1944 in a village outside Caen, in Normandy, in June 1944.

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