Frederic Manning was born in Sydney in 1882, son of Sir William Manning who had been lord mayor of Sydney four times. As he was a sickly child he was primarily educated by private tutors. He went to England when he was sixteen and returned again later to live in the Lincolnshire town of Bourne, whose name he used for the main character of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme & Ancre, 1916 (Her Privates, We). On both his visits he was accompanied by Arthur Galton, former private secretary to Sir Robert Duff, governor of New South Wales. He wrote both poetry and prose as well as doing reviews for The Spectator.
In 1914, when World War 1 broke out, he surprisingly joined the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry as a private. He fought on both the Somme and Ancre fronts. In 1917 he became a subaltern and served in Ireland but resigned his commission in 1918 because of poor health and disagreements with his fellow officers. He continued to write and, in 1929, published anonymously The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme & Ancre, 1916, a novel based on his World War 1 experiences. An expurgated edition was published in 1930 under the title Her Privates, We. After an initial interest, the novel was neglected till its republication (under the title Her Privates, We) in 1977. Manning died of pneumonia in 1935.
Books about Frederic Manning
Coleman, Verna: The Last Exquisite : a Portrait of Frederic Manning
Marwil, Jonathan: Frederic Manning : an Unfinished Life
1907 The Vigil of Brunhild : a Narrative Poem
1909 Scenes and Portraits
1923 The Life of Sir William White
1929 The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme & Ancre, 1916 (Her Privates, We)