Andrew Young

Andrew John Young was born in Elgin on 29 April 1885 and was educated at Edinburgh University and New College, Edinburgh. He was ordained a minister of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1912 and after war service in France he moved to Sussex and became a Presbyterian minister at Hove. After converting to the Church of England, he was vicar of Stonegate from 1941 to 1959.

He was awarded the Queen’s Medal for poetry and in addition to his poetry, wrote books on botany and other subjects. He retired to Yapton, living at Park Lodge in Church Road, until his death in 1971.


Although best known for his romantic verse “Beauty and Love" he was a prolific poet. His straightforward style and language make his poetry easy to read and his keen eye brings the world around him vividly to life:

Hard Frost (by Andrew Young)

Frost called to the water Halt
And crushed the moist snow with sparkling salt;
Brooks, their one bridges, stop,
And icicles in long stalactites drop.
And tench in water-holes
Lurk under gluey glass like fish in bowls.

In the hard-rutted lane
At every footstep breaks a brittle pane,
And tinkling trees ice-bound,
Changed into weeping willows, sweep the ground;
Dead boughs take root in ponds
And ferns on windows shoot their ghostly fronds.

But vainly the fierce frost
lnterns poor fish, ranks trees in an armed host,
Hangs daggers from house-eaves
And on the windows ferny ambush weaves;
In the long war grown warmer
The sun will strike him dead and strip his armour.

Chichester Library has several books of Andrew Young's poetry in their local studies section (reference only) or some copies are avilable for loan on request from any County Library.

Geoff Westcott
December 2008

(Originally published in Yapton News & Views, January 2009)