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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007, 13:52 GMT
Poet Vernon Scannell dies at 85
Poet and author Vernon Scannell has died at his home in West Yorkshire after a long illness.

The 85-year-old was considered one of the finest poets of World War II, and served in the Middle East and the Normandy landings.

He was a boxer after leaving school at 14, and later became a teacher and BBC broadcaster before becoming a full-time writer.

His family said he died peacefully at his home in Otley.

Scannell's works include novels, criticism, four autobiographical prose books and more than a dozen books of poetry.

He served with the Gordon Highlanders in France and north Africa, but was arrested as a deserter and sent to a mental hospital. He wrote about those experiences in his book An Argument of Kings.

His final collection, Last Post, was published last month.

He is survived by four children.

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