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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 20:00 GMT
Children's author Causley dies
Charles Causley
Charles Causley received the Queen's medal for poetry in 1967
Noted Cornish children's author, poet and playwright Charles Causley has died at the age of 86.

He started writing in the 1930s and published more than 50 books and collections of verses for adults and children.

He was born and educated in Launceston, where he also taught after the war.

He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1967 and was made a CBE in 1986.

Former Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd, John Bolitho, paid tribute to Mr Causley.

Navy service

He said: "I think he was Cornwall's greatest poet and he should have been made Poet Laureate years ago.

"I always liked his Navy poems. They were tremendously perceptive and illuminating and wonderfully recognisable."

Mr Causley's early works included plays entitled Runaway and The Conquering Hero.

In World War II he served in the Royal Navy.

Charles Causley
Charles Causley was literary editor of two BBC Radio magazines

He recounted his experiences in a series of short stories called Hands to Dance, and in poetry.

In 1946 he returned to teaching and became literary editor of two BBC Radio magazines.

He was famed for his poem I Saw a Jolly Hunter and served on the Arts Council's poetry panel.

In the late 1990s, a campaign was launched to make him the first Cornish poet laureate.

Critics say Causley was a consistent writer through his long career, able to keep a ballad alive and adapt to changing forms.

The BBC's Sophie Long
"All his numerous literary awards and prizes were greeted with his typical modesty"

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