Charles Hamilton Sorley was born in Aberdeen in 1895. The son of the professor of moral philosophy at Aberdeen University, Sorley was extremely intelligent and won a scholarship to Marlborough College.
In 1913 Sorley decided to spend a year in Germany before taking up the offer of a place at University College, Cambridge. When war was declared in August, 1914, Sorley immediately came back to England and enlisted in the British Army. Sorley joined the Suffolk Regiment and after several months training, Lieutenant Sorley was sent to the Western Front.
Sorley arrived in France in May 1915 and after three months was promoted to captain. Charles Hamilton Sorley was killed by a sniper, shot in the head at the Battle of Loos on 13th October, 1915. He left only 37 complete poems, found in his kit when returned to his family, including the one he wrote just before he was killed, When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead. Sorley's posthumous book, Marlborough and Other Poems was a popular and critical success when it was published in 1916.