Sir John Waller, 7th Baronet
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Waller was the son of Captain Stanier Waller and Alice Harris, who was a barmaid before she married; Captain Waller died of wounds from the First World War. John was educated at Weymouth College and Worcester College, Oxford. In 1939, he founded the magazine Kingdom Come, which he edited.
Waller served in the Middle East from 1941 to 1946 and was initially with the Royal Army Service Corps. Then he was posted to the Ministry of Information, where his sergeant-major was the poet G. S. Fraser. During his time in Cairo, he founded the Salamander Society with Keith Bullen (poet) and John Cromer, and launched Oasis: the Middle East Anthology of Poetry from the Forces in August 1943.
After the war, Waller had a number of poetry collections published, such as The Merry Ghosts, Crusade and The Kiss of Stars. He edited books and was presented with the Greenwood Award for Poetry in 1947 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1948. He was also Information Officer in the Overseas Press Division of the Central Office of Information. In 1954, on the death of Sir Edmund Waller, 6th Baronet, he inherited the baronetcy. However, he lost his inherited income, as business ventures failed, and he gave up writing.
Waller was awarded the Keats Prize in 1974. In 1976, he helped set up the Salamander Oasis Trust. This was originally intended just to reprint Oasis, but Waller suggested collating as much as possible of the material that had not been used, which resulted in four anthologies.