[<Works>]">Middleton-St JohnsTreeMailigListIndexMain Page | About | FAQ | Log in

[edit] Text of obituary




W WORLD-FAMOUS novelist, poet and musician, Mr. A. Safroni-Middleton, died at his home at Palace Road, Streatham on Tues- day after a long illness. He was 77.

  Mr Safroni-Middleton, son of Charles Sharp Middleton. the first man to write a complete biography of Shelley, went to sea as a young man. During his eventful life he became the friend of world-famed writers, artists and composers, among them Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gauguin.

  Military marches form a large part of his many compositions. One of his marches: "Imperial Echoes." is the signature tune of the B.B.C's 'Radio Newsreel.' broadcast daily.

  It was Mr. Safroni-Middleton who wrote such well-known marches as 'The Dashing British."By Imperial Command."Salute the Standard. "The Night Riders"Sierra Leone. "The Relief. "The Dandy Fifth."Under the Old Flag." to mention but a few.

  His waltzes include “Ranee Waltz" Firenze.' and 'The Last Tryst.' A brilliant musician, he composed a lot of his music on the zither.

  His waltzes include “Ranee recalls how, wrecked on the lonely shores of Papua, he practised on his violin with the birds of the forest his audience. His love of the violin took him far, for he played in some of the leading Australian orchestras and eventually became first violinist of the Carl Rosa Opera Company.


  In Samoa he met Robert Louis Stevenson, and some of his autobiography is devoted to his impressions of him. Up to his death he was a member of the Robert Louis Stevenson club (London) and his family are still members.

  Mr Safroni-Middleton has written many books (mainly on travel) and poems. Robert Bridges praised his "Bush and Sea Rhymes and other world famous writers have acclaimed his works.

  For a lot of his writings, he turned towards the south seas. The romantic sounding titles of many of his novels are proof that this was part of the world he loved dearly.

  "Sestrina." lsland, "Princess Gabrielle of the Lagoon"."Wine, Dark Seas and Tropic Skies." are just a few of his books with a South Sea Island flavour.

   His poems also reflect much of his adventurous life, especially his early days before the mast. In his

last collection of poems, 'The Ship's Figurehead.' he writes of "sails spread like winged-sunset to the night" and "the anchor dragging at the imagination."

  Mrs. Safroni-Middleton has received letters of condolence from

her late husband's wide circle of friends. Typical of these is a letter from Mr Harold Downs, chairman and editor of the journal of the Robert Louis Stevenson Society. He writes:


  There are not many Safronis born into this world. I have met many people — authors, musicians, men of business. It is literally true to say that I have never known a second Safroni. He was unique. He had an unusual brain, he adopted an unusual attitude towards life, and, writing of him as I knew him, I salute his readiness to help others, his deep understanding, his disregard of conventions, his disinterestedness and his otherworldliness.

  "I felt that I knew him within a few minutes of being in his presence for the first time: afterwards I always 'sensed' that he knew no matter what I said or how I said it."

  Mr. Safroni-Middleton, who was educated at Dulwich College and Whitgift, Croydon, had lived in Streatham with his family for the past 13 years. He leaves a widow, three daughters and a son.

  "He was a man of wonderful personality," said his widow, ,while one of his daughters spoke of him as being "a man who impressed his personality on the people he met."

  The funeral will take place this Friday afternoon at Norwood Cemetery.


Retrieved from "http://middleton-stjohns.com/wiki/Web:CS-Obittext"

This page has been accessed 95 times. This page was last modified 18:30, 29 September 2007. Content is available under MediaWiki:Licenses.