Two Holograph Books of Poetry, written while a Broadmoor patient by the Ham Common killer Sidney Stewart Hume, the first titled 'Book Of Verse: Nbr. 1. - By & Of Sidney S. Hume' and the second 'Book Nbr. 5 (FIVE) S. S. Hume's Copy of Police Witness.'
These volumes bear tragic testimony to a diseased mind. A native of Argentina, Hume saw service in the First World War with the 1st County of London Yeomanry at Gallipoli, before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps (66 Squadron, RFC and RAF). In May 1917, while on his second patrol, he was shot down over France. It was while incarcerated in several POW camps (he escaped from one) that Hume's mental illness appears to have begun to manifest itself, and he was exchanged for German prisoners in August 1918. On 6 December of that year, at Latchmere House Military Hospital, he shot Private Robert Aldridge dead, believing him to be a German spy. Hopelessly insane, Hume spent the next 49 years in Broadmoor. He died at the Priory, Roehampton in 1976. Both volumes in fair condition, on aged paper, in worn cream vellum-paper bindings. VOLUME ONE ('Nbr. 1'): Signed at end of volume: 'By Sidney S. Hume. | British Commoner. | 32 Years Chaste "Lieutenant" | Uncircumcised.' The title-page reads: 'Book Of Verse: | NBR. 1. - | By & Of | Sidney S. Hume. | My Copyrights Reserved. | Bound ? 30. 9. 1950. FINSHD) | & FINSHD 485.' 485pp (paginated by Hume himself). Additional index of 22pp at rear, comprising a 'List of Contents' and a 'Full Alphabetical List', the latter 'added rev. finished on 25th. of 4 (APRIL) 1958'. The earliest dated poem in the volume ('Plain Trees', p.17) is from 22 August 1938; the last poem in the volume ('The Chapel', p.485) dates from 19 December 1949. The poetry, like the indexes, is obsessively composed, with the pages filled in Hume's large and childish hand with paranoid ruminations on subjects including the law, the Second World War and Hume's outrage at the thwarting of his desire to marry. The mood of the volume is summed up in the very first poem (p.1), 'Justice Of England', which is signed by Hume, and begins: 'Ten Years, Nine Month's, No Answer Yet. | The Judgement Waits, "Lest Ye Forget!!' and ends ''I Would Be Silent, But Fear To See. | Justice Of England, Have None For Me. | No Wife, No Children, No Home, I Cry. | For England's Justice To Those On High.' There does not appear to be any direct reference to the murder; and the best insight into Hume's paranoia is given in the poem 'My Right', dated 14 July 1946, which begins: 'My "Tout En Semble" [sic] - my Right To Quiet Thought | My grouping Of my Words - To Guard My Mind. | My guard Of my OWN Sanity - Does Guard The Law. | I need My Honest Knowledge Free - not Blind. | The Blindness Of The "Outside World" For Me. | At Present Date Is Hell. And Dred I Fear. | If They Can See, Or Understand As I. | Why Leave a Twenty One Years Abstainant In Here. | They Rob My Right To Freedom Just From Me. | They Left Me Wailing To Make Me Ask For Theirs | They Try And Thieve, The Freedom Of My Mind. | And Hold My Thoughts. LIke Judas In God's Heir'. VOLUME 2 ('Nbr. 5 (FIVE)'): The title reads: 'COPY OF POLICE WITNESS OF BOOK 2(TWO). | Book NBR. 5. OF VERSE. (FIVE.). | BY Sidney S. Hume. | BRITISH COMMONER UNCIRCUMCISED'. 216pp (paginated by Hume) with additional final index of 6pp. Hume gives the number of poems in the volume as 154. In a note on the title-page, dated 28 July 1952, Hume explains that 'For Justice Protection Of Myself, I Have Had To Make A Copy With Extra (3RD. Part) Verses, Of My Police Witness, that, In One Book, 2, (with The World Problems), I sent On 4th. of May, To Care Of The Chief Justice. Courts Of Justice, London, England. Britain. & Have not yet got The Answer Or Thanks | This by [signed] Sidney S. Hume | BRITISH RETD LIEUT M.I. YEOMRY & RFC RAF. 28 YRS. CHASTE. | Uncircumcised'. Below this, in a second note, dated 19 April 1958, he writes 'This book & NBR. 3 Book are my own books of Record from my own Witness & as the Police Force Chief did not return any answer to my letter or my sending Book 2 (Two) to them I did not trouble to send them a copy of the NBR. Book (FIVE). No answer yet, to me, from them. Silent Treachery! | This Noted & Signed by [signed] Sidney S Hume. | BRITISH commoner | 32 YRS. Chaste "Lieutenant" | uncircumcised.' Unlike volume one, this volume consists of poems entirely written in capital letters; and the content seems to indicate that Hume's condition had deteriorated: 'TO THINK OF REVEALING A PICTURE. | A PHOTO OF RHINO ENRAGED. | & TURNING AN AERTEX PAST MASTER. | DOES SETTLE LAWS JUSTICE TO SAVED.' Titles include: 'BRITIBUSTERING', 'BULLYHEDGING', 'CONTROL FILLIBUSTER', 'EMBEZZLERS ADVANCED SPARK FORGERS', 'FORGERBUSTERING PILE DRIVER BOMBS', 'POECHERY', 'SIDBEDIENCE' and 'SENIOR WRANGLER'S OZONE'.