Laurence Binyon was born in Lancaster in 1869. At Oxford University he won the Newdigate prize for poetry. Influenced by the work of William Wordsworth, Binyon published two major volumes of poetry: Lyric Poems (1894) and Odes (1901).
On 21st September 1914, The Times published Binyon's poem about the outbreak of the First World War, entitled The Fallen. The poem was later to adorn war memorials throughout Britain. Binyon wrote the poem while working at the British Museum and did not go to the Western Front until 1916 when he went as a Red Cross orderly.
After the Armistice Binyon returned to the British Museum printed books department where he was in charge of Oriental prints and paintings. Binyon wrote several books on art including Painting in the Far East (1908), Japanese Art (1909), Botticelli (1913) and Drawings and Engravings of William Blake (1922).
Laurence Binyon died in 1943.