Whilst abroad he was both wounded and gassed. After the war, Gurney returned to London to resume his music studies at the RCM with Vaughan Williams. The depression that plagued Gurney throughout his life became more serious as his years progressed, and he had a number of breakdowns. By 1922, his condition had deteriorated to such a point that his family had him declared insane.
He spent the last 15 years of his life in mental hospitals He died 26 December 1937 at the age of 47, leaving behind a great store of unpublished songs, many of which were arranged for publication posthumiously by Gerald Finzi. Gurney wrote hundreds of poems and more than 300 songs, as well as instrumental music. His most famous works include 'Sleep', on of his five Elizabethan Songs , and the song-cycles Ludlow and Teme and The Western Playland, both settings of poetry by A. E. Housman.
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