Jean Jules Verdenal, to whom 'Prufrock' is dedicated, was born on 11 May
1890 at Pau in the French Pyrenees. The son of a doctor, he was a
medical student in Paris when TSE met him at Mme Casaubon's pension,
151 bis rue St Jacques, where they both lodged. During the academic
year 1910-11 they became close friends, but after TSE's return to America
in the autumn of 1911 they never met again. . . . [O]n 2 May he was killed
in the Dardanelles while tending a wounded officer on the battlefield.
. . . He was mentioned posthumously in dispatches for having performed
his duty 'with courage and devotion'.
(from Valerie Eliot, The Letters of T.S. Eliot Volume I 1898-1922,
quoted in Anthony Hands, Sources for the Poetry of T. S. Eliot.
Oxford: Hadrian Books. 1993 p. 1.)
Eliot in April 1934:
I am willing to admit that my own retrospect is touched
by a sentimental sunset, the memory of a friend coming across the Luxembourg
Gardens in the late afternoon, waving a branch of lilac, a friend who was
later (as far as I could find out) to be mixed with the mud of Gallipoli.
(Hands, Sources 1)
From Dante Purgatorio xxi. 133-6, Virgil to Statius.