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Ted Hughes' brother and 'most crucial influence' dies aged 95

The brother of the late poet laureate Ted Hughes, credited with being his "most crucial influence", has died.

Ted Hughes Credit: Press Association

Gerald Hughes died in Australia on Saturday, aged 95, a statement from his younger brother's estate said.

He was described as having been responsible for introducing Ted, one of the 20th century's greatest poets, to some of the subjects including nature and fishing which became a feature of his work.

Gerald emigrated in 1948 but the brothers remained close, noted in his memoir Ted And I, published in 2012.

Gerald Hughes was a hugely influential figure in Ted's youth, particularly during the poet's first seven years whilst living in Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge, in West Yorkshire.

He is said to be largely responsible for awakening in his younger brother the interest in nature, fishing and hunting that would become the wellspring for so much of his poetry.

He was Ted's most crucial influence, instructor and guide in the highly formative years of his early childhood.

Gerald took great pride in his brother's achievements and I will remember him most for his warmth, his friendship, and as a supreme raconteur - able to turn the most trivial event into a fascinating if, at times, convoluted tale of woe or joy.

– Carol, Ted's widow