Bertie Deyell, or George Robert Deyell, Shetland author and registrar, was born on the 12th of December, 1920 at Semblister, Sandsting. He married Catherine Louise Anderson of Wester Skeld in 1950, and they had ten children.
In 1942 Deyell and Peter Jamieson compiled the first substantial collection of poems in the Shetland dialect. They were prominent members of the Shetland Poetical Circle, later the Shetland Writers Group.
As John J. Graham explains in his introduction to A Shetland Anthology, "they sifted old newspapers and defunct magazines as well as the occasional book and retrieved many gems, now recognised as classics, from the works of Laurence J. Nicolson, James Stout Angus, Haldane Burgess, John Peterson and others. H.J.C. Grierson was invited to reduce the selection to some two dozen poems and write an introduction, with the objective of having an anthology published when the war ended."
Unfortunately, the original plan failed to materialise in the immediate post-war confusion. Nonetheless, when John and Laurence Graham's own anthology appeared in 1998, they were careful to pay homage to the work of the earlier editors, and the original Jamieson-Deyell selection was included.
Bertie Deyell was one of the writers who helped found The New Shetlander and he continued to be a regular contributor to it and other Shetland papers and magazines. He was an active member of the Shetland Folk Society, and edited two volumes of Shetland proverbs and sayings. One of which, entitled A Useful Peerie Book of Shetland Sayings, a 52 page volume containing over 200 Shetland sayings and proverbs, was published posthumously in 2000 by the Deyell Family. Some of his stories were collected in Inga's man and other stories, published in 1986. He died on the 20th of November 1999, at Semblister.