Today we remember all those that have fallen for the hope of a better world. I don't believe in God or an unelected head of state, but I do believe in the soil beneath my feet and for all that is wrong in the UK, there is a whole lot that is right, and as long as the right outweighs the wrong, we are going in the right direction and for me that is worth preserving and I give"Remembrance" today to those before me, that have given their life for these shores, because they believed in the soil beneath their feet. Here is a poem I have picked out as my remembrance of those fallen and was written by a British soldier during the First World War.
A Soldier’s Cemetery by John William Streets
'Behind that long and lonely trenched line
To which men come and go, where brave men die,
There is a yet unmarked and unknown shrine,
A broken plot, a soldier’s cemetery.
There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d
To live (so died) when languished Liberty:
Across their graves flowerless and unadorned
Still scream the shells of each artillery.
When war shall cease this lonely unknown spot
Of many a pilgrimage will be the end,
And flowers will shine in this now barren plot
And fame upon it through the years descend:
But many a heart upon each simple cross
Will hang the grief, the memory of its loss.'
John was known as 'Will' and wrote to his publisher, Galloway Kyle, telling about the inspiration for his poems: “They were inspired while I was in the trenches, where I have been so busy I have had little time to polish them. I have tried to picture some thoughts that pass through a man’s brain when he dies. I may not see the end of the poems, but I hope to live to do so. We soldiers have our views of life to express, though the boom of death is in our ears. We try to convey something of what we feel in this great conflict to those who think of us, and sometimes, alas! Mourn our loss.”
Unfortunately Will did not 'live to do so.' Will On the 1st July 1916 being a Sergeant, moved with the 12th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment into the assembly trenches on the Somme battlefield. The attack was launched at 7.30 hrs. Will's battalion went in on the second wave. He was wounded and made his way back to the British line to get his wounds tended. He was then seen going to help another wounded man and thus disappeared.
His body was not found and identified until 10 months later. He was found in No-Mans Land and officially listed as "Killed" on the 1st May 1917 aged 31.
'Lest we forget'
Dogs play a very important role still in warfare. Sniffing out danger, finding lost comrades and sometimes just being there to bring comfort in a soldiers worst hours. It is calculated that around million dogs died in service during the First World War.
The title of the blog comes from the song 'Dark' by Seasick Steve. In war your dog will be there at the beginning and as Napoleon Bonaparte observed in my blog 'abandoned by all but his dog!' they will be there at the end.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!