Grandad Cairney

by Claire Conn What was the cause of my Grandfather’s tears? What made him angry for all of those years? Cheated in life like so many others, His father killed in The Somme with his brothers. Who took his loving father’s life? Who could be blamed for the war and its...

I had no idea…

by Elizabeth King My grandparents died years ago.I knew my grandpa had a brother, Ernest Faure who died at Delville Wood. He was young and handsome. I have photos of him as a teenager sitting with arms folded, proudly posing with his school rugby team in South Africa....

The Problem with Poppies

by Tony Richardson Plastic petals crumble. Paper passes. Crosses break. Arterial crimson fades. Those ceramic flowers in masses That tumbled from the Tower’s stone walls (And stood above the peaceful well-kept lawn), Their provenance may one day be forgot: “I think...

Somme, the First Day

Somme, The First Day by Michael Parris Poor bloody Infantry, is the moniker we got. Sat in trench, for duration, an army left to rot. But this is the big one, all the ducks in a row. Brass hats are right bullish, this one is the show. Our poilu friends the French, are...

The Trenches

The Trenches by Rosemary Ball The Trenches These shrouds make up the trenches Many, many, side by side To try and make us understand How many men have died While fighting for our freedom On a far off foreign shore We’ll never know their hardship Their fear,...

The Bridge – Viaduc de la Somme, 245m.

Each year we drive south through France to ski in winter, or explore in summer. An hour’s easy drive, south of Calais we cross le viaduct de la Somme. Each time, I reflect that my grandfather returned from hell there, but many did not. . The Bridge – Viaduc de...