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Paddy’s War

by James Cairney Conn No fame, no fanfare Fallen, not forgotten Long training, long trip Long stay on The Somme. Three years a husband and father Three months training ‘a soldier to be’ Three days on a trip to the front Three hours in a trench ‘just a waiting’. A...

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My Iron Cross First Class, Armistice Centenary

by Michael McCaughan Hold this Iron Cross, a Great War relic, Won by a soldier and pinned to his tunic. His medal for valour, award of renown, Silver and black, Kaiser’s W and crown. Holding this Cross your fingers touch history, On the reverse a palimpsest of...

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Just a Soldier

by Paul Hoffman He’s just a soldier, Doing his job, Fighting for freedom, for everyone, Machine guns loaded with Bayonets on, He prays he won’t have to shoot someone, He joined the forces, To defend our land, So, the children can dream, And live out their plans, He...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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, their...

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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 la...

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The Game Keeper

by Show of Hands https://youtu.be/5gkAlLdZ4Hs From the album, Centenary, The Gamekeeper has been launched as a single to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

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what remains?

what remains? not the noise of battle not the trenches not the mud not the young men places remain Passchendaele, Somme, Verdun and names on headstones in manicured cemeteries identical memorials camouflaging those who lie beneath and poppies what remains? not the...

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Ballad of 1st July

Won’t you wait for me, when the skies grow dark Won’t you tarry, for me in the dawn Won’t you wait for me, when the Lark doth rise Above the golden corn Won’t you wait for me, when the first snow falls Won’t you dally, for me in the spring Won’t you wait for me, when...

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Remembrance, to a Soldier

I will never know your voice, I will never know your smile ....but I know that you gave I will never know your loves I will never know your hates. ...but I know that you gave .....you gave your life in the war to end all wars (so-called), on the Somme. "Killed in...

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