armistice Day

Today, 11th November, is the day that the armistice was declared after World War 1. I am commemorating it by republishing a post I posted before.

In 2018 there was a lot about World War 1, not surprisingly as it was the 100th anniversary. I was inspired to write this poem in memory of my wonderful grandfather who fought in Gallipoli.

I suspect not many people know the British troops fought there, too. We hear a lot about the brave Australian and New Zealand men, but not much about our own troops.

We Will Remember Them.

I’ll never truly understand
How World War I began.
The death of Archduke Ferdinand
Started the deaths of many more,
The young, the old, the rich, the poor.
All died with guns in hand.

My Grandad went with Uncle Jim
And Our Poor Willie, too.
They sent them off, singing a hymn.
Grandad went to Gallipoli,
Uncle Jim left his love, Polly.
Gas in trenches did kill him.

I cannot see, in my mind’s eye
Grandad with gun in hand.
A peaceful man, sent out to die.
He fought for us, for you and me
So we can live and so that we
Safely in our beds may lie.

Grandad came home, and Willie too,
But millions more did not.
Their duty they all had to do.
They died in fear, in noise, in blood.
Everything was caked in mud.
Yet in those fields the poppies grew.

The War to end all wars, they said,
So terrible were the deaths.
The youth of Europe all lay dead.
Yet 21 short years to come
Another war. Once more a gun
In young men’s hands brought death.

One hundred years have passed since then.
What have we learned? Not much!
Too many men are killing men.
Wars still abound around the world.
Bombs and missiles still are hurled
At those who disagree with them.

5 thoughts on “armistice Day”

  1. I enjoyed reading this, Vivienne. Your poem reminded me of a man I used to call “big grandad”. He survived the trenches and, as a child I remember him coming to call and tapping with his stick on the aquarium which contained tropical fish. I was to young to understand and never spoke to him about the war. I liked him. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kevin. It’s so often too late that we realise we should have spoken to our elderly relatives and friends about their lives. I never spoke to my Grandad about WW1, nor to my uncle who was a German prisoner in WW2 about their experiences. I now regret it when it’s far too late.

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