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When peace came down at Christmas. -YOUR FAVOURITE POEM

Christmas Truce

Were they ready

                   for the day when it came?
To pay the price –
                          the ultimate sacrifice.
 In a land they didn’t call home.
“It’ll be over by Christmas,”
                             their loved ones believed,
but all of them knew:
                    their hopes were deceived.
Each one waiting.
                           Anticipating.
Their  Cherubim – a different kind.

Were they ready,

                   for the day when it came?
Enveloped in calm,
                     they laid down their arms,
To listen,
          and watch peace unfurl.
Did they dare go over the top?
          To greet and frat and swap,
            offering gifts to those they should kill.
Each one waiting.
            Anticipating.
A haven in the midst of hell.

Were they ready,
                   for the day when it came?
A quietness fell,
                    no sound of a shell.
Silence covered the land.
Then singing was heard
                               on the night of goodwill.
Exchanges made,
                       the night so still
When peace came down at Christmas.
Each one waiting.
            Anticipating.
Fritz waved a greeting – or was it farewell?

© Karen Ette 

YOUR FAVOURITE POEM WHAT’S YOUR’S

Poem for Armistice Day – By Joshua Peters Aged 9 yrs

pop

We’ll be pausing for two minutes at 11 o’clock today to mark Armistice day. 

When we talked about the importance of remembering and the wearing of poppies a few weeks ago, we had such a big response that we kept in touch with some of the listeners we spoke to – many of whom were under 16. 

Joshua Peters is nine years old and he has written some poems about remembrance. He’ll be on the radio at about 10.50am today, and two others, both called Olivia, will read their poems about World War 2 after the silence.

Here’s one of Joshua’s poems I thought you might like to see:

Heaven is all around, Life in War 1914-1918

Lying without motion on the ground 
The lost ones have been found. 
The dead have been crowned. 
Heaven is all around.
Those soldiers fought in war 
With the Devil at their doors. 
Now without a sound, 
Heaven is all around.
Don’t leave them there, for God’s sake, 
End their loved ones ache. 
Heaven is here.

By Joshua Peters 
Aged 9 yrs (March 2007)

Armistice Day

 

 ARMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Two minute’s silence is a small price to pay

To remember our dead on Armistice Day.

So find one name marked on a grave,

But do not mourn the life he gave;

Just think about the man below,

Who lived and died, maybe years ago,

And remember him as uncle, father, or son;

Only then will his final battle be won.

Written on the 11th.hour of the 11th.day of the 11th.month 1999. At Aylesford

by

T.Harrison

TWO MINUTES SILENCE

Collection of Veteran Day poems

brit

Special Note for High Flight:
During the Battle of Britain, many Americans crossed the border into Canada to enlist with the Royal Canadian Air Force … they knowingly broke the law in order to fight Hitler’s Germany.  

John Gillespie Magee, Jr., born in Shanghai, China, in 1922. When Magee was just 18 years old, he entered flight training and was sent to England, on 30 June 1941. He flew the Spitfire being promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer. German bombers were crossing the English Channel regularly to attack Britain’s cities and factories.

On September 3, 1941, Magee flew a Spitfire V test flight which inspired him to write his poem. That same day he wrote a letter to his parents which included this now famous poem. Three months later, on December 11, 1941 (three days after the US entered the war and four days after Pearl Harbor), John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was killed. He was just 19 years old. John Gillespie Magee, Jr. is at Scopwick, Lincolnshire, in a churchyard cemetery.


 In Flanders Field
by Captain John D. McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands, we throw
The torch-Be yours to hold it high!
If ye 
break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though
poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Special Note for In Flanders Field
So, why the poppy? During the Napoleonic wars, it was observed that the fields were bright with colorful red poppies before a battle. Strangely enough, it was discovered that the bombardment of these fields helped the poppy to grow! John McCrae’s poem became popular in 1915 and by 1918, Moina Michael began to weave poppies in remembrance of those who had died in WWI while working at the YMCA canteen. Madame Guerin learned of this in 1920 when she visited in New York from France. On her return home, she began making poppies to earn money for the children of veterans and the worn torn Europe. The USA tends to wear poppies on Memorial Day while other countries (e.g., Canada, etc.) wear them in November.

           AMERICA ANSWERS –

IN FLANDERS FIELD
R. W. Lilliard
Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead.
The fight that ye so bravely led
We’ve taken up.  And we will keep
True faith with you who lie asleep
With each a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders fields.
Fear not that ye have died for naught.
The torch ye threw to us we caught.
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And Freedom’s light shall never die!
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders fields.

                        THE THINGS THAT MAKE A SOLDIER GREAT 

Edgar Guest


The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon’s mouth nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
‘Tis these that make a soldier great.
He’s fighting for them all.

‘Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
‘Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn’t linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where’er it be — the humblest spot called home.
And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now — he’s fighting for them all.

The Common Soldier


Nobody cared, when he went to war,
But the woman that cried on his shoulder;
Nobody decked him with immortelles;
He was only a common soldier.

Nobody packed in a dainty trunk
Folded raiment and officer’s fair;
A knapsack held all the new recruit
Might own, or love, or eat, or wear.

Nobody gave him a good-by fete,
With sparkling jest and flower crowned wine:
Two or three friends on the sidewalk stood
Watching for Jones, the fourth in line.

Nobody cared how the battle went,
With the man that fought till the bullet sped
Through the coat undecked with leaf or star
On a common soldier left for dead.

The cool rain bathed the fevered wound,
And the kind clouds wept the live long night;
A pitying lotion Nature gave,
Till help might come with morning light —

Such help as the knife of the surgeon gives,
Cleaving the gallant arm from shoulder;
And another name swells the pension list
For the meager pay of a common soldier.

What matter how he served the guns
When plume and sash were over yonder?
What matter though he bear the flag
Through blinding smoke and battle thunder.

What matters though a wife and child
Cry softly for that good arm rent?
And wonder why that random shot
To him, their own, beloved, was sent?

O patriotic hearts, wipe out this stain;
Give jeweled cup and sword and no more;
But let no common soldier blush
To own the loyal wardrobe he wore.

Shout long and loud for victory won
By chief and leader stanch and true;
But don’t forget the boys that fought —
Shout for the common soldier too !

lN Honor to Her


He offered himself for the land he loved,
But what shall we say for her ?
He gave to his country a soldier’s life;
‘Twas dearer by far to the soldier’s wife.
All honor today to her !

He went to the war while his blood was hot,
But what shall we say of her ?
He saw himself through the battle’s flame
A hero’s reward on the scroll of fame;
What honor is due to her ?

He offered himself, but his wife did more,
All honor today to her !
For dearer than life was the gift she gave
In giving the life she would die to save;
What honor is due to her?

He gave up his life at his country’s call,
But what shall we say of her ?
He offered himself as a sacrifice,
But she is the one who pays the price.
All honor we owe to her.

The Lark Above The Trenches
by Muriel E Graham, WWI

All day the guns had worked
their hellish will,
And all night long
With sobbing breath men
gasped their lives away
Or shivered restless on the ice-cold clay,
Till morn broke pale and chill
With sudden song.

Above the sterile furrows war
had ploughed
With deep-trenched seams,
Wherein this year such
bitter seed is sown,
Wherein this year no fruitful
grain is strown,
A lark poured from the cloud
Its throbbing dreams.

It sang — and pain and death
were passing shows
So glad and strong;
Life soared triumphant,
though a myriad men
Were swept like leaves beyond
the living’s ken,
That wounded hope arose
To greet that song.

To the Memory of
the Brave Americans 

Philip Freneau
 

Under General Greene, in South Carolina,
who fell in the action of September 8, 1781

AT Eutaw Springs the valiant died;
Their limbs with dust are covered o’er —
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
How many heroes are no more!

If in this wreck or ruin, they
Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
O smite your gentle breast, and say
The friends of freedom slumber here!

Thou, who shalt trace this bloody plain,
If goodness rules thy generous breast,
Sigh for the wasted rural reign;
Sign for the shepherds, sunk to rest!

Stranger, their humble graves adorn;
You too may fall, and ask a tear;
‘Tis not the beauty of the morn
That proves the evening shall be clear. —

They saw their injured country’s woe;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear — but left the shield.

Led by thy conquering genius, Greene,
The Britons they compelled to fly;
None distant viewed the fatal plain,
None grieved, in such a cause to die —

But, like the Parthian, famed of old,
Who, flying, still their arrows threw,
These routed Britons, full as bold,
Retreated, and retreating slew.

Now rest in peace, our patriot band,
Though far from nature’s limits thrown,
We trust they find a happier land,
A brighter sunshine of their own.

Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Poems for Armistice Day Veteran Day ,and Remembrance Sunday

Monument honouring the dead near Compiegne

The term “armistice” means a cessation of hostilities as a prelude to peace negotiations.  In the context of the First World War ‘the armistice’ is generally referred to in context of the agreement between the Germans and the Allies to end the war on November 11, 1918.

 

pilckem-ridge

For the Fallen by Lawrence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden by Ludwig Uhland

Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
Er ging an meiner Seite
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt.

Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
Gilt’s mir oder gilt sie dir?
Sie hat ihn weggerissen,
Er liegt zu meinen Füßen
Als wär’s ein Stück von mir

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad’.
“Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,
Bleib du im ew’gen Leben
Mein guter Kamerad!”

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday at the CenotaphRemembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. On this day people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave Service men and women.

 

TWO MINUTE SILENCE

Two Minute Silence

At the
eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the
eleventh month. The Two Minute Silence is observed on Armistice
Day, the day which marks the end of the First World War.

The Royal British Legion has always supported the traditional Remembrance
Sunday services and the customary Two Minute Silence on that day. As the
national custodian of Remembrance, the Legion also believes that when 11
November (Armistice Day) falls on days other than Sundays – on working days –
Remembrance should be brought into the everyday life of the nation on those days
as well.

The revival of support for observance of this demonstrates that, despite the
passing of the years and the declining number of veterans, the nation still
feels strongly about Remembrance

BACK TO THE BEGINNING

coff

Soldiers bore the weight of the flag-draped coffin,
A sight seen too often;
Parents’ were grieving,
For a child not breathing,
As the sun slipped beneath the darkening sky,
And all that remained was, “Why?”

Troops surrounded by enemy fire,
As the fateful moments became more dire,
A weapon-wielding patriot discharged a round,
Only to merge with the dusty ground.

Proud to ride the wings of the brave,
Deplaning among an eager conclave,
Physically prepared with mental certitude,
The new fighter marched on with numbing fortitude.

A new recruit raises their hand to be heard,
Listening to the call to battle; still a child, a fledgling bird,
Watching the Union Jack or Star Spangled Banner,
Waving with the wind ‘til the flag fades to amber.

(In Honour of Remembrance/Veterans’ Day)

Wendy Shreve

WAR POEM 2017

Give the judge a wig

Died I died, one friend by my side
Thought bullets went wide
But no, no we died
One heart too big
His sort couldn’t fib
One head that did
Did and did.
Lived I lived, a friend on my side
50,000 heavy sighs
Failed and tried
Give the judge a wig
Called him Pig
‘Cause friendship we hid
Until I died I did.
By John fox

REMEMBRANCE DAY TO DAY COME AND JOIN US AND SHOW THAT YOU STILL CARE!

Remembrance Sunday is held “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts

DULCE ET DECORUM EST -Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) Famous Poet

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on , blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tried, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

LEST WE FORGET

poppy

Lest We ForgetHave we forgotten their ultimate  sacrifice?Of these men and women who died in their  millions?Brave and true, without question,proud to be British,  not ashamed to be Christian.So many years have past,it  seems our memory doesn’t last.Forgetting these courageous people to our  shame.

Why can’t we remember their names?

How short is our  memory?

That we have forgotten them already.

Died in their  millions fighting for our freedom,

believing in our free democratic  ideology.

What does it take to wake up this country,

to  rise once again from its complacency?

How much more do we take, before we  decide to fight,

for our beliefs, our traditions and our  liberty?

by Simon Icke, Buckinghamshire.  UK.

Two men

 
 
The two men of age sat
 
With ice cream cones
 
That melted in the heat;
 
Each drip of luxury
 
Deliberately hung,
 
Heated and scorched,
 
Then scolding coldly
 
On a hand of history
 
August remained constantly pure
 
Blistering memories wide open
 
Their view of horizons widened
 
Across an azure blue-bathed vastness.
 
 
 
Yesterday the cauldron of battle,
 
In vineyards of Toledo
 
Of Catalonia :
 
Of Dust and time and land
 
Precious drops of reddened life
 
Seeped as wine in an
 
Iberian sun;
 
In Spain;
 
To scar an ancient earth.
 
 
 
The two men watched a sunset
 
Caress the shortening day
 
A gilded final stream of fading
 
Light strayed, illuminating
 
Their huddled figures:
 
They looked away.
By Steve Holloway.
The poem relates to the Spanish Civil War. Many ‘ordinary’ men and women from this country (and many other nations too) went to Spain to fight fascism between 1936 – 1939. It is the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the International Brigades in which many perished fighting Franco.

My soldier boy

  There was a knock at my door
 A soldier stood there all forlorn,
I recognized him as my boy
A boy who went to war,
Now he wasn’t a boy any more
Now he has grown into a man,
This is my son
Who I had not seen for so long,
Who I’d yearned to see for such a long time
He stood at my door in all his prime,
It must have been a year or two today
When I had last heard him say,
“Hello mother”
There will be no other,
My one and only stood in front of me
I said “come on in son, I’ll make some tea”
My soldier boy

 Thomas sims

A Field of poppies

pop

I walk through a field of poppies

They are spread as far as the eye can see

Like a deep crushed velvet carpet

Presented in front of me

Each poppy resembles a soldier

Who died a hundred years ago

I cannot name one of these soldiers

Not one I will ever know

But each one is a hero

So who is left to tell their story

Of the war one hundred years ago

By Thomas Sims

IRAQ FRIGHTS BACK

18Misrach-5

Iraq Fights Back
A hole in the ground
So large and round,
Devours a soldier
Laying him in the ground
To leave no sound
Only echoes around,
Where silence lingers
And the hole gets bigger,
Where the soldier lies
Clutching his trigger
Stillness surrounds,
There is no sound in the ground
There is no-one around
To hear the silent sound.

By Thomas Sims

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