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Bugle to the brave

On village greens in each county

Buglers would give out the call

To labourers scything the harvest

And masons repairing the walls

The drummers would beat out a rhythm

That few of the crowd could resist

Recruiters would badger the shy ones

Until  not a soul had been missed

They signed on their pieces of paper

Encouraged by girlfriends and wives

Not one of them once ever wondered

The effect it would have on their lives

Proudly they marched with the bandsmen

Eyes on the lead Union Jack

Smiling and waving to loved ones

How many of them would be back?

The training was hard and demanding

Their humour would carry them through

Then finally off to the harbour

And places that none of them knew

Still filled with the hope of a victory

They marched with swagger and sway

The noise and the horror of battle

Would greet them the very next day

They spent just a day in the trenches

Bombarded by bullet and shell

How cruel the realisation 

How real to be in this hell

At dawn came the now dreaded order

“Over the top lads you go”

Some of them came back to trenches

But how- they would never know

The dead the dying and injured

Lay in a wallow of mud

Infected by lice and diseases

Surviving however they could

Just when they thought it was over

New shells were filling the air

Mustard gas filled all the trenches

And stripped off their skin and their hair

The screams of the Tommie’s were dreadful

They suffered throughout the long night

Crying aloud for attention

For some it had taken their sight

Now we must never forget them

Those brave men who answered the call

To fight for their King and for Country

Hero’s defined- one and all

By Don Holmes

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