4th August 1914

My piece to remember the beginning of the World War One - 100 years ago today:
You Are

You are a pointing finger

You are the tramp of marching feet

You are boys from school and field

From factory, shop and mill

You are Archduke Franz Ferdinand

You are mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers,

Wives, sweethearts who wave good bye

Pride in your heart and fear in your eyes

‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye’

You are mud that rots the feet and corrodes the mind

‘Smile, now, that’s the style’

You are rats, sandbags, the stench of corpses

You are the generals:

Haig, Beatty, Jellicoe

‘Good morning! Good morning!’

You are out of your depth

You are the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

You are the poppies blowing in Flanders fields

You are the 10 million dead

In the war to end all wars

You are ideology and propaganda

You are no man’s land

You are the Christmas truce

You are soft singing Stille Nacht, Silent Night

You are grenades, guns, artillery

You are the stuttering rifle’s rapid rattle

You are the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

You are shell shock, shock, shell, shock

You are Flanders, Ypres, Passchendale

You are the white crosses on Somme battlefields

You are ‘the poignant misery of dawn’

You are the Treaty of Versailles

You are Owen, Sassoon, Brooke

You are English Literature, exams, coursework

You are the telegraph boy at the door

You are each ‘slow drawing down of blinds’

You are mud, mud, mud

You are my unknown grandfather

Proud member of the Black Watch

You are his Military Cross, his Distinguished Conduct Medal

You are the ability, courage and dash

Displayed in the attack near Neuve Chapelle

You are the tears in my eyes

You are ‘Goodbye to All That’

You are ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

You are voices crying in the night

‘It will be over by Christmas’

You are foot rot, snipers, the whistle of shells

You are Blighty, bully beef, brass hats

You are ‘a corner of some foreign field’

You are Tommy, Conchie, Fritz

You are whiz-bangs, dugouts, lice

You are the wife who waits at home

You are the mother who dreads the telegram

‘Smile now that’s the style’

‘You are the larks, still bravely singing’

You are mud, mud, mud

You are the First World War

You are the Great War

You are the war to end all wars

You are shell shock, shock, shell

Shell shock, shell













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  1. Polly says:

    Repetition used to great effect here, Lindsay.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Polly – value your comment, as always!

  3. linda sellers says:

    so poignant – so appropriate – brilliant

  4. Lindsay says:

    Glad you like it, Linda. Thanks for commenting – lovely to hear from you.

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