Poems for Remembrance Day

Two poems for Remembrance Day.

This one is loosely based on one of my Great Uncles who was killed in the Third Battle of Ypres at Passchendaele. He joined up aged eighteen, was wounded at age nineteen, and killed aged 20. His name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial, but has no known grave.

The Blacksmith’s Song

The wind soughs through the broken window,
Cobwebs wave in the gentle breeze,
Dust motes float and sparkle in the air,
As white-hot iron once sparkled.

Birds fly in and out,
A missing roof tile their front door,
Mice on the floor sharing their world,
Scurrying and flapping adding to the soft sounds.

Tools hang lifeless on nails in old dry wood,
Tongs for holding, giant pliers for twisting,
Swages, sledges and wedges,
Waiting for the hand that will never come.

Bars of wrought iron,
A broken gate waiting repair,
A pile of coke, with shovel standing by,
Like a soldier waiting for orders it will never hear.

Leather bellows, split and cracked,
Lifeless like the hearth,
The fierce roar silenced,
No one now to stoke the fire.

The anvil lies cold and dead,
Like the man who once worked it,
His name on a plaque in a foreign land,
Along with the words, “No known grave.”

The forge is now silent,
But if you listen hard,
You might hear a faint sound,
Like a music box playing in the next room.

If you listen harder still,
You might just hear the Smithy’s song,
Ringing clear and true like a bell,
The song of hammer on iron.

The second poem was inspired by a postcard album found in a suitcase under my Granny’s bed after she died.
This particular postcard was written in pencil and then sent home by my Great Uncle Sam to his sister, my Gran. In it he names one of his comrades, and my Gran thankfully defaced the card so we knew which soldier was her brother.

The card begins, “What do you think of this dirty little throng, I guess we look serious we had this took the day we come from the trenches.”
The stamp is postmarked 19th August 1916, and the card is a remarkable snapshot in time. Uncle Sam came home, but I don’t know the fate of the others.

Bowskill with flags in hand,
Uncle Sam on the radio,
Other names lost in the mud,
“Over the top,” it’s time to go.

They all came home, every man.
Some came home whole, in body and mind,
Some came home broken, but no signs without,
Some left all but their name behind.

Fighting, eating, sleeping in the mire,
A century on they slumber where they fell,
Names carved on stone or cast in bronze,
To remind us of their personal hell.

At eleven ack-emma, we remember them,
The War to end All Wars,
But there’s always another call to arms,
To fight for another cause.


Red for the blood that was spilled.
Black for the mourning of those left behind.
Green for the new growth on the fields of battle.
The leaf at eleven o’clock, symbolising the time when the guns fell silent.


Thanks.Some of them look young,don’t they?


young heroes


Arthur Frederick Aumonier Woollams Died aged 78 who was born in 1897.
Seems fitting to remember him today. He had been in WW1 and WW2 and Honoured with Both the Victory Medal but also the British War Medals.
He was with the Machine Gun Section and he was a Corporal in the NZEF.
He had been shot in the WW1 war but was fortunate to live through that injury. His memorial is in Kuiti NZ.


Some of those brave men were young, with some even lying about their age just to sign up. To the warmongers, lives are cheap and I doubt they cared a jot :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


I based the first poem on this chap, Great Uncle William. He was one of my Granddad’s brothers, joined the Somerset Light Infantry and had this taken at the age of 18 just before he left for war. He looks apprehensive.

He returned a year later to convalesce after being wounded. He looks confident, battle hardened, and assured.

A year later he was gone.


Can’t read this thread with out a tear rolling down my cheek. The bravery, tempered with the horrors they must have seen and been through doesn’t bear thinking about. So many lost and so many young lives not lived.
Shall be thinking about them at the appointed hour.


I guess having someone that went through the wars brings it home more to you. Brave man Di. They all were.


Nice poems FC
My great uncle Tom died on the Somme …
I will think of him today




In Flanders Fields


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.


:heart: so brave , so young . :heart:


Today, I shall cry

Khaki cloth and Sam Brown belt,
Puttees caked in mud,
Men and shrapnel scream through the air,
The stench of death and blood.

Poised upon the firing step,
Where flowers once grew wild,
An old man’s eyes wearily look out,
From a soldier who is still but a child.

His face upon an old postcard,
“By ‘eck Ma, we look grim”.
Next the clock on mantlepiece,
Only his family remember him.

All across this land of ours,
Flags flap against grey sky,
Poppy red upon my breast,
For him today, I shall cry.



I served proudly in the Army, but, not in the two world wars.
I did see some action, but, none so terrible as theirs,
I wear my Poppy in honour to those brave Women and Men.
My silent tear of gratitude and admiration, is dedicated to all of them. :heart: