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Remembrance Day ©

I Findlay
Newcastle, England
2001

We lie in the trenches in the muck, and blood,
Slipping and sliding on the slippery duck boards,
The corporal lies sleeping my best friend is dead,
Where is it all going to end?

Our brains ache, in the merciless icy winds that knife us,
Some lie still trying to sleep in this rat-infested hellhole,
Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles,
Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.
Oh! when is it all going to end?

The fear takes hold, as the night grows silent,
The sentries whisper, curious, nervous,
Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,
Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles,
Oh! Lord! when will it end?

The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow,
Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence
The gunnery rumbles with its mighty reply
To the Boche who lie across no-mans-land,
Lord let it end!

The order comes through we're going over the top,
The sergeant is screaming the men start to rise,
Death with fingering stealth comes feeling for our faces,
Low, drooping flares fly over head,
Let us begin, let's get it over!

We all stand-to, ready, our bayonets are fixed,
We gaze out over the top ready to charge,
We turn back to our dying and the rats and the slime
The word goes around we're going over at last,
Onward now to glory or death!

Our guns are all silent as over we go,
We scream and we shout as we are charging the Boche,
The bullets whiz by the sergeant is hit,
No time to look back or help those who've fallen
It's onward we go!

GAS! GAS! Quick, boys! - an ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
Still we charge-on, the Boche stand waiting us now,
But onward we go!

Onward we charge into the fray,
He raises his gun it points right at me,
I charge-on raising my bayonet ready to kill,
His bullet misses but by an inch,
His bayonet comes down, mine is too slow,
My ears no longer hear the roar of the guns,
My eyes grow dim the light it is fading
My war is now over I'll die where I lie,
Out here in no-mans-land..

.... on Remembrance Day ...
.... say a little prayer ...
.... on Remembrance Day



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