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Poems of Remembrance

Welcome to the Shipston on Stour Branch of The Royal British Legion

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FOR THE FALLEN

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her 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 not grow old, as we who 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 shall remember them.

They mingle not with their 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.

Laurence Binyon

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The night is old and the morning is young,
It is at times like these we should think of our heroes unsung.
Men who died for country and Queen in many battlefields unseen.
Men who fought for truth and honour.
Men who would have opened the gates of Valhalla.
But Valhalla is a place veiled in mystery
And not spoken of in British history.
So please raise your voice and sing with me.
Raise a glass and take a drink
For these men and women who forged our past,
For in their memory our future lasts

Sid Pankhurst

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JUST A COMMOM SOLDIER (A SOLDIER DIED TODAY)

He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past
Of a war that we had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
Of his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbours, his tales became a joke
His Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bert has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He was just a common soldier and his ranks were growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

 A. Lawrence Vaincourt

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IN WATERS DEEP

In ocean wastes no poppies blow,
No crosses stand in ordered row,
Their young hearts sleep... beneath the wave...
The spirited, the good, the brave,
But stars a constant vigil keep,
For them who lie beneath the deep.

'Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer
On certain spot and think. "He's there."
But you can to the ocean go...
See whitecaps marching row on row;
Know one for him will always ride...
In and out... with every tide.

And when your span of life is passed,
He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast."
And they who mourn on distant shore
For sailors who'll come home no more,
Can dry their tears and pray for these
Who rest beneath the heaving seas...

For stars that shine and winds that blow
And whitecaps marching row on row.
And they can never lonely be
For when they lived... they chose the sea...

Eileen Mahoney

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FLOWERS GROW IN FIELDS SO GREEN

Flowers grow in fields so green, where in the past war was seen,
Men shot to pieces by machines of fear, loved one’s left to shed a tear.
Children left with desperate mothers, dead are the fathers, sons, and brothers.
Many of them never found, bodies scattered ore the ground,
The soil drew in the streams of blood, and to the flora it did flood,
Flowers grow in fields so green, nourished by mans blood not seen.


Chris Duggan

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OUR REMEMBRANCE DAY A MESSAGE FROM THE FALLEN

Come gather round lads, come one come all,
Its time to answer the bugle’s call,
Look, through the clouds and down below,
There’s hundreds of friends we used to know.

Our special day of the year is here,
When all our comrades gather near,
A promise made, for years to keep,
To honour us, in our endless sleep.

Together we all fought, side by side,
The lucky one’s all march with pride,
Some old and grey and racked with pain,
But still they march, time and again.

Our poppy wreath’s all shining bright,
Oh boys, look at this glorious sight,
In cloud and mist, in sun and wet,
We knew, that they would not forget.

We pick out regiments we all know,
And one by one we watch them go,
We salute all those who came to pray,
For us - on our - remembrance day.

Cal Pearson

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WHY DO I WEAR A POPPY?

Why do I wear a poppy?
I’ll tell you if I may,
Because I believe remembrance
Is not only for one day.

I wear it for the fallen,
And for those falling still.
For those who come back broken
In body or in will.

For the parents, spouses, siblings
Where bereavement takes its toll.
Whose pain will never leave them,
It eats into their soul.

For the wino on the corner,
Of his old life nothing’s left.
Now he wishes when in battle
He had died a hero’s death.

For the lad who loved a kick-about
In the park with all his mates,
But now his legs are held together
With pins and metal plates.

For the selfless men and women
Whose final journey home
Is in a Union flag-draped coffin
On comrades’ shoulders borne.

For all those marching proudly
In Remembrance Day parades.
My poppy’s worn in gratitude
For the sacrifice they made.

Anne Starr

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