North Finchley Remembrance Ceremony, ‘Madeleine’ and a Submariner Memorial…
No apologies for today’s theme, of course; my maternal great-grandfather was a Stoker on HMS Aboukir, who died on 22nd September 1914, in the sinking of that warship, and my maternal grandfather, his son, was an Able Seaman, who died aboard HMS Lawford on the 8th June 1944…
Break of Day in the Trenches
The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet’s poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver -what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.
(Written, June 1916)
Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)
Sunshine and tears everywhere today! I love that Remembrance Day does actually seem to bring people together more though.
I saw that unveiling the other day on the news and didn’t catch the name ~ so thank you for that! I have a feeling that I saw her story on TV a while back ~ very brave lady!
Yes, although Remembrance Day means nothing very much to some folk, it doesn’t take too much imagination to recognise the extraordinary courage and sacrifice that human beings are capable of making in times of war, and Noor Inayat Khan is just one example amongst many.
Incidentally, earlier today I had another listen to H’s version of Eric Bogle’s ‘No Man’s Land’ and it’s a lovely thing, so I hope it finds its way onto one of her albums some day ;).