Friday, 20 July 2007

I know it's not Rememberance Sunday... but...

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

In Memoriam
by Ewart Alan Mackintosh
(killed in action 21 November 1917 aged 24)
(Private D Sutherland killed in action in the German trenches, 16 May 1916, and the others who died.)

So you were David's father,

And he was your only son,

And the new-cut peats are rotting

And the work is left undone,

Because of an old man weeping,

Just an old man in pain,

For David, his son David,

That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,

And I can see them still,

Not a word of the fighting,

But just the sheep on the hill

And how you should get the crops in

Ere the year get stormier,

And the Bosches have got his body,

And I was his officer.

You were only David's father,

But I had fifty sons

When we went up in the evening

Under the arch of the guns,

And we came back at twilight -

O God! I heard them callT

o me for help and pity

That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,

My men that trusted me,

More my sons than your fathers',

For they could only see

The little helpless babies

And the young men in their pride.

They could not see you dying,

And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,

They saw their first-born go,

But not the strong limbs broken

And the beautiful men brought low,

The piteous writhing bodies,

They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',

For they were only your fathers

But I was your officer.

Inspiration for the Poem
On the evening of 16 May, 1916 Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh and Second Lieutenant Mackay of the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders led a raid on the German trenches in the sector of the front line north-west of Arras. By the end of the night there were sixteen British casualties, which included fourteen wounded and two killed. One of the two dead soldiers was Private David Sutherland.
Private David Sutherland has no known grave. His name is commemorated in Bay 8 of the Arras Memorial to the Missing at Faubourg d'Amiens military cemetery in Arras.

Taken from the website

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