Two Grandfathers

entry picture

Existing only as a line

on a memorial,

I know only he is gone,

not how he lived.

A body lost

in endless trenches,

filled with wasted youth.


His nation needed HIM

to be torn

from his family

to a far off war and

a forgotten death.


His blood mingling

with those

murdered at dawn

by their own side,

in front of the

same trenches.


Too frail to fight,

Baker was a butler.

Serving salmon

on silver

to the families

of heroes

who shot the

'coward' youths

before their

trembling comrades.


An honourable war,

being a gentleman

to the gentlemen.

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darren thomas

Sun 2nd Dec 2007 12:52

Yes, wonderful. This is very precise.

<Deleted User> (7790)

Sun 2nd Dec 2007 12:12

Deeply moving and touched on a bit of family history -- this week in Lincoln a recovered memorial tablet was re-dedicated in All Saints church after the original church, a methodist, was demolished to build a car park. The tablet turned up in a back garden, was restored by the finder, a Mr Hudson, who also did some research about the named soldiers, all members of the Lincolnshire Second Battalion. The first name on the tablet was that of my father's grandfather, a man who had died at the age of 40 in the trenches -- quite old for a soldier. My dad had never known how his grandfather had died and it seems he was over 6ft tall, not a good height for trench warfare, and he had his head blown off by a sniper. Shocking details even now. Your poem is very haunting and beautifully controlled -- the narrative balanced and yet so very shocking.

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