ACCOUNT CLOSED - 18th AUGUST 1916

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The following lines are a memorial to my maternal uncle Ernest Valentine Venner ("Uncle Nick"), killed in action aged 24 years, one hundred years ago this month in "The war to end all wars".

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Ernest Venner's account was closed today at Delville Wood;

On a subaltern's pay with The Rifle Brigade he'd paid in all that he could.

 

The deed was done and duly recorded in that fiercely invested terrain

Of the Somme - the result of speculation in hope of some small gain.

 

And now he lies - as he surely once stood - with comrades shoulder to shoulder

Who fell in the hell that was Delville Wood, never destined to grow older.

 

Yet he survives in an old sepia photograph to live for ever more,

A timeless statement of all that is owed to an account that was closed by war.

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◄ THE GLOBAL MEDIA

FIVE YEARS ON ►

Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 5th Aug 2016 16:44

JC - the advances in technology are surely indicative of
progress in the physiology of the human brain. The crux
is whether the brain has a lock on the basics of emotion
and self-preservation whilst allowing for development in
the parts that can move from discovering fire to discovering DNA.
It certainly puzzles yours truly who is tapping out the
above from one personal stage of evolution!! :-)

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John Coopey

Mon 1st Aug 2016 19:00

Quite, MC. I'm sorry to say that our generation doesn't have a clue.
I am less sure that "the past is a different country". I don't believe despite our huge strides in technology that our anthropology has advanced at all. We are what we were 10,000, 1,000 and 100 years ago.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 1st Aug 2016 18:53

To have been there - even for a brief time - must have
been beyond our worst imaginings. To survive such
sights and experiences without going mad - as many did -
stuck there for months and years - is certainly beyond
mine! The past "as was" was truly "a different country"
and so were its people. We who are alive today and
carry their blood can only murmur our heartfelt thanks
for our own existence a hundred years on.

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Harry O'Neill

Mon 1st Aug 2016 16:51

M.C.
A fitting tribute to a victim of the `war to end all wars` (but didn`t).

Isn`t it strange that the two strictly secular wars of the last century which were responsible for so much human slaughter in bulk, should be followed by what can only be called a world-wide terrorist guerrilla conflict pretending to be a religious war.

Although the casualties of this one are not nearly on the scale of those other two, I wonder what the immediacy of the vivid television coverage is having on our re-actions to
what we are seeing.

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John Coopey

Mon 1st Aug 2016 15:06

A fitting tribute (can any tribute be enough for those who paid the ultimate price?).
My grandad survived the Great War and regained me with his tales of heroism which took me years to realise we're "Grandad's Tales".

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