THE SOMME

by ehistoryadmin on June 30, 2016

THE SOMME

 

Poem by Angela Lane on the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme 1916

The Somme

Soldiers,

Guns,

Supplies,

A spectacular show

Is about to

Be run,

*

This was the real battle.

My body was the second.

Fear brings desperation

A shelter was needed

Water and more,

Dry trenches, avoid fire, forget exhaustion,

Hidden Tunnels.

Underground warfare

Germans dug

We dug,

Side by Side

*

Listen, Dig,

Place explosive,

Run.

*

Terror, fear, flashes!

Fire, rain, crashes,

Spared for another Battle

My own.

*

The shoulders were raw,

The guns were heavy,

We marched all day,

Without a bevvie.

*

The silence,

Waiting for a shell !

Is my name on the bullet?

I must be in Hell

*

Optimism can kill.

Be prepared to drill,

Kill,

Oh Mary.

*

Play cards ?

Learn to dive

Stay alive

Prepare for bombards

*

Destiny,

Eternity,

*

Au Revoir.

*

We could see them

As they could see us

Who will live?

Forgive.

*

The Battle of the Somme Began

1916

*

Barbed wire.

Continuous fire.

Red blood flows,

Many decompose

*

We were mowed down

Like grass before the mower.

No man’s land,

Was their’s in death.

*

Jerry’s counter attacking,

Run, crawl

Over dead bodies.

Soldiers all.

*

Heat, Mud,

Reserves that never arrive

Will my life be spared?

Paddy the poet.

*

Heroes

Brave or willing to die?

Not I,

Not Many,

Is this the reason I wear a

British Uniform.

Honourable?

*

We prayed in silence,

We prayed out loud,

Jesus was called upon,

His answer blank.

Private or Corporal

In this death battle

There is no rank

*

Casualties by the score,

Bombing raids,

Exploding shells,

I just can’t take any more.

*

Not a woman in sight,

Mammy I miss you tonight,

Oh Mary Dear,

I wish you were near.

*

The walking wounded.

As far as the eye can see,

The blind, the deaf,

That empty stare,

Death fast approaching

A 1000 Yards there.

*

I am too young to shave,

No time for hygiene.

Blood stained bandages being the norm,

Scars so raw,

Gross disfigurements,

Shell shocked.

Are we being mocked?

*

800 went over,

100 came back,

The Chaplain’s task was dark,

He wrote That letter.

*

Sleeping men,

Dead men,

Side by side,

We have no place to hide

*

The uniform is hot,

The tunic was very itchy,

The bites, the boils,

The rashes.

No creams, no cures,

March on or rot.

*

Walk in my boots

Full of my blood

Septic blisters, pain, pain, pain.

*

Newspapers were welcome,

As Soles for Shoes,

Hats, bums, beds,

Protection from the sun

No time to read.

*

A Skeleton Battalion

Is.

*

If I live to be an old man

The corpses, the smell,

Men decapitated,

Wasted lives.

*

Sir Douglas Haig,

You got it wrong,

The Hun is powerful.

Not many church funerals

Gone, No Gong, Gone, No Gong.

*

Trees, trenches, troops,

Trolleys for the wounded,

Stench of decomposing comrades

German soldiers,

Prisoners of war,

What is this for?

*

Water and Mother,

Were often muttered,

We dance with death.

*

The shells crashed,

We dashed,

Utter silence,

Sanity has been,

Slaughtered within us.

 

Angela Lane, Newbridge – 1 July 2016

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