October 24th, 2016

Warwick man pens poem to mark remember First World War soldiers

Warwick man pens poem to mark remember First World War soldiers Warwick man pens poem to mark remember First World War soldiers
The Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval.
Updated: 9:17 am, Jul 01, 2016

FOLLOWING a visit to the First World War battlefields and military cemeteries in Belgium and northern France, Warwick resident John Payton was moved to pen a poem which he titled The Unknown Soldier.

The Unknown Soldier

‘A Soldier of the Great War’ it said

‘Known Only Unto God’ it read

But why is it that he’s unknown

Did he die in No Man’s Land alone?

Is he here by some cruel twist of fate

Is his name inscribed on the Menin Gate?

As he was known, and loved and missed

When his name appeared on the Casualty List

Did he come from a town in an English Shire

To die alone in the Passchendaele mire?

Or from a northern town, from a mill or a mine

Or the banks of the Mersey or the River Tyne?

Did he hail from the Midlands, from a village or city?

One of hundreds of thousands, such a terrible pity

With his helmet worn at a jaunty angle

And bayonet and mess tin all a-jangle

Was he from the Home Counties, from London or Devon

From Norfolk or Wessex or the banks of the Severn?

Was he Irish or Scottish, or a Welshman maybe

Or from the Colonies, the Empire or the Land of the Free?

So ‘Known Unto God’ is carved there in stone

But remembered by many when he didn’t come home

Those old black and white films still show him quite clearly

With that old cheeky grin remembered so dearly

And there’s a faded brown photo in an old gilded frame

That our grandma still shows us when we mention his name

So what was it that drove all those brave men

To face death’s dire threat again and again?

They’re the Lost Generation who we’ll never meet

Who were sent out to achieve an impossible feat

So the least we can do now is to remember

At 11am on the 11th of November

That this brave little army of ordinary men

Fought and died so that we would think kindly of them.