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World War 1 Remembered - Irene Stuart


They stand in line looking neither left nor right

Young boys tall and straight going off to fight

Excited, nervous, never left home

Lived with family, never been alone

Never strayed far from village or town

Going off to war for King and Crown

Been given the King's Shilling, an honour they are told

A Pals battalion, strong and bold

They wait with baited breath as the crowds whoop and cheer

Give those Germans what for, there's nothing to fear

The drum major indicates let's strike up the band

Off to be soldiers in a foreign land

Don't worry lads you'll be home before long

It will be over by Christmas as they burst into song

Chests burst with pride as they march to the tune

Pack Up Your Troubles see you again soon

But behind the facade, there is anxiety

What war will bring is a mystery

What lies ahead nobody knows

Who will survive the onslaught from the foe

Who will die in battle, suffer in body and mind

Sacrifice their life for the future of mankind

If only they had known what lay ahead

700,000 would soon lie dead

Kitchener has declared, Your Country Needs You

The boys rallied to the call, let's show the Hun who's who

Comrades in arms they laugh and joke on route

Issued with rifles they have learned how to shoot

No longer at rabbits and foxes but at the enemy

Young boys also, an example of war's futility

But how many will return, no longer boys but men

Some will die on the field and not see dear old Blighty again

One hundred years on we salute those who died

And those maimed and injured, we remember them with pride

We remember those boys looking neither left nor right

As they stood tall and straight, going off to fight

For King and country their lives they gave

For peace for future generations, they went to their grave

But peace has not yet come, yes for some but not all

Was their death in vain, for nothing did they fall

Was it all senseless, has the world taken no heed

Of the death of those boys to fulfil a minority greed

As we teeter on, war never far away

We must always remember the fallen who never lived to fight another day

Irene Stuart

A Lost Son

She keeps house, she cooks, she washes and mends my clothes,

yet she never looks at me

her contempt for me is palpable

She blames me

She thinks I should have said “no”.

He'd begged and pleaded

I could see the adrenaline pumping through his veins

there was fire in his belly

It's how I felt when I went to fight the Boers

I couldn't deny him

as an Englishman it was my duty to let him go

She will never forgive me

I will never forgive myself

Irene Stuart

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