ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH (extract)
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
September - October, 1917
Volunteers, that’s what they ask for,
And that’s exactly what they’ve got.
I remember the bullet that chased my life;
The bombs, the fire, the screams among voices,
That’s what I remember.
My horse Zappy has gone…lost in pieces.
My best friend’s dead, the gas running down
But the overall memory is those bells,
That’s what I heard.
Before it was all over and they just left me
Alone in the trenches.
One million on each side met their end:
Their deaths observed by living friends who
Sent families the news, knocked on their doors;
Depressing weeks went on, tears dripped on floors.
Deafening gunshots over the commanders’ yell,
Only bullets heard as another man fell.
Soldiers wondering when they might escape this hell
As weeks passed by, still no one could tell.
Those shelling bombardments, deadliest of all
As we climb over the banks, nerves take over!
Walking, running through the battlefield; will this ever stop?
Volunteers hiding against the mounds, clutching their guns tight
Trench-hoppers jumping the ditches like a race horse,
Four years seems an eternity.
Oh, when will this war ever end?
No 18848 Private Harry Plummer 7th Suffolk Regiment. Killed on 03/07/16 aged 21 years.
No 43550 Private Leslie Reeve 140 Coy. Killed on 14/09/16 aged 21 years.
No 18075 Private Charles Cotterell Royal West Kent Regiment. Killed 29/09/16 aged 20 years.
No not found C.S.M Alfred Arthur Howe Royal Lancaster Regiment. Killed 03/07/16 aged 27 years.