Champ de coquelicots,Somme

We take a moment today to reflect on the events of 100 years ago at The Somme.

Many of us will have lost family there, in my own case a great uncle who died a teenager and whose name is included in a list of those who gave their lives on a memorial at Manchester’s Victoria Station.

As a father of 5, I cannot imagine the emotions of a parent sending a child to war – and to those who have and do, I extend my respect.

Today, of all days, cherish your children, your own comforts and retain the correct perspective on whatever problems and challenges you may be facing.

A Soldier’s Cemetery

by John William Streets (killed and missing in action on 1st July 1916 aged 31)

Behind that long and lonely trenched line
To which men come and go, where brave men die,
There is a yet unmarked and unknown shrine,
A broken plot, a soldier’s cemetery.

There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d
To live (so died) when languished Liberty:
Across their graves flowerless and unadorned
Still scream the shells of each artillery.

When war shall cease this lonely unknown spot
Of many a pilgrimage will be the end,
And flowers will shine in this now barren plot
And fame upon it through the years descend:
But many a heart upon each simple cross
Will hang the grief, the memory of its loss.

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