Sunday, 31 May 2015

In Memory of a Good Soldier

Inside of In Memoriam card for the Unknown Warrior interred in 
Westminster Abbey 1920 [X498/191]

Monday 31st May 1915: Nurse Gertie Grimmer is still collecting entries in her Confessions Book. Alongside the question and answer “confessions” it now includes many autographs in the form of sketches, jokes, notes and poems. A particularly poignant poem titled “In Memory of a Good Soldier of Christ” has been added by Private A. Walker of the 7th East Surreys, written in loving memory of No.14194 Private George Brewer of the Bedford Regiment who was killed last week.[1]

A crescent moon enough to shed
Upon the field where lies our dead
A shimmering ghostly light to show
Where Britons heroes meet their foe.
What need to tell of clash and din
Of the deadly bayonet driven in
The shrieks and cries of those in pain
Of men becoming beasts again.
To see men fight and writhing die
And describe like Zola, I’ll not try
But when all’s over I could say
The best of mankind died today.
Ye British wives and Daughters too
Hold high your heads it was for you
Those heroes made their last advance
To find a grave “Somewhere in France”.

Source: Confessions Album of Gertie Grimmer [X391/498]

[1] Private George Brewer, son of James Brewer of Church Hanborough, Woodstock, Oxfordshire was killed on 25th May 1915 when the 1st Battalion were in support near Hill 60. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.  

No comments:

Post a Comment