In Flanders Fields

#juan
#1
Still the best Remembrance Day poem

In Flanders fields the poppies blow (1)
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Last edited by #juan; Nov 11th, 2006 at 11:42 AM..Reason: spelling
 
tracy
#2
Thanks for posting. I love that poem.
 
#juan
#3
Hi Tracy....Usually it's been posted three times by now.
 
tracy
#4
Maybe everyone else had a late night and a late start to the morning
 
TenPenny
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

Still the best Remembrance Day poem

In Flanders fields the poppies blow (1)

When my grandmother died, one of the things my father inherited was the diary of her aunt, from her days in WW1. One entry read, "One of the doctors here has written a lovely poem", and included was the poem, in someone else's handwriting (possibly McCrae's), and some talk about one of the lines, whether he should change it or not...
 
#juan
#6
That is very interesting. Of course I wouldn't like to see anything changed now-----That poem is absolutely imprinted on my brain the way you see it. McCrae was a medical doctor and a soldier but he is, and will be remembered for that lovely three stanza poem.
 
BitWhys
#7
I prefer this one...

Recessional
Rudyard Kipling

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!
 
#juan
#8
Kipling wrote a great poem, but for me, I like the brevity and the power of "Flanders Fields". McCrae's poem just seems more relevant to the great war where thirty thousand men could die in an hour or so.
 
the caracal kid
#9
the insidiousness of it all!!

the mantra works so well: get them young, keep them numb.
 
Sassylassie
#10
I attended the Rememberance Service today in the small town where I live and they do something here I've never seen before. After the Vets and the Legion lay down their poppies they ask all the children under the age of 18 to come lay their poppies down amongst the Vets and Legion members. They explained that this is a way of passing the Peace Torch to the children so they never forget the horrors of war. These children will one day be intrusted to keep this Country safe and FREE. The old are passing the message of "PEACE" not "War". Over 5000 people attended the service today, it was amazing.

Caracol wrote: the mantra works so well: get them young, keep them numb.

Excuse me, have you ever attended a Remembrance Day Service. I highly doubt it from the responses you post.
 
the caracal kid
#11
yes, sassy, I have been to rememberance day services. I have seen a great deal, actually. Enough to identify idoctorination for what it is.
 
BitWhys
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

Kipling wrote a great poem, but for me, I like the brevity and the power of "Flanders Fields". McCrae's poem just seems more relevant to the great war where thirty thousand men could die in an hour or so.

the brevity is nice, but Kipling doesn't leave anything to the militarist's imagination. Harper's speech this year comes to mind.
 
TenPenny
#13
[so sorry]
Last edited by TenPenny; Nov 11th, 2006 at 09:04 PM..
 
Sassylassie
#14
TenPenny wrote: Repeat after me

RE MEM BRANCE
RE MEM BRANCE

NOT
RE MEM BER ANCE

(Thank you for attending, but you hit one of my pet peeves.)

Well TenPenny I suggest you learn to deal with my way of expressing myself. I'm from Nova Scotia and sometimes I get compy here and type as I speak, it's called an accent. I really don't care what your pet peeves are, intolerance is one of mine. Feel free to hit the big red mod button if you can't deal with it, it's real popular with some members.
 
TenPenny
#15
Oh, I fixed up my post.

God forbid some sanctimonious person take it as a personal insult or something.
Last edited by TenPenny; Nov 11th, 2006 at 09:04 PM..
 
Dexter Sinister
#16
But it remains true that the correct word is Remembrance, not Rememberance. Respect the ritual enough to get the label right. It means a lot to some people, and whatever else you might think of it, at least try to name it correctly.
 
Tonington
#17
Why is everyone jumping on Sassie, she spelled it right the second time in her post, and Caracal spelled it wrong too. Despite what anyone says I firmly believe in muscle memory.
 
Truekiwijoker
#18
Happy Armistace day everyone.

Lest we forget those brave young men and what they endured, and what they went through when they went over the top.

And lest we forget the idiots, the Imperialism and the Nationalism that let it happen. Let's hope it never happens again.
 
Curiosity
#19
TrueKiwi

Hi - if you have some time - perhaps you could add a bit about ANZAC Day for the people here....

I had an Aussie friend whose dad died while he was visiting Canada and in his grief he phoned my parents and spent most of that first day waiting for his flight back home - explaining why he was so upset - that his dad had died on ANZAC Day..... My family were fascinated by the story as it wasn't discussed as often in Canada. It's quite a history.

All this assuming Kiwi is a real moniker...if not...sorry.
 
Truekiwijoker
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post

TrueKiwi

Hi - if you have some time - perhaps you could add a bit about ANZAC Day for the people here....

I had an Aussie friend whose dad died while he was visiting Canada and in his grief he phoned my parents and spent most of that first day waiting for his flight back home - explaining why he was so upset - that his dad had died on ANZAC Day..... My family were fascinated by the story as it wasn't discussed as often in Canada. It's quite a history.

All this assuming Kiwi is a real moniker...if not...sorry.

Happy to oblige.

ANZAC day is the national holiday in both Australia and New Zealand. It's on the 25th of April every year, commemorating the day the Entente powers landed in an ulitimately aborted attempt to force a way through the New Central power of Ottoman Turkey to create supply and support lines for Russia.

It was the brainchild of a certain overweight former journalist who would later become Lord of the Admirality and Britain's wartime Prime minister during the second world war, where he would also think p an idea of destroying the third Reich through the soft underbelly of mountainous Italy. This pompous verbose creampuff who never had to walk up a hill in his life liked to maintain a delusion that he was the reincarnation of the Duke of Malborough, of whom he was a distant decendant. And on the map in Whitehall it must have looked so easy.

Now after the race to the sea and the subsequent stalemate in France he man had disposed of the freshly formed formations for his schemes, which included the freshly mobilised first echelon of the brand new Commonwealth of Australia, formed under the guidelines of Kitchener to become the vanguard of an eventual entire Corps of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. So instead of sailing to France they were retained in Egypt for the forthcoming operation.

From the outset the reality of the operation proved far from the intended plans. The Turkish military had revitalised itself to an army far removed from that which was humiliated 1912-3 by Bulgaria and Greece, and was greatly assisted in strategy by some of the finest minds on the Prussian general staff such as General Liman (von Sanders). The topological reality of the Dardenelles that link the Aegean sea to the Black sea is of a steep mountainous country and some narrow, treacherous stretches of water.
In accordance to the Napoleonic era plans the Royal navy sailed up the Dardenelles to bombard the defenders of the straights, intending to neutralise the hilltops all the way to an assault on Istanbul itself. Unfortunately they underestimated the threat of mines, the height and the accuracy of the defending Turkish artillery and coastal batteries, and after some losses they couldn't afford at Channakkale near the first narrows, the Royal Navy withdrew, setting the stage for the first modern Amphibious operation to sieze the hieghts and allow for further progression of the Mediterranean fleet up the straights.

And so a week later the troops were landed. This weekly delay did not take in account the contemporary reality of railroads, motorised ferry transport, field artillery and the ability for a force to dug in a network of trenches to easily defend with Bolt-action rifles, Machine guns and Artillery, resulting in the Turks deploying and digging in over an entire Army to defend the area near the straights mouth where the Royal navy furthest ventured. The field of battle was the Gelibolu (forever misspelt as Gallipoli) penisula on one side of the Narrows with one landing at the southern most tip of the peninsula at Cape Hellas and another further north at Ari Burnu which it was hoped would outflank and cut off the main Turkish Corps between them and Cape Hellas. It was the later landing that involved the fresh Australian troops of the first Echelon of the ANZAC.

And so the landings were made on that terrible 25 of April 1915. All he Entente forces were met with a withering defending fire that reputedly decimated the first waves of attackers. The norhtern most British landing was altogether abandoned. Once on shore the invaders found themselves negotiating some very steep escarpments to somewhat assualt the Turkish forward positions. And while beacheads were eventually established the cost in manpower was horrific.

And so the battle was fought for the next 8 months, much like the horrid battles Canadians were enduring at Loos and Ypres but with the added element of hilly and mountainous terrain and a scorching hot Summer. Eventually after making little real progress for all these months and sacrificing 200,000 the entire frontal offensive on Turkey was altogether abandoned.

For Australia this battle has always been held sacred. It was the new country's baptism of fire and its fresh enthusiastic and repeatedly fearless young volunteers suffered some horrific casualties, attacking sttep country that British intelligence had wrongly pre-assumed was undefended. There wouldn't have been a single Australian in 1915 unaffected by the war at Gallipoli, with men whod left expecting their fighting skill to make a difference returning home in coffins or invalid through wounds. And while the Australians reformed and the ANZAC would become an integral part of Britain's forces in Belgium, the stain of Gallipoli has become the country's defining battle. And many Australians still get emotional considering the ordeal its young men endured.

As for New Zealand? well our Division didn't get there until August, where it was part of the second ANZAC echelon that relieved much of the northern beachhead and conducted a successful assault on Chanak Bair, an important peak that had cost the Ockers many lives in a series of unsuccessful assaults. It cost us some heavy casualties too, especially when the Royal navy accidentally shelled the successful assaulters (believing the assault had failed). And so the New Zealand Division was an integral part of the ANZAC forces during the latter phase of the battle, and suffered alongside the Aussies. It wasn't really our baptism of fire, as substantial amounts of New Zealand troops had served during the Boer war, in fact almost all the senior officers and NCO's were Boer war veterans.
Yet in 1919 the country decided to also adopt April 25 as ANZAC day, also our national holiday, although since day one there have been proponents of changing it to August 11th (or something like that) to signify Chanak Bair.
In any case for New Zealand the day signifies the entire Great war, in which New Zealand had the highest enlistment rate of all combattants and would be effected and shaped by its legacy for decades to come. So 25th April also signifies our commitment to Gallipoli, and the subsequent battles on the Somme, Ypres and Messines ridge, as well as the battles of the second world war.
And in any case, many Kiwis were sailed across the Tasman in 1914 and joined the Aussies to get to the war faster, and were amongst those who suffered so terribly in the first, terrible phase of the battle.


So that's the story. Hope you enjoyed and will understand the sacredness Australians feel towards the 25th of April. Am I right to assume Canadians feel the same way about the Dieppe raid?
Last edited by Truekiwijoker; Nov 16th, 2006 at 12:27 AM..
 
Curiosity
#21
TrueKiwi - that was a great read and a piece of your land's history....

Thanks so much - reading it here and remembering how our friend talked that day - reminded me that the large World Wars affected so many lives - so many families have their memories and we are quietly losing all of them as people fade away.

I know historians have written great tomes on battles but of the families who remained rigidly silent by their radios and who daily watched and waited for the mail and dreaded news - it was such a hell for them.

Yet - we still continue wars and killing each other only with even more sophisticated weapons.

I often think there might be one person in all of our world who knows how to stop this carnage - who has the words and courage to change our future stories of humanity interacting in peace rather than violence.

Perhaps we are not ready to hear his words - Curio
 
Sean D
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post



I often think there might be one person in all of our world who knows how to stop this carnage - who has the words and courage to change our future stories of humanity interacting in peace rather than violence.

Perhaps we are not ready to hear his words - Curio

When I think of how many people have died in the wars... This person you speak of may have died in one of them. I sometimes think that we have lost the person, or a decendant that will never be born, that would cure cancer or solve so many other problems of this world. Because of these people dying in the war we may never have those solutions that would help this world.

I hope I explained that correctly

Sean
 
Curiosity
#23
Sean - Welcome!

You have explained it correctly and beautifully! Thank you.
 
Truekiwijoker
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post

I often think there might be one person in all of our world who knows how to stop this carnage - who has the words and courage to change our future stories of humanity interacting in peace rather than violence.

Perhaps we are not ready to hear his words - Curio

Thanks.

But I don't for one think mankind will ever stop fighting wars. As sure as we are made of homo sapian DNA you can be sure we'll go to war as quickly as we squabble with our flatmates, family, nieghbours and play each other in sport.

However, some of the more terrible wars could be avoided if we look to our history and remember that we are only all human, not some great wonder race or country on a holy mission. The Great war was totally unnecessary and could easily have been avoided, and the world at large should analyse it further, especially Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bremer and Mr. Wolfowitz.
 
Truekiwijoker
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Sean D View Post

When I think of how many people have died in the wars... This person you speak of may have died in one of them. I sometimes think that we have lost the person, or a decendant that will never be born, that would cure cancer or solve so many other problems of this world. Because of these people dying in the war we may never have those solutions that would help this world.

I hope I explained that correctly

Sean

That's especially true for the Great war, where many of Europe's most brilliant young minds perished. It was a rude new phenominum in warfare, only experienced previously by the Southern states of the U.S. Civil war, a war Europe foolishly paid scant attention too.
 
the caracal kid
#26
wishful thinking.

you can also imagine how many serial killers, rapists, or what have you died because of war.

if we consider all life equal, it should be only about the fact that death occured, not the great use you could of had for one of them. ("you" meaning yourself, your society, your culture, your, your, your, or perhaps humanity at large)
 
TenPenny
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

Why is everyone jumping on Sassie, she spelled it right the second time in her post, and Caracal spelled it wrong too. Despite what anyone says I firmly believe in muscle memory.

I wasn't jumping on anyone, I was pointing out that it's a very, very common mistake. It's nice if, as part of the big deal we make out of honouring people, that we at least get the spelling correct.

Unfortunately Sassie took my post as some sort of personal attack, which baffled me, because that didn't seem like her. So I edited my post, because GOD FORBID anyone misunderstand anything and do anything sanctimonious like claim it was a personal insult or something (not that she would, this is a convoluted comment).

Trying to point out that spelling and grammar are what make the language convey meaning is a lost cause.
 

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