Please someone: remember!

Before we came here we’d fun in the ‘ville’
A laugh and a drink and then a square meal.
It wasn’t so bad - except for that food
Some of the lads were really quite rude.

Now we’ve moved on my ‘home’ is a trench.
Nothing at home compares with this stench.
So many grown men sick with their fears.
So many soldiers fight back their tears.

It’s quite a bit later. We’re ready to go
Crouched in position, huddled down low.
They say we’ll be back at the end of the night
It hardly seems worth it just ’til first light.

We wait for the sergeant to give us the shout
Then its over the top. "Everyone out".
Some men are clumsy. They keep falling down.
"Come on - get up lad. It’s no time to clown".

Onwards we move. Why aren’t we running?
"Orders is orders". Some say its cunning.
Shells and grenades and bullets conspire
To take down our lives with hot-metal fire.

Fewer and fewer are left standing tall.
Every pace forward sees someone fall.
Some of my friends go down in the dirt.
Can this be happening - being gunned down and hurt?

Why don’t they move? They’re just in a heap.
Stock-still and lifeless, soundly asleep.
But then I see it; their blood’s running free,
Seeping to ground by the roots of that tree.

These men aren’t sleeping. They’re wounded and dead.
The wire and the water - that’s their last bed.
All over the place they’ve stopped in their tracks,
Kit bags and weapons still strapped to their backs.

I heard the ones that got Jack and got Bill
The one that’s got me has just left me still.
My body’s all changed. It’s ragged and red.
What there is left. I can’t see my head.

I’ve never lived Life; I’ve not had a girl.
My dreams are all over - its just been a whirl.
Pictures flash by me - my Life going by.
If I wasn’t so dead I really would cry.

I’ve given up Life. There wasn’t a choice.
I did of my duty and it’s silenced my voice.
No one asked me: "Will that be alright?"
Bang! A shell hit. It took out my light.

My body’s in pieces, mixed with the mud.
How will they find me? It doesn’t look good.
How did this happen? I’ve died on the Somme.
Please someone: remember! My name was Tom.

© David Moore 2005



Biddulph and the Great War

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