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Armistice 2014

Megan L 11 Nov 14 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 11 Nov 14 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Redvon 11 Nov 14 - 01:46 PM
Amergin 11 Nov 14 - 03:02 PM
GUEST 11 Nov 14 - 03:03 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 14 - 03:11 PM
Megan L 12 Nov 14 - 07:47 AM
Megan L 12 Nov 14 - 05:13 PM
IamNoMan 12 Nov 14 - 09:34 PM
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Subject: Armistice 2014
From: Megan L
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 12:34 PM

On Armistice day I think of people like my Grandfather who had fought in the Boer war and volunteered for the first world war, not for the glory or super patriotism but as he told his pregnant wife "I had better go they will call me up soon anyway."

I think of my Grandmother who's last child was born 4 months after her husband was killed. She was left to try and keep her six children together, which she did though as the oldest was still school aged must have been hard going. She died in 1960 having never remarried.

I think of Our cousin who was killed when a shell burst over the camp at Deal where they were waiting to board ships to France in the second world war.

I think of those who came home but were never the same, of old Bernard who had been gassed when the wind changed blowing British gas back on our own trenches. In the winter and on foggy Glasgow nights he was gasping for air and in pain, he lived with the war for every day of the rest of his life.

I think of Archie a Para dropped at Arnhem who spent the rest of the war as a POW. I think of his wife Babs who lived in terror as each flashback turned her into a German guard in his mind.

So many stories, so much pain.


How blows the wind? The old man asked.
Though no one knew quite why
How blows the wind? The old man asked.
Then he'd begin to cry

Is it fair and from our backs?
Oh tell me how it blows.
But they were silent when he'd ask
His answer no one knows.

They'd say there isn't any wind today
Come David look outside.
But he had heard it all before
He knew how much they lied.

In the end they didn't answer,
There was nothing they could say.
And still each time he'd ask them
How blows the wind today?

As David's dying in his bed
A tired old priest comes round
He thought he heard him whisper,
And strains to hear the sound.

How blows the wind? The old man asked.
Is it fair and from our backs? Oh tell me how it blows.
He hears the words and understands
At last someone who knows.

Aye lad it's fair and from our backs
Come take a breath with me
Here lies no shadow of a cloud
The air is sweet and free.

Two tired old men, they take a breath
Of air that's sweet and rare
The old priest closes David's eyes
He says a simple prayer.
Then he continues down the ward
He knew for he'd been there.        
Margaret Harkness Thomson Barclay-Laughton
8.05pm 22nd November 1998

There used to be an old man came to visit us when I was a little girl. One night it was very foggy when he walked down the road and he was having a hard time breathing and in pain when he reached us. After mum had got him settled and he had got his breath back I asked him why he couldn't breathe properly.   

He told us he had been gassed during the first world war. He called it 'Mustard Gas' He said he'd been fairly lucky, that you used to see lines of men with their eyes bandaged, their hand on the shoulder of the man in front, like snakes waiting to board the ship for home.

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 01:04 PM

so many sad stories.
my uncle George was in a Japanese POW camp. they were so hungry that in his hut, they enticed the guard dog in, killed and ate it. he survived the war.    because of their extreme condition, they came home on a slow ship to feed them carefully and restore them.
my father was a farm worker, and was not called up, but one of his brothers got shell shock from one bomb dropped near him in the field where he was working, and he would never work on his own again. pity the poor soldiers that lived with it incessantly.
George was called up because he was a driver.

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: GUEST,Redvon
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 01:46 PM

In Flanders field the poppies blow,
Between the crosses row on row...

We will remember them..

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: Amergin
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 03:02 PM

I have seen the change in my brother and cousins who have gone over seas. It is a sad thing....I remember when my brother first came home from his first tour in Iraq, he had to hide on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July, because of the fireworks. My cousin was over there several times, and there are only a few left from his original unit....the ones who came home, well he's been to alot of funerals.

This is one of my poems....I wrote it when a kid from my home town was killed a couple years ago.

The Homecoming Parade

When Specialist Martin returned
from Afghanistan,
he was veiled in a flag.
His family were there to greet
as they hugged and keened
their tears on the oil stained tarmac
of the Sandpoint airport.

The Patriot Guard Riders,
those knights upon their motorbikes,
led the honour brigade,
protected the motorcade
as they slid down Highway 95
to Bonners Ferry,
his hometown.

Spectators lined the fringes
of this two laned mountain encased track,
burned by the mid August sun.

Some held signs and placards that said:

Thank you, Ethan.
God Bless You, Martin Family.
SPC Martin is our hero.

Still others held their hands to their chests,
felt their hearts twitch beneath
the wrinkled lines of their palms.

When the convoy pulled into
the funeral home parking lot,
the bikers, in their badged leather armour,
stood in formation, hands lined
across their foreheads as they saluted him,

while his honour guard escorted
him from the back of the white hearse,
into the shaded solitude
of the brick building.

At 22, Army Specialist Ethan Martin
came home.

© 2012 by Nathan Tompkins

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 03:03 PM

I sing to auld lang syne
i will look up how blows the wind..very beautiful..

By Rudyard Kipling

The Garden called Gethsemane   
   In Picardy it was,   
And there the people came to see   
   The English soldiers pass.
We used to pass—we used to pass   
   Or halt, as it might be,
And ship our masks in case of gas   
   Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden called Gethsemane,   
   It held a pretty lass,
But all the time she talked to me
   I prayed my cup might pass.   
The officer sat on the chair,
   The men lay on the grass,   
And all the time we halted there
   I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn't pass—it didn't pass-
   It didn't pass from me.
I drank it when we met the gas   
   Beyond Gethsemane!

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 03:11 PM

A person named "Cos.Co." asked me to post this.
    Hi Joe or whoever,

    At the Tower of London, as part of the Remembrance Sunday activities to commemerate the fallen in war, there is a huge display of red poppies (see Note 1).

    All these poppies are to be cleared away (on or after the 11th November - there is an argument about this: the process has been slowed down or halted as so many wish to visit the display). I do not know if a "closing ceremony" has been planned - the authorities appear to have been surprised at the effect of the
    display but I believe there should be one. People should find out from the Royal British Legion and the Tower of London, if the clearance is to be marked in some manner. There are a number of "sensitivities" involved. (At a minimum someone should sing "Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing, where... ". I don't know if any British Mudcatters want to ensure something worthwhile is done (see Note 2) but I feel it would be appalling to waste such an "investment".)

    I understand there has been some mention of this at the British "home of folk", Cecil Sharp House but I am not a party to any of these organisations. At the moment I also do not have time to be a "party" to Mudcat but I do hope you will pass this message on. If you do feel a "handle" is necessary for me, "Cos.Co." does have real-world link to me.

    1. Described as "a major artistic installation entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' sees the Tower of London's famous dry moat filled with over 800,000 ceramic poppies to create a powerful visual commemoration for the First World War Centenary".
    2. Variations on a theme:
    i) The last poppies are cleared, leaving only figures with black hooded capes, backs to cameras. A commentator says: "we are left with no flowers, just a question" and then the song begins:
    "Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing, where... ". When they reach the phrase "young girls picked them", the figures turn round (hoods and/or capes released/removed), revealing them to be young girls, each carrying a red poppy shrouded in white. The involvement of a male voice choir - and soldiers - might be best avoided in the first instance but sensible as a follow-on.
    Black hooded capes are sometimes representative of death, of witchcraft. With the white dresses there is some suggestion of polarity, of life and death.
    (Though normal life is shades of grey (but far more than 50!) , There is some hint of innocence - and whose guilt?
    ii) Unofficial solitary singer to be there and recorded at the time or perhaps a whole group of folk singers and musicians.
    ii) Use time lapse photography of clearance as a backdrop to the song.

Here's a BBC Story on the Tower of London poppies - with lots of colorful photographs.

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: Megan L
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 07:47 AM

Amergin thanks for the poem when I was young it was not a common thing for British soldiers to be brought home hence the lines in Rupert Brook's poem The Soldier
" IF I should die, think only this of me;   
That there's some corner of a foreign field   
That is for ever England. "

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: Megan L
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 05:13 PM

someone had asked for the words to this song " Names on a stone" earlier this year I don't believe in heroes but my grandfather is one of those names no grave just a name on a stone.
Names on a stone. Robbie Ellis

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Subject: RE: Armistice 2014
From: IamNoMan
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 09:34 PM


Turkish Lyrics: Ihsan Ozanoğlu
Arrangement: Muzaffer Sarısözen

In Çanakkale stands the Mirror Bazaar.
Mother I set forth against the enemy, oh, my youth, alas!

In Çanakkale there's a cypress tree.
Some of us are engaged, some of us married, oh, my youth, alas!

In Çanakkale there's a broken jug.
Mothers and fathers abandoned hope, oh, my youth, alas!

Çanakkale's heights are shrouded with smoke.
The thirteenth division marched to war, oh, my youth, alas!

In Çanakkale the cannonballs landed.
Ah, our comrades fell wounded together, oh, my youth, alas!

Çanakkale's bridge is narrow, impassable.
Its waters have become red blood, not a cup can be drunk, oh, my youth, alas.

From Çanakkale I barely escaped
My lungs rotted from vomiting blood, oh, my youth, alas!

From Çanakkale I escaped, my head is safe
Doomsday came before I reached Anafarta, oh my youth, alas

In Çanakkale they shot me.
They buried me before I died, oh, my youth, alas!

In Çanakkale are rows of willows
Brave lions rest beneath them, oh, my youth, alas.

25,000,000 dead in the Great War. Heroes all. This is Gallipoli from the Turkish Perspective. Wikipedia has the Turkish Lyrics.



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