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The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)


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rich-joy 10 Nov 20 - 01:22 AM
rich-joy 11 Nov 20 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,JHW 13 Nov 20 - 04:28 PM
Joe_F 14 Nov 20 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Anon 17 Nov 20 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,JHW 17 Nov 20 - 02:44 PM
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Subject: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
From: rich-joy
Date: 10 Nov 20 - 01:22 AM

Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) tomorrow (on the 11th) :

Film Clip and Lyrics for Ralph McTell's song "The Unknown Soldier", posted by Ralph on 08Nov2020.

Please make a donation to the Royal British Legion via their website

The Unknown Soldier - Ralph McTell
Sir Billy Connolly
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Liam Neeson
Produced and Arranged by Graham Preskett

More than fifty thousand names
Are carved on Ypres' Menin gate
Of soldiers who have no known graves
Just their destiny and date
Witness and last testament
Name and rank and regiment
Is now all that survives
From so many squandered lives
And for every name inscribed
The poor bereaved were left to mourn
The passing of all those who died
With no white cross on tended lawn
No place to go to contemplate
The sacrifice this wicked waste
No footprint left to show where once they trod
Allegedly known unto god
From Ypres Arras Aisne and Somme
Six unknown soldiers were exhumed
A blindfold general picked one man
And reverently they brought him home
Six black horses drew the hearse
Through silent London crowds immersed
In deepest thought belief or wishful prayer
That it might be their own boy there
The metal tyres on the carriage wheels
Played the tuneless requiem
The sky as grey as bayonet steel
Above the sombre hatless men
One more enemy to kill
That remaining sense of guilt
That through it all somehow they had survived
Returned to mothers sweethearts wives
Familiar streets their own backyards
Their medals and all praise ignored
Relieved to be his honour guard
And walk with him their true reward
While far from pomp and circumstance
Across the autumn fields of France
The trenches start to slowly fill and fade
The bloody page turned by the ploughman's blade
Thankfully we'll never know
If he was constant strong or frail
Scared or brave in equal parts
Country tanned or city pale
A carefree youth or thoughtful lad
Not wholly good or wholly bad
A bomb does not judge how you played your part
A bullet stops a lions heart
With softest cloth and gentlest broom
To sweep and wipe cathedral dust
Like dried tears from this marble tomb
Take care for he was one of us
In perfect irony and grief
The bride's bouquet becomes a wreath
And wrapped beneath dark angels folded wings
Tommy Atkins rests with kings.


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Subject: RE: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
From: rich-joy
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 06:50 AM

refresh for 11/11/11/2020......

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Subject: RE: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 04:28 PM

Donated a week ago. Been excellent R4 programme 9-45am all week on 1920 burial of Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, lead up and service on 11Nov1920 at 11am.

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Subject: RE: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
From: Joe_F
Date: 14 Nov 20 - 05:48 PM

"There have been few more radical changes in the history of Western culture than the change in attitude towards war and the military profession brought about by World War I....
"The symbol of the change was the construction after 1918 in all the belligerent countries of monuments to the Unknown Soldier. Previously, monuments had always been erected to known individuals. About the Unknown Soldier nothing is known except that he lost his life. For all we know, he may, personally, have been a coward. In his monument, that is to say, we pay homage to the warrior, not as a hero but as a martyr.

-- W. H. Auden, _A Certain World: A Commonplace Book_ (1970), s.v. War

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Subject: RE: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Anon
Date: 17 Nov 20 - 03:54 AM

"I don't think that combat has ever been written about truthfully; it has always been described in terms of bravery and cowardice. I won't even accept these words as terms of human reference any more. And anyway, hell, they don't even apply to what, in actual fact, modern warfare has become".

James Jones, novelist (6 Nov 1921-1977)

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Subject: RE: The Unknown Soldier (Ralph McTell)
Date: 17 Nov 20 - 02:44 PM

The R4 programme started with the 'problem' of millions of bereaved wishing to visit the grave of their fallen one abroad. A WW1 pardre already familiar with the grave of an unknown comrade forwarded the idea of a 'national' unknown soldier via the Dean of Westminster resulting in the re-burial and service in 1920.   It was very well attended. A number from graves of the unknown were exhumed on the continent and one chosen. Even the place of his grave was not known to those making the choice. Indeed the soldier is not known nor are his beliefs.
He could have been the missing relative of any of those that passed by.

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