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 A poem by Ian C Garside.

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Mac Posted - 03/10/2018 : 04:37:20
When the whistle blows.

Over the top boys, over the top.
Scramble the ladder and up on your toes,
from trench into hell when the whistle blows.
Over the top boys, over the top.

Over by Christmas just wait, wait and see
cry the voices of hope and powers that be.
Lights over Europe would flicker then out
each side buoyed up by the certain rout.

All pals together to face down the Hun,
charge at the foe with bayonet and gun.
The enemy waits with baited breath,
to loose off volleys of certain death,
Over the top boys, over the top.

For King or Kaiser came the rallying cry
kill or be killed, to live and let die.
Trust unto God or roll of the dice,
face down in mud attended by lice .

Through booming shells hang on to your hat,
Knee-deep in slime there is no going back.
Gulping for air through machine gun rattle
scurrying like rats into futile battle.

Upwards and onwards and eternal glory,
yard by yard through the gas and the fury.
The Reaper beckons come meet thy maker
shrouds at the ready sighs the coffin draper.

Over the top boys, over the top.

Christmas falls with handshakes and names,
fellowship, carols, then football games.
Tunics for goalposts and a ball is gifted,
Joy to the World spirits briefly lifted.

Sport not war was the winner that day,
But the truce only masked its feet of clay.
The whistle blows so line up the willing,
no man’s land waits for the price of a shilling.

In Flanders fields where Poppies flourished,
Lies soul upon soul, crushed, unnourished.
Remember them all, both sides to a man
that never again will slaughter to lamb.

The guns fell silent at eleven o’clock
war to end all wars had come to a stop.
Gone are the ones briefly befriended,
finally done, the carnage is ended.

Lest we forget them count the great loss,
carve names in stone and mark with a cross.
Brothers in arms entombed in a row,
No more to hear the death whistle blow.

Over the top boys, over the top. Over, over, over.

Dedicated to the memory of the fallen during the Great War 1914-18
By Ian C Garside

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