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WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

On Monday, 4th August, 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of WW I, we had a little ceremony, 10pm till 11pm, at the Cross in the middle of the village, attended by about thirty people (from a village population of about 800; less than 4%).

Our Roll of Honour was read out, and later, their names were read out again, one by one, and for each, a candle was extinguished. Then poems and reminiscences, ending with the Last Post, two minutes silence and Reveille.

Stories were related.

A poem by Alex de Candole (his 74th) was read by a cousin of his, who lives in this village:-

LXXIX

AND if a bullet in the midst of strife 
Should still the pulse of this unquiet life, 
'Twere well: be death an everlasting rest, 
I oft could yearn for it, by cares opprest; 
And be 't a night that brings another day, 
I still could go rejoicing on my way,
Desiring in no phantom heav'n to dwell, 
Nor scared with terror of any phantom hell, 
But gazing now I find not death a curse 
Better than life perchance, at least not worse; 
Only the fierce and rending agony,
The torment of the flesh about to die, 
Afrights my soul; but that shall pass anon,
And death's repose or strife be found, that gone; 
Only with that last earthly ill to cope
God grant me strength, and I go forth with hope

July 17th, 1918.

 

Then later this one was read (his 85th):-

WHEN the last long trek is over, 
And the last long trench filled in, 
I'll take a boat to Dover, 
Away from all the din;
I'll take a trip to Mendip,
I'll see the Wiltshire downs, 
And all my soul I'll then dip
In peace no trouble drowns.
Away from noise of battle,
Away from bombs and shells, 
I'll lie where browse the cattle,
Or pluck the purple bells ; 
I'll lie among the heather,
And watch the distant plain,
Through all the summer weather,
Nor go to fight again.

September 2nd, 1918.

 - he was killed that night, aged 21.

 

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