Sunday 3 May 2015

In Flanders Fields

On 3 May 1915, the Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae who had just presided over the funeral of his friend Alexis Helmer killed at the Second Battle of Ypres wrote arguably the most famous poem to emerge from the First World War - In Flanders Fields.

Disappointed at the attempt to express his emotions and sense of loss  he threw the poem away.
 It was retrieved by one of his soldiers.

Like his friend McCrae did not survive the war, dying of pneumonia in January, 1918.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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